Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Could bamboo help in remediation of waste sites?

Date:
January 12, 2010
Source:
DOE/Savannah River National Laboratory
Summary:
Scientists are studying whether the same characteristics that make bamboo annoying to homeowners also makes it a good vegetation to plant on caps over remediation sites.

Many people who grow bamboo in their yards soon regret it, and spend the rest of their days trying to kill it off. The U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), however, is glad to have a bamboo nursery.

These are the kinds of bamboo that can be troublesome to property owners -- the kinds with runners -- but that feature is exactly what makes them possibly valuable to a place like the Savannah River Site.

The reason is the remediation of waste sites, such as old settling basins or waste disposal areas. A common approach includes capping such sites to prevent rain from seeping through the waste, potentially spreading contamination.

"We are looking at numerous kinds of vegetation to plant on closure caps," said Dr. Eric Nelson, of SRNL's Environmental Analysis Section. "The vegetation is there to prevent erosion and extract water from the cap. The caps are generally soil with clay and perhaps artificial layers below. Vegetation on a cap has to be quick-growing, shallow-rooted so as not to penetrate the layers, densely rooted, cold hardy, drought tolerant, and able to thrive in full sun. It also needs to be good at preventing invasion of other plants, especially pines. We thought bamboos would have good potential."

Of the thousand or so species of bamboo, SRNL selected two of the smaller species with runners for assessment (P. bissetii and P. rubromarginata). In 1991, they were planted in a one-acre plot about ten feet apart.

The next step was ... to ignore them. Dr. Nelson next assessed the nursery 14 years later.

"The bamboo grew in well and there were relatively few other plants that invaded the plots. The bamboo was especially effective in keeping out pines," he said. "We did another assessment late last year with similar results. Bamboo, especially P. bissetii, is a good candidate for use on a closure cap."

Dr. Nelson said that a closure cap vegetative cover will require more study than this nursery. "Soils are important and moisture balance and nutrient cycles are also important. We also need to understand more fully the early growth and establishment of the bamboo and its performance in closure cap conditions. But it seems promising at this time, pending further research."

SRS has a number of closure sites with caps now, but in the future there will be many more, including caps over closed waste tanks. Their success is a matter of physical, environmental and regulatory importance. "This nursery has helped us define future research needs and operational issues," Dr. Nelson said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Savannah River National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

DOE/Savannah River National Laboratory. "Could bamboo help in remediation of waste sites?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100112152406.htm>.
DOE/Savannah River National Laboratory. (2010, January 12). Could bamboo help in remediation of waste sites?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100112152406.htm
DOE/Savannah River National Laboratory. "Could bamboo help in remediation of waste sites?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100112152406.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

Iceland Lowers Aviation Alert on Volcano

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Iceland has lowered its aviation alert on its largest volcano after a fresh eruption on a nearby lava field prompted authorities to enforce a flight ban for several hours. Duration: 01:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

Lightning Hurts 3 on NYC Beach

AP (Sep. 1, 2014) A lightning strike injured three people on a New York City beach on Sunday. The storms also delayed flights and interrupted play at the US Open tennis tournament. (Sept. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Fears are mounting in Bangkok that poor planning and lax law enforcement are tipping Thailand towards a waste crisis. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Melting Ice Shelves Drive Rapid Antarctic Sea Level Rise

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) A study of almost 20 years' worth of satellite images shows Antarctic sea levels are on the rise as ice shelves continue to melt. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins