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Conference Papers Year : 2022

New insights into wasteland ecosystems of the glass industry


Over the past two centuries, large amounts of waste have been released into ecosystems from glass manufacturing operations. Nowadays, an increasing number of abandoned slag heaps results from the cessation of these activities and may be contaminated with metallic trace elements (MTE) formerly used in glass and crystal products. However, recent findings emphasized that derelict lands should also be recognized as a resource delivering a wide range of ecosystem services. Therefore, the major purpose of this research was to provide new insights into wasteland ecosystems of the glass industry; while assessing the relative influence of edaphic factors on biotic communities, which is still poorly understood although closely related to the potential re-use of these sites. To that end, we investigated (i) Orthoptera, diurnal Lepidoptera, plant communities, and (ii) abiotic parameters in the topsoils. Multivariate analysis revealed strong correlations between potentially phytoavailable and pseudo-total lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd) and zinc (Zn). Arsenic (As) also co-varied significantly with DTPA-extractable Pb. Despite the severe Pb contamination reported in the topsoils, wastelands of the glass industry were able to support a substantially higher than excepted biodiversity with orthopteran assemblages similar to grasslands and a diurnal Lepidoptera diversity comparable to urban parks. We also noted a positive influence of plant richness on the diurnal Lepidoptera community structure. Hence, Pb contamination does not appear to be a primary limiting factor for the establishment of these communities regarding the low mobility of Pb due to the high amount of organic matter recorded in the topsoils under subalkaline conditions. We assumed that wasteland ecosystems of the glass industry were more affected by soil fertility or land management practices. To conclude, these sites are able to provide biodiversity ecosystem services, acting as wildlife sanctuaries for Orthoptera and diurnal Lepidoptera, and strategic metals by phytoextraction in a circular economy model.
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hal-03874441 , version 1 (28-11-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03874441 , version 1


Julien Jacquet, Emile Benizri, Guillaume Echevarria, Catherine Sirguey. New insights into wasteland ecosystems of the glass industry. SFE² GfÖ EEF Joint meeting, International Conference on Ecological Sciences "Ecology and Evolution: New perspectives and societal challenges" 21-25 Nov 2022 Metz (France), Nov 2022, METZ, France. ⟨hal-03874441⟩
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