Tree Legume – Microbial Symbiosis and Other Soil Amendments as Rehabilitation Strategies in Mine Tailings in the Philippines

Nelly S. Aggangan1*, Julieta A. Anarna1, and Nina M. Cadiz2

1National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH),
University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), College, Laguna 4031 Philippines
2Institute of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences,
UPLB, College, Laguna 4031 Philippines

*Corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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A field experiment was conducted to develop rehabilitation protocols for rehabilitating mine tailings areas using arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMFs) and nitrogen-fixing bacteria (NFBs) as microbial biofertilizers. Narra (Pterocarpus indicus) seedlings were inoculated during pricking with AMF with or without NFB Azospirillum spp. After four months in the nursery, the seedlings were planted in a barren, mined-out area in Barangay Capayang, Mogpog, Marinduque, Philippines. During field planting of narra seedlings, vermicompost and lime were mixed with the excavated soil prior to back-filling the 30 cm3 planting hole. Uninoculated narra seedlings were also planted without any amendments, thus serving as the negative control. After one year, 96% (control) and 99% (AMF±NFB) seedling survival were observed with amendments as compared to only 50% in the negative control. The negative control had height and stem diameter of 2.2x and 1.65x, respectively – lower than the control with no biofertilizer but with soil amendments. With soil amendments, mycorrhizal seedlings gave height increases ranging from 98 to 139% and stem diameter from 67 to 87% relative to the uninoculated plants. Mycorrhizal inoculation gave the highest (418 cm3) wood volume while the lowest was the control (50 cm3). The results clearly showed the beneficial effects of microbial biofertilizers and soil amendments for the rehabilitation of mined-out area in Mogpog and could have potential applications for rehabilitation to other mined out areas with similar conditions.



Mining is of economic benefits in every country, but there are environmental concerns as large volume (in millions m3) of waste materials are produced every year. The production of large-scale mining wastes has a serious influence on the environment. Mine tailings are the materials remaining after extraction of ores in the mining industry (Gu 2017). Mine tailings usually contain high concentrations of trace metals and metalloids that can damage land and vegetation (Mendez and Maier 2008). The erosion of the spoil heaps by wind or water and contaminants leaching into groundwater results in permanent pollution of surrounding ecosystems and creates health hazards for local populations (Verdugo et al. 2011). . . . read more



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