Potential for agricultural production on disturbed soils mined for apatite using legumes and beneficial microbe

Christmas Island has been mined for rock phosphate for over 100 years, and as mining will finish in the next few decades there is a need to develop alternative economies on the island, such as high value crop production. However, to conserve the unique flora and fauna on the island, only land previously mined will be considered for this purpose. As these soils have been severely perturbed by mining, strategies to improve soil quality parameters need to be undertaken before plant based industries can be considered. For instance, legumes and beneficial microbes have demonstrated a positive role in the remediation of degraded soils. Therefore, this study aimed to establish the scientific basis upon which agriculture can effectively be developed on s oils post phosphate mining.

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