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Jimenez M.N.,University of Granada | Bacchetta G.,University of Cagliari | Casti M.,University of Cagliari | Navarro F.B.,Ifapa Centro Camino Of Purchil Cap | And 2 more authors.
Ecological Engineering | Year: 2011

We have analyzed the relationship between total Zn, Pb and Cu concentrations in the soil and the capacity of three plant species to accumulate these elements in their leaves. The study was carried out in a highly contaminated area at Sulcis-Iglesiente (SW-Sardinia, Italy). We took samples of the leaves of Dittrichia viscosa, Cistus salviifolius and Euphorbia pithyusa subsp. cupanii and samples of the soil beneath each of them at depths of 0-30 and 30-60. cm, both in contaminated mine tailings and surrounding areas. Due to the anthropic origin of the soil materials the results varied considerably. Bioavailability of trace elements was mainly related to the calcium-carbonate content and the crystalline and amorphous forms of iron in the soil. The concentration of Zn in the leaves of the three plant species studied was highest, followed by Pb and finally Cu. The leaves of Dittrichia viscosa contained the highest concentrations of trace elements and this species may be considered as being a " phytoextractor" in soils where the trace-element concentrations are not too high. Euphorbia pithyusa subsp. cupanii had low trace-element concentrations in its leaves despite growing in highly contaminated soils, and so might be used as a " phytostabilizer" Although Cistus salviifolius does not grow in the most contaminated soils, could be considered as a contamination indicator up to a given level. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Navarro F.B.,Ifapa Centro Camino Of Purchil Cap | Jimenez M.N.,Ifapa Centro Camino Of Purchil Cap | Gallego E.,Ifapa Centro Camino Of Purchil Cap | Ripoll M.A.,Ifapa Centro Camino Of Purchil Cap
European Journal of Forest Research | Year: 2010

The short-term effects of forest overstory reduction and slash mulching on ground vegetation were analysed in a Mediterranean Aleppo pine reforested woodland on degraded agricultural land in south-east Spain. This sort of practice is becoming common in the Mediterranean basin to guard against forest fires, but very few attempts have been made to analyse its effect upon biodiversity. The data concerning floristic richness and above-ground biomass of species were measured as dependent variables in 0.5 × 0.5 m quadrats in an overstory reduction versus control area (treatment factor) during the spring of 2006. The data were analysed by ANCOVA, in which slash-mulch weight was introduced as covariate. Relationships between dependent variables and slash-mulch weight were examined using linear regression, and variations in floristic composition were ascertained by means of principal component analysis (PCA). A total of 32 ruderal herbaceous species were recorded, none of which was exotic. In spite of some methodological constraints (i.e. low number of samples and data from a non-replicated case study), the results of our study point to the conclusion that most of these species were found more frequently in the overstory-reduction treatment compared to the control area, and that only a few species clearly preferred the control treatment. In general, overstory reduction led to a significant increase both in floristic richness and above-ground biomass. Slash mulching, on the other hand, encouraged the appearance of a greater quantity of above-ground biomass (in different ways depending upon treatment), although species richness did not improve, even to the extent of declining in the control area. On the basis of our findings, overstory reduction seems to increase species richness and productivity in dense Mediterranean afforestations on degraded agricultural land, at least in the short-term. Large quantities of mulch accompanied by high tree density would seem not to favour species richness. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

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