African Journal of Range and Forage Science

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Establishing vegetation on Kimberlite mine tailings: 2. Field trials.

Miles N., Tainton N.M.


A series of field experiments were carried out on Kimberlite mine tailing located at Cullinan in the Transvaal. The most successful species in pure sward were Chloris gayana, Cynodon aethiopicus, Eragrostis curvula, E. tef, Pennisetum purpureum, Melilotus alban and Medicago sativa. Growth of grasses in the absence of substantial applications of fertilizer N and P was negligible. Additions of sewage sludge considerably improved initial performances, but supplementary N and P was necessary to maintain satisfactory growth. Despite conditions of severe moisture stress, a good cover was produced by a mixed sward with C. gayana, E. curvula, M. alba, and M. sativa being the dominant species. Sewage sludge in combination with fertilizer N and P resulted in excellent growth of C. gayana, E. tef and C. aethopicus on a steep slope (+ 350 ). However, in the absence of sewage sludge, growth was limited mainly to the vegetatively propagated C. aethopicus.

Keywords: chloris gayana; cover; cullinan; cynodon aethiopicus; eragrostis curvula; eragrostis tef; fertilizer; field trial; grasses; growth; kimberlite; medicago sativa; melilotus alba; mine dump rehabilitation; moisture; moisture stress; pennisetum purpureum; performance; slope; south africa; stress; transvaal; vegetation

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