Bioremediation of contaminated and degraded soils

In most of my projects we use organic and inorganic amendments for bioremediation of trace element contaminated soils.

I am certain that phytotechnologies, particularly assisted phyto-stabilization, offer efficient and environmentally friendly alternatives for the in situ restoration of soils, improving the soil quality and their living organisms.


  1. Bio-valuation of waste and plants adapted to degraded and contaminated soils under Mediterranean conditions. Funded by: Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. R+D+I Projects Challenges. January 2015 – December 2017.
  2. Preventing and remediating degradation of soils in Europe through land care – RECARE (FPT-603498-1). Funded by: FP7-ENV-2013 Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union. RECARE Project website. November 2013 – October 2018.
  3. Real-scale test supervision of “Carbocal” amendment in the surface soil layer of the location of Saelices el Chico (Salamanca, Spain). Funded by: National Company of Radioactive Waste, S.A. (ENRESA). October 2013 – May 2016.
  4. Laboratory testing and supervision in field of the application of soil amendments in the restored site of Saelices el chico (Salamanca, Spain). Funded by: National Company of Radioactive Waste, S.A. (ENRESA). May 2012 – May 2013.
  5. Phytotechnologies for the recovery of soils contaminated with trace elements. Influence of organic amendments and rhizosphere. Funded by: Ministry of Science and Innovation. January 2012 – December 2014.
  6. Interaction of trace elements with the cycle of organic matter in contaminated soils. Funded by: Intramural Project. February 2009 – March 2010.
  7. Dynamics of organic matter and trace elements in contaminated soils reforested with salicaceae. Funded by: Ministry of Science and Innovation. National R&D Plan. January 2009 – December 2011.
  8. Combination of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and biosolids as a suitable technology for the biorecovery of soils contaminated with arsenic. Funded by: “Salvador de Madariaga” Program. Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. September 2007 – July 2008.
  9. Assisted Natural Remediation of soil affected by mine spill contamination. Funded by C.I.C.Y.T (Spanish Commission for Science and Technology). January 2004 – December 2007.
  10. Monitoring of the vegetation of the Guadiamar green corridor. Funded by: Environment Agency. Andalusian Government. July 2002 – July 2004.
  11. Immobilization in situ for remediation of heavy metal contaminated soils. Funded by: C.I.C.Y.T (Spanish Commission for Science and Technology). January 2001 – December 2003.


  1. Madejón, P., Domínguez, M.T., Girón, I., López, MT., Porras, Ó.G., Madejón, E. (2022) Assessment of the phytoremediation effectiveness in the restoration of uranium mine tailings. Ecological Engineering, 2022, 180, 106669. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2022.106669. 
  2. Madejón, P., Navarro-Fernández, C.M., Madejón, E., López-García, Á., Marañón, T. (2021) Plant response to mycorrhizal inoculation and amendments on a contaminated soil. Science of the Total Environment, 2021, 789, 147943. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147943
  3. Madejón, P., Domínguez, M.T., Fernández-Boy, E., Girón, I., Madejón, E. (2019) Soil hydraulic properties as the main driver in the establishment of biomass crops in contaminated soils Journal of Environmental Management, 2019, 233, pp. 812–822. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.10.008
  4. Montiel-Rozas, M.M., Domínguez, M.T., Madejón, E., Madejón, P., Pastorelli, R., Renella, G. (2018) Long-term effects of organic amendments on bacterial and fungal communities in a degraded Mediterranean soil Geoderma, 332, pp. 20–28. DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2018.06.022
  5. Madejón, P., Domínguez, M.T., Gil-Martínez, M., Madejón, E., Cabrera, F., Marañón, T. (2018) Evaluation of amendment addition and tree planting as measures to remediate contaminated soils: The Guadiamar case study (SW Spain) Catena 166, pp. 34–43. DOI: 10.1016/j.catena.2018.03.016.
  6. Madejón, P., Domínguez, M.T., Madejón, E., Cabrera, F., Marañón, T., Murillo, J.M. (2018) Soil-plant relationships and contamination by trace elements: A review of twenty years of experimentation and monitoring after the Aznalcóllar (SW Spain) mine accident. Science of the Total Environment, 2018, 625, pp. 50–63. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.12.277
  7. Domínguez, M.T., Montiel-Rozas, M.M., Madejón, P., Diaz, M.J., Madejón, E. (2017) The potential of native species as bioenergy crops on trace-element contaminated Mediterranean lands. Science of the Total Environment, 590-591, 29–39. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.03.018
  8. Montiel-Rozas, M.D.M., López-García, Á., Madejón, P., Madejón, E. (2017). Native soil organic matter as a decisive factor to determine the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community structure in contaminated soils. Biology and Fertility of Soils. pp. 1-12. DOI: 10.1007/s00374-017-1181-5
  9. Madejón, P., Domínguez, MT., Díaz, J., Madejón, E. (2016). Improving sustainability in the remediation of contaminated soils by the use of compost and energy valorization by Paulownia fortune. Science of the Total Environment 539, 401–409. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.09.018.
  10. Montiel-Rozas, M.M., Madejón, E., Madejón, P. (2016). Effect of heavy metals and organic matter on root exudates (low molecular weight organic acids) of herbaceous species: An assessment in sand and soil conditions under different levels of contamination. Environmental Pollution 216, 274-281. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2016.05.080.
  11. Montiel-Rozas, M.M, López-García, Á., Kjøller, R., Madejón, E., Rosendahl, S. (2016). Organic amendments increase phylogenetic diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in acid soil contaminated by trace elements. Mycorrhiza pp. 1-11 26(6) 575-585. DOI: 10.1007/s00572-016-0694-3.
  12. Montiel-Rozas, M.M., Panettieri, M., Madejón, P., Madejón, E. (2016). Carbon Sequestration in Restored Soils by Applying Organic Amendments. Land Degradation and Development 27 (3) 620-629. DOI: 10.1002/ldr.2466.
  13. Ciadamidaro, L., Puschenreiter, M., Santner, J., Wenzell, W.W., Madejón, P., Madejón, E. (2016). Assessment of trace element phytoavailability in compost amended soils using different methodologies. Journal of Soils and Sediments. DOI: 10.1007/s11368-015-1283-3
  14. Domínguez, M.T., Alegre, J.M., Madejón, P., Madejón, E., Burgos, P., Cabrera, F., Marañón, T., Murillo, J.M. (2016). River banks and channels as hotspots of soil pollution after large-scale remediation of a river basin. Geoderma, 261, 133-140. DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2015.07.008.
  15. Domínguez, M.T., Madejón, E., López-Garrido, R., Marañón, T., Murillo, J.M. (2016). Shrubs for the remediation of contaminated Mediterranean areas: Is the nurse effect mediated by increases in soil enzyme activities? Ecological Engineering. 97, 1 577-581. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2016.10.059.
  16. Ciadamidaro, L., Madejón, P., Camacho, F., Boy, E.F., Madejón, E. (2016). Organic compost to improve contaminated soil quality and plant fertility. Soil Science 181(11-12) 487-493. DOI: 10.1097/SS.0000000000000186.
  17. Clemente, R., Pardo, T., Madejón, P., Madejón, E., Bernal, P. (2015). Food byproducts as amendments in trace elements contaminated soils. Review. Food Research International 73, 176-189. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodres.2015.03.040.
  18. Montiel-Rozas M., Madejón, E., Madejón, P. (2015). Evaluation of phytostabilizer ability of three ruderal plants in mining soils restored by application of organic amendments. Ecological Engineering 83, 431-436. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2015.04.096.
  19. Xiong, J., Madejón, P., Madejón, E., Cabrera, F. (2015). Assisted natural remediation versus natural remediation: 8 Years Field Study. Pedosphere 25(2), 250-262. DOI: 10.1016/S1002-0160(15)60010-8.
  20. Ciadamidaro, L., Madejón, P., Madejón, E. (2014). Soil chemical and biochemical properties under Populus alba growing: Three years study in trace element contaminated soils. Applied Soil Ecology, 73, 26-33. DOI: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2013.08.003.
  21. Ciadamidaro, L., Madejón, E., Robinson, B., Madejón, P. (2014). Soil plant interactions of Populus alba in contrasting environments. Journal of Environmental Management 132, 329-337. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.11.010.
  22. Ciadamidaro, L., Madejón, P., Cabrera, F., Madejón, E. (2014). White poplar (Populus alba L.) litter impact on chemical and biochemical parameters related to nitrogen cycle in contaminated soils. Forest Systems 23, 72-83. DOI: 10.5424/fs/2014231-04001.
  23. Madejón, P., Xiong, J., Cabrera, F., Madejón, E. (2014). Quality of trace element contaminated soils amended with compost under fast growing tree Paulownia fortunei plantation. Journal of Environmental Management 144, 176-185. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.05.020.
  24. Burgos, P., Madejón, P., Madejón, E., Girón, I., Cabrera, F., Murillo, J.M. (2013). Natural remediation of an unremediated soil twelve years after a mine accident: Trace element mobility and plant composition. Journal of Environmental Management, 114, 36-45. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.10.060.
  25. Ciadamidaro, L., Madejón, E., Puschenreiter, M., Madejón, P. (2013). Growth of Populus alba and its influence on soil trace element availability Science of the Total Environment, 454-455, 337-347. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.03.032.
  26. Madejón, P., Arrébola, J., Madejón, E., Burgos, P., López-Garrido, R., Cárcaba, A., Cabrera, F., Murillo, J.M. (2013). Snail Theba pisana as indicator of soil contamination by trace elements: potential exposure for animals and humans. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 93, 2259-2266. DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.6035.
  27. Madejón, E., Doronila, A.I., Madejón, P., Baker, A.J.M., Woodrow, I.E. (2012). Biosolids, mycorrhizal fungi and eucalypts for phytostabilization of arsenical sulphidic mine tailings. Agroforestry Systems, 84, 389-399. DOI: 10.1007/s10457-012-9484-x.
  28. Madejón, P., Soler-Rovira, P., Ciadamidaro, L., Cabrera, F., Madejón, E. (2012). Trace element rich litter in soils. Influence on biochemical properties related to carbon cycle. Journal of Soils and Sediments, 12, 663-673. DOI: 10.1007/s11368-012-0493-1.
  29. Pérez-de-Mora, A., Madejón, P., Burgos, P., Cabrera, F., Lepp, N.W., Madejón, E. (2011). Phytostabilization of semiarid soils residually contaminated with trace elements using by-products: Sustainability and risks. Environmental Pollution, 159, 3018-3027. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2011.04.015.
  30. Burgos, P., Madejón, P., Cabrera, F., Madejón, E. (2010). By-products as amendment to improve biochemical properties of trace element contaminated soils: Effects in time. International Biodeterioration & Bodegradation, 64, 481-488. DOI: 10.1016/j.ibiod.2010.05.009.
  31. Madejón, E., Doronila, A.I., Sánchez-Palacios, J.T., Madejón, P., Baker, A.J.M. (2010). Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and biosolids enhance the growth of a native Australian grass on sulphidic gold mine tailings. Restoration Ecology, 18, 175-183. DOI: 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2009.00610.x.
  32. Madejón, P., Perez-de-Mora, A., Burgos, P., Cabrera, F., Lepp, N.W., Madejón, E. (2010). Do amended, polluted soils require re-treatment for sustainable risk reduction? – Evidence from field experiments. Geoderma, 159, 174-181. DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2010.07.009.
  33. Soler-Rovira, P., Madejón, E., Madejón, P., Plaza, C. (2010). In situ remediation of metal-contaminated soils with organic amendments: Role of humic acids in copper bioavailability. Chemosphere, 79, 844-849. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2010.02.054.
  34. Madejón, E., Madejón, P., Pérez de Mora, A., Burgos, P., Cabrera, F. (2009). Trace elements, pH and organic matter evolution in contaminated soils under assisted natural remediation: a four-year field study Journal of Hazardous Materials. 162 931–938. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2008.05.119.
  35. Madejón, P., Burgos, P., Cabrera, F., Madejón E. (2009). Phytostabilization of amended soils polluted with trace elements using the Mediterranean shrub: Rosmarinus officinalis. International Journal of Phytoremediation 11, 542–557. DOI: 10.1080/15226510902717572.
  36. Cabrera, F., Ariza, J., Madejón, P., Madejón, E., Murillo, J.M. (2008). Mercury and other trace elements in soil affected by the mine tailing spill in Aznalcollar (SW Spain)
    REVISTA: The Science of the Total Environment. 390, 311-322. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.10.002
  37. Burgos, P., Madejón, E., Pérez de Mora, A., Cabrera, F. (2008). Horizontal and vertical variability of soil properties in a trace element contaminated area. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. 10 11-25. DOI: 10.1016/j.jag.2007.04.001.
  38. Burgos, P., Pérez-de-Mora, A., Madejón, P., Cabrera, F., Madejón, E. (2008), Trace elements in wild grasses: a phytoavailability study on a remediated field Environmental Geochemistry and Health. 30 (2) 109-114. DOI: 10.1007/s10653-008-9135-3.
  39. Pérez-de-Mora A., Madejón, E., Cabrera, F., Buegger, F., Fuß, R., Pritsch, K., Schloter, M. (2008). Long-term impact of acid resin waste deposits on soil quality of forest areas I. Contaminants and abiotic properties. The Science of the Total Environment. 406 (1-2) 88-98. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.07.035.
  40. Pérez-de-Mora A., Madejón, E., Cabrera, F., Buegger, F., Fuß, R., Pritsch, K., Schloter, M. (2008). Long-term impact of acid resin waste deposits on soil quality of forest areas II. Biological indicators. The Science of the Total Environment. 406 (1-2), 99-107. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.07.036.
  41. Pérez-de-Mora, A., Madrid, F., Cabrera, F., Madejón, E. (2007). Amendments and plant cover influence on trace element pools in a contaminated soil. Geoderma. 139 1-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2006.12.001.
  42. Pérez-de-Mora, A., Burgos, P., Cabrera, F., Madejón E. (2007). “In situ” amendments and revegetation reduce trace element leaching in a contaminated soil Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. 185 (1-4) 209-222. DOI: 10.1007/s11270-007-9443-8.
  43. Pérez-de-Mora, A., Madejón, E., Burgos, P., Cabrera, F. (2006). Trace element availability and plant growth in a mine-spill contaminated soil under assisted natural remediation I. Soils . Science of the Total Environment 363(1-3), 28-37. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2005.10.015.
  44. Pérez-de-Mora, A., Madejón, E., Burgos, P., Cabrera, F. (2006). Trace element availability and plant growth in a mine-spill-contaminated soil under assisted natural remediation. II. Plants. Science of the Total Environment 363(1-3), 38-45. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2005.10.016.
  45. Pérez-de-Mora, A., Burgos, P., Madejón, E., Jaeckel, P., Schloter, M. (2006). Microbial community structure and function in a soil contaminated by heavy metals: Effects of plant growth and different amendments. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 38(2), 327-341. DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2005.05.010.
  46. Burgos, P., Madejón, E., Pérez-de-Mora, A., Cabrera, F. (2006). Spatial variability of the chemical characteristics of a trace-element-contaminated soil before and after remediation. Geoderma 130(1-2), pp. 157-175. DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2005.01.016.
  47. Madejón, E., De Mora, A.P., Felipe, E., Burgos, P., Cabrera, F. (2006). Soil amendments reduce trace element solubility in a contaminated soil and allow regrowth of natural vegetation. Environmental Pollution 139(1), 40-52. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2005.04.034.
  48. Murillo, J.M., Madejón, E., Madejón, P., Cabrera, F. (2005). The response of wild olive to the addition of a fulvic acid-rich amendment to soils polluted by trace elements (SW Spain) Journal of Arid Environments 63(1), 284-303. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2005.03.022.
  49. Mora, A.P.D., Ortega-Calvo, J.J., Cabrera, F., Madejón, E. (2005). Changes in enzyme activities and microbial biomass after “in situ” remediation of a heavy metal-contaminated soil. Applied Soil Ecology. 28(2), 125-137. DOI: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2004.07.006.

PhD supervisions

Title: Effects of the rhizosphere and the organic amendments in the phytoremediation of trace element contaminated soils

Student: María del Mar Montiel-Rozas

University of Seville faculty/school: Chemistry

Year: 2017

Rating: “cum laude” European doctoral degree


Title: Rehabilitation of contaminated soils through the application of amendments and the establishment of a natural vegetable cover or a quick growth plant (paulownia fortunei)

Student: Jian Xion

University of Seville faculty/school: Chemistry

Year: 2016

Rating: approved


Title: Dynamics of the organic matter and trace elements mobility on contaminated soils reforested with Salicaceae

Student: Lisa Ciadamidaro

University of Seville faculty/school: Chemistry

Year: 2014

Rating: “cum laude” European doctoral degree


Title: Assisted natural remediation of trace element contaminated soils

Student: Alfredo Pérez de Mora

University of Seville faculty/school: Biology

Year: 2006

Rating: “cum laude” European doctoral degree