Testing designed grassland mixtures on brick-based substrates to increase ecosystem services of landfills

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Markus Bauer , Martin Krause, Valentin Heizinger, Johannes Kollmann

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Conceptual and experimental progress in community ecology benefits ecological applications. A topical issue is restoration seed mixtures that are designed to achieve specific ecosystem functions and services. Re-cultivation layers of landfills, for example, experience extreme climatic and soil conditions, while a reliable vegetation is needed for protecting the site. Suitable seed mixtures must take these abiotic conditions into account. A recent suggestion is that recycled brick rubble can be re-used as novel substrate for re-cultivation layers of landfills. The aim of our experiments was to test, whether seed mixtures which are designed for brick-based substrates and contrasting soil moisture grow as well as standard mixtures. Three greenhouse experiments were conducted, with substrates consisting of different brick ratios (5% vs. 30%), brick types (clean production waste vs. demolition material), and brick pre-treatments (acid vs. control) tested on three trait-based mixtures and one non-regional standard mixture. The trait-based mixtures were developed based on specific leaf area, seed mass and grass-to-legume ratio. There was no negative effect of demolition bricks and soil textures or moisture on biomass production. Acid-treated clean, porous bricks improved biomass production of the standard mixture and the intermediate mixture, while the effect was minimal with demolition bricks. Designed seed mixtures had biomass like the standard mixture under dry conditions but did not benefit from high moisture. In conclusion, bricks are a useful additive for restoration substrates, and regional grassland mixtures can replace standard mixtures on these substrates.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program