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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 29 No. 6, p. 1786-1793
    Received: Dec 20, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): jbrummer@lamar.colostate.edu
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Interactive Effects of Soil Amendments and Depth of Incorporation on Geyer Willow

  1. K. T. Fisher,
  2. J. E. Brummer *,
  3. W. C. Leininger and
  4. D. M. Heil
  1. Dep. of Rangeland Ecosystem Science, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523;
    Mountain Meadow Research Center, P.O. Box 598, Gunnison, CO 81230;
    Dep. of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523.



A greenhouse study was initiated to determine the effect that depth of incorporation of soil amendments had on growth of Geyer willow (Salix geyeriana Andersson) planted in fluvial mine tailing. Lysimeters were constructed to simulate a 60-cm tailing profile with a static water table established at a depth of 62 cm. The amendment treatments (lime, organic matter, and lime plus organic matter) were each applied at three depths of incorporation (0–20, 0–40, and 0–60 cm). Aboveground current-year's growth (CYG) from willow cuttings grown in treatments that contained lime was more than eightfold greater than that from willows grown in treatments that did not contain lime. Willows grown in the 0- to 60-cm treatments produced 36% more aboveground CYG than those grown in 0- to 20-cm treatments and 27% more than those grown in the 0- to 40-cm treatments. Belowground CYG, averaged across all amendment treatments, also increased with depth of incorporation. Chemical analyses of the growth media indicated that the lime amendment increased pH of the mine tailing such that trace metals were made less bioavailable and, therefore, not phytotoxic. The addition of organic matter to the lime amendment proved to be beneficial for plant growth and reduced bioavailability of some metals. Willows from all treatments accumulated high concentrations of the metals Cd and Zn in aboveground CYG. Results from this study suggest that increased depth of incorporation of soil amendments into mine tailing can significantly enhance vegetative production of willow cuttings.

Funding for this research was provided by the Colorado Agric. Exp. Stn. and ASARCO Inc.

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