Study on Site Preparation and Restoration Techniques for Forest Restoration in Mining Tailings of Mariana, Brazil

Sebastião Venâncio Martins (Forest Restoration Laboratory, Department of Forest Engineering, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil)
Pedro Manuel Villa (Forest Restoration Laboratory, Department of Forest Engineering, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil)
Fabio Haruki Nabeta (Fundação Renova, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil)
Leonardo Ferreira da Silva (Fundação Renova, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil)
Gabriel Correa Kruschewsky (Fundação Renova, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil)
Andreia Aparecida Dias (Fundação Renova, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil)

Article ID: 2610



Ecological restoration in forest ecosystem is a priority in Mariana, Brazil. Thus, we evaluated the effects of passive and active restoration methods through different site preparation techniques by manipulating physical-chemical properties of substrates on tree community coverage in Mariana, Brazil. A total of 48 plots (12 × 12 m each) were established in two areas along the flood plains with accumulation of tailings. The following treatments were established: (1) planting of native tree seedlings with fertilization (PSf) and (2) without fertilization (PS); (3) direct seeding of native trees with fertilization (SDf) and (4) without fertilization (SD); (5) natural regeneration with fertilization (NRf) and (6) without fertilization (NR). Differences in substrate properties and tree community coverage were evaluated between treatments, the substrate properties and tree community coverage relationship, and main effects of substrate fertility and texture on tree community coverage. There were marked differences in substrate and plant coverage between treatments. On average, the highest plant coverage was found in treatment with fertilization, such as NRf (59,5%) and SDf (48%). However, the treatment with seedling planting (PSf and PS) and NR did not show differences (~37%), while the lowest values were observed in SD (23%). There is a strong relationship between substrate fertility and plant community coverage, with significant positive effects. We observed that the passive and active restoration methods can be complementary in the soil and plant community coverage recovery.


Seeding; Fundão dam; Natural regeneration; Seeding; Seedlings; Resilient mitigation; Site effects

Full Text:



[1] Martins SV, Villa PM, Balestrin D, Nabeta FH, Silva LF. Monitoring the passive and active ecological restoration of areas impacted by the Fundão tailings dam failure in Mariana, Minas Gerais, Brazil [In:] de Vlieger K. (Ed.), Recent Advances in Ecological Restoration, New York, Nova Science Publishers, 2020: 51-95.

[2] Carmo FF, Kamino LHY, Junior RT, Campos IC, Carmo FF, Silvino G, Pinto CEF. Fundão Tailings Dam Failures: The Environment Tragedy of the Largest Technological Disaster of Brazilian Mining in Global Context, Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation, 2017, 15: 145-51.

[3] Santos OSH, Avellar FC, Alves M, Trindade RC, Menezes MB, Ferreira MC, França GS, Cordeiro J, Sobreira FG, Yoshida IM, Moura PM, Baptista MB, Scotti MR. Understanding the Environmental Impact of a Mine Dam Rupture in Brazil: Prospects for Remediation. Journal Environmental Quality, 2019, 48: 439-449.

[4] Holl KD 2017. Research Directions in Tropical Forest Restoration. Annals Missouri Botanical Garden, 2017, 102: 237-250.

[5] Martins SV. Alternative Forest Restoration Techniques. In: Helder Viana. (Org.). New Perspectives in Forest Science. 1ed.London: InTech, 2018, 1: 131- 148.

[6] Ferreira MC, Vieira DLM. 2 Topsoil for restoration: resprouting of root fragments and germination of pioneers trigger tropical dry forest regeneration. Ecological Engineering, 2018, 103: 1-12.

[7] Crouzeilles R, Ferreira MS, Chazdon RL, Lindenmayer DB, Sansevero JBB, Monteiro L, Iribarrem A, Latawiec AE, Strassburg BBN Ecological restoration success is higher for natural regeneration than for active restoration in tropical forests. Science Advance, 2017, 3: e1701345.

[8] Chazdon RL. Landscape Restoration, Natural Regeneration, and the Forests of the Future. Annals Missouri Botanical Garden, 2017, 102: 251-257.

[9] Stuble KL, Fick SE, Young TP. Every restoration is unique: testing year effects and site effects as drivers of initial restoration trajectories Journal Applied Ecology, 2017, 54: 1051-1057.

[10] Ballesteros M, Cañadas EM, Foronda A, Peñas J, Valle F, Lorite J. Central role of bedding materials for gypsum-quarry restoration: an experimental planting of gypsophile species. Ecological Engineering, 2014, 70: 470-476.

[11] Estrada-Villegas S, Bailón M, Hall JS. Edaphic factors and initial conditions influence successional trajectories of early regenerating tropical dry forests. J. Ecol., 2020, 108: 160-174.

[12] Pitz C, Mahy G, Harzé M, Uyttenbroeck R, Monty A, 2019. Comparison of mining spoils to determine the best substrate for rehabilitating limestone quarries by favoring native grassland species over invasive plants. Ecological Engineering, 2019, 127: 510-518.

[13] Crouzeilles R, Curran M, Ferreira MS, Lindenmayer DB, Grelle CEV, Rey Benayas JM. A global meta-analysis on the ecological drivers of forest restoration success. Nature Communication, 2016, 7: 11666.

[14] Rocha WB, Roque MD, de Oliveira, BJU, Sousa VBAL, de Assis OF, Schwartz G. Ecological methods and indicators for recovering and monitoring ecosystems after mining: A global literature review. Ecological Engineering, 2020, 145: 105707.

[15] Franklin JA, Zipper CE, Burger JA, Skousen JG, Jacobs DF. Influence of herbaceous ground cover on forest restoration of eastern US coal surface mines. New Forest, 2012, 43: 905-924.

[16] Sanaei A, Ali A, Ali M, Chahoukia MAS. The positive relationships between plant coverage, species richness, and aboveground biomass are ubiquitous across plant growth forms in semi-steppe rangelands. Journal Enviromenta Management, 2018, 205: 308- 318.

[17] Sanaei A, Ali A, Ali M, Chahoukia MAS. Plant coverage is a potential ecological indicator for species diversity and aboveground biomass in semi-steppe rangelands. Ecological Indicator, 2018, 93: 256-266.

[18] Qu L, Wang Z, Huang Y, Zhang Y, Song C, Ma K, Effects of plant coverage on shrub fertile islands in the Upper Minjiang River Valley. Science China Life Science, 2017, 60: 340-347.

[19] Freitas MG, Rodrigues SB, Campos-Filho EM, do Carmo GHP, da Veiga JM, Junqueira RGP, Vieira DLM. Evaluating the success of direct seeding for tropical forest restoration over ten years. Forest Ecology and Management, 2019, 438: 224-232.

[20] Rodrigues, S.B., Freitas, M.G., Campos-Filho, E.M., do Carmo, G.H.P., da Veiga, J. M., Junqueira, R.G.P., Vieira, D.L.M. Direct seeded and colonizing species guarantee successful early restoration of South Amazon forests. Forest Ecology and Management, 2019, 451: 117559.

[21] Ji S, Geng Y, Li D, Wang G. Plant coverage is more important than species richness in enhancing aboveground biomass in a premature grassland, northern China. Agriculture Ecosystem and Environment, 2009, 129: 491e496.

[22] Chen J, Xiao H, Lia Z, Liu C, Wang D, Wang L, Tang C. Threshold effects of vegetation coverage on soil erosion control in small watersheds of the red soil hilly region in China. Ecological Engineering, 2019, 132: 109-114.

[23] Sanaei A, Chahouki MAZ, Ali A, Jafari M, Azarniva H. Abiotic and biotic drivers of aboveground biomass in semi-steppe rangelands. Science Total Environmental, 2018, 615: 895-905.

[24] Aalto J, Roux PC, Luoto, M. Vegetation Mediates Soil Temperature and Moisture in Arctic-Alpine Environments. Arctic Antarctic Alpes Research, 2013, 45: 429-439

[25] Nishar A, Bader MKF, O’Gorman EJ, Deng J, Breen B, Leuzinger S. Temperature Effects on Biomass and Regeneration of Vegetation in a Geothermal Area. Frontier Plant Science, 2017, 8: 249.

[26] Ehrenfeld JG, Ravit B, Elgersma K. Feedbacks in the plant-soil system. Annual Review Environment Resource, 2005, 30: 75-115.

[27] Myers N, Fonseca GAB, Mittermeier RA, Da Fonseca, GA, Kent J, Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature, 2000, 403: 853-858.

[28] Magnago, L.F.S., Magrach, A., Laurance, W.F., Martins, S.V., Meira-Neto, J.A.A., Simonelli, M., Edwards, DP. Would protecting tropical forest fragments provide carbon and biodiversity cobenefits under REDD+? Global Change Biology, 2015, 21: 3455-3468.

[29] Rezende CL, Scarano FR, Assad FR, Joly CA, Metzger JP, Strassburg BBN, Tabarelli M, Fonseca GA, Mittermeier RA. 2018. From hotspot to hopespot: An opportunity for the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Perspective Ecology and Conservation, 2018, 16: 208- 214.

[30] Scarano FR, Ceotto P. Brazilian Atlantic forest: impact, vulnerability, and adaptation to climate change. Biodiversity Conservation, 2015, 24: 2319.

[31] EMBRAPA. Manual de métodos de análises de solo. 2ªed. Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária, Centro Nacional de Pesquisa de Solos. Rio de Janeiro, 1997.

[32] Samarco. Relatório sobre as Causas Imediatas da Ruptura da Barragem de Fundão, 2016. Available at: general/PR/pt/FinalReport.pdf

[33] Hatje V, Pedreira RMA, Rezende CE, Schettini CA, Souza GC, Marin DC, Hackspacher PC. The environmental impacts of one of the largest tailing dam failure worldwide. Scientific Report, 2017, 7: 10706.

[34] Silva-Junior CA, Coutinho AD, Oliveira-Júnior JF, Teodoro PE, Lima M, Shakir M, Gois G, Johann JA. Analysis of the impact on vegetation caused by abrupt deforestation via orbital sensor in the environmental disaster of Mariana, Brazil. Land Use Policy, 2018, 76: 10-20.

[35] Wallertz K, Björklund N, Hjelm K, Petersson M, Sundblad LG. Comparison of different site preparation techniques: quality of planting spots, seedling growth and pine weevil damage. New Forest, 2018, 49: 705-722.

[36] R Core Team. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria, 2019. (15 July 2020, date last accessed)

[37] Crawley MJ. The R Book, second ed. Wiley, London. 213: 900.

[38] Dinno A. “dunntest” package: Dunn’s test of multiple comparisons using rank sums, 2017. http://CRANR-project org/package= dunntest. RStudio package version 1.14.

[39] Villa PM, Martins SV, Oliveira Neto SN, Rodrigues AC, Martorano L, Delgado L, Cancio NM, Gastauer M. Intensification of shifting cultivation reduces forest resilience in the northern Amazon. Forest Ecology and Management, 2018, 430: 312-320.

[40] Husson F, Josse J, Le S, Mazet J. “FactoMineR” package Multivariate: Exploratory Data Analysis and Data Mining, 2017, http://CRAN.R-project. org/package= FactoMineR. RStudio package version 1.0.14.

[41] Bates D, Maechler M., Ben Bolker B., Walker S. ‘lme4’: Linear Mixed-Effects Models using “Eigen” and S4. R package version 1.1-15, 2017. URL pdf

[42] Hadley W. R ggplot2 package: an implementation of the grammar of graphics, 2015. Available at: http://, https:// hadley/ ggplot2.

[43] Cole RJ, Holl KD, Keenem CL, Zahawi RA. Direct seeding of late-successional trees to restore tropical montane forest. Forest Ecology and Management, 2011, 261: 1590-1597.

[44] Campos-Filho EM, da Costa JNMN, de Sousa OL, Junqueira RGP. Mechanized direct-seeding of native forests in Xingu, Central Brazil. Journal Sustainable Forestry, 2014, 32: 702-727.

[45] Silva RRP, Oliveira DR, Rocha GPE, Vieira DLM. Direct seeding of Brazilian savanna trees: effects of plant cover and fertilization on seedling establishment and growth. Restoration Ecology, 2015, 23: 393-401.

[46] Arroyo-Rodríguez V, Melo FPL, Martínez-Ramos M, Bongers F, Chazdon RL, Meave JA. Multiple successional pathways in human-modified tropical landscapes: new insights from forest succession, forest fragmentation and landscape ecology research. Biological Reviewer, 2017, 92: 326-340.

[47] Rozendaal DMA, Bongers F, Aide TM, Alvarez-Dávila E, Ascarrunz N, Balvanera P. Biodiversity recovery of Neotropical secondary forests. Science Advance, 2019, 5: eaau3114.

[48] Poorter L, Bongers F, Aide TM, Zambrano AMA, Balvanera P, Becknell JM. Biomass resilience of Neotropical secondary forests. Nature, 2016, 530: 211-214.

[49] Cole LES, Bhagwat SA, Willis KJ. Recovery and resilience of tropical forests after disturbance. Nature Communication, 2016, 5: 3906.

[50] Gornish ES, Lennox MS, Lewis D, Tate KW, Jackson RD. Comparing herbaceous plant communities in active and passive riparian restoration. PLoS ONE, 2017, 12: e0176338.

[51] Dhaliwal SS, Naresh RK, Mandal A, Singh R, Dhaliwal MK. Dynamics and transformations of micronutrients in agricultural soils as influenced by organic matter build-up: A review. Environment and Sustainability Indicator, 2019, 1-2: 100007.

[52] Legates DR, Mahmood R, Levia DF, DeLiberty TL, Quiring SM, Houser C, Nelson FE. Soil moisture: a central and unifying theme in physical geography. Progress in Physical Geographic, 2010, 35: 65-86

[53] Remaury A, Guittonny M, Rickson J. The effect of tree planting density on the relative development of weeds and hybrid poplars on revegetated mine slopes vulnerable to erosion. New Forest, 2018, 50: 555- 572.

Copyright © 2020 Author(s)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.