Ecological assessment of tree communities and pedological characteristics of coal mine generated wastelands of Raniganj Coal Field Area, West Bengal, India

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Research Articles | Published:

Print ISSN : 0970-4078.
Online ISSN : 2229-4473.
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Doi: 10.1007/s42535-021-00305-y
First Page: 367
Last Page: 380
Views: 1613

Keywords: Mining, Raniganj Coal Field, Tree, Shannon Diversity Index, Canonical correspondence analysis, Eco-restoration


Mining activities cause substantial decimation of environment and biological diversity. Plant populations are disrupted by the operation of coal mining. The present study deals with the ecological assessment of tree species and physicochemical properties of soil in the Dhandardihi coal mining area of Raniganj Coal Field (RCF), West Bengal, India. For this purpose, three coal mine generated wasteland were randomly selected from the Dhandardihi coal mining area. A sum of 23 different tree species belonging to 22 genera and 16 different families were recorded. Most of the tree species showed rare or lower frequency class. Shannon diversity index was varied from 2.224 to 2.572. The findings of the Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) indicated that the available nitrogen and phosphate content of the soil were the factor which heavily impacted the composition of tree species in the study area. The study indicated that Streblus asper and Senna siamea can be recommended for effective eco-restoration of the concerned sites due to cosmopolitan distribution, high regeneration potential with stable population structure. The findings could be used as an impactful means for predicting the suitability of specific species to revegetate mined regions. Even further, the findings suggest adverse effects of the mining operations on the area’s vegetation. Those actions really need to be monitored regularly along with suitable policies should be framed in terms of eco-restoration of mined wastelands based on indigenous vegetation.

Mining, Raniganj Coal Field, Tree, Shannon Diversity Index, Canonical correspondence analysis, Eco-restoration

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The authors are grateful to the Principal, Raghunathpur College, Purulia, West Bengal for allowing us to carry out this research work. The authors are also indebted to the Principal, Durgapur Government College, Paschim Bardhaman, West Bengal, India for according permission to do the study. Authors also acknowledge the immense help received from the authority of Eastern Coal Field Limited, West Bengal.

Author Information

Mondal Saikat
Department of Zoology, Raghunathpur College, Purulia, India

Chattopadhyay Pinaki
Department of Botany, West Bengal State University, Kolkata, India

Banerjee Arnab
University Teaching Department, Sant Gahira Guru Vishwavidyalaya, Surguja, Ambikapur, India

Palit Debnath
Durgapur Government College, Durgapur, India