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sector_ico_Environment_trans Environment

Long-term impacts of biosolids on soil microbial communities during mine tailings reclamation

  • Project Leaders: Jonathan Van Hamme, Jaimie Dickson, Tania Gheseger, Roz Kempe
  • Institutions: Thompson Rivers University (TRU)
  • Budget: $191,322
  • Competition: User Partnership Program
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome BC
  • Fiscal Year: 2016
  • Status: Active

Although biosolids have been used in BC mine reclamation for over 20 years, recent concerns has called into question their application and in 2015, the BC Ministry of Environment mandated a Scientific Review of biosolids use in the Nicola Valley, which will inform changes to biosolids regulations in BC. Long-term data is extremely important to address key information gaps identified by the review. As such, the existing research plots at the Highland Valley Copper site are of critical importance because they are the only long term biosolids mine reclamation plots in BC that are still in-place, accessible and include controls. The overall objective of this collaborative research project is to quantify long-term biosolids effects on plant and microbial communities, soil health and metal loading by re-sampling from the undisturbed HVC experimental plots established in 1998. A comprehensive microbial community analysis using a Next Generation Sequencing approach will be used to monitor microbial gene expression related to metal toxicity and transformations. Outcomes from this study will inform the Scientific Review of biosolids and have the potential to make a direct impact on biosolids regulatory and use practices in BC.