<!-- #BeginEditable "content" -->Ecological research of a brackish sludge mound at Magershoek (port of Antwerp) In order to maintain navigational access to the port of Antwerp, continuous dredging activities are required. Possible applications for the dredged material are limited, due to the brackish nature of the spoil and the wide array of pollutants in it. At the moment, material is mainly disposed of in land-consuming disposal sites. In search of a more sustainable solution, the Port of Antwerp decided to investigate the possibilities of applying dredged material to the construction of landscape dikes. These dikes have multiple functions: less surface is needed to store the same amount of sludge a buffer area is created between zones with incompatible functions (industrial sites vs. nature reserves, agriculture, and residential areas) if the dikes prove to have sufficient potential for nature development, they can become an important part of the ecological infrastructure in the port area. In 2000, an experimental dike was constructed with consolidated dredged material at Magershoek, north of the locks of Zandvliet and Berendrecht. The main aim of this project is to investigate whether the concept of landscape dikes is sustainable on a larger scale. Possible ecotoxicological risks are examined and the possibilities for forestation and nature development are considered. One part of the experimental dike is managed in function of nature development. The effects of abiotic parameters (water balance, soil texture, pH, salinity, …) and different management schemes (zero-management, mowing) on the vegetation cover are investigated. Special attention is paid to the development of the draining channels and pools. These are influenced by brackish ground water and provide an interesting initial situation for the development of specialized plant communities. The other part of the dike is forested with indigenous tree and shrub species. Boundary conditions for optimal growth are assessed and the effects of forestation on the percolation and dispersal of pollutants is investigated.
|Institute of Nature Conservation||member||2000-01-01||2006-01-01|
created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:web