SSS7.1 | Restoration and rehabilitation of degraded and contaminated soils: advancing knowledge and linking multidisciplinary approaches
Restoration and rehabilitation of degraded and contaminated soils: advancing knowledge and linking multidisciplinary approaches
Co-organized by BG8
Convener: Miriam Muñoz-Rojas | Co-conveners: Erika SantosECSECS, Thomas Baumgartl, Diego AránECSECS, Maria Manuela Abreu, Rubén Forján CastroECSECS
| Wed, 17 Apr, 14:00–15:45 (CEST)
Room -2.31
Posters on site
| Attendance Thu, 18 Apr, 16:15–18:00 (CEST) | Display Thu, 18 Apr, 14:00–18:00
Hall X2
Posters virtual
| Attendance Thu, 18 Apr, 14:00–15:45 (CEST) | Display Thu, 18 Apr, 08:30–18:00
vHall X2
Orals |
Wed, 14:00
Thu, 16:15
Thu, 14:00
Disturbance or insufficient rebuilding of the soil physicochemical and biological characteristics can modify the ecosystem functions and services. In the absence of appropriate restoration, soils and ecosystems would remain in a disturbed state or continue to decline. Therefore, restoration and rehabilitation of degraded soils is critical to create healthy and functional ecosystems that support essential functions and services.
In particular, soil contamination is one of the main transnational concerns of modern society and companies from different economic sectors. The high concentrations of potentially hazardous substances (e.g. metals/metalloids, radionuclides and organic compounds) resulting of natural sources, anthropic activities and inadequate soil management affect soil health, biogeochemical and edaphic processes, water quality and microorganisms-plant systems, crops productivity, food chain and, finally, Human health. The spatial and temporal variability of soil contamination, combination with other soil degradation factors (e.g. erosion, salinization and loss of fertility) and linking of the soil with other components from the ecosystem increase the complexity of the assessment of the environmental problem as well as design and implementation of rehabilitation strategies. A multidisciplinary approach and the linking of studies and projects are needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and EU’s Green Deal.
This session aims to present the most relevant advances in: Environmental health, Assessment of contaminated areas and their risk by classical techniques, digital tools and remote sensing; Environmental responses after implementation of rehabilitation techniques; Monitoring of mitigation of contaminating processes; Modelling the behaviour of potential hazardous substances in contaminated and recovered soils; Interactions between potential hazardous substances and soil components; and other complimentary studies.
In this session, we welcome contributions covering experimental, observational, and theoretical studies this area of research. Topics of interest (although not limited to) are causes and impacts of land degradation and remedial actions and strategies for soil restoration and rehabilitation at local, regional or global scales.
We invite colleagues to present works to create multidisciplinary strategies and new partnerships that can help assess and rehabilitate contaminated areas.

Orals: Wed, 17 Apr | Room -2.31

Chairpersons: Miriam Muñoz-Rojas, Erika Santos, Maria Manuela Abreu
On-site presentation
Merrit Shanskiy, Jüri Liiv, Annely Kuu, Jordi Escuer Gatius, Catherine Githuku, and Marclus Mwai

Soil has stored organic carbon in the form of humus for thousands years. One of the main problems in the near future is agricultural land degradation due to excessively intensive farming. The aric and semi-arid lands in Kenya constitues about 80% (467,200 of total land mass. Thus, the arid and semiarid land hosts 35% of Kenyas population (13 million people). The objective of the project was to explore the feasibility of restoring vegetation in desertified areas by implementing individual, isolated moisture reservoirs for each plant, filled with a water-binding composite material. The ultimate goal of this study includes the rapid reforestation of desertified areas, accompanied by the restoration of the region's moisture regime to mitigate climate change. Additionally, it aims at carbon dioxide sequestration in emerging forest areas, as well as C binding in a solidifying composite material. The study also seeks to create conditions for the regeneration of the natural ecosystem and reduce the pressure on the remaining forests by providing additional wood resources.

It is essential to acknowledge that the experimental plantation, situated at Kenyatta University, would remain part of the permanent landscaping according to the university's agreement. The eucalyptus sp. was excluded, and more widely used plant species for the region were chosen. After careful deliberation —Grevillea robusta, Casuarina equisetifolia, and Jacaranda mimosifolia—were chosen as commonly used species for local agroforestry systems. The plantation was established after dry season in september, 2023. The local resource based biomaterials were used for composites mixtures and planting materials were created. For some variants hydroinsulation with bioplymer designed biofilm was used.

How to cite: Shanskiy, M., Liiv, J., Kuu, A., Escuer Gatius, J., Githuku, C., and Mwai, M.: A novel method for reforestation of desertified areas using composites for encapsulating moisture, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-21724,, 2024.

On-site presentation
Ana Barreiro, Raquel Cela-Dablanca, Ainoa Míguez-González, Debora Casagrande Pierantoni, Carolina Nebot, Avelino Núñez-Delgado, María J. Fernández-Sanjurjo, and Esperanza Álvarez-Rodríguez

Coccidiosis is one of the most important parasitic diseases, responsible for significant damage affecting animal production worldwide. It is caused by different protozoan species belonging to the genera Eimeria and Isospora. To treat and prevent this disease ionophore antibiotics are widely used in veterinary medicine especially in food-producing animals as food additives. Ionophore coccidiostats, such as monensin, salinomycin, lasalocid or narasin have been a key tool in the fight against coccidiosis for more than 40 years. Non-ionophore coccidiostats, such as robenidine, toltrazuril and decoquinate are also widely used to treat coccidiosis. All these compounds are toxic to humans, which explains why they are not used as pharmaceuticals in human medicine and are only used in veterinary medicine. Release of these anticoccidiostat in agricultural soils, through the application of manures and slurry from treated animals, poses a risk as crops could uptake coccidiostats and start entering the food chain, risking human health. The objective of this study was to perform a survey of the presence of anticoccidial in slurries from medicated animals and the soils where these manures were applied, to assess the risk of soil pollution.

A total of 66 slurries/manures from different animals were collected: poultry (16), veal (17), cow (10), pig (10), rabbit (12), and one sample which was a mixture of cow and pig slurry. Likewise, the soils that were amended with those slurries (76 in total) were also sampled by collecting samples at two different depths: 0-5 cm and 5-20 cm. The presence of ionophore antibiotics, non-ionophore and compounds from various therapeutic groups were analysed in all the samples (slurries/manures and soils) by HPLC-MS/MS. The results showed that 53% of the slurry/manure samples and 25% of the soil samples presented some pharmaceutical product. Focusing on ionophore antibiotics in slurry/manure, 21% and 4.5% of the samples presented narasin and salinomycin, respectively; these two antibiotics were not detected in the soils, but other ionophore, such as monensin, was detected in 4% of the soil samples in the 0-5 cm soil depth. Ionophore antibiotics were not detected in the soil depth of 5-20 cm, indicating a low mobility of these compounds, possibly related to a strong adsorption by soil components. The non-ionophore anticoccidial robenidine and decoquinate were present in 8% of manure/slurry and 1% and 11% of soil samples respectively; meanwhile toltrazuril appeared in 2% of manures/slurries. Moreover, 15 other pharmaceutical compounds were detected:  one corticosteroid (dexamethasone), one anti-inflammatory (diclofenac), one antifungal (griseofulvin) and 12 antibiotics from different groups (tylosin, trimethoprim, sulfadiazine, sulfamethazine, sulfachloropyridazine, enrofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, lincomycin, doxycycline, oxytetracycline, tetracycline). In summary, narasin was the most frequent present in slurries/manures and the decoquinate in soils.

Even though the focus of our project was the anticoccidial compounds, the fact that we detected a wide array of other pharmaceutical products highlight the risk that suppose the overuse of these compounds in animal farms for both environmental and human health.

How to cite: Barreiro, A., Cela-Dablanca, R., Míguez-González, A., Casagrande Pierantoni, D., Nebot, C., Núñez-Delgado, A., Fernández-Sanjurjo, M. J., and Álvarez-Rodríguez, E.: Anticoccidia presence in slurries/manures and agricultural soils in Galicia (NW Spain), EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-16991,, 2024.

On-site presentation
Annely Kuu and Merrit Shanskiy

The increased global demand for energy has led to the opening of large mining areas worldwide. The largest commercially exploited oil shale deposit in the world (total amount of resources 7x109 tons) is located in North-East Estonia. Mining is essential to provide the resources for industries but can result in a destruction of pre-mining and post-mining ecosystem. Restoring ecosystems is one of the most important aspects of contemporary environmental conservation. Naturally, vegetation and soil develop slowly in quarry areas, and so far, quarry reclamation has been in use. One of the primary challenges encountered in the reclamation of mined areas is the low water retention of the soil, known as hydrophobicity, which hinders the establishment of vegetation and soil development. The aim of current work is to find out the suitable technique and technology for the crust material to cover the planting surface that retains moisture and nutrients, which can be used in plant cultivation and ecosystem restoration when covering quarry areas. The goal is to promote plant growth and thus accelerate forest ecosystem establishment. Four test areas were selected: a technically reclaimed oil shale quarry, an unrecultivated sand quarry, a reclaimed gravel quarry, and an unrecultivated gravel quarry.The tree species used were pine (Picea abies), spruce (Pinus sylvestris), and hybrid aspen (Populus tremula × Populus tremuloides Michx). Planting density was calculated according to the recommendations of the Estonian State Forest Management Centre. In each quarry, 100 pines, 100 spruces, and 100 hybrid aspens were planted. The experimental design included a control variant, biochar, sheep wool pellets, sheep wool discs (that are used as mulching material), and two types of biodegradable mulch film, in two replications. The trees were planted in May 2023, and the monitoring of their survival is still ongoing. However, based on the preliminary results, it can be stated that biochar, sheep wool discs, and various biodegradable mulch films had a positive impact on the survival of forest trees. This research is supported by the Circular Economy program of the Environmental Investment Centre through a project with the number RE.4.09.22-0034 and by developmental project of Estonian University of Life Sciences “Valorization of sheep wool for agricultural utilization”.

How to cite: Kuu, A. and Shanskiy, M.: Development of technical possibilities to restore the ecosystems of quarry heaps, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-21208,, 2024.

On-site presentation
Caroline Dalquier, Geoffroy Séré, Jennifer Hellal, Nicolas Legay, Laure Santoni, and Pascaline Herbelin

Industrial activities, such as thermal power plants, induce soil degradation on large areas (e.g. soil sealing, contamination related to fuel, coal and ash deposits, soil compaction). After the cessation of activities, landowners of such sites have a huge land heritage that could be considered to promote rehabilitation projects for new land-uses in the frame of the No Net Land Take by 2050. Therefore, there is a need to develop a robust and easy-to-use approach for landowners that could be implemented by soil techniciens/pratitioners to assess soil functions to measure their potential for future uses.

First a cognitive model linking soil functions to a minimum dataset of indicators was established based on chemical, physical and biological properties of soil as well as vegetation cover. This cognitive model includes 6 soil functions (e.g. plant biomass production) and 17 sub-functions (e.g. phytoavailability of nutrients, nutrients storage) and a minimum set of indicators selected among a large list from research studies and attributed to each sub-function and function.

Then two thermal power plants under closure were selected and a documentary survey was carried out for each site to identify contrasted zones in terms of soil cover, mostly based on the nature of the past activities (e.g. coal, slag or ash deposit, building foundations, fuel storage). Twelve zones considered as homogeneous in terms of vegetation and soil type and distinct from each other were selected on these two sites. In total, 12 soil profiles and 164 soil samples were analysed for various biological (plants, nematodes, microbial communities), chemical and physical parameters.

Our results show contrasting situations. Despite the high vegetation cover of the three different ash deposit zones, their plant diversity indices ranged from very low to medium. The same goes for the area where building foundations were located, but they had very little vegetation cover. Also, the enrichment index (EI) and structure index (SI) of the nematode community showed that ash deposits are degraded, nutrient-poor soils and have a high C/N (>12) while the building foundation areas have a "mature and fertile" soil with optimal C/N.  

Whereas some soils could be considered as natural references as they were not affected by industrial activities, others were Technosols made of 100% artefacts. However, the gradient of anthropisation was surprisingly not correlated to the level of functions that were assessed. As an example, technogenic soils developed from fly ash exhibit high soil functions ratings (e.g. carbon storage).

These initial results suggest that the functioning of these soils must be evaluated according to different scales (e.g. plot scale, surface soils), points of view (biological, chemical and physical) and soil functions (e.g. storage and sequestration of GHG, biodiversity reservoir), to establish their functional profiles and suggest possible future uses.

How to cite: Dalquier, C., Séré, G., Hellal, J., Legay, N., Santoni, L., and Herbelin, P.: Functional diagnosis of industrial soils: from a cognitive model to in situ implementation, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-1966,, 2024.

On-site presentation
Yen-Tzu Fan, Ying-Lin Wang, Ming-Chien Tsou, Zeng-Yei Hseu, Hsing-Cheng Hsi, and Ling-Chu Chien

Considering the bioaccessibility of soil heavy metals for human health assessment can prevent overestimation for policymakers. However, the complexity of soil properties and heavy metal concentrations makes it challenging to establish a general dataset for bioaccessibility in assessments. Soil heavy metals commonly occur in agricultural regions due to both agricultural and industrial activities, posing high health risks for residents through soil exposure. In the past 10 years, the government in Taiwan has actively promoted soil remediation for agricultural heavy metal-polluted soils, completing remediation for more than 99% of polluted sites. However, conducting health risk assessments for remediated soils remains difficulty due to a lack of a general dataset for the bioaccessibility of common soil heavy metals. In this study, we conducted soil sampling from 98 sites located in agricultural regions with various soil properties. We first established regression relationships for the bioaccessibility of six common heavy metals: cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn), based on measured soil properties and heavy metal concentrations. Second, we performed GIS analysis to generate the bioaccessibility of heavy metals from a previous soil survey across all agricultural regions in Taiwan, using our established equations. Then, we conducted health risk assessments for residents at different stages of life (infants, children, teenagers, adults, and seniors) living in agricultural regions (i.e., Changhua farmlands) after soil remediation. Our results revealed high non-carcinogenic risks (hazard index > 1) for infants and children but high carcinogenic risks (total cancer risk index > 1e-4) for seniors. Our study established a GIS-based approach for estimating the bioaccessibility of soil heavy metals based on actual measurements, providing an easier way for health risk assessments of soil heavy metal pollution.


Keywords: SBET, human health, farmland, heavy metal pollution, GIS

How to cite: Fan, Y.-T., Wang, Y.-L., Tsou, M.-C., Hseu, Z.-Y., Hsi, H.-C., and Chien, L.-C.: GIS-based approach to generate the bioaccessibility of soil heavy metals for human risk assessments: case study in Changhua farmlands, Taiwan, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-2726,, 2024.

Virtual presentation
Riccardo Alemanno, Leonardo Bianchini, Richard Lord, Benjamin Nunn, and Andrea Colantoni

Energy production is one of the main challenges that continues to unsettle nations. The cultivation of plant species as biomass for energy purposes is an option but raises the issue of taking land away from food production. A solution to this controversy has been identified by exploiting those soils that cannot be used for food production, namely contaminated soils. The present study focuses on the evaluation of the biomass productivity of Phalaris arundinacea (Reed Canary Grass) in three different fields in Central Italy, which present potentially toxic element (PTE) contamination. The experiment was conducted over three consecutive years. This study is part of the CERESiS (ContaminatEd land Remediation through Energy crops for Soil improvement to liquid biofuels Strategies) Project which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 101006717, which started in November 2020 and is set to end in 2024. P. arundinacea is a species that lends itself to biomass production and to the phytoremediation and phytostabilisation of contaminated soils. The three cultivated areas with different textures (EA: sandy loam, B1: clay loam and B2: clay) were prepared with a minimum tillage system in late winter 2021 and sown in spring 2021. Annually, the crop received urea-based nitrogen fertilisation (100 kg ha-1) in late spring and sprinkler irrigation in dry periods. In the “EA” area, additional tests were conducted with different amounts of nitrogen fertiliser (0 - 50 - 100 kg ha-1) and seed treatment with biostimulant based on Trichoderma spp.  Production was estimated by sampling the biomass at different annual times. In areas B1 and B2 through two annual mowings (August and November). In EA, on the other hand, the sampling method allowed for the estimation of a single and/or double mowing at different times (August, mid-September and November). This experimental design allowed assessment of biomass growth, regrowth, and bioaccumulation capacity. At harvest time, a chemical-physical characterisation of the biomass was carried out.

The sandy loam texture did not favour the development of P. arundinacea. Dry biomass production over the three years averaged between 4.0 t ha-1 and 5.1 t ha-1. Generally, the second mowing did not provide enough yield to justify harvesting. P. arundinacea showed limited phyto-extraction of heavy metals. This is compensated by the positive result of the low concentration of PTE in the plant with abundant biomass production. As a fuel, the biomass showed good qualities, with average HHV and LHV values of over 18.8 and 16.1 MJ kg-1 respectively. One aspect that could have a negative impact is the exceptionally high ash content, which over the years has averaged around 14.5 %.

This experiment highlights the manifold benefits of using this plant species. The simultaneous capacity for phytoremediation and energy use of the derived biomass are environmental, economic, and social winning points.

How to cite: Alemanno, R., Bianchini, L., Lord, R., Nunn, B., and Colantoni, A.: Plant biomass for energy and phytoremediation purposes: three-year analysis of Phalaris arundinacea production on contaminated lands in central Italy, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-6389,, 2024.

On-site presentation
Oleksandra Tryboi, Ludmila Romantschuk, and Nataliia Matviichuk

The most frequent contaminants of soil in Europe are heavy metals and mineral oil [1]. There are more than 5000 pesticide-contaminated in Ukraine that require cleanup [2]. In Ukraine before Russian invasion, according to the State Service of Ukraine for Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre (StateGeoCadastre) there were around 125.44 thousand hectares of lands, contaminated by industrial and other waste as of January 1, 2019 [3]. Areas contaminated with explosives and mineral oil as a result of military activities after Russian invasion are under assessment, but can amount at least 5 million hectares of agricultural lands [4].

Phytoremediation with perennial grasses can be a solution to large areas of contaminated lands in Ukraine, as it can be used to extract heavy metals and speed up degradation of organic contaminants [5].

During 2021-2023, field trials performing phytoremediation approach were conducted at two contaminated sites in Ukraine within CERESiS (ContaminatEd land Remediation through Energy crops for Soil improvement to liquid biofuels Strategies) H2020 Project (GA 101006717). First site with fuel and mineral oil contamination and the second - with pesticides contamination, located in the north-western region of Ukraine. Pesticide contamination of the site occurred through minor leaks as a result of a long-term use of pesticides warehouse. Contamination with the fuel oil occurred through small leaks as a result of over 40 years of use and storage of fuel and lubricants by refuelling agricultural machinery. Both contaminated sites represent historical contamination as neither pesticides, nor fuel have been used or stored on the farm for more than 10 years. Baseline soil characterization showed that sites had significant chromium contamination, as well as high quantities of antimony, cadmium, hexachlorocyclohexane and petroleum products.

For phytoremediation, trial sites were planted with Miscanthus x giganteous and Phalaris arundinacea. Both plants showed good performance, but Phalaris presented strong dependency on water availability. The second year harvest showed Miscanthus yield around 20 t of dry matter per hectare, and Phalaris more than 5 t of dry matter per hectare at both contaminated sites. Soil characterization after 2 years of growing showed promising phytoremediation potential of both crops with Miscanthus showing better results with decontamination from HCH, Chromium, Cadmium, Antimony and Stanum, and Phalaris performing more efficiently regarding decontamination from petroleum products and phenols.

[1] Pérez & Eugenio (2018).

[2] Moklyachuk et al. (2010).

[3] Information of State Service of Ukraine for Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre №6-28-0.21-4979.2-19 from 07.06.2019.




How to cite: Tryboi, O., Romantschuk, L., and Matviichuk, N.: Phytoremediation of pesticide- and mineral oil-contaminated soils with perennial grasses in Ukraine, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-21714,, 2024.

On-site presentation
Lorena Salgado, Rubén Forján, Carlos A. López-Sánchez, María G. Álvarez, Ana M. Díaz, Arturo Colina, and Jose R. Gallego

Traditional methods to acquire (geo)chemical data of Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) in soil rely on manual sampling, time-consuming and laborious chemical analyses, and subsequent mapping by geostatistical interpolation methods. In this study, we propose the use of UAV-RS and Sentinel-2 images, still partially supported by field sampling, for assessing and mapping different fractions of SOC using a regression study through Machine Learning (ML) techniques. This approach is exemplified in the postmining degraded soils of a vast former coal-mining area affected mainly by high degradation of Organic Matter (O.M).

Geochemical analyses by means of a TOC analyzer were conducted to monitor SOC fractions. Soil samples were dried and sieved through a 2-mm mesh to eliminate large particles. Two labile fractions of carbon (CLAB) were obtained through cold-water extraction (CCWE) and hot-water extraction (CHWE); also, two removable carbon fractions (CREM), humic and fulvic acids (CHA and CFA), were extracted; finally, the remaining recalcitrant organic carbon (CREC) was measured in the residue of the previous extractions. TOC was estimated as the sum of CLAB, CREM and CREC.

Spectral data were systematically recorded across a surface area covering 64 hectares within former open pits, involving natural, restored, and degraded zones. A UAV-RS P4-Multispectral platform, equipped with a camera featuring six individual sensors (RGB, blue, green, red, red-edge, and near-infrared), was used; five distinct bands between the visible and near-infrared spectra were obtained. Simultaneously, Sentinel-2 data were employed to acquire spectral information from satellite-borne sensors, thereby obtaining 12 single bands (aerosol, blue, green, red, 3 red edge, 2 NIR, water vapor, cirrus, and 2 SWIR). Given the limitations of information derived from individual bands, spectral indices—combinations of multiple bands through algebraic operations—were employed. Subsequently, two ML algorithms, specifically Random Forest (RF) and Partial Least Square (PLS), were applied to identify the most fitted model for each SOC fraction.

Results revealed that the utilization of non-parametric algorithms, specifically RF, yields a superior goodness of fit compared to parametric algorithms like PLS. The most favourable statistical outcomes were observed for fractions of non-labile organic carbon, with the optimal statistics achieved for CREC, attaining an R2 value of 0.70 and an RPD value of 1.83. When comparing data from UAV and Sentinel-2 sources, better results were found for UAV, this strongly suggesting that, in this study, spatial resolution holds greater relevance than spectral resolution.

This research was funded by the projects NATURESOIL (AEI/Spain, TED2021-130375B-I00) and Atlantic Risk Management Plan in Water and Soil (RiskAquaSoil 272-2016, Interreg Atlantic Area, EU).

How to cite: Salgado, L., Forján, R., López-Sánchez, C. A., Álvarez, M. G., Díaz, A. M., Colina, A., and Gallego, J. R.: Spatial modelling of Soil Organic Carbon fractions in a degraded coal-mining area through UAV and Sentinel-2, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-1286,, 2024.

On-site presentation
Luis Filipe Lopes, Erika S. Santos, Leónia Nunes, Paulo M. Fernandes, and Vanda Acácio

The Mediterranean is a fire-prone region where fires have occurred for millennia. Since the late nineteenth century, restoration techniques like tree planting have been widely implemented following fire events. However, at soil level, postfire measures have been mostly focused on soil erosion processes. Depending on several factors, fire can cause more or less significant impacts on soils, such as changes in soil structure and in the availability of element concentrations, or loss of organic matter. Understanding fire impacts on soil is not only crucial for developing effective postfire rehabilitation strategies, but also to mitigate the long-term consequences on soil health and ecosystem functioning.

In our study, we evaluated the effect of postfire afforestation projects on soil characteristics in the long term. We studied 15 afforestation projects implemented in North-Centre Portugal in the period 1994-2006, in deciduous oak stands dominated by Quercus pyrenaica (including seven projects with pure oak stands and eight projects with mixed oak stands). For each project, we established a sampling plot and selected a nearby control area, affected by the same fire event but without oak afforestation or evident management. Fieldwork was conducted in 2021, when most projects (10) were between 12 and 17 years old, while the remaining projects (5) had been implemented between 21 and 25 years ago. One composite sample of superficial soil (0-5 cm of depth) was collected per plot, performing 15 soil samples in project areas and 15 samples in control areas. Each soil sample was characterized physicochemically for: proportion of fine/coarse fraction; pH(H2O); organic Carbon (Corg); total N content; and available nutrients concentration. Posteriorly, we calculated two proxy variables: Soil Quality Index (SQI), which allows to evaluate the overall soil health condition; and the C/N ratio, as an indicator of organic matter mineralization process.

For both afforested and control areas, soils (mostly classified as Cambisols) presented pH values of approximately 5 (slight acidity), fine particles (< 2 mm) averaged between 67% and 69%, and no trace elements of enrichment. Soils from afforestation plots displayed higher K concentrations, while soils from control plots exhibited higher fertility levels based on Corg, N, and available P. No significant differences were observed in C/N ratios between afforested and non-afforested areas (14.9 vs 16.6), which indicates a relatively fast decomposition and N mineralization. Similarly, no significant differences were observed in the SQI. The lower Corg contents of afforested soils can be attributed to soil management (soil mobilization and management of the understory), which can contribute to the degradation of organic matter when the ecosystem is sensible due to the fire perturbation. Soil mobilization with disc harrowing was the predominant technique (40%). Further research should focus on understanding the effects of different postfire management options on soil properties over time, including in areas without evident enrichment/contamination problems, to improve postfire soil rehabilitation and sustainable forest management.

Acknowledgment: This research was supported by UID/AGR/04129/2020, UID/BIA/50027/2019, PD/BD/142963/2018 and PD/00157/2012.

How to cite: Lopes, L. F., Santos, E. S., Nunes, L., Fernandes, P. M., and Acácio, V.: Understanding the influence of postfire oak afforestation on soil properties, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-11675,, 2024.

On-site presentation
Álvaro Amado-Fierro, Rubén Forján, Erika S. Santos, José Luis R. Gallego, and Teresa A. Centeno

A dramatic loss of healthy soils is occurring worldwide due to degradation and desertification by both natural and anthropogenic processes. Such actions accelerate the depletion of soil organic carbon (SOC), turning soil from a major CO2 sink to a source of CO2 emissions.

On the other hand, global overpopulation is causing an unprecedented generation of sewage sludge. The high water content of sewage sludge makes it ideal for hydrothermal carbonization (HTC), a novel thermochemical conversion technology in which water acts as a reagent and catalyst to obtain a C-enriched solid known as hydrochar.

In this study, the impact of a hydrochar (H) obtained from sewage sludge (HTC at 195 °C for 3 hours) and a biochar (B) produced by standard carbonization of holm oak (500 °C) on the capacity of a degraded soil for capturing carbon is evaluated. The soil under study comes from a landfill of industrial origin that over time was mixed with natural sandy soil, resulting in a technosoil with a low SOC content and incapable of supporting stable vegetation.

The experiment was carried out in 60-l IBC containers, thus constituting a larger scale variation of the classic pot tests. Containers with only original soil (S) and those amended with 10 wt.% hydrochar (SH) and biochar (SB), after 15 days of stabilisation of the amendments, were vegetated with Lolium perenne and left for 12 months outdoors.

At a depth of 0-10 cm, both treatments increased the concentration of labile fractions of SOC, extracted respectively with cold water and hot water. In contrast, in the 10-20 cm layer, this effect was also relevant in the container SH. This could be attributed to the migration of the hydrochar along the profile, facilitated by its finer particle size. Both materials, B and H, contributed positively to enhancing the amount of recalcitrant organic carbon (R) in the soil, although the impact was greater with the use of biochar. Average values of R~30 g·kg-1 have been detected for both 0-10 and 10-20 cm depths in the container with SB. In the case of SH, the migration of hydrochar led to R concentration of 13.08 g·kg-1 in the upper 10 cm and 27.40 g·kg-1 at 10-20 cm layer.

Biochar and hydrochar efficiently managed to store organic carbon in soil, but the former caused a higher increase in reserves due to a greater contribution of recalcitrant carbon (Pearson correlation between R and SOC stock of 0.96, P < 0.01). The stock in SB reaches 48.13 and 32.10 tC·ha-1 at 0-10 and 10-20 cm, respectively, whereas the corresponding values in SH were 20.53 and 32.13 tC·ha-1.

On the other hand, it was found that the 197 g of biomass generated in SC was reduced to 165 g when biochar was added, suggesting the capacity of B to fix certain nutrients and make them less accessible to vegetation in the short term. In contrast, hydrochar application increased the amount of vegetation to 478 g, thus favouring greater carbon sequestration.

How to cite: Amado-Fierro, Á., Forján, R., S. Santos, E., R. Gallego, J. L., and A. Centeno, T.: Boosting CO2 sequestration potential of a degraded soil by hydrochar from sewage sludge, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-12080,, 2024.

Posters on site: Thu, 18 Apr, 16:15–18:00 | Hall X2

Display time: Thu, 18 Apr 14:00–Thu, 18 Apr 18:00
Chairpersons: Maria Manuela Abreu, Rubén Forján Castro, Francisco Rocha
Seokoh Ko, Thanh Tuan Nguyen, and Dogun Kim

Oxytetracycline (OTC) is one of the popular antibiotics accumulated in soils and groundwater, posing harmful effects on ecological systems and human health. The objective of this work is to examine the feasibility of OTC degradation using a new catalyst, oxygen-doped graphitic carbon nitride (O-gC3N) for in-situ oxidation remediation. In-situ oxidation system was simulated with column experiments to investigate the performance of PMS activation and OCT removal in saturated porous media. Numerical modeling as HYDRUS 1D was used to analyze OTC's transport behaviors in saturated porous media. The results show that OTC transport in saturated porous media is non-equilibrium. O-gC3N can efficiently activate PMS to degrade OTC and the increase of PMS and O-gC3N can enhance OTC removal. A wide pH range is beneficial for OTC degradation in saturated porous media. EBCT significantly affects OTC degradation and the optimal velocity was 0.4 cm/min. The findings of this work suggest that O-gC3N catalyst can effectively be utilized for the in-situ oxidation of organic pollutants in contaminated sites.

How to cite: Ko, S., Nguyen, T. T., and Kim, D.: Degradation of oxytetracycline in saturated porous media by in-situ chemical oxidation using oxygen-doped graphitic carbon nitride and peroxymonosulfate (PMS), EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-1305,, 2024.

Takeshi Saito, Yoshishige Kawabe, and Naoki Watanabe

The water leachable amounts of heavy metals including arsenic (As), lead (Pb), and cadmium (Cd) can be found in relatively higher concentrations in surplus soils from construction activities. There is a potential risk to human health and negative impacts on the soil and water environment. One of the cost-effective and efficient strategies for remediation techniques is the immobilization of heavy metals based on natural and artificial materials. The objective of this study is therefore to use five waste and recycled materials such as fly ash and recycled concrete. It tries to achieve simultaneous immobilization of several heavy metals in naturally contaminated soils. Two representative natural soils containing relatively higher concentrations of water leachable As, Pb, and Cd were selected and tested for a simple batch immobilization experiment in the laboratory. The weight percent of each waste and recycled material added to each soil was 2.5%, 5%, and 10%. After 24 hours of curing at 20oC, 10 times the volume of ultrapure water was added and shaken for 6 hours. The supernatants were filtered through a 0.45 µm filter and the concentrations of heavy metals were measured by ICP-MS. Generally, the immobilization rate of As, Pb, and Cd increased with increasing additive weight of waste and recycled materials. Recycled concrete especially demonstrated simultaneous immobilization of these heavy metals above with its addition of 2.5% to 5%, suggesting a better immobilization performance compared to other waste and recycled materials.

How to cite: Saito, T., Kawabe, Y., and Watanabe, N.: Simultaneous immobilization of several heavy metals in naturally contaminated soils using waste and recycled materials, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-8557,, 2024.

Synergistic recognition of heavy metal pollution in soil and groundwater by using performance EDTA-crosslinking-chitosan/polypyrrole polymers
(withdrawn after no-show)
Xia Zhang
Vesna Zupanc, Anna Zeiser, Sebastian Rath, Peter Strauss, Helena Grčman, Marko Zupan, Anja Gantar, Urša Pečan, Matjaž Pirnat, and Thomas Weninger

The challenge of restoring degraded landscapes or ecosystems and recultivating them in a way that maximizes the multifunctionality of the artificial soil depends on the extent of soil degradation and its causes. The process of land restoration is expensive, time-consuming and requires careful planning and collaboration between different stakeholders and sectors. In densely populated regions such as Central Europe, there are two major types of artificial soil ecosystems: restoration of landfills or mining pits and urban green infrastructure (e.g. urban tree sites, stormwater retention areas). To compensate for the increasing scarcity of arable land, soils with unfavorable properties must be improved and degraded land must be rehabilitated in order to fulfill soil functions and promote agricultural production.

Engineered soils offer a solution for construction the top layer that allows the restored ecosystem to function. Such soils are made from excavated material and other mineral or organic waste and are composed to provide suitable conditions for plant growth and other ecosystem services provided by the soil.

As the need for green spaces in urban areas is also increasing, e.g. to adapt and mitigate the urban heat island effect, soil is needed as a habitat for plants and engineered soil mixtures are required depending on the target location and purpose. Soil mixtures with suitable chemical, physical, biological and geotechnical properties (i.e. physical structure) are needed, which are suitable for the restoration of topsoil for various purposes (e.g. mining reclamation, urban greening) and can be used for the near-natural composition of functional soil layers suitable for reclamation and plant growth. Soil structural properties such as infiltration rate, pore volume and water retention capacity are crucial for the functionality of restored soils in the water cycle, especially in view of the increasing challenges posed by ongoing climate change.

The aim of this study is to provide a comprehensive overview of the experiences made at research sites in Slovenia and Austria with the application of engineered soils for the restoration of degraded areas. The focus of the contribution is set on different regulatory requirements and methods to ensure the proposed soil hydrological functionality.

This research has been financed by ARIS BI-AT-22-23-019, LIFE20 IPE/SI/000021 ReStart and OEAD WTZ SI 01/2023.

How to cite: Zupanc, V., Zeiser, A., Rath, S., Strauss, P., Grčman, H., Zupan, M., Gantar, A., Pečan, U., Pirnat, M., and Weninger, T.: Soil restoration for urban areas: Exploring water-related ecosystem services and hydrological functionality , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-11896,, 2024.

Esperanza Alvarez-Rodríguez, Raquel Cela-Dablanca, Ana Barreiro, Ainoa Míguez-González, Avelino Nuñez-Delgado, and María J. Fernández-Sanjujo

Ionophore antibiotics, such as narasin and monensin, are widely used in the poultry industry and are the only type of antibiotics that the EU allows to incorporate as feed additives, and use them without veterinary prescription, with the consequent risk of favouring antibiotic bacterial resistance. In the case of the narasin it has been proved that, in poultry, the use of this antibiotic may increase the number of enterococci bacteria that are resistant to the human antibiotic vancomycin; meanwhile ruminal Prevotella strains might become resistant to monensin. Furthermore, these drugs are very toxic to humans. For these reasons, the entrance of antibiotics in the environment due to the use of manure and slurry as fertilizers in agricultural soils is an important environmental problem and a risk for human and animal health. The soil can adsorb these antibiotics and prevent their entry into the food chain, but sometimes its retention capacity is low and could be improved by incorporating residues that can act as contaminant adsorbents. The objective of this study was to analyse the adsorption and desorption processes in three soils and four different biadsorbents for narasin and monensin. The study was perform using one forest soil under Eucalyptus and two crop soils, and four different by-products as bioadsorbents (wood ash, pine bark, mussel shell and olive residue). Different concentration (5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000 µmol L-1) of both antibiotics were added to both soils and bioadsorbents and adsorption / desorption test were performed by means of HPLC.

The results showed that the soils adsorbed 100% of the added monensin at low concentrations, and this percentage decrease to 80-86% when 1000 µmol L-1 of antibiotic were added. The adsorption was irreversible for the low concentrations and the desorption increase up to a maximum of 1-12% for the higher ones. Regarding the bioadsorbents, for the higher concentration of monensin added, the olive residue and wood ash adsorbed 99 and 98% of the antibiotic, respectively. On the other hand, the pine bark and mussel shell adsorbed a maximum of 64 and 48%, respectively, for the lower concentrations and these percentages decreased to 25 and 34% when 1000 µmol L-1 were added, with generally small desorption values. For the antibiotic narasin, the soils adsorbed 100% of the added antibiotic, and only decreases to 99% when 1000 µmol L-1 are added; and they desorbed less than 1% of the absorbed at that concentration. Regarding the bioadsorbents, the olive residue adsorbs irreversibly 100% of the narasin added for all concentrations, meanwhile the mussel shell, wood ash and pine bark adsorbed 86, 89 and 96%, respectively, for the highest narasin concentration, with no desorption for any antibiotic concentration.

The soils, olive residue and wood ash were good bioadsorbents for both antibiotics, due to their high adsorption capacity, irreversible in most cases. The pine bark and mussel shell were as well good bioadsorbents for naransin, but that´s not the case for monensin.  


How to cite: Alvarez-Rodríguez, E., Cela-Dablanca, R., Barreiro, A., Míguez-González, A., Nuñez-Delgado, A., and Fernández-Sanjujo, M. J.: Adsorption and desorption of the ionophore antibiotics narasin and monensin in soils and bioadsorbents from Galicia (NW Spain), EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-17992,, 2024.

Raquel Cela Dablanca, Ana Barreiro, Ainoa Míguez González, Avelino Núñez Delgado, María J. Fernández Sanjurjo, and Esperanza Álvarez Rodríguez

Salinomycin and lasalocid are polyether ionophore antibiotics commonly used in animal production as anticoccodia. These antibiotics are partially metabolised and excreted at least partially in the active form. Therefore, these drugs enter the environment mainly by direct deposition of urine and faeces on soil, or when manure is applied to soils as fertilizer, facilitating their subsequent entry into the food chain, as well as the development of bacterial resistance and risks to human and animal health. Soils can potentially reduce environmental risks related to these antibiotics through the adsorption on their components, which implies its immobilization. Adsorption depends on the antibiotic characteristics and physicochemical soil´s properties. Some soils have a low capacity to retain antibiotics, for this reason is necessary to investigate low-cost strategies to increase the adsorption capacity of the soils, minimizing environmental pollution. Pine bark, oak ash, mussel shell and olive residue could be used as bioadsorbents of these contaminants, since they have a high adsorption capacity for other antibiotics and are produced in large quantities in several countries. The objective of this work was to investigate the adsorption/desorption capacity of salinomycin and lasalocid of three soils from Galicia (NW Spain) with different properties, and also that of the four residues previously indicated, which could be added to soils to improve the adsorption capacity of these antibiotics. To carried out this work, batch experiments were performed, adding different concentrations (5; 10; 20; 50; 100; 200; 400; 800 and 1000 µmol L-1) of these antibiotics at 2 grams of soil or 0.5 grams of bioadsorbent samples; the antibiotic concentration in equilibrium solution was measured by HPLC-UV

The results obtained showed that lasalocid was adsorbed completely by the soils in all cases, whereas salinomycin was adsorbed totally by soils when the concentration added was between 5-200 µmol L-1, however when the concentration added increased (1000 µmol L-1), adsorption decreased up to 68%.  The results showed that soil with a high pH value (pH=7.97), presented slightly lower adsorption values. In the case of the bioadsorbents, pine bark (pH=3.99), olive residue (pH=5.95) and ash (pH= 11.31) adsorbed 100% of salinomycin in all added concentrations, therefore, these residues could increase the capacity of the soil to adsorb this antibiotic. However, in the case of lasalocid the adsorption by ash was 75%, by olive residue was 94% and 95% by pine bark, when the maximum concentration of antibiotic was added. Mussel shell (pH= 9.39) was the bioadsorbent that presented the lowest adsorption for both antibiotics, 87% for salinomycin and 22% for lasalocid, when 1000 µmol L-1 was added. Desorption results of salinomycin showed that this is always less than 10% for soils and less than 5% for bioadsorbents. In the case of lasalocid, desorption was less than 3% for soils and bioadsobents.

In conclusion, soils adsorbed 100% of lasalocid, however, salinomycin adsorption was lower. To retain this antibiotic, the use of bioadsorbent would be interesting, specially, pine bark, olive residue and ash, which adsorbed all the added salinomycin.

How to cite: Cela Dablanca, R., Barreiro, A., Míguez González, A., Núñez Delgado, A., Fernández Sanjurjo, M. J., and Álvarez Rodríguez, E.: Salinomycin and lasalocid adsorption/desorption by different soils and bioadsorbents from Galicia (NW Spain)., EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-18570,, 2024.

Changyu Moon, Hee-sun Moon, and Kyoungphile Nam

 Structural iron (Fe3+)-bearing clay minerals, when they are reduced, can mediate electron transfer through the Fe3+/Fe2+ coupling reaction and transform hexavalent chromium (Cr6+) into less toxic Cr3+, which in turn can be removed from the solution by the clay minerals. Two types of clay minerals with different structural iron (Fe3+) contents, montmorillonite (2.3 wt%) and nontronite (22.3 wt%), were subjected to reaction with 50 mM dithionite at pH 9 for 48 hours, resulting in Fe2+ bearing clay minerals, with measured Fe2+ ratios of 0.68 and 0.49, respectively. Subsequently, the Fe2+ bearing clay minerals were reacted with Cr6+ solution with varying pH ranging from 2.5 to 11 in an anaerobic chamber. Results show that the reduction of Cr6+ was observed at all pH conditions, consistent with the stoichiometric ratios with structural iron (Cr6+:Fe2+/1:3). At pH 7 and below, over 99% of the structural iron (Fe2+) participated in the reduction reaction. At pH 9 and 11, however, the reaction exhibited a shortfall, with approximately 7-27% and 20-32% of unutilized structural iron remaining in montmorillonite and nontronite, respectively. According to the Visual MINTEQ model and DTPA extraction experiments conducted on solids obtained, Cr3+ is immobilized through sorption onto the clay mineral surface at pH 4.5 and below, and through precipitation and deposition on the clay mineral at pH 7 and above. SEM-EDS analysis, the presence of precipitated Cr at pH 7 and above was identified, and XPS analysis confirmed its precipitation in the form of Cr(OH)3

How to cite: Moon, C., Moon, H., and Nam, K.: Immobilization mechanisms of Hexavalent Chromium When Reduced by Fe2+-Bearing Clay Minerals Depending on solution pH, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-7200,, 2024.

Thomas Baumgartl, Nima Baghbani, and Franziska Bucka

Increasing global population demands an increased intensity of use of agricultural land, but also to an extension of the use of land previously not suited for agriculture. Likewise, the stabilisation of degraded or reclaimed land e.g. from mining often requires intervention to create conditions which allow soil stabilisation by vegetation.

Mine rehabilitation is often challenged by hard setting or clay rich substrates as the available substrate for shaping the final landform and amelioration is necessary. While chemical amelioration has time limited benefits, long-term physical/mechanical property improvements may lead to better outcomes above all in water limited environments.

In this study we investigated the amelioration of clay substrate with coal with the objective to improve the physical, and potentially also chemical conditions for plant growth. Clay substrate was amended with up to 20%-wt lignite-type coal. The addition of coal occurred in two ways, as fine coal and as crushed coal, still containing aggregates. The clay and clay/coal mixtures were filled into boxes at a height of approximately 0.15m and a total volume of approx. 60 liters. Hydraulic properties were measured following consolidation of the substrate in multiple wetting-drying cycles until the substrate reached a constant height. Samples were extracted to characterise the substrates for their hydraulic and mechanical properties and their biotic activity potential. The test is based on quantifying the production of CO2 through the microbial oxidation of organic carbon compounds in the soil.

The water retention curve tests and analysis (using HYPROP) showed in general an increase of the total pore volume with increase in coal content. The amount of plant available water increased with increase in coal content and was higher with the addition of fine coal, compared to the aggregated coal. The shear strength and cohesive strength decreased with addition of coal. The microbial activity tests showed only small increases in CO2 production and respiration, along with a low mineralisation rate of the added coal based carbon source. The results show, that the addition of a stable carbon source can be beneficial for the improvement of substrate properties.

How to cite: Baumgartl, T., Baghbani, N., and Bucka, F.: The use of coal as ameliorant for soils with constraints for plant growth, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-21834,, 2024.

Hojae Song, Gunwoo Shim, and Kyoungphile Nam

The environmental hazards associated with nuclear power plants, specifically the release of fission byproducts such as strontium (Sr) and cesium (Cs) are highlighted for their harmful attributes, even in non-radioactive forms owing to their physicochemical characteristics and potential health risks. Sr and Cs exhibit significant physicochemical resemblances to calcium (Ca) and potassium (K), respectively. These similarities are so pronounced that the human body often confuses Sr and Cs with Ca and K, leading to their accumulation. This accumulation can give rise to detrimental health conditions, including leukemia, thyroid cancer, bone marrow cancer, and general paralysis. In this study, a soil washing method was employed to eliminate Sr and Cs contaminants from the soil. We hypothesize that the efficiency of Sr and Cs removal is influenced by the resemblance in physicochemical properties. Physicochemical properties such as atomic radius, hydrated radius, electronegativity, and electron affinity of Sr, Cs, Na, Mg, K, Ca, Ba, and Al were carefully studied and summarized for the investigation. Subsequently, solutions with Na, Mg, K, Ca, Ba, and Al at concentrations of 0.1 and 0.01 M, with a pH of 7, were tested for their efficacy in removing Sr and Cs from the soil. The results showed that the greater similarity in hydrated radius between heavy metals and ions appears to be responsible for increased removal efficiencies. For example, both Ca and Sr share the same hydrated radius of 0.412 nm. Interestingly, Ca exhibited the highest efficiency in removing Sr compared to Na, K, Mg, Ba, and Al. Additionally, Ba, with a hydrated radius of 0.404 (the second closest to Sr), demonstrated the second-highest efficiency in Sr removal. Examining results for other heavy metals (i.e., Cd, Co, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn), a heightened resemblance in hydrated radii between the heavy metal and ion corresponded to increased removal efficiency, indicating a strong positive correlation. Overall, this study contributes valuable insights into effective strategies for mitigating the environmental impact of nuclear power plant activities on soil contamination.

How to cite: Song, H., Shim, G., and Nam, K.: Removal of strontium and cesium from soil using ion-based washing agents with similar hydrated radii, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-13763,, 2024.

Gabriela Wozniak, Agnieszka Kompała-Bąba, Agnieszka Hutniczak, Wojciech Bierza, and Agnieszka Błońska

There are many theories and concepts concerning ecosystem development in natural and semi-natural habitat conditions. The study of spontaneous processes on human-disturbed habitats such as post-excavation mineral habitats provided data revealing that the impact of the specific abiotic factors on any aspect of biotic elements of the developing ecosystems does not follow most of the mechanisms known from the natural and semi-natural habitat conditions. The feedback relations become more complex when the spontaneous vegetation patches and the developing ecosystem start to cover mineral oligotrophic habitats, particular in respect to the biomass soil organic matter and soil substratum parameters. The fundamental process of the biomass and further soil organic matter in mineral soil substratum is based on the non-analogous species composition of the developing vegetation assemblages.

The de novo formed unusual mineral habitats are colonized by not-known plant species vegetation communities. The relationships between the plant species, particularly the dominant plant species, and the abiotic substrate parameters are frequently different than expected. The differences in ecosystem functioning observed in the disturbed habitats led the researcher to use a separate term novel ecosystem.

The crucial observed process is the colonization of the best-adapted plant species individuals. The individuals of the commonly represented species are adapted to extreme drought, salinity,  texture, and pH. The same is true regarding the microorganisms of the colonizing plant's root system. These natural processes provide an opportunity to investigate the relationships between the plant species, particularly the dominant plant species, and the associated organisms and the abiotic substrate parameters. Differences in the chemical and physical properties of the disturbed post-mineral excavation substrates have resulted in unknown, non-analogous species compositions of the vegetation and animal organisms. These differences are reflected in the soil substratum enzymatic activity, the bacteria functional diversity, and soil substratum respiration rates.

The vegetation, biomass, the matter flow beginning, growing on the mineral material of the post-coal mine heaps consists of a mosaic of patches dominated by various species assembled in a variety of microhabitats. This mosaic reflects the diversity of abiotic habitat conditions. The taxonomic species diversity is followed by the functional vegetation diversity and the variety of plant individual's responses to environmental stressors.

Post-mineral excavation sites deliver an example of newly established habitats that differ from the natural ecosystems current in the surrounding landscape. These findings brought us to present a comprehensive concept for the management of post-industrial sites based on natural processes, that is necessary to be applied to recover the ecosystems after disturbance. This concept enables the application of the natural processes, in a site-specific approach in the disturbed or de novo established sites. The return to previous ecosystems should not be considered. The enhancement of the novel ecosystem development in urban and industrialized landscapes is the prerequisite of the modern economy.

How to cite: Wozniak, G., Kompała-Bąba, A., Hutniczak, A., Bierza, W., and Błońska, A.: The comprehensive concept for the management of post-industrial sites based on natural processes, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-6709,, 2024.

Bing Qin and Liming Ren

Petroleum-contaminated soils are difficult to remediate due to a wide range of point/nonpoint sources of pollution and complex components. Here, a new leaching agent system was developed and synthesized, including oligomers, to construct the leaching process and optimize the soil leaching process parameters. The new agent has improved skeleton structure, green bio-based surfactant molecules, and synergists. Based on the characteristics of the leaching soil and its flora structure, more than 60 strains of petroleum degradation bacteria were isolated and screened. Furthermore, suitable bacteria for degradation were cultivated, the nutritional formula and process flow were optimized, and the microbial agent formula for heavy oil, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other pollutants were established. According to the physical characteristics of different types of oily sludge and soil, an economical and efficient remediation technology system and supporting implementation process were established, and finally, a "leaching-bioremediation" coupling treatment process was formed. The PHs content of the actual contaminated soil after the treatment was lower than 0.45%, and 12,000 t of PHs contaminated soil was remediated. Through the study of the elution-bioremediation process, the establishment of economical and environmentally friendly remediation technology and the process will improve our knowledge to solve the sudden oil pollution in contaminated areas and the environmental protection solution of historical problems.

How to cite: Qin, B. and Ren, L.: Coupling Leaching-Bioremediation for Petroleum-Contaminated Soils, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-594,, 2024.

Benjamin Nunn, Keith Torrance, Ben Wright, Andrea Colantoni, Leonardo Bianchini, Riccardo Alemanno, Oleksandra Tryboi, Maico Severino, Wilson Leandro, and Richard Lord

To investigate this strategy, 15 field scale trials were implemented in five countries [1].  These have evaluated the performance of Phalaris, Miscanthus, 2 x Saccharum and 2 x Pennisetum species for combined energy crop production, phyto-remediation and or phyto-management of contaminated land in Brazil and Europe.  Reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) is a native perennial rhizomatous C3 species suitable for non-agricultural or marginal lands and climatic zones such as Scotland (where C4 Miscanthus x giganteous cannot be grown effectively).  Our phytoremediation trials using Phalaris in Italy and Ukraine are the first we are aware of.

Given the wide variety of non-agricultural marginal lands [2], species selection must combine significant biomass production on marginal land with acceptable levels of biomass contamination for subsequent use or energy conversion.  Whereas specialist hyperaccumulator plants may achieve higher absolute concentrations of contaminants and exhibit greater bioconcentration and translocation factors, their inherently lower biomass productivity means that both biomass, energy yield and total mass of contaminants removed per unit area will be relatively small.  In contrast, high yielding, low contaminant uptake characteristics, such as for conventional energy crop species, would result in greater energy production, economic viability and greater potential for biomass utilisation.

In the UK the CERESiS project has utilised long-term field trials originally established during the BioReGen (Biomass, Remediation, re-Generation: Reusing Brownfield Sites for renewable energy crops) EU Life demonstration Project (LIFE05 ENV/UK/000128) in 2007.  These allowed direct comparison of the actual contaminant removal rates of three crop species:  Although the biomass of Miscanthus and short-rotation coppice Salix contained higher concentrations of certain elements, Phalaris far out-performed these in terms of biomass, ease and economy of production [3].  Surprisingly, despite lower contaminant concentrations in Phalaris, such was the increased biomass yield that the total mass removed was still greater than for Miscanthus or Salix.  Likewise Pennisetum (Napier and Capiaçu grasses) shows similar promise in Brazil as the most productive, resulting in the highest offtake of Cr from soils contaminated with this element.  This suggests that low-uptake phyto-excluding plants which can tolerate contaminated soils and grow productively might still represent the best and most economically viable option for clean-up of contaminated sites. Meanwhile this nature-based solution can simultaneously deliver a variety of wider societal and environmental benefits, such as greening-up derelict land or the enhanced storage of carbon in soil [4].

This paper will investigate this strategy by comparing biomass yield, biomass contamination and the calculated offtake of contaminants for a wide range of generic contaminants across all of the CERESiS trial sites.  This will be used to evaluate the potential trade-offs between biomass suitability for use and phyto-management of contaminated land.


 [1] This study is part of the CERESiS (ContaminatEd land Remediation through Energy crops for Soil improvement to liquid biofuels Strategies) Project which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 101006717,

 [2] Mellor et al 2020, RaSER 135, 110220

 [3] Lord, 2015, BioBE 78, 110-125

 [4] Lord & Sakrabani, 2019, STotEn 686, 1057-68


How to cite: Nunn, B., Torrance, K., Wright, B., Colantoni, A., Bianchini, L., Alemanno, R., Tryboi, O., Severino, M., Leandro, W., and Lord, R.: Growing perennial rhizomatous grasses on contaminated land: a strategy for combining phyto-management with sustainable biomass production?, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-7435,, 2024.

Posters virtual: Thu, 18 Apr, 14:00–15:45 | vHall X2

Display time: Thu, 18 Apr 08:30–Thu, 18 Apr 18:00
Chairpersons: Thomas Baumgartl, Maria Manuela Abreu, Diego Arán
Fred Dadzie, Nathali Machado, and Miriam Muñoz-Rojas

Salinity is one of the challenges affecting seed germination and establishment in dryland restoration projects. Seeds must overcome the osmotic pressure present in saline soils before they can germinate. An ideal method is to reduce the osmotic potential through continuous irrigation to flush out the excess salts from the soil to enable seeds to germinate. However, such a system is impractical at scale and would exponentially increase restoration budgets. Research has shown that bacteria and cyanobacteria individually improve seedling germination. However, it is unclear whether bacteria and cyanobacteria improve seedling germination individually and as combined entities under dryland conditions. In this glasshouse study, we test the hypothesis that, inoculating seeds with bacteria, cyanobacteria and the combination of both will increase seed germination outcome compared to their none inoculated counterpart. We also examined which microbial inoculation would yield the greatest seedling germination and biomass. We found that all inoculated seeds with microorganisms significantly increased seedling emergence and biomass production compared to the non-inoculated seeds. The highest seedling emergence was found in the cyanobacteria treatment followed by the combined bacteria and cyanobacteria treatment. Similarly, the highest biomass production occurred when seeds were inoculated with cyanobacteria treatment followed by bacteria treatment. Our results suggest that, cyanobacteria can be used as a potential tool to overcome seedling germination challenges in saline dryland ecosystems during restoration.

How to cite: Dadzie, F., Machado, N., and Muñoz-Rojas, M.: Indigenous soil microbial inoculants promote restoration of arid plants in saline soils, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-12662,, 2024.

Miriam Muñoz-Rojas, Frederick Dadzie, and Nathali Machado de Lima

Soil microorganisms control important ecosystem functions such as nutrient cycling, plant productivity and climate regulation. Thus, microbially assisted conservation and restoration has the potential to reconnect above and belowground dynamics, creating functional ecosystems that are more resilient to climate change impacts. In this research, we (i) assessed the responses of soil microbial communities to disturbance, e.g., severe fire, and extractive activities such as mining, and (ii) developed bioinoculants composed of locally sourced soil bacteria from the rhizosphere and biocrust cyanobacteria, to promote plant growth and soil fertility and enhance ecosystem capacity for global change adaptation. This presentation will showcase some key findings of these studies conducted in contrasting Australian ecosystems (shrubland-grassland in the arid zone, and subtropical/temperate forests). These outcomes include the successful translocation of whole-soil communities for inhibiting weeds, and the effective use of indigenous microbes (rhizobacteria and cyanobacteria combinations) for soil carbon sequestration, nitrogen fixation, and growth promotion of key arid and temperate plant species.

Overall, our research demonstrates the benefits of using native microbial communities as bioinoculants in ecosystem restoration. The emerging technologies used in our research, i.e. seed enhancement through seed biopriming and biopellets, have a large potential for landscape-scale conservation and restoration programs in the context of global change.

How to cite: Muñoz-Rojas, M., Dadzie, F., and Machado de Lima, N.:  Soil microbial based strategies and seed enhancement technologies reconnect plant-soil biodiversity and improve restoration outcomes , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-16797,, 2024.

Beatriz Roncero Ramos, Montserrat Romero, Pedro Antonio Plaza Álvarez Plaza Álvarez, Manuel Esteban Lucas-Borja, and Miriam Muñoz-Rojas

Fire is a natural element of the landscape; however, it can also have serious effects on the environment. Although the effect of fire on plant communities has been broadly studied, we lack information on the effect of fire on soils. Several types of post-fire treatments have been applied in Mediterranean areas for soil protection and potential regeneration of soil fertility, i.e. logging or mulching. Yet, the effect of these treatments on the soil biodiversity are not fully understood.

Here, using different soil physical and biological approaches methods, we analysed the impacts of different post-fire treatments on the composition and diversity of microbial communities (bacteria and fungi) in a Mediterranean forest. Our results showed substantial differences in the responses of the fungal community to the different post-fire treatments, i.e. straw mulching and salvage logging . Opposite, the soil bacterial community was not affected by the post-fire treatments. Overall, soil fungi were more sensitive than bacteria to fire, but the recovery of this taxa following the fire event was faster. Our results can provide useful information for restoration of fire-impacted areas in the Mediterranean region.

How to cite: Roncero Ramos, B., Romero, M., Plaza Álvarez, P. A. P. Á., Lucas-Borja, M. E., and Muñoz-Rojas, M.: Post-fire restoration impacts on soil microbial communities in a Mediterranean region, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-12514,, 2024.

Zygimantas Kidikas, Mantas Rubezius, and Alfreda Kasiuliene

Phytoremediation is considered as an environmentally friendly and cost-effective technology for the treatment of contaminated soil. Recently, there has been an increase in large-scale phytoremediation projects, one of the key moments of which is the transition from a pot experiment to large-scale field research under real conditions. The “Phy2Climate” project aims to provide clean biofuel production and phytoremediation solutions from contaminated lands worldwide, and field trials under real conditions was a focal point in this project. The trials were established in countries like Serbia, Spain, Argentina, and Lithuania, to cover different climatic conditions and differently polluted areas.

In Lithuania, the field trials were established in a site that was formerly used as oil base in Soviet times and up-until-today exhibits contamination with petroleum hydrocarbons. Main method for phytoremediation of petroleum-contaminated soil is the rhizodegradation, which focuses on stimulating the population of organic-degrading microorganisms through the plant rhizosphere. Thus, contaminated soil in the site was amended with organic and mineral fertilizers to promote plant development and increase biomass outputs. Furthermore, microbial  additive applied to ensure rhizodegradation. Two monocultures (amaranth (Amaranthus caudatus) and Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) and a mix of herbaceous plant species were grown on different subplots in the prepared soil for two consecutive years. The key parameters used to assess the efficiency of phytoremediation included biomass output, crucial for ensuring an adequate amount for biofuel production, and the phytoremediation factor, indicating changes in petroleum hydrocarbon concentration in the soil.

How to cite: Kidikas, Z., Rubezius, M., and Kasiuliene, A.: Experience of a two-year phytoremediation field trial in the “Phy2Climate” project: Lithuanian case, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-20237,, 2024.