Comparative analysis of the early growth performance of indigenous acacia species in revegetating Trojan nickel mine tailings in Zimbabwe
Electronic Journal of Environmental, Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Department of Environmental Science, Forestry Unit, Bindura University of Science Education, P. Bag 1020, Bindura, Zimbabwe; Department of Agriculture, Bindura University of Science Education, P. Bag 1020, Bindura, Zimbabwe
Indigenous acacia species are preferred in mine dump revegetation because of their ability to colonize hostile environments, enhance soil fertility and meet the livelihood and cultural needs of local communities. This study compared early growth performance of three vindigenous Acacia species namely A. gerrardii, A. karroo and A. polyacantha established on Nickel Mine tailings amended with top soil, sewage sludge, and compound fertilizer. Growth performance in height and root collar diameter (RCD) were measured monthly using a meter rule and a veneer caliper respectively and survival was determined at the end of a six-month period. A completely randomized block design with 12 treatments replicated three times was used. Survival and relative growth rates in height and RCD (RGRh and RGRd), were tested for significant differences among treatments through analysis of variance using SPSS for Windows Version 15.0 (2006). Overall, there were no significance differences (P>0.05) in survival among the Acacia species but variation in survival (P>0.05) was observed among amendments. Species growth performance also varied (P > 0.05) among amendment materials and across species. It was concluded all the three pecies can be used in revegetation of nickel mine tailings dumps under similar conditions.
Acacia; Acacia gerrardii; Acacia karroo; Acacia polyacantha