The Impact of Nickel Mining on Soil Properties and Growth of Two Fast-Growing Tropical Trees Species
International Journal of Forestry Research
Opencast nickel mining is common in natural forests of Indonesia. However, rehabilitation of postmining degraded land is difficult. We investigated the effect of opencast nickel mining on soil chemical properties and the growth of two fast-growing tropical tree species, Falcataria moluccana and Albizia saman. Soil was collected from post-nickel mining land and a nearby natural forest. Soil pH, available phosphorus (P) concentration, total carbon (TC) and total nitrogen (TN) concentration, C/N
... oncentration, C/N ratio, cation exchange capacity (CEC), and exchangeable K, Na, Mg, Ca, Fe, and Ni concentrations were determined. Falcataria moluccana and A. saman were then grown in the collected soils for 15 weeks in a greenhouse. Shoot height and shoot and root dry weights of the seedlings were measured. The post--nickel mining soils TN, TC, available P, CEC, and exchangeable Ca and Na concentrations decreased by 98%, 93%, 11%, 62%, 85%, and 74%, respectively, in comparison with the natural forest soils. The pH of postmining soil was higher than natural forest soil. Shoot dry weight of F. moluccana seedlings grown in postmining soil was significantly ( P < 0.05 ) lower than that of seedlings grown in natural forest soil. However, there was no difference in shoot dry weight between A. saman seedlings grown in natural forest soil and postmining soil, as well as root dry weights of both species. The results indicate that opencast nickel mining decreased soil fertility, which subsequently inhibited the growth of F. moluccana and A. saman seedlings.