Germination, growth, and nodulation of Sesbania rostrata grown in Pb/Zn mine tailings

Z. Y. Yang, J. G. Yuan, G. R. Xin, H. T. Chang, Ming Hung WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the possibility of growth, nodulation, and nitrogen accumulation of Sesbania rostrata in pure and amended Pb/Zn tailings. About 90% of seeds of S. rostrata germinated in pure Pb/Zn tailings, which contained high concentrations of Pb, Zn, Cu, and Cd. Although seedling growth suffered from the adverse environment of Pb/Zn tailings, they became established on tailings stands, in the greenhouse, as well as on the actual tailings dam, and completed their life cycle in 4 months. Dry matter production and nitrogen accumulation was 3200 kg/ha and 694 kg/ha, respectively in the actual tailings dam. Applying inorganic fertilizer to Pb/Zn tailings led to no obvious improvement in growth and nodulation of S. rostrata, while tailings amended by river sediment or domestic refuse rich in organic matter improved the growth and nodulation of the species. Azorhizobium caulinodans survived and formed N-fixing stem and root nodules in S rostrata grown in pure Pb/Zn tailings with a nodule biomass exceeding 300 mg fresh matter per plant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-622
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1997

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Pollution

User-Defined Keywords

  • Azorhizobium caulinodans
  • Heavy metals
  • Nitrogen fixation
  • Pb/Zn mine tailings
  • Revegetation
  • Sesbania rostrata
  • Tolerance


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