Impact of Mining Activity on Soils and Plants in the Vicinity of a Zn-Pb Mine (Draa Lasfar, Marrakech - Morocco)

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Laboratory of computer mathematics and modeling of complex systems , Higher School of Technology of Essaouira, Cadi Ayyad University, Km 9, Route of Agadir, Essaouira Aljadida BP.383, Essaouira, Morocco

2 Regional Laboratory for Epidemiological Diagnosis and Environmental Hygiene, Boulevard des Hôpitaux, Gueliz-Marrakesh, Morocco

3 Laboratory of Hydrobiology, Ecotoxicology and Sanitation, Department of Biology, Semlalia Faculty of Sciences, Prince My Abdellah Boulevard, BP: 2390, 40000-Marrakech, Morocco

4 UFR de Sciences Pharmaceutiques et Biologiques, Centre de Dosage des Eléments Minéraux (CDEM), 9 rue Bias, BP 53508, 44035 Nantes, France


The pollution generated by metallic trace elements discharged by mines into the environment can become a very worrying source of contamination for soil, water and plants. The characterization of the chemical properties of metals in mine tailings and soils is of crucial importance to assess the risk of their potential mobility and therefore their bioavailability. In this paper, the bioavailability of metallic trace elements  in agricultural soils in the vicinity of the Draa Lasfar mine in the northwest of Marrakech city (Morocco) was studied by determining the contents of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in soils and in two plants: wheat (main food for the human population) and couch grass (main food for livestock). The results showed that these metals move from agricultural land to plants. They also showed that couch grass seems to strongly absorb and accumulate metallic trace elements present in the soil; it removes considerable amounts of metallic trace elements from the soil with its deeply penetrating root system.


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