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A Riparian Classification and Reclamation Guide (‘Riparian Guide’) was recently produced to direct the re-establishment of riparian ecosystems in areas disturbed by oil sands mining in Alberta, Canada. The Riparian Guide presents information on the identification, characterisation, and implementation of revegetation and monitoring protocols on reclaimed landscapes within the oil sands region. The purpose of the guide was to provide a classification system and tools associated with plant species and community interactions that can be used to effectively reclaim and revegetate disturbed riparian ecosystems. The Riparian Guide thus provides a framework for interpreting the environmental conditions of sites to be reclaimed, plant species requirements, landscape design and management objectives to facilitate reclamation activities and aid in the re-establishment of plant communities that were representative of riparian vegetation. An overview of the process that led to the development of the Riparian Guide is presented, including monitoring and riparian classification system that formed the foundation of the guide, a species selection tool, and a peer review. Finally, the riparian species selection tool is tested in a field program and the preliminary results of this test are reviewed.
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