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Tailings material is known to present a challenging growth environment as it presents several ecologically
hostile characteristics. Although vegetation is initially established through active rehabilitation input,
questions remain about spontaneous recolonisation potential of the area over time. The influence of soil
physical properties and more specifically dispersivity, on soil-seed contact interface (safe sites) is still largely
unknown for tailings dams which are rehabilitated without reshaping or a topsoil cover. Conventional
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and the establishment of native grass seedlings were further investigated. This research adds to the
sustainability debate of directly revegetated tailings dams and the degree to which reconstructed soil systems
can sustain self-propagating and functioning ecosystems. It is therefore hypothesised that the inherent
susceptibility of the tailings medium to erosion could substantially affect spontaneous vegetation
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The Effect of the Dispersive Nature of Tailings on Seedling Establishment and Survival S.J. van Wyk, L. van Rensburg
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Ecosystem Reconstruction and Pedogenesis
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