CHEMICAL AND BIOCHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF SOILS DEGRADED BY TIN MINING AND IN A REHABILITATION PHASE IN THE AMAZON BASIN
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Tin mining in the Serra da Onca in the Jamari National Forest, State of Rondonia, Brazil, caused severe chemical, physical, and biological changes in the soil. In 1997, the area was divided into plots and a rehabilitation program was begun, which consisted of land surface modeling, construction of terraces, liming, fertilization, and planting of leguminous crops and native plants. In subsequent years, new plots were set up in the rehabilitation program so that at the time of sampling the different areas could be classified at levels from 1 to 7 according to the visual stage of rehabilitation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the chemical and biochemical properties of the soils of different areas around the Serra da Onca mine. Soil samples were taken from the 0-20 cm depth in each of the different plots and in native forest and coppice areas around the Serra da Onca mine. Basal respiration, microbial biomass carbon (MBC), metabolic quotient (qCO(2)), enzyme activity (cellulase, arylsulphatase, acid and alkaline phosphatase, dehydrogenase, and potential for hydrolysis of fluorescein diacetate [FDA]), total tin concentration, and soil fertility were evaluated in soil samples. Of the 12 areas evaluated through multivariate analysis in regard to soil basal respiration, MBC, qCO(2), and enzyme activity (arylsulphatase, dehydrogenase, and FDA hydrolysis), seven of them are in an advanced stage of rehabilitation in comparison with areas of undisturbed forest and secondary forest.