Articles | Volume 6, issue 3
Research article
28 Jul 2015
Research article |  | 28 Jul 2015

Relationship between hydraulic properties and plant coverage of the closed-landfill soils in Piacenza (Po Valley, Italy)

C. Cassinari, P. Manfredi, L. Giupponi, M. Trevisan, and C. Piccini

Abstract. In this paper the results of a study of soil hydraulic properties and plant coverage of a landfill located in Piacenza (Po Valley, Italy) are presented, together with the attempt to relate the hydraulic properties in relation with plant coverage. The measured soil water retention curve was first compared with the output of pedotransfer functions taken from the literature and then compared with the output of the same pedotransfer functions applied to a reference soil. The landfill plant coverage was also studied. The relationship between soil hydraulic properties and plant coverage showed that the landfill soils have a low water content available for plants. The soils' low water content, together with a lack of depth and a compacted structure, justifies the presence of a nitrophilous, disturbed-soil vegetation type, dominated by ephemeral annual species (therophytes).

Short summary
The amount of water available to plants in a closed landfill soil is analyzed by laboratory analyses, by using pedotransfer functions (PTFs) and by studying plant coverage. The laboratory analyses and PTFs highlighted the soil's inability to hold water. The closed landfill plant coverage consists of annual species (therophytes) typical of disturbed environments. The soil's low-water content, together with other degraded soil characters, justifies the plant coverage.