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Assessment of the Growth of Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala) Seedlings on Amended Tailings

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The study basically sought to find a substitute to the overburdened topsoil stockpile; the only source of soil for nursing seedlings in Noble Gold Bibiani Limited. Tailings were collected from the mine tailing storage facility (TSP)and filled into 15 polybags, tailings amended with topsoil in 1:1 ratio were also filled into 15 polybags as well as topsoil from stockpile were also filled into 15 polybags. Seedlings of Leucaena leucocephala were raised on the three media and observed for ten weeks with readings on height and diameter taken each fortnight. The dry matter weight was taken on the tenth week. A comparison of the treatments showed that seedlings on tailings amended with topsoil had the highest growth in terms of height, diameter and dry weight, recording an average of 54.7cm, 0.5cm and 2.04g for height, diameter and dry weight respectively as against 36.3cm, 0.5cm and 1.57g in seedling on the topsoil. In conclusion, amended tailing soil significantly support the growth of L. leucocephala seedlings and could be used as substitute to topsoil from stockpile.
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ISSN 2348-1218 (print)
International Journal of Interdisciplinary Research and Innovations ISSN 2348-1226 (online)
Vol. 5, Issue 1, pp: (25-28), Month: January - March 2017, Available at: www.researchpublish.com
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Assessment of the Growth of Leucaena
(Leucaena leucocephala) Seedlings on Amended
Tailings
1Prince Kwadwo Amoako, 2Mawusi Amenuvor, 3Anthony Baidoo,
4Enerst Frimpong Asamoah, 5Alex Owusu Amoakoh
1Cocoa Health and Extension Division, Ghana Cocoa Board, P. O. Box 27, Sefwi Wiawso, Ghana
2Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, PMB, Kumasi, Ghana
3 Center for Climate Change and Gender, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, Ghana
4State Key Lab for Environment Stimulation and Pollution, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, PR China
5Hen Mpoano, 38 J. Cross Cole Street Windy Ridge Extension, Takoradi, Ghana
Abstract: The study basically sought to find a substitute to the overburdened topsoil stockpile; the only source of
soil for nursing seedlings in Noble Gold Bibiani Limited. Tailings were collected from the mine tailing storage
facility (TSP)and filled into 15 polybags, tailings amended with topsoil in 1:1 ratio were also filled into 15 polybags
as well as topsoil from stockpile were also filled into 15 polybags. Seedlings of Leucaena leucocephala were raised
on the three media and observed for ten weeks with readings on height and diameter taken each fortnight. The dry
matter weight was taken on the tenth week. A comparison of the treatments showed that seedlings on tailings
amended with topsoil had the highest growth in terms of height, diameter and dry weight, recording an average of
54.7cm, 0.5cm and 2.04g for height, diameter and dry weight respectively as against 36.3cm, 0.5cm and 1.57g in
seedling on the topsoil. In conclusion, amended tailing soil significantly support the growth of L. leucocephala
seedlings and could be used as substitute to topsoil from stockpile.
Keywords: Tailings, Amended tailings, Topsoil, Leucaena leucocephala.
I. INTRODUCTION
Re-vegetation of disturbed lands following land disturbance is essential for effective and successful reclamation. Plants
stabilize the soil by root growth and water uptake. This reduces water and wind erosion. A vegetative cover also improves
the aesthetic value of degraded sites [1]. Forest tree nursery is a prerequisite for reforestation and reclamation of disturbed
land from mining activity. This is to ensure that enough tree species are raised for transplanting on land which has been
stabilized after disturbance from mining activity. The major material needed in establishing nursery is topsoil. This is so
because topsoil contains the essential nutrient needed for proper plant growth. Leucaena leucocephala is the most
dominant seedlings raised at Noble Gold Bibiani Limited for reclamation purpose due to its ability to fix nitrogen to the
soil. Several volumes of top soil are however required to ensure that L. leucocephala seedlings are raised well for its
purpose and due to that contribute to the reduction of the amount of stockpile soil available for reclamation and
revegetation of disturbed surfaces.
Continuous dependent on topsoil stockpile will lead to shortage when required in large quantities during rehabilitation of
disturbed land. Amendments such as composting, in-situ green manuring and liming, as well as irrigation have been
suggested to help plant establishment on tailings [2]. It was therefore necessary to research on other materials within
mining waste like tailings to ascertain how various seedlings will respond in terms of growth when these tailings are
amended with topsoil. Hence, the study was done to assess the possibility of using amended tailings for nursing seedlings
of L. leucocephala and also assess its growth under amended tailings as compared to topsoil from Noble Gold Bibiani
Limited.
ISSN 2348-1218 (print)
International Journal of Interdisciplinary Research and Innovations ISSN 2348-1226 (online)
Vol. 5, Issue 1, pp: (25-28), Month: January - March 2017, Available at: www.researchpublish.com
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II. MATERIALS AND METHODS
Tailings were collected from NGBL tailings dam using shovel and wheel barrow while having the appropriate PPE’s on.
The topsoil was collected from NGBL topsoil stockpile. After collection, tailings were mixed thoroughly with topsoil in a
ratio of 1:1 in a very clean head pan using hand trowel. The mixture was then filled into 15 polybags. Tailing soil and
topsoil were also filled into 15 polybags respectively, making a total of 45 filled polybags. The treatments use for the
study were as follows; Tailings + topsoil (TT), Tailings soil (RT) and Topsoil (TS). Three replicate plots were laid out
and each plot was laid with 5 polybags of TT, RT and TS.
Seeds of L. leucocephala were collected from a mother tree located on areas of the concession which has not been mined.
Dried seeds were then placed in water to separate the good seeds. The seeds were broadcasted and nursed on topsoil
nursery bed until the first two leaves appear. Seedlings were then transplanted into the various treatments polybags. The
plots were fenced with net to prevent lizards and snails from feeding on seedlings. Shade was also provided for the first
three weeks as in conformity at NGBL nursery practices, to reduce the intensity of sunlight on seedlings. Watering was
done twice daily throughout the ten weeks.
Below is the layout of the experimental plots
Five polybags
of
TT
Five polybags
of
RT
Five polybags
of
TS
A. Data collection:
Simple random sampling was used to select species to be measured. Data on total height and diameter of seedlings were
collected at two weeks’ interval except for the fresh and dry weight determination. The parameters that were considered
were; total height, diameter and dry matter weight.
B. Measurement of Total height:
Total height of a plant is its vertical distance from the ground to the apex on the plant. This was done by laying the ruler
along the stem of the seedling and recording the height measurement in the Field note book in centimeters
C. Measurement of Diameter:
A pair of calipers was used in taking seedling diameter every two weeks for the ten weeks. These were also recorded in
the Field note book in centimeters.
D. Determination of Dry matter weight:
Seedlings were removed carefully from the poly pot and the growth media were washed off from the roots (carefully).
They were then pat dry with paper towel and then planted in a 75-degree Celsius oven and heat for 72 hours. Seedlings
were then placed in a plastic bag and allow it to cool. Finally, seedlings were weighed when it was completely cool.
E. Data Analysis:
Means were calculated for the measurement of height and diameter and determination of dry weight. Data from this study
were analyzed using MS EXCEL ANOVA 2010 and also used to detect significant differences among the treatments at
significance levels of P_ 0.05.
III. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
A. Height growth:
From Table 1, L. leucocephala seedlings growing on RT recorded the least height growth (26.3cm) which was
significantly different from the control TS (36.3cm) at 0.05 significant level. This difference in height might have been
due to the low pH of tailings soil (RT) s (pH=5.9) which led to less macronutrient and hence less height growth.
According to Hodge [3], macronutrients tend to be less available in soil with low pH. Also low growth in height could
have been due to undeveloped soil structure as stated by Henriques and Fernandes [4] that mine tailings soil usually have
an undeveloped soil structure resulting in a low water retention capacity.
ISSN 2348-1218 (print)
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TABLE 1. MEAN HEIGHT GROWTH OF Leucaena leucocephala IN THE TREE MEDIA
Treatments
Week 2(cm)
Week 6(cm)
Week 8(cm)
Week 10(cm)
TS
13.066 a
21.330 a
26.000 a
36.330 a
TT
14.000 a
26.330 b
31.000 b
54.500 b
RT
8.433 b
17.160 bc
19.833 bc
26.660 bc
(LSD)
(1.292)
(1.819)
(1.941)
(0.941)
Mean values in the same column followed by the same letter are not significantly different 0.05 level according to Excel
ANOVA Test.
Seedlings on TT on the other hand recorded an average height growth of 54.5 cm as against 36.3cm on TS. This
difference in height could be attributed to the clayey nature of the topsoil from NGBL stockpile. Mixing topsoil (TS) and
tailings soil (RT) to form topsoil + tailings (TT) improve the structure of the soil which contributed to the height attained
by seedlings on TT (54.5 cm). Meanwhile seedlings showed significant difference in height right from the second week
and it continued through the fourth, sixth, eighth and tenth week in respect to the different media due to the fact that
height growth is very sensitive factors that encourage seedling growth such as soil nutrient and pH. This is in agreement
with [5] that “in young trees, height growth is eas ily measured and may be more sensitive to treatment and site factors
than diameter or volume growth.” This explains why were clearly distinguished in terms of height based on the different
media which provided different conditions to the seedlings.
TABLE 2. MEAN DIAMETER OF L. leucocephala IN THE TREE MEDIA
Treatments
Week 10 (cm)
TS
0.466 a
TT
0.500 a
RT
0.400 b
(LSD)
(0.0006)
Mean values in the same column followed by the same letter are not significantly different 0.05 level according to Excel
ANOVA Test
TABLE 3. MEAN DRY WEIGHT OF L. leucocephala IN THE TREE MEDIA
Treatments
Weight (g)
TS
1.567 a
TT
2.029 b
RT
0.567 bc
(LSD)
(0.00012)
Mean values in the same column followed by the same letter are not significantly different 0.05 level according to Excel
ANOVA Test
B. Diameter Growth:
Plants directly depend on the soil characteristics and conditions necessary for their successful growth. Soils of industrial
areas particularly tailing soil mostly affected the growth of L. leucocephala as compared to the control thus fresh
stockpiled topsoil. High organic matter caused improved growth in plants as determined by [6]. He observed that in those
plant communities (group of plants) which had a higher percentage of soil organic matter, the water holding capacity of
soil was consequently increased due to the colloidal nature of the organic matter. Tailing soils have been found to be
extremely low in organic matter [7]. This could account for RT recording the minimum diameter growth (0.4 cm). There
was no significant difference between the various diameters of L. leucocephala seedlings until the tenth week. This may
be attributed to the idea that diameter growth in stems especially seedlings tend to start in the latter stages of plant growth
as it depends greatly on the formation and growth of the xylem tissues. Kozlowski [8] stated that, ten weeks may elapse
between the beginning of xylem formation in the twigs and in the root of trees in same species. This confirms why
diameter of L. leucocephala seedlings growing on RT, TT, and TS recorded 0.4 cm, 0.5 cm, and 0.5 cm respectively on
the tenth week which were significantly different at 5% significant level and no significant difference on the second,
fourth, sixth and eighth week.
ISSN 2348-1218 (print)
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C. Dry matters weight:
From table 3, seedlings of L. leucocephala seedlings on TS, TT and RT recorded an average dry weight of 1.6671g,
2.0397g, and 0.5671g respectively. Compared to the various height growth (TS =36.3cm, TT =54.5cm, RT =26.3cm), it
was observed that when seedlings on TT attained the greatest height, it corresponds to its dry weight and it follows for
seedlings on TS and RT. This may be due to the fact that, the greater the height, the greater the biomass hence the higher
the dry weight of the species.
IV. CONCLUSION
From the study, tailings amended with topsoil (TT) and tailings soil from NGBL tailings dam and stockpile can support
the growth of L. leucocephala seedlings and could be used as substitute to topsoil TS. Considering results from the
fortnight readings of height and diameter growth of L. leucocephala seedlings on the various growth media (TS, RT, TT)
it can be concluded that seedlings on TT have a higher growth compared to those on TS and seedlings of L. leucocephala
on RT have a lower rate of growth as compared to those on TS.
REFERENCES
[1] Tordoff, G.M., Baker, A.J.M., Willis, A.J. (2000). Current Approaches to the Revegetation and Reclamation of
Metalliferous Mine Wastes. Chemosphere 41: pp.219- 228.
[2] Ye ZH, Yang ZY, Chan GYS, Wong MH (2001). Growth response of Sesbania rostrata and S. cannabina to sludge-
amended lead/ zinc m mine tailings. A greenhouse study. Environ Int 26: pp.449455
[3] Hodges, S.C., (2000). Soil Fertility Basics. A Publication of the Soil Science Extension
[4] Henriques, F.S., Fernandes, J.C., (1991). Metal Uptake and Distribution in Rush (Juncus Conglomeratus L.) Plants
Growing in Pyrites Mine Tailings at Lousal, Portugal. The Science of the Total Environment, pp. 102, 253-260.
[5] Hush, B.C. and Miller. (1982). Forest Mensuration. Third Edition. John Willey and Sons, Canada
[6] Singh, A.P. 1986. Seasonal fluctuation of organic matter with relation to moisture retention characteristics and
availability of water in salt an affected soil (India). Acta Botanica Indica, 14: 73-76.
[7] Aslam F., Hector M., Conesa, Brett H. Robinson, Rainer Schulin, Bernd Nowack. (2000) Growth of Lygeum
Spartum in Acid Mine Tailings: Response of Plants Developed from Seedlings, Rhizomes and at Field Conditions.
Pp .25-55.
[8] Kozlowski, (1992). Tree Growth. The Ronald Press Company, New York: pp 275-289.
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Lygeum spartum is a native species in semiarid Mediterranean areas that grows spontaneously on acid mine tailings. We aimed to study the suitability of this plant for phytostabilization. L. spartum was grown from both seeds and rhizomes in acid mine tailings with various fertilizer and lime treatments. Untreated soils had a solution pH of 2.9 with high concentrations of dissolved salts (Electrical Conductivity 25 dS m(-1)) and Zn (3100 mg L(-1)). Plants grown on untreated soil had high shoot metal concentrations (>4000 mg kg(-1)Zn). Liming increased the solution pH to 5.5 and reduced the dissolved salts by more than 75%, resulting in lower shoot metal accumulation. Plants grown from rhizomes accumulated less metal than those grown from seeds. Plants collected in the field had metal concentrations an order of magnitude less than plants raised in the growth chamber. These differences may be due to the higher moisture content and homogeneous nature of the soils used in the pot experiment.
Seasonal fluctuation of organic matter with relation to moisture retention characteristics and availability of water in salt an affected soil (India)
  • A P Singh
Singh, A.P. 1986. Seasonal fluctuation of organic matter with relation to moisture retention characteristics and availability of water in salt an affected soil (India). Acta Botanica Indica, 14: 73-76.
Forest Mensuration. Third Edition
  • B C Hush
  • Miller
Hush, B.C. and Miller. (1982). Forest Mensuration. Third Edition. John Willey and Sons, Canada
Soil Fertility Basics. A Publication of the Soil Science Extension
  • S C Hodges
Hodges, S.C., (2000). Soil Fertility Basics. A Publication of the Soil Science Extension
Tree Growth. The Ronald Press Company
  • Kozlowski
Kozlowski, (1992). Tree Growth. The Ronald Press Company, New York: pp 275-289.