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Microbial community structure and carbon-utilisation diversity in a coal mine spoil in Central Queensland: effects of vegetation cover and agronomic treatments
A field experiment was conducted on a coal mine site to determine which of the agronomical treatments will enhance microbial populations that will assist in the revegetation process. Agronomic treatments such as green manure crops, succession planting and mulching had significant effects on microbial activity and substrate utilisation patterns compared to control or the herbicide treatment. Use of such treatments should be considered to enhance build-up of microbial communities in mine spoils to ensure long term sustainability of established plant communities. Reduced microbial activity and lower MBC in selective herbicide treatment indicated the presence and density of vegetation cover play an important role in maintaining microbial activity and diversity on coal mine spoils.