Authors: Logan, B; Futoransky, V; Dietrich, S; Flemming, BH; Wilson, V; Waterman, L

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Logan, B, Futoransky, V, Dietrich, S, Flemming, BH, Wilson, V & Waterman, L 2019, 'Target Ecosystem Assessment Model: a process to develop target revegetation prescriptions in the mine closure landscape', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 705-718.

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Abstract:
The Target Ecosystem Assessment Model (TEAM) was developed to provide mine reclamation practitioners with an iterative process to refine final closure reclamation plans. Using the ArcGIS™ platform, it incorporates inputs from multiple sources including soil cover design; topography; hydrology and wetlands; soil nutrient regime and stakeholder inputs to develop revegetation prescriptions for target ecosystems. The model output is used to guide vegetation prescription suitability with an appropriate predicted relative moisture (driest to wettest) regime. To develop the TEAM, various input layers are overlaid sequentially to create unique relative estimated moisture regime areas. Slope position and soil texture are influential factors of moisture regime in areas not directly influenced by the water table. In transitional areas and wetland areas, topographic position and proximity to water and/or water table are more influential to moisture regime predictions. With this information, a range of suitable target revegetation prescriptions can be generated from estimated relative moisture regime derived from the model and nutrient regime derived from the soil cover characteristics (i.e. the soil prescription). The output of the model provides planners with a range of moisture classes tied to specific ecosystems, and the soil and vegetation prescriptions that support them. The TEAM reduces the potential subjectivity of planning by matching ecosystem target options to each unique combination of site conditions, and in doing so, testing for mismatches in site conditions and desired end land uses. The TEAM provides flexibility in creating the target ecosystem layouts, by including stakeholder input for desired end land use and consideration of the complexity and arrangement of ecosystems in the pre-disturbance landscape. This information is used to further delineate areas for specific revegetation prescriptions (targeted vegetation community assemblages). Planners who use the TEAM can be confident in defensible target ecosystem layouts, which are developed using a standard, tested procedure.

Keywords: target ecosystems, mine closure planning, reclamation plan, model, soil prescriptions, moisture regime, nutrient regime, revegetation prescriptions

References:
Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) 2018, Direction for Conservation and Reclamation Submissions Under an Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act Approval for Mineable Oil Sands Sites, Specified Enactment Direction 003, Calgary.
Alberta Environment 2006, Land Capability Classification System for Forest Ecosystems in the Oil Sands, 3rd Edition, Prepared by the Cumulative Environmental Management Association, Fort McMurray, Alberta, December 2006.
Government of Alberta 1993, Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, Revised Statues of Alberta 2000, Chapter E-12, Published by Alberta Queen’s Printer, Edmonton, Alberta.
Soil Classification Working Group 1998, ‘The Canadian System of Soil Classification Third Edition’, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada Publication 1646.




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