Vegetation Dynamics on Waste Landfills in the Seoul Metropolitan Area

Document Type : Original Research Paper


Department of Environmental Education, Korea National University of Education, Chungbuk, Republic of Korea


The goal of this study was to survey the natural vegetation on waste landfills and suggest a
restoration plan. In the study, I identified 63 families, 275 species, and 34 varieties of aboveground vascular flora. Robinia pseudo-acacia was the dominant tree, with a basal area density of 1.51¡3/ha, followed in decreasing order by Salix koreensis and Populus sieboldii. TWINSPAN resulted in the classification of 6 communities. The result of Detrended Canonical Correspondence Analysis(DCCA) of 24 environmental
variables and vegetation data was that the presence of artificial turf, human disturbance, landfill age, presence of periodic management and soil Na levels were correlated with the first axis. Soil chemical analyses showed that total nitrogen was greater at control sites than in landfills, but levels of K, Na, Ca, Mg, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn were greater in landfills than at control sites. Current planning by central and local governments calls for converting waste landfills into ecological parks or golf courses. In the initial stages of a landfill closure, a landfill restoration plan must be made to select soil for capping the landfill and to plan for future facilities. If vegetation is present near the landfill to provide a propagule source, the recommended course of action is to allow for natural restoration to occur through propagule dispersal and successional processes. However, if the landfill stands as a secluded island without a nearby propagule source, artificial restoration methods are suggested.