Effects of wetland plants on submersed mine tailings
Licentiate thesis, Stockholm university
A vegetation cover on top of submersed mine tailings might work as an oxygen consuming layer and thus reduce the formation of acid mine drainage (AMD). However, effects of plant growth might increase the release of metals through translocation of metals to shoots, or the increased formation of AMD through oxygen release by roots. The aims of the thesis were: 1. To find out if plants can be established on submersed tailings, 2. To find out if plant growth affects the metal and As release from tailings, 3. To find out if the uptake and translocation properties of metals and As between different plant species growing on tailings vary. The conclusions were that plant establishment on submersed mine tailings is possible. Plant establishment reduces the metal content and retain a high pH (5-6), in drainage water from unlimed tailings. Most of the plant species growing on mine tailings accumulate metals and As in the roots.