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dc.contributor.authorEzeokoli, Obinna T.
dc.contributor.authorOladipo, Oluwatosin G.
dc.contributor.authorBezuidenhout, Carlos C.
dc.contributor.authorAdeleke, Rasheed A.
dc.contributor.authorMaboeta, Mark S.
dc.identifier.citationEzeokoli, O.T. et al. 2021. Assessing the ecosystem support function of South African coal mining soil environments using earthworm (Eisenia andrei) bioassays. Applied soil ecology, 157:Art. #103771. []en_US
dc.description.abstractAnthropogenic disturbances of soil environments predispose loss of soil ecosystem functions, including its habitat support function. In this study, the potential ecosystem support and habitat functions of soils from stockpiles and post-mining reclamation areas (ranging from 3 to 25 years) in two coal mining sites were assessed using Eisenia andrei bioassays. Endpoints such as avoidance response, mortality, relative growth rate and fecundity were determined. By taking into cognisance the ages of the reclamation areas, inference was drawn on the potential restoration of ecosystem support functions over the years since reclamation. Mortality and fecundity of earthworms did not suggest limited support functions of control and test soils. Net avoidance response (AR) indicated significant differences (P < 0.05) among treatments with only the net AR in a 3-year old reclaimed soil >80%. Earthworms generally preferred (P < 0.05) undisturbed (“reference”) soils to OECD and test soils. Furthermore, trends in AR suggested a negative effect (P < 0.05) of anthropogenic disturbance and a general improvement of soil habitat function in older reclaimed areas. Of all endpoints, the avoidance test was the most sensitive, which generally reflected the differences in soil physicochemical properties among test soils. Although high intra-site variations in soil properties suggest lack of strict adherence to best reclamation practices, coal mining soil environments are not ecologically derelict with regards to supporting biocoenosisen_US
dc.subjectCoal miningen_US
dc.subjectSoil ecosystem functionen_US
dc.titleAssessing the ecosystem support function of South African coal mining soil environments using earthworm (Eisenia andrei) bioassaysen_US
dc.contributor.researchID12407216 - Maboeta, Mark Steve
dc.contributor.researchID12540110 - Bezuidenhout, Cornelius Carlos
dc.contributor.researchID24888419 - Ezeokoli, Obinna Tobechukwu
dc.contributor.researchID26940582 - Oladipo, Oluwatosin Gbemisola
dc.contributor.researchID20116799 - Adeleke, Rasheed Adegbola

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