Plants from the abandoned Nacozari mine tailings: Evaluation of their phytostabilization potential

Alina E. Santos, Rocio Cruz-Ortega, Diana Meza-Figueroa, Francisco M. Romero, Jose Jesus Sanchez-Escalante, Raina M. Maier, Julia W. Neilson, Luis David Alcaraz, Francisco E.Molina Freaner

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Abstract

Phytostabilization is a remediation technology that uses plants for in-situ stabilization of contamination in soils and mine tailings. The objective of this study was to identify native plant species with potential for phytostabilization of the abandoned mine tailings in Nacozari, Sonora in northern Mexico. A flora of 42 species in 16 families of angiosperms was recorded on the tailings site and the abundance of the most common perennial species was estimated. Four of the five abundant perennial species showed evidence of regeneration: the ability to reproduce and establish new seedlings. A comparison of selected physicochemical properties of the tailings in vegetated patches with adjacent barren areas suggests that pH, electrical conductivity, texture, and concentration of potentially toxic elements do not limit plant distribution. For the most abundant species, the accumulation factor for most metals was < 1, with the exception of Zn in two species. A short-term experiment on adaptation revealed limited evidence for the formation of local ecotypes in Prosopis velutina and Amaranthus watsonii. Overall, the results of this study indicate that five native plant species might have potential for phytostabilization of the Nacozari tailings and that seed could be collected locally to revegetate the site. More broadly, this study provides a methodology that can be used to identify native plants and evaluate their phytostabilization potential for similar mine tailings.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Article number3280
JournalPeerJ
Volume2017
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Fingerprint

phytoremediation
mine tailings
Abandoned mines
Tailings
Paramphistomatidae
Prosopis
Plant Dispersal
Amaranthus
Ecotype
Angiosperms
Electric Conductivity
Poisons
Mexico
Seedlings
Regeneration
Seeds
Soil
Metals
Technology
Prosopis velutina

Keywords

  • Copper mine tailings
  • Mexico
  • Phytostabilization
  • Sonora

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Santos, A. E., Cruz-Ortega, R., Meza-Figueroa, D., Romero, F. M., Sanchez-Escalante, J. J., Maier, R. M., ... Freaner, F. E. M. (2017). Plants from the abandoned Nacozari mine tailings: Evaluation of their phytostabilization potential. PeerJ, 2017(5), [3280]. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3280

Plants from the abandoned Nacozari mine tailings : Evaluation of their phytostabilization potential. / Santos, Alina E.; Cruz-Ortega, Rocio; Meza-Figueroa, Diana; Romero, Francisco M.; Sanchez-Escalante, Jose Jesus; Maier, Raina M.; Neilson, Julia W.; Alcaraz, Luis David; Freaner, Francisco E.Molina.

In: PeerJ, Vol. 2017, No. 5, 3280, 2017.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Santos, AE, Cruz-Ortega, R, Meza-Figueroa, D, Romero, FM, Sanchez-Escalante, JJ, Maier, RM, Neilson, JW, Alcaraz, LD & Freaner, FEM 2017, 'Plants from the abandoned Nacozari mine tailings: Evaluation of their phytostabilization potential' PeerJ, vol 2017, no. 5, 3280. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3280
Santos AE, Cruz-Ortega R, Meza-Figueroa D, Romero FM, Sanchez-Escalante JJ, Maier RM et al. Plants from the abandoned Nacozari mine tailings: Evaluation of their phytostabilization potential. PeerJ. 2017;2017(5). 3280. Available from, DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3280
Santos, Alina E. ; Cruz-Ortega, Rocio ; Meza-Figueroa, Diana ; Romero, Francisco M. ; Sanchez-Escalante, Jose Jesus ; Maier, Raina M. ; Neilson, Julia W. ; Alcaraz, Luis David ; Freaner, Francisco E.Molina. / Plants from the abandoned Nacozari mine tailings : Evaluation of their phytostabilization potential. In: PeerJ. 2017 ; Vol. 2017, No. 5.
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