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Title: Botanical and economic aspects of revegetating parts of the Lower Swansea Valley
Author: Chase, D. S.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1978
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Investigation of the recycling of elements in plantations of Pinus contorta and Betula pubescens and in unforested sites in the Lower Swansea Valley showed accumulations of some heavy metal elements in the partially decomposed needle and leaf litter and in specific horizons of the mineral soil profile. The horizons of accumulation differed between elements and the extent of accumulation varied with the vegetative cover. It was shown that copper, zinc and lead are leached by rainwater in tips of copper smelter waste. The depths to which these metals move as a consequence of leaching was shown to be pH dependent. It was concluded that natural weathering of this copper waste would not reduce its toxicity to plant growth in a reasonable time period. Growth of Festuca rubra and Agrostis tenuis was shown to be inhibited on copper and lead/zinc smelter wastes from the Lower Swansea Valley in the absence of nutrient stress. In some instances this was partially alleviated by liming. In the presence of adequate nutrients a lead/zinc-tolerant variety of Festuca rubra ('Merlin') and a copper-tolerant variety of Agrostis tenuis were shown to be better suited for growth on a particular copper smelter waste than were 'normal' varieties (not specifically selected for metal tolerance) of these species. It was shown that the applied nutrient regime affected the growth and the concentrations of copper and zinc in the aerial parts of both lead/zinc-tolerant and 'normal' Festuca rubra when grown on this copper smelter waste. Use of topsoil; subsoil; sewage sludge; and metal-tolerant grass seed were coated as alternative revegetation techniques for use on copper smelter waste in the Lower Swansea Valley. The use of metal-tolerant seed was shown to be an economically viable alternative.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available