Bioremediation of Mined Waste Land

  • Nisha Rani
  • Hardeep Rai Sharma
  • Anubha Kaushik
  • Anand Sagar
Living reference work entry


The economic development and ever growing industrialization has improved the GDP and hence standard of living in the entire countries of the world. But all these are accompanied with environmental degradation as a price of development. Mining is very important next only to agriculture and also critical to the development of a nation. So far, most mining activities have been unscientific with scant respect for environmental protection. It effects the environment by way of soil erosion (water and wind), soil salinization/alkalization/acidification, water logging, etc. The damages to land go on increasing with accelerated rates and land is degraded with their cumulative effects.

Land is most important basic natural resource and influences every sphere of human activity. Soil sustains all life forms on the planet. Healthy soil is indeed alive and is a complex and dynamic combination of geology, topography, hydrology, soil, and flora and fauna, that is, minerals, bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa, worms, insects, etc. Land sources are limited and population size is increasing day by day. To fulfill the requirements of ever increasing population, the pressure is exerted on agriculture to supply future food and fiber needs. The agriculture community is facing a great challenge to enhance the production. India occupies 2.4% of the global geographical area and shares 16% of human population and 15% of livestock population. This scenario has necessitated proper demarcation of productive and nonproductive lands, particularly the wastelands that could be treated and reclaimed for productive use. To meet the challenge, the focus is on the restoration of degraded land and understands the complexities and interactions of soil biological system and agro-ecosystem as a whole. Soil microorganisms play an important role in reclamation of such degraded lands and have important influence on soil fertility and plant health.



Dr. Nisha Rani is thankful to UGC, New Delhi, India for financial assistance in the form of UGC- PDF for Women fellowship.


  1. Ademoroti CMA (1996) Environmental chemistry and toxicology. Foludex Press Ltd, Ibadan, 215ppGoogle Scholar
  2. Adholeya A, Sharma MP, Bhatia NP, Tyagi C (1997) Mycorrhizal biofertilizers: a tool for reclamation and biofertilizer. In: Proceeding: national symposium on microbial technology in environmental management and resource recovery, New Delhi, 1–2 Oct 1997Google Scholar
  3. Ali H, Khan E, Sajad MA (2013) Phytoremediation of heavy metals- concepts and applications. Chemosphere 91:869–881. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Angelo RT, Cringan MS, Chamberlain DL, Stahl AJ, Haslouer SG, Goodrich CA (2007) Residual effects of lead and zinc mining on freshwater mussels in the Spring River Basin (Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, USA). Sci Total Environ 384:467–496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Anon (2002) CBR – Centre for Biotechnology Research, Effect of bio- organic on soil and plant productivity improvement of post tin mine site at PT Koba Tin Project Area, Bangka. Centre for Biotechnology Research, Bogor Agricultural University, Oct 2002.Google Scholar
  6. Asmus BS, Edwards NT, Witkamp M (1976) Microbial immoblisation of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium-implication for forest ecosystem processes. In: Anderson IM, Macfayden A (eds) The role of terrestrial and aquatic organisms in decomposition processes. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 397–416Google Scholar
  7. Beane SJ, Comber SD, Rieuwerts J, Long P (2016) Abandoned metal mines and their impact on receiving waters: a case study from Southwest England. Chemosphere 153:294–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bhatia NP, Adholeya A, Sharma A (1998) Biomass production and changes in soil productivity during long term cultivation of Prosopis juliflora inoculated with VAM and Rhizobium spp. in a semi-arid wasteland. Biol Fertil Soils 26(3):208–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Biro B, Voros I, Koves Pechy K, Szegi J (1994) Symbiont effect of Rhizobium bacteria and vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on Pisum sativum in recultivated mine spoils. Geomicrobiol J 11:275–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Caravaca F, Hernandez T, Gercia C, Roldan A (2002) Improvement of rhizosphere aggregate stability of afforested semiarid plant species subjected to mycorrhizal inoculation and compost addition. Geoderma 108:133–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chandra S (1992) VA- Mycorrhiza-dimensions of its application. Indian Phytopath 4:391–406Google Scholar
  12. Chaulya SK, Singh RS, Chakraborty MK, Srivastava BK (2000) Quantification of stability improvement of a dump through biological reclamation. Geotech Geol Eng 18:193–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cumming JR, Ning J (2003) Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi enhance aluminium resistance of broomsedge (Andropogon virginicus L.) J Exp Bot 54:1447–1459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Daft MJ, Hacskaylo E (1977) Growth endomycorrhizal and non-endomycorrhizal red maple seedling in sand and anthracite spoils. For Sci 23:207–216Google Scholar
  15. Daft MJ, Hacskaylo E, Nicolson TH (1975) Arbuscular mycorrhizas in plants colonizing coal spoils in Scotland and Pennsylvania. In: Sanders FE, Mosse B, Tinker PB (eds) Endomycorrhizas. Academic, New York/London, pp 561–580Google Scholar
  16. Daily GC (1995) Restoring value to the world’s degraded lands. Science 1995(269):350–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. De-Bashan LE, Hernandez JP, Bashan Y (2012) The potential contribution of plant growth-promoting bacteria to reduce environmental degradation-a comprehensive evaluation. Appl Soil Ecol 61:171–189. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Declarck S, Risede JM, Rufyikiri G, Delvaux B (2002) Effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on severity of root rot of bananas caused by Cylindrocladium spathiphylli. Plant Pathol 51:109–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. DEFRA (2007) Waste strategy for England 2007. Presented to Parliament by command of her majesty. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. PB12596Google Scholar
  20. Dhar B, Rolterdem B (1993) Environmental management and pollution control in mining industry. APH, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  21. Drake KD (2010) Influence of grain size on leachability of mine tailings with social indicators assessment of a mining area population. Doctoral dissertation in geosciences and public affairs and administration, University of Missouri, Kansas City, 162 pGoogle Scholar
  22. Ekka NJ, Behera N (2011) Species composition and diversity of vegetation developing on an age series of coal mine spoil in an open cast coal field in Orissa, India. Trop Ecol 52(3):337–343Google Scholar
  23. Fay DA, Mitchell DT, Parkes MA (1999) A preliminary study of the mycorrhizal association of tree seedlings growing on mine spoil at Avoca, Co. Wicklow, biology and environment. Proc R Irish Acad., Sect B 99:1,19–1,26Google Scholar
  24. Ferreira AP, Campello EFC, Franco AA, Resende AS (2007) Usode leguminosas arboreas fixadoras de nitrogenio na recuperacao de areas degradadas pela mineracao de areia no polo produtor de Seropedica/Itaguai Seropedica Embrapa Agrobiologia, 31p (Documentos/ Embrapa Agrobiologia)Google Scholar
  25. Folch A, Vilaplana M, Amado L, Vicent R, Caminal G (2013) Fungal permeable reactive barrier to remediate groundwater in an artificial aquifer. J Hazard Mater 262:554–560. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Franco AA, De Faria SM, De Faria SM (1997) The contribution of N2 fixing tree legumes to land reclamation and sustainability in the tropics. In: International symposium on sustainable agriculture for the tropics: the role of biological nitrogen fixation, Angra dos Ries, Rio de Janerio, Brazil, vol 29:5–6Google Scholar
  27. Frascari D, Zanaroli G, Danko AS (2015) In situ aerobic co-metabolism of chlorinated solvents: a review. J Hazard Mater 283:382–399. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gadd GM (2001) Fungi in bioremediation. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gattai GS, Pereira SV, Costa CMC, Lima CEP, Maia LC (2011) Microbiol activity arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and inoculation of woody plants in lead contaminated soil. Braz J Microbiol 42:859–867CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gerdemann JW (1968) Vesicular- arbuscular mycorrhiza and plant growth. Annu Rev Phytopathol 6:397–418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gerdemann JW, Nicolson TH (1963) Spores of mycorrhizal Endogone species extracted from soil by wet sieving and decanting technique. Trans Br Mycol Soc 46:235–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hazen TC (2010) In situ: groundwater bioremediation. In: Timmis KN (ed) Handbook of hydrocarbon and lipid microbiology. Springer, Berlin, pp 2583–2594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hetrick BAD, Wilson GWT, Figge DHA (1994) The influence of mycorrhizal symbiosis and fertilizer amendments on establishment of vegetation in heavy metal mine spoil. Environ Pollut 86:171–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jakobsen I, Gazey C, Abott LK (2001) Phosphate transport by communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in intact soil cores. New Phytol 149:95–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Jian-Min Z, Zhi D, Mei-Fang C, Cong-Qiang L (2007) Soil heavy metal pollution around the dabaoshan mine, Guangdong province, China. Pedosphere 17(5):588–594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Juwarkar AA, Singh SK (2010) Microbe-assisted phytoremediation approach for ecological restoration of zinc mine spoil dump. Int J Environ Pollut 43(1/2/3):236–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Juwarkar AA, Nair A, Dubey KV, Singh SK, Devotta S (2007) Biosurfactant technology for remediation of cadmium and lead contaminated soils. Chemosphere 68:1996–2002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kao CM, Chen CY, Chen SC, Chien HY, Chen YL (2008) Application of in situ biosparging to remediate a petroleumhydrocarbon spill site: field and microbial evaluation. Chemosphere 70:1492–1499. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kaushik BD (1987) Laboratory methods for blue green algae. Associated Publishing Company, New Delhi, p 171Google Scholar
  40. Khullar DR (2006) Mineral resources. In: India: a comprehensive geography. ASMITH Publishers, Yule, P.A.–Hauptmann, pp 630–659. ISBN 81-272-2636-XGoogle Scholar
  41. Kim S, Krajmalnik-Brown R, Kim J-O, Chung J (2014) Remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated sites by DNA diagnosis-based bioslurping technology. Sci Total Environ 497:250–259. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kumar R, Acharya C, Joshi SR (2011) Isolation and analyses of uranium tolerant Serratia marcescens strains and their utilization for aerobic uranium U(VI) bioadsorption. J Microbiol 49(4):568–574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lee JH (2013) An overview of phytoremediation as a potentially promising technology for environmental pollution control. Biotechnol Bioprocess Eng 18:431–439. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lim H, Lee J, Chon H, Sager M (2008) Heavy metal contamination and health risk assessment in the vicinity of abundaned Songcheon Au-Ag mine in Korea. J Geochem Explor 96:223–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lin C, Tong X, Lu W, Yan L, Wu Y, Nie C, Chu C, Long J (2005) Environmental impacts of surface mining on mined lands in the Dabaoshan mine region, Sourthern China. Land Degr Devel 16:463–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lottermoser BG (2010) Mine wastes characterization, treatment and environmental impacts, 3rd edn. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  47. Luoma SN, Rainbow PS (2008) Metal contamination in aquatic environments – science and lateral management. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  48. Ma Z, Chen K, Li Z, Bi J, Huang L (2016) Heavy metals in soils and road dusts in the mining areas of Western Suzhou, China: a preliminary identification of contaminated sites. J Soils Sediments 16:204–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Marathe KV (1972) Role of some blue-green algae in soil aggregation. In: Desikachary TV (ed) Taxonomy and biology of blue-green algae. University of Madras, Madras, p 328Google Scholar
  50. Mench M, Schwitzguebel J-P, Schroeder P, Bert V, Gawronski S, Gupta S (2009) Assessment of successful experiments and limitations of phytotechnologies: contaminant uptake, detoxification and sequestration, and consequences for food safety. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 16:876–900. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Mendez MO, Maier RM (2008) Phytostabilisation of mine tailings in arid and semiarid environments: an emerging remediation technology. Environ Health Perspect 116:278–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Miao Z, Marrs R (2000) Ecological restoration and land reclamation in open-cast mines in Shanxi Province, China. J Environ Manag 59(3):205–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Morales-Barrera L, Cristiani-Urbina E (2008) Hexavalent chromium removal by a Trichoderma inhamatum fungal strain isolated from tannery effluent. Water Air Soil Pollut 187:327–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Morel JL, Echevarria G, Goncharova N (eds) (2002) Phytoremediation of metalcontaminated soils. IOS Press, Amsterdam. and Springer in conjunction with the NATO Public Diplomacy Division – SpringerGoogle Scholar
  55. Mueller JG, Cerniglia CE, Pritchard PH (1996) Bioremediation of environments contaminated by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. In: Bioremediation: principles and applications. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 125–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Mukhopadhyay S, Maiti SK (2009) Biofertiliser- VAM fungi- future prospect for biological reclamation of mine degraded lands. Ind J Environ Protect 29:801–808Google Scholar
  57. O’dea ME (2007) Fungal mitigation of soil erosion following burning in a semi arid Arizona Savanna. Geoderma 138:79–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Pajuelo E, Rodríguez-Llorente ID, Lafuente A, Caviedes MA (2011) Legume–rhizobium symbioses as a tool for bioremediation of heavy metal polluted soils. Biomanag Met Contam Soils 20:95–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Pandey DD, Kumar S (1996) Impact of cement dust pollution on biomass, chlorophyll, nutrients and grain conservation. R Secur Lond Proc Ser A 339:355–372Google Scholar
  60. Pankhurst CE, Hawke BG, McDonald HJ, Kirkby CA, Buckerfield JC, Michelsen P, O’Brien KA, Gupta VVSR, Doube BM (1995) Evaluation of soil biological properties as potential bioindicators of soil health. Aust J Exp Agric 35:1015–1028CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Peplow D, Edmonds R (2006) Cell pathology and developmental effects of mine waste contamination on invertebrates and fish in the Methow River, Okanogan County, Washington (USA). Mine Water Environ 25:190–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Philp JC, Atlas RM (2005) Bioremediation of contaminated soils and aquifers. In: Atlas RM, Philp JC (eds) Bioremediation: applied microbial solutions for real-world environmental cleanup. American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Press, Washington, DC, pp 139–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Prasad MNV, Freitas HMD (2003) Metal hyperaccumulation in plants – biodiversity prospecting for phytoremediation technology. Electron J Biotechnol 93(1):285–321Google Scholar
  64. Rani N, Sagar A (2017) Soil microbes as ecological engineers for efficient reclamation of waste lands due to mining. In: Kaushik A, Garg JK, Bhattacharya P, Gupta NC, Singh R, Joshi V (eds) Climate change, resource conservation and sustainability strategies. DBH Publishers and Distributers, New Delhi, p 173. ISBN NO. 9789384871086Google Scholar
  65. Rao AV, Tak R (2002) Growth of different tree species and their nutrient uptake in limestone mine spoil as influenced by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in Indian arid zone. J Arid Environ 51(1):113–119Google Scholar
  66. Rao AV, Tarafdar JC, Tak R (2000) Improvement in the microbiological productivity of limestone mine spoil with time. Agrochimica 44:171–179Google Scholar
  67. Reddell P, Gordon V, Hopkins MS (1999) Ectomycorrhizas in E. tetrodonta and E. miniata in forest communities in tropical and their role in rehabilitation of these forests following mining. Aust J Bot 47(6):881–907CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Reeves RD, Baker AJM (2000) Metal- accumulating plants. In: Raskin I, Ensley BD (eds) Phytoremediation of toxic metals: using plants to clean-up the environment. Wiley, New York, pp 193–230Google Scholar
  69. Reeves FB, Wagner D, Moorman T, Kiel J (1979) The role of endomycorrhizas in revegetation practices in the semi- arid west. A comparison of incidence of mycorrhizae in severely disturbed and natural environments. Amer J Bot 66:6–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Rios TT, de- Souza RG, Maia LC, Oehl F, Lima CEP (2013) Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in a semi- arid, limestone mining- impacted area of Brazil. Acta Bot Bras 27:688–693CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Roy M, Giri AK, Dutta S, Mukherjee P (2015) Integrated phytobial remediation for sustainable management of arsenic in soil and water. Environ Int 75:180–198. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Sagar A, Shivani, Nisha R (2015) Biodiversity of VAM and Rhizosphere Fungi Associated with Wheat Grown in Normal and Disturbed Fields. Plant Archives 15(1):549–553Google Scholar
  73. Schenck NC, Perez Y (1988) A manual for identification of VAM fungi. University of Florida, Florida, pp 1–24Google Scholar
  74. Schramm JR (1996) Plant colonization studies on black wastes from anthracite mining in Pannsylvania. Trans Ann Phil Soc 56:1–194Google Scholar
  75. SDWF (2011) Mining and water pollution. Available from Safe Drinking Water Foundation.
  76. Setiadi Y (2002) Mycorrhizal inoculum production technique for land rehabilitation. J Trop Forest Manag 8(1):51–64Google Scholar
  77. Shakoori A, Rehman A, Riaz-ul-Haq (2004) Multiple metal resistance in the Ciliate protozoan, Vorticella microstoma, isolated from industrial effluents and its potential in bioremediation of toxic wastes. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 72:1046–1051. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Sharma MP, Bhatia NP, Chauhan RKS, Adholeya A (2001) A Mycorrhizal dependency and growth responses of Acacia nilotica and Albizzia lebbeck to inoculation by indigenous AM fungi as influenced by available soil P levels in a semi-arid Alfisol wasteland. New For 21(1):89–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Sharma R, Rishi MS, Lata R (2013) Monitoring and assessment of soil quality near Kashlog limestone mine at Darlaghat district Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India. J Environ Earth Sci 3:1–40Google Scholar
  80. Sheoran AS, Sheoran V (2006) Heavy metal removal mechanism of acid mine drainage in wetlands: a critical review. Miner Eng 19:105–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Singh H (2006) Mycoremediation: fungal bioremediation. Wiley, HobokenCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Tyagi M, Fonseca MMRD, Carvalho CCCRD (2011) Bioaugmentation and biostimulation strategies to improve the effectiveness of bioremediation processes. Biodegradation 22:231–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. U.S. EPA (1995) Identification and description of mineral processing sectors and waste streams. Office of Solid Waste, Washington, DC. RCRA Docket No. F-96-PH4A-S0001Google Scholar
  84. Van Aken B (2009) Transgenic plants for enhanced phytoremediation of toxic explosives. Curr Opin Biotechnol 20:231–236. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Verma JP, Jaiswal DK (2016) Book review: advances in biodegradation and bioremediation of industrial waste. Front Microbiol 6:1–2. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Vidali, M. (2001) Bioremediation- An overview. Pure Appl. Chem., Vol. 73, No. 7, pp. 1163–1172Google Scholar
  87. Vineet KS, Singh SR, Kumar K (2011) The impact of cement industries on the cropping system of adjoining areas. J Farm Sci 1(1):96–104Google Scholar
  88. Walland ME, Allen EB (1987) Relationship between VA mycorrhizal fungi and plant cover following surface mining in Wyoming. J Range Manag 40:271–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Watanabe ME (1997) Phytoremediation on the brink of commercialization. Environ Sci Technol 31:182–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Willey N (ed) (2007) Phytoremediation methods and reviews. Humana Press, TotowaGoogle Scholar
  91. Wong MH (2003) Ecological restoration of mine degraded soils, with emphasis on metal contaminated soils. Chemosphere 50:775–780CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Yancheshmeh JB, Khavazi K, Pazira E, Solhi M (2011) Evaluation of inoculation of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria on cadmium uptake by canola and barley. Afr J Microbiol Res 5:1747–1754. Google Scholar
  93. Yano- Melo AM, Saggin OJ Jr, Maia LC (2003) Tolerance of mycorrhized banana (Musa sp. cv. Pacovan) plantlets to saline stress. Agric Ecosyst Environ 95:343–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Zaidi A, Oves M, Ahmad E, Khan MS (2011) Importance of free-living fungi in heavy metal remediation. In: Khan M, Zaidi A, Goel R, Musarrat J (eds) Biomanagement of metal-contaminated soils. Environmental Pollution, vol 20. Springer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  95. Zhuang X, Chen J, Shim H, Bai Z (2007) New advances in plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria for bioremediation. Environ Int 33:406–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nisha Rani
    • 1
  • Hardeep Rai Sharma
    • 2
  • Anubha Kaushik
    • 3
  • Anand Sagar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BioSciencesHimachal Pradesh UniversityShimlaIndia
  2. 2.Institute of Environmental StudiesKurukshetra UniversityKurukshetraIndia
  3. 3.University School of Environment ManagementGuru Gobind Singh Indraprastha UniversityDwarikaIndia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Chaudhery Mustansar Hussain
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Environmental SciencesNew Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewarkUSA

Personalised recommendations