Responses of synanthropic vegetation to composting facility

Jan Winkler, Yasuhiro Matsui, Jan Filla, Lucie Vykydalová, Martin Jiroušek, Magdalena Daria Vaverková

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Composting facilities are habitats where biological materials are bio-oxidized. Biological waste represents a source of plant species diaspores and may promote changes in the species composition of the surrounding. The studied composting facility is situated in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands, Czech Republic. Four sites, the composting pile and three habitats nearby were chosen of different use and disturbance conditions. Phytosociological plots were recorded in each of the habitat and the results were processed using multivariate analyses of ecological data. The information about plant species indication values was also analysed: (i) the relationship between soil disturbance and plant species occurrence, (ii) seed dormancy, (iii) seed bank, and (iv) vector of seed dispersion. During the research, 119 plant taxa were found in total. Conditions of the composting process (frequent disturbances, excessive available nutrients, enough water, and supply of new diaspores) represent a challenge for plant species. The presence of plant diaspores in the biowaste is a reason why the fundamental principle of appropriate composting process has to be adhered to. Another important task is to give attention to the methods determining the share of living diaspores in the final compost, which is still missing in practice. Compost might become a vehicle for spreading weeds. The capacity of vegetation to survive and multiply on the premises of composting facilities increases the importance of vegetation monitoring and control of the adjacent areas. The usual occurrence of rural brownfields near composting facilities increases the risk of diaspores being transmitted into biowaste or compost, thus increasing the share of undesirable viable diaspores. Composting facilities generate specific synanthropic conditions for the vegetation. Therefore, the composting facility projects should take into consideration the surrounding areas and vegetation management. It is recommended that the project should include semi-natural vegetation, which can create efficient barriers to the spreading of undesirable ruderal plant species. The novelty of this study is the confirmation that composting facilities and compost become a new factor affecting vegetation, which has been disregarded so far. The link between composting facilities and vegetation has to be included in the legislation related to parameters of compost quality. Moreover, the issue of weeds, their reproductive organs and their spread should be considered in the guidelines for the design, location, construction, and operation of composting facilities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number160160
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - Feb 10 2023


  • Human-made habitats
  • Organic waste management
  • Synanthropic conditions
  • Vegetation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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