Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol.08, Issue 04, 2002; Page No.(353-360)

NUTRIENT STATUS OF COAL OVERBURDEN DUMP TOP MATERIAL AFTER VEGETATION - AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY

Nikhil Kumar

Abstract

Bio-reclamation of coal overburden dump has been an integral part of eco-restoration of the mined out areas and it is necessary to strike balance in eco-environment. It is much important to evaluate the characteristic behaviour of nutrients dynamics of such dumps in order to establish and sustain long term vegetation practices. An experimental study has been conducted over coal overburden dump top materials to find out the changes in the nutrient status before and after plantation. For the purpose of the present study, a coal overburden dump of Bharat Coaking Coal Limited Area in the coal belt of Eastern India has been chosen. About 14 soil samples have been collected randomly, before plantation.The analysis shows a significant deficiencies in macro (N,P,K) and micro (Fe, Zn, Cu, and Mn) nutrients along with moderate organic carbon % in neutralised nature (pH around 7.0) of the soil. After- three years of plantation of native species and some grasses, the grown up plants have been uprooted for biomass studies and the bottom soils have been again sampled and analysed. It is observed that the increased organic carbon % have activated microbial activity, in turn, trigged the increase trend in available nitrogen significantly and also promote moderate increase in both available 'P' and 'K'. Marginal but significant changes have been noted in Zn, Cu, Fe and Mn content in the soil. Statistical and further assessment indicate' that the nutrient status has notably increaed after plantation to support vegetative growth during initial stage of growth. But for the sustenance of better growth in longer time, it is felt that judicious combination of macro and micro nutrient fertilizers have to be amended in due intervals.

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