Authors: Sanchez-Palacios, JT; Doronila, AI; Baker, AJM; Woodrow, IE


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Sanchez-Palacios, JT, Doronila, AI, Baker, AJM & Woodrow, IE 2013, 'Performance of Eucalyptus species on capped arsenic-rich gold mine tailings in the Victorian Goldfields, Australia', in M Tibbett, AB Fourie & C Digby (eds), Mine Closure 2013: Proceedings of the Eighth International Seminar on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Cornwall, pp. 331-343,

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An experimental tailings research facility was constructed to allow long-term trials to be conducted in order to investigate the performance and variation in growth and arsenic foliar content in 16 taxa of eucalypts comprising five Eucalyptus spp. with various provenances. A 30 cm deep cover of slurried oxide waste residue was poured on to consolidated arsenic-rich sulphidic gold tailings and was capped with a 10 cm layer of local topsoil. The Eucalyptus were planted in September 2008. The study reported here focusses on the growth responses of candidate Eucalyptus species and provenances in relation to substrate variables (cover depth and arsenic mobility). Three provenances of Eucalyptus cladocalyx grew the fastest and, on average, produced the largest stem volumes. The local provenance of E. goniocalyx was the poorest. Among the other species, Corymbia maculata with provenances from New South Wales and Western Australia (WA) ranked second, E. camaldulensis with provenances from Victoria, WA and South Australia ranked third, and E. tricarpa ranked after these. Owing to its ability to grow under arsenic-rich conditions, more detailed testing of E. cladocalyx involving long-term monitoring of growth, biomass partitioning and foliar arsenic content is required to improve the selection of suitable species and provenances for use in arsenical mineral waste rehabilitation.

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