Study On Ecosystem Components Of Technological Waste Bank Reclaimed After Steel Production

Maria Sokolowska, Miglena Zhiyanski, Andrew Hursthouse, Jaume Bech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Reclamation of land affected by past industrial activities is of major environmental concern worldwide. Major strategies involve the encouragement of better use of land, post industry, and these often focus on re-vegetation processes for forestry. Studies on the effectiveness of biological re-cultivation mainly focus on activities and techniques for the acceleration of soil formation processes. Relationships between substrate and plants is also of concern, in order to create viable and sustainable environments. In this work, we report on a study of reforestation of a former industrial site (7th September, 20 decares in size) located in the sub-urban system of the Sofia-Pernik agglomeration in Bulgaria. It consists of by-products from steel manufacturing deposited over 30 years. Post closure reclamation of the site was dependent on defining an appropriate technology for the biological reclamation. A detailed study of the hydro-physical and chemical parameters of soil substrates and forest vegetation was undertaken in order to institute recommendations for their improvement and utility under biological reclamation. We established that the properties of the substrates are quite similar to those of natural soils in the region. We determined the influence of the quantity of organic matter and the range of nutrient elements in the substates as determining parameters for further biological reclamation. This site is located in the lower forest zone of the country, where water content is the main limiting factor for plant survival. Consequently, nutrient elements are available for the tree species only in combination with an optimal water regime.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-447
JournalEkologia (Bratislava)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • soil substrate
  • Vegetation
  • biological reclamation


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