IMPACT OF PLANTATION ON ECOSYSTEM DEVELOPMENT IN DISTURBED COAL MINE OVERBURDEN SPOILS
Keywords:Enrichment, nutrient, microorganisms, leguminous species, afforestation
Eleven nitrogen fixing and one non-nitrogen fixing tree species were planted in coal mine overburden spoils of Bisrampur colliery at Surguja district, Chattisgarh, India in 1993. Their growth performance at one, two, four, six and eight years was recorded. It was observed that after eight years of planting, Acacia mangium performed very well in respect to all the growth parameters followed by A. holoserecia, Dalbergia sissoo, Albizia procera, Pithecellobium dulce, Acacia auriculiformis and Gmelina arborea. Acacia nilotica showed very poor performance. The number of natural colonisers increased with increasing age of the
planted species. Nutrient status of the spoils also increased gradually with the increase in age of the plants. Organic carbon increased gready and, as a result, activities of bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi accelerated. This study indicated that the spoil environment, which is extremely harsh just after mining, could be improved gradually and the ecosystem restored by planting suitable species. Therefore, for early development of the ecosystem, afforestation with suitable leguminous species is recommended.