Effects of vegetation cover/land use and slope aspect on surface soil properties near the copper smelter factory in Murgul, Turkey
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CitationKüçük, M., Yener, İ., & Duman, A. (2019).Effects of vegetation cover/land use and slope aspect on surface soil properties near the copper smelter factory in Murgul, Turkey. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research, 17(5), 12305-12321. DOI: 10.15666/aeer/1705_1230512321.
The mining activities, one of the most drastic examples of human intervention to nature, have considerably deteriorated the environment. Although being one of the smallest and least populated cities of Turkey, Artvin is notably affected by mining in many ways such as acid rains, water contamination and medical problems. The activities also affect soil properties. The present study aimed to assess the effects of restoration and reclamation of the former smelter factory and determine the changes in some soil properties according to land use/land cover (LULC) and slope aspect. With this purpose, Pearson correlation and two-way ANOVA methods were used. Results showed that while LULC significantly affected (p < 0.05) all soil properties except silt content, bulk density, CaCO3 content, C:N ratio, Cd and Zn; slope aspect significantly affected less soil properties such as sand, silt, pH, EC, CaCO3 and Pb. The interaction between factors also significantly affected (p < 0.05) soil properties like LULC. According to partial eta squared (η2) values, while the most significantly affected soil properties by LULC, slope aspect and their interaction were found to be Cr (0.93), Clay (0.59) and Cr (0.94), respectively; the ones least affected were found to be total nitrogen (0.12), CaCO3 (0.14) and total nitrogen for 63-day (0.18), respectively. Despite the black alder’s and black locust’s lack of phytoremediation abilities concerning soil heavy metal content except Pb, Alnus glutinosa and Robinia pseudoacacia may be suggested for the restoration and reclamation of mining soils in terms of phytoremediation beside their advantages such as improving nitrogen mineralization.