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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 165046, 13 pages
Research Article

Effect of Mining Activities in Biotic Communities of Villa de la Paz, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

1CIACYT-Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, Avenida Sierra Leona No. 550, Lomas 2da Sección, 78210 México, SLP, Mexico
2Life Sciences Division, Universidad de Guanajuato, Campus Irapuato-Salamanca, Carretera Salamanca-Valle de Santiago Km. 3.5 + 1.8, Palo Blanco, 36885 Salamanca, GTO, Mexico

Received 20 October 2013; Revised 12 December 2013; Accepted 16 December 2013; Published 29 January 2014

Academic Editor: Fernando Barbosa Jr.

Copyright © 2014 Guillermo Espinosa-Reyes et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mining is one of the most important industrial activities worldwide. During its different stages numerous impacts are generated to the environment. The activities in the region have generated a great amount of mining residues, which have caused severe pollution and health effects in both human population and biotic components. The aim of this paper was to assess the impact of mining activities on biotic communities within the district of Villa de la Paz. The results showed that the concentrations of As and Pb in soil were higher than the national regulations for urban or agricultural areas. The bioavailability of these metals was certified by the presence of them in the roots of species of plants and in kidneys and livers of wild rodents. In regard to the community analysis, the sites that were located close to the mining district of Villa de la Paz registered a lower biological diversity, in both plants and wild rodents, aside from showing a change in the species composition of plant communities. The results of this study are evidence of the impact of mining on biotic communities, and the need to take into account the wildlife in the assessment of contaminated sites.