Cacti can clean up poisonous soils

Regenerative Thinking in Practice.

Principle #5 – Leverage Nature’s Solutions

Nature has spent millions of years working out how to do things  with renewable materials at room temperature – let’s make the most of those answers.

More on Biomimicry and Industrial Design at:

http://www.biomimicryinstitute.org/case-studies/case-studies/industrial-design.html

Grist

Here are a few things you do with a prickly pear cactus: Get poked. Turn its fruit into jam. Use it to clean up dangerous concentrations of selenium in arid California lands.

In California’s San Joaquin Valley, a long history of artificial irrigation has impregnated the soil with selenium. In small quantities, selenium is beneficial to humans and animals — essential, even. In larger quantities, it’s toxic.

Prickly pear cacti, though, can thrive in these soils, even though irrigation has also made the soil and water dangerously salty.

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