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A preliminary assessment of soil sulphur contamination and vegetations in the vicinity of former boreholes on the afforested post-mine site Jeziórko.

Justyna Likus-Cieślik, Marcin Pietrzykowski, Martyna Śliwińska-Siuśta, Wojciech Krzaklewski, Marta Szostak

Vol. 41, no. 4 (2015), s. 371-380

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The work aims to assess the degree of soil sulphur contamination of the various abandoned reclamation efficiencies, within the microhabitats formed in the “Jeziórko” inoperative boreholes of former sulphur-mining areas. These areas have been reclaimed to the forest. Three plot categories were initially determined in the post-mining areas: category D – degraded, i.e. ineffectively reclaimed and unsuccessfully afforested plots, with low cover-abundance or complete lack of vegetation, category (P) – pine stands and category (B) – birch stands successfully aff orested. Afterwards, four circular plots were defined within each of the determined categories (4 replications, i.e. a total of 12 plots). For each plot, cover-abundance (according to the Braun-Blanquet scale) and dominant herbaceous vegetation species, tree species and stand density were determined. Height (Ht) and diameter at breast height (DBH) measurements were taken, and a vitality assessment was completed, according to the IUFRO classification. Soil samples were collected at each plot, in five points, at two different depths (0–5 cm and 5–40 cm). Finally, laboratory analysis was undertaken. Soil properties such as texture, pH, electrical conductivity (EC), hydrolytic acidity (Hh), the contents of soil organic carbon SOC, total nitrogen TN, total sulphur TS, and exchangeable cations (Ca2+, Mg2+, K+ , Na+ ) were determined. Soils from the D plot category were characterised by high sulphur contamination, excess salinity (EC) and strong acidity in top soil. These parameters indicated that completed neutralization was not performed effectively at certain sites. Pine (P) and birch (B) stands categories showed good growth rates and soil parameters, indicating that the reclamation treatments were completed successfully.