Environmental Earth Sciences

, 77:650 | Cite as

Technosols made with various urban wastes showed contrasted performance for tree development during a 3-year experiment

  • Patrice CannavoEmail author
  • René Guénon
  • Gilles Galopin
  • Laure Vidal-Beaudet
Original Article


Vegetation in urban areas is generally living in a stress-inducing environment. Sustaining good soil quality is crucial to improve tree development and heath in such (artificial) environment. This study investigates the dynamics of the physico-chemical properties of Technosol, and compares tree development performances in various waste mixtures. A 3-year experiment was conducted with Acer platanoïdes L. grown in three distinct constructed soils, in three replicates, in 0.480-m3 lysimeters in Angers (France). Four combinations of artefacts were studied either as “growing material” (GM) or “structural material” (SM). Three different SMs were used: (1) a mixture of fine mineral material, demolition rubble and green waste (SM-DR/GW), (2) a mixture of fine mineral material, track ballast and sewage sludge (SM-TB/SS), and (3) the SM currently used by Angers city for green space settlements (SM-CT). Waste characteristics and mixing proportions both affected tree development. Physical properties were not a limiting factor for tree development, despite a relatively low soil water reservoir due to high stone content. Moreover, the chemical properties of the materials, more particularly low water pH and CEC, led to poor tree development in SM-CT, whereas the other two SMs did not affect tree development. SM-TB/SS was the most suitable constructed soil after 3 years because it exhibited satisfactory soil nutrient contents that promoted the best tree crown quality. Waste mixtures can sustain soil functions for tree development. As for urban street tree pits that are 2–8 m3 in volume, soil water, and nutrient autonomy should satisfactorily sustain tree development.


Biomass production Nutrients Organic matter Urban soils Porosity Structural soils 



This study was conducted as part of the SITERRE project funded by the ADEME Environmental Agency. The authors would like to thank all the Master’s degree students who contributed to data collection and measurements: S. Ait Amrane, M. Coursin, R. Daolio-Dervaux, P. Haxaire, S. Jantzi, C. Mommaerts, T. Sénant. The authors would also like to thank Y. Barraud-Roussel, S. Delepine-Bourgeois, C. Mazzega, and D. Lemesle, for their valuable assistance in carrying out the experiments and collecting the data.

Supplementary material

12665_2018_7848_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 19 KB)


  1. Alday JG, Marrs RH, Martinez-Ruiz C (2012) Soil and vegetation development during early succession on restored coal wastes: a six-year permanent plot study. Plant Soil 353:305–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bart S, Motelica-Heino M, Miard F, Joussein E, Soubrand M, Bourgerie S, Morabito D (2016) Phytostabilization of As, Sb and Pb by two willow species (S. viminalis and S. purpurea) on former mine technosols. Catena 136:44–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bartens J, Day SD, Harris JR, Wynn TM, Dove JE (2009) Transpiration and root development of urban trees in structural soil stormwater reservoirs. Environ Manag 44:646–657CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Biddington NL (1986) The effects of mechanically-induced stress in plants—a review. Plant Growth Regul 4:103–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Böhm W (1979) Methods of studying root systems. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bohn HL, McNeal BL, O’Connor GA (2001) Soil chemistry. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Brouwer C, Goffeau A, Heibloem M (1985) Irrigation water management: training manual no. 1—introduction to irrigation. FAO, Rome.
  8. Chen X, Duan Z, Tan M (2016) Restoration affect soil organic carbon and nutrients in different particle-size fractions. Land Degrad Dev 27:561–572CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Craul PJ (1992) Soil fertility. In: Craul PJ (ed) Urban soil in landscape design. Wiley, New York, pp 157–185Google Scholar
  10. Craul J (1993) Urban soils: an overview and their future. In: Watson GW, Neely D (eds) Proceedings of an international workshop on tree root development in urban soils. International Society of Arboriculture, SavoyGoogle Scholar
  11. Dexter AR (1988) Advances in characterization of soil structure. Soil Till Res 11:199–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dubik SP, Krizek DT, Stimart DP (1990) Influence of root zone restriction on mineral element concentration, water potential, chlorophyll concentration, and partitionating of assimilate in spreading Euonymus. J Plant Nutr 13:677–699CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fandiño VA, Andrade C, Ma L, Vega FA, Covelo EF (2010) Characterization of different age technosols developed on a copper mine tailing. Fresenius Environ Bull 19:1687–1693Google Scholar
  14. Foth HD (1990) Fundamentals of soil science (eighth edition). Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. Fujinuma R, Bockheim J, Balster N (2005) Base-cation cycling by individual tree species in old-growth forests of Upper Michigan, USA. Biogeochemistry 74:357–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Galopin G, Morel P, Crespel L, Darmet P, Fillatre J, Mary L, Edelin C (2011) The influence of pruning on morphological and architectural characteristics of Camellia japonica L. in a tropical climate. Eur J Hortic Sci 76:82–87Google Scholar
  17. Grabosky J, Gilman EF (2004) Measurement and prediction of tree growth reduction from tree planting space design in established parking lots. J Arboric 30:154–159Google Scholar
  18. Grabosky J, Haffner E, Bassuk N (2009) Plant available moisture in stone-soil media for use under pavement while allowing urban tree root growth. Arboric Urban For 35:271–278Google Scholar
  19. Greinert A (2015) The heterogeneity of urban soils in the light of their properties. J Soils Sediments 15:1725–1737CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Guittonny-Larchevêque M, Lortie S (2017) Above and belowground development of a fast-growing willow planted in acid-generating mine Technosol. J Environ Qual 46:1462–1471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hulisz P, Charzyński P, Greinert A (2018) Urban soil resources of medium-sized cities in Poland: a comparative case study of Toruń and Zielona Góra. J Soils Sediments 18:358–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Huot H, Simonnot M-O, Morel JL (2015) Pedogenetic trends in soils formed in technogenic parent materials. Soil Sci 180(4/5):182–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. IUSS Working Group WRB (2015) World Reference base for soil resources 2014, update 2015 international soil classification system for naming soils and creating legends for soil maps. World soil resources reports no. 106. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  24. Jim CY (1993) Massive tree-planting failure due to multiple soil problems. Arboric J 17:309–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jim CY (1998a) Impacts of intensive urbanization on trees in Hong Kong. Environ Conserv 25:146–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jim CY (1998b) Urban soil characteristics and limitations for landscape planting in Hong Kong. Landsc Urban Plan 40:235–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jim CY (2004) Spatial differentiation and landscape-ecological assessment of heritage trees in urban Guangzhou (China). Landsc Urban Plan 69:51–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Joimel S, Cortet J, Jolivet CC, Saby N, Chenot ED, Branchu P, Consalès JN, Lefort C, Morel J, Schwartz C (2016) Physico-chemical characteristics of topsoil for contrasted forest, agricultural, urban and industrial land uses in France. Sci Total Environ 545–546:40–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kramer PJ, Kozlowski TT (2012) Mineral nutrition and salt absorption. In: Physiology of woody plants. Academic Press, New York, pp 334–373Google Scholar
  30. Kumar S, Maiti SK, Chaudhuri S (2015) Soil development in 2–21 years old coalmine reclaimed spoil with trees: a case study from Sonepur-Bazari opencast project. Ecol Eng 84:311–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kuttler W (2008) The urban climate—basic and applied aspects. In: Marzluff E, Shulenberger W, Endlicher M, Alberti G, Bradley Ryan C (eds) Urbanecology—an international perspective on the interaction between humans and nature. Springer, New York, pp 233–248Google Scholar
  32. Lei H, Peng Z, Yigang H, Yang Z (2016) Vegetation and soil restoration in refuse dumps from open pit coal mines. Ecol Eng 94:638–646CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Li XR, Xiao HL, Zhang JG, Wang XP (2004) Long-term ecosystem effects of sandbinding vegetation in the Tengger Desert, northern China. Restor Ecol 12:376–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Li XR, He MZ, Duan ZH, Xiao HL, Jia HX (2007) Recovery of topsoil physiochemical properties in revegetated sites in the sand-burial ecosystems of the Tengger Desert, northern China. Geomorphology 88:254–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Li ZG, Zhang GS, Liu Y, Wan KY, Zhang RH, Chen F (2013) Soil nutrient assessment for urban ecosystems in Hubei China. PLoS ONE 8:1–8Google Scholar
  36. McBride MB (1994) Soil solids: composition and structure. In: Environmental chemistry of soils. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 31–63Google Scholar
  37. Morel P, Crespel L, Galopin G, Moulia B (2012) Effect of mechanical stimulation on the growth and branching of garden rose. Sci Hortic 135:59–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mullins CE (1991) Physical properties of soils in urban areas. In: Bullock P, Gregory PJ (eds) Soils in the urban environment. Blackwell, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  39. Nehls T, Rokia S, Mekiffer B, Schwartz C, Wessolek G (2013) Contribution of bricks to urban soil properties. J Soils Sediments 13:575–584CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pagliai M, Vignozzi N (2002) Soil pore system as an indicator of soil quality. In: Pagliai M, Jones R (eds) Sustainable soil management for environmental protection. Soil physics aspects. Catena, Reiskirchen, pp 71–82Google Scholar
  41. Pouyat RV, Szlavecz K, Yesilonis ID, Groffman PM, Schwarz K (2010) Chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of urban soils. In: Aitkenhead-Peterson J, Volder A (eds) Urban ecosystem ecology Agronomy monograph 55. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, Madison, pp 119–152Google Scholar
  42. Roberts J, Jackson N, Smith M (2006) Urban soils for amenity trees. In: Tree roots in the built environment. TSO, Department for Communities and Local Government, Center for Ecology, London, pp 76–123Google Scholar
  43. Rokia S, Séré G, Schwartz C, Deeb M, Fournier F, Nehls T (2014) Modelling agronomic properties of Technosols constructed with urban wastes. Waste Manag 34:2155–2162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Scharenbroch BC, Catania M (2012) Quality attributes as indicators of urban tree performance. Arboric Urban For 38:214–228Google Scholar
  45. Séré G, Ouvrard S, Schwartz C, Renat JC, Morel JL (2008) Soil construction: a step for ecological reclamation of derelict lands. J Soils Sediments 8:130–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Šimůnek J, van Genuchten MT, Sejna M (2008) Development and applications of the HYDRUS and STANMOD software packages and related codes. Vadose Zone J 7:587–600CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Watson GW, Hewitt AM, Custic M, Lo M (2014) The management of tree root systems in urban and suburban settings: a review of soil influence on root growth. Arboric Urban For 40:193–217Google Scholar
  48. Yilmaz D, Cannavo P, Séré G, Vidal-Beaudet L, Legret M, Damas O, Peyneau PE (2018) Physical properties of structural soils containing waste materials to achieve urban greening. J Soils Sediments 18:442–455CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Zainudin SR, Awang K, Hanif AHM (2003) Effects of combined nutrient and water stress on the growth of Hopea odorata roxb. and Mimusops elengi linn, seedlings. J Arboric 29:79–83Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrice Cannavo
    • 1
    Email author
  • René Guénon
    • 1
  • Gilles Galopin
    • 2
  • Laure Vidal-Beaudet
    • 1
  1. 1.EPHor, Agrocampus OuestAngersFrance
  2. 2.IRHS, Agrocampus Ouest, INRABeaucouzéFrance

Personalised recommendations