Authors: Lin, DS; Greenwood, P; Tibbett, M

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Lin, DS, Greenwood, P & Tibbett, M 2009, 'Soil carbon dynamics in a rehabilitated chronosequence determined by accelerated solvent extraction', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 145-154.

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Carbon (C) fractions reflecting different levels of bioavailability across a 17 year rehabilitated chronosequence at Worsley’s Boddington bauxite mine were studied at a quantitative level by accelerated solvent extraction (ASE) and qualitatively by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) analysis. Lower amounts of C were consistently extracted from the rehabilitated soils compared to undisturbed forest soil controls. However, there was evidence of increasing amounts of bioavailable C with rehabilitation age. GCMS analysis of the solvent extractable C fractions led to the detection of over 500 different constituents. Multivariate statistical analysis of the GCMS data revealed soils of early rehabilitation ages were qualitatively similar to native soils, reflecting the use of topsoil in initial rehabilitation. Significantly however, it was observed that disturbances associated with mining and translocation of topsoil leads to a progressive diversion of C quality from natural forest soils for a period of at least 17 years. This was indicated by the increase in number and concentration of products, in particular high molecular weight n- alkanes, with rehabilitation age.

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