Soils and plants in an anthropogenic dump of the Kokdzhon phosphorite mine (Kazakhstan)


  • Murat Toktar Kazakh Research Institute of Soil Science and Agrochemistry - Uspanov, Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • Giuseppe Lo Papa Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Forestali - Università degli Studi di Palermo
  • Farida E. Kozybayeva Kazakh Research Institute of Soil Science and Agrochemistry - Uspanov, Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • Carmelo Dazzi Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Forestali - Università degli Studi di Palermo



mine soils, soil development, natural vegetation, plant biomass


Soil development is a crucial aspect in the process of mine spoil restoration and is also critical for the establishment of the vegetation. In this short paper, we present the features of mine proto-soils (i.e. soils at the early stage of development) and the natural vegetation species colonizing mine sites in a dry arid environment of Kazakhstan characterized by surface disturbance due to mine activity to access phosphorite deposit.

These disturbed soils showed morphological features very different from each other (particularly horizons depth and sequence), even if the main chemical features were quite homogeneous. This is reasonably linked to the features of the Human Transported Material derived from mine operation that was scattered around the mine area. The most abundant natural plants found in the study area belong to the Poacee, Asteraceae and Fabacee families (with 4 species each). Biomass contribution for all species is very low; the root biomass was greater than above ground biomass, contributing to a modest soil development. 


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How to Cite

Toktar, M., Lo Papa, G., Kozybayeva, F. E., & Dazzi, C. (2017). Soils and plants in an anthropogenic dump of the Kokdzhon phosphorite mine (Kazakhstan). EQA - International Journal of Environmental Quality, 26, 13–22.