Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    We measured soil chemical and microbial properties at a depth of 0–20 cm among mine tailings, abandoned mined land, contaminated cropland, and uncontaminated cropland around a magnesite mine near Haicheng City, Liaoning Province, China. The objective was to clarify the impact of Mg on the soils. We found that soluble Mg2+ concentration and pH were significantly higher in contaminated soils (266–345 mg kg-1 and 9.9-10.3, respectively) than in uncontaminated soils (140 mg kg-1 and 7.1, respectively). Soil nutrients (total N, total P, mineral N, available P and soluble Ca) and microbial biomass C and N decreased as pH and soluble Mg2+ concentration increased. In addition, an increase of microbial metabolic quotient and a decrease of N mineralization rate were found in contaminated soils. Soluble Mg2+/Ca2+ ratios in contaminated soils were 3.5–8.9 times higher than in uncontaminated soils. Our results indicate that soil contamination in such magnesite mine regions is characterized by high pH, Mg2+ concentration and soluble Mg2+/Ca2+ ratio, and low microbial activity and N and P availability. Future soil amelioration in the magnesite regions should consider applying acid ameliorants to neutralize high pH and applying calcareous ameliorants to increase Ca2+ concentration.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Yang, D; Zeng, D-H; Zhang, J; Li, L-J; Mao, R. 2012. Chemical and microbial properties in contaminated soils around a magnesite mine in northeast China. Land Degradation & Development 23:256-262.


    Google Scholar


    Magnesium dust, soil contamination, soil microbial activity, soil microbial biomass, Northeast China, soil chemistry

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page