Authors: MacKenzie, DD; Renkema, KN


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MacKenzie, DD & Renkema, KN 2011, 'Revegetation of post-mined land using directly planted native and local shrub species', in AB Fourie, M Tibbett & A Beersing (eds), Mine Closure 2011: Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 93-100,

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Directly planting propagules from nearby undisturbed (pre-mined) land can decrease the time required to establish multiple layers of forest vegetation cover on post-mined land in the Canadian boreal forest. Typically, trees are planted, but the majority of native shrub species and forbs are left to regenerate unassisted, which may take decades. Hand collecting vegetative propagules from surrounding pre-mined land and directly planting these propagules on post-mined land may be the only method to successfully establish key shrub species and forbs. Directly planting propagules has several advantages over seeding or out-planting nursery grown stock: the vegetation will consist of species that are native and local to the area, there is no cost for the propagules, numerous species regenerate by vegetative reproduction and thus can be transplanted and new vegetative propagules are available for collection each year. The amount of labour required for transplanting can be reduced by using collection and direct planting techniques that result in a high percentage of survival but cause minimal impact on the surrounding vegetation at the collection sites. Greenhouse and field trials were conducted using both entire plants (above-ground plant and attached root) and root cuttings of Vaccinium myrtilloides (common blueberry), Viburnum edule (low-bush cranberry), Shepherdia canadensis (Canada buffaloberry) and Vaccinium membranaceum (mountain huckleberry). The survival response of entire plants and root cuttings to season of collection (fall and spring) was species specific, and with the exception of Canada buffaloberry, root cuttings out-performed whole plants. The optimal root cutting length was between 10 and 15 cm when planted horizontally. In field trials at Coal Valley Mine, Alberta, Canada, preliminary results suggest that transplanting entire plants and root cuttings within soil plugs can increase the percentage of surviving propagules.

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