Soil and water pollution by heavy metals and radionuclides (HM/R) is a major concern in many areas of the world, influencing the health of local populations, the use of the natural resources and the environmental equilibrium. In this context, field scale investigations are applied to areas of moderate HM/R contaminated substrates at the testsites Gessenwiese and Kanigsberg, to investigate bioremediation strategies in the former uranium mining area near Ronneburg, East Germany. Here, the main focuses lie on designing sustainable landscapes by reducing the bioavailability of contaminants (e.g. Cd, Co, Cs, Ni, Sr, U) with carbonatic soil material (rendzina) and microbial amendments (VA-mycorrhiza Rhizophagus irregularis, actinobacteria Strepromyces mirabilis P16-B1), as well as the production of renewable energy with metal tolerant plants (Festuca rubra, Secale multicaule) within a short-rotation-coppice (SRC, landfarming). In this connection, production of woody biomass with fast growing plants (Betula pendula, Sorbus aucuparia, Alnus, Pinus, Salix) in SRC provides a positive effect on biodiversity and erosion protection.

Implementation of heavy metal landfarming for sustainable landscaping and for exploitation of renewable energies on radionuclide contaminated areas (translated from German)

Project leadership: Dr. Dirk Merten, Prof. Dr. Georg Büchel

Funding period: 01.12.2014 bis 30.11.2018

Funding code: 15S9194

Fig.1. Testsite - Kanigsberg; Bioremediation strategies with fast growing trees in a short rotation coppice