Ecological restoration of mine degraded soils, with emphasis on metal contaminated soils

Chemosphere. 2003 Feb;50(6):775-80. doi: 10.1016/s0045-6535(02)00232-1.


This paper reviews the ecological aspects of mined soil restoration, with special emphasis on maintaining a long-term sustainable vegetation on toxic metal mine sites. The metal mined soils are man-made habitats which are very unstable and will become sources of air and water pollution. Establishment of a vegetation cover is essential to stabilize the bare area and to minimize the pollution problem. In addition to remediate the adverse physical and chemical properties of the sites, the choice of appropriate vegetation will be important. Phytostabilization and phytoextraction are two common phytoremediation techniques in treating metal-contaminated soils, for stabilizing toxic mine spoils, and the removal of toxic metals from the spoils respectively. Soil amendments should be added to aid stabilizing mine spoils, and to enhance metal uptake accordingly.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Ecology*
  • Ecosystem
  • Hong Kong
  • Lead / metabolism
  • Metals, Heavy / metabolism*
  • Mining
  • Plant Development
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Soil / analysis*
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis*
  • Zinc / metabolism


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Soil
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Lead
  • Zinc