National

Application of phytomanagement techniques for environmental restoration of metalliferous mining waste deposits from semi-arid areas (FiAmbRes) PDC2021-121263-I00.

Mine tailings piles (left over from mining refining operations) store waste from ore processing and are considered the main responsible for the environmental problems in former metal mining areas. Due to the large number of abandoned piles, public authorities must prioritize actions in those that pose an unacceptable risk and where urgent  action is necessary due to the collapsing risk and/or proximity to cities. These types of actions are much expensive, since they involve a high technical-engineering

Functional aspects and soil ecotoxicity of abandoned mine wastes colonized by vegetation vs restored in semiarid areas: response to climate change (WARMET) PID2020-118941RA-I00

Soil pollution is one of the major threats facing terrestrial ecosystems. Metal mine wastes from ore processing are among the most hazardous residues (high metal levels, extreme pH, high salinity, organic matter/nutrients deficiency, poor physical structure). These wastes are often deposited in open-air piles (mine tailings). Classic-restoration approaches (technical reclamation) usually involve topsoil capping aiming to create a new soil above wastes and then afforestation. These options have been questioned in (semi)arid regions due to ecosystem inability to be self-sustaining.

METAL CONTAMINATION IN A GLOBAL WARMING PERSPECTIVE ​Effects on soil properties and relation with toxicity changes

Global climate change might intensify the hazardous effects of anthropogenic metal contamination in terms of soil toxicity risks and thus effects of loss of soil functionality and sustainability. The scientific research performed in this field has been mostly focused on the effects of single climate factors, while less attention has been paid to the combination of multiple climate factors.

Sustainability for the phytomanagement of mining polluted soil: an ecophysiological and microbiological approach (CGL2017-82264-R)

The proposal includes field and experimental phases. The latter will be performed in mesocosms. The field part has as a main goal to evaluate the influence of edpahic gradients in the structure of the microbial populations in semiarid mine tailings. In addition, the effects of seasonal dynamics on ecology/ecophysiology of selected endemic plant species will be performed.

Evolution of soil and vegetation in semiarid Mediterranean salt marshes in relation to human activities: the role of soils in nutrient, metal and pesticide retention.

The project focus on the evolution of soil and vegetation in two mediterranean salt marshes of SE of Spain. In previous studies (1991-1993) we identified plant zonation and edaphic gradients in these salt marhes. Now, the objectives are as follow: 1.- to identify the evolution of soils (salinity, water regime and nutrients) and vegetation (cover and species diversity) in the last 10 years, and to relate these changes with human activities (agriculture practices and others) in nearby areas.

Study of combined stress due to resources co-limitation and heavy metals for revegetation of mining soils in semiarid areas (RYC-2010-0566)

The presence of mining wastes in semiarid areas of Southeast Spain is considered an important environmental concern due to the risk of metal transfer to the biota and human population. The revegetation or phytostabilization of these areas has been proposed as an effective measure to avoid

Heavy metals, arsenic and phosphorous dynamic in the soil-water-plant system in wetlands polluted by metal mine wastes: experiments about the effect of calcium carbonate and the hydromophic conditions

According to the research priorities within the actual Spanish National Programmes, a detailed study about the soil-water-plant interactions in areas with high biodiversity is proposed. The research will be developed in two salt-marshes located in the coastal area of the Mar Menor (SE Spain). These sites are characterised by soils polluted by metal mine wastes and by eutrophicated water flowing across them.

Biotechnologic applications for mine tailings phytostabilization using pioneer vegetation in SE Spain: interest of ecophysiological and succesional indicators (CTM2011-23958)

To achieve these objectives, a field work stage and a pot experiment were performed. The first field survey was focused on the description of the edaphic and ecological gradients along a transect from a control non-polluted site to the mine tailings. The edaphic patch distribution was found to be determining for the selective establishment of spontaneous vegetation.