Authors: Jasper, DA; Veneklaas, EJ; Nichols, OG; Tongway, DJ


Cite As:
Jasper, DA, Veneklaas, EJ, Nichols, OG & Tongway, DJ 2006, 'Indicators of Success for Mine Site Restoration in Tropical Moist Forest Ecosystems', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Mine Closure 2006: Proceedings of the First International Seminar on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 719-730,

Download citation as:   ris   bibtex   endnote   text   Zotero

Ecosystems in the tropics can vary substantially, despite occurring in the same latitudinal zone. However, a common feature is their high biodiversity, with more than 50% of all plant and animal species being found in tropical forests, despite only occupying 7% of the land area (Whitmore, 1984). Tropical moist forests are generally defined by rainfall exceeding 1700 mm annually, an even distribution of solar radiation and constant high temperatures (Grainger, 1993, in Holl and Cairns, 2002). Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year in some tropical moist forests, such as at the Ok Tedi mine site in Papua New Guinea, while others may have a distinct dry season (Holl and Cairns, 2002). Information regarding restoration of tropical forest ecosystems is relatively sparse, especially relating to restoration after mining. It is noteworthy that a review by Hartshorn and Whitmore (1999) only included one paper relating to mining rehabilitation (Parrotta and Knowles, 1997). Most tropical forest restoration literature focuses on abandoned farmland (Holl and Cairns, 2002), and on the development of forestry and agroforestry systems, aiming at maximizing productivity of a limited number of economically-important species (Parrotta, 2002). It has been less common for restoration projects to aim at creating a diverse ecosystem of locally-occurring species that resembles that believed to formerly occupy the landscape. In this paper, we review indicators that may have application in assessing mine rehabilitation in tropical moist forests, in the context of experience at mines on Misima Island and at Ok Tedi.

Burghouts, T., Ernsting, G., Korthals, G. and De Vries, T. (1992) Litterfall, leaf litter decomposition and litter
invertebrates in primary and selectively logged dipterocarp forest in Sabah, Malaysia. Philosophical
Transactions: Biological Sciences 335(1275), pp. 407-16.
Burnham, C.P. (1984) The forest environment: Soils. In: Tropical rain forests of the Far East. T.C. Whitmore (ed).
Clarendon Press, Oxford.
Burnham, C.P. (1989) Pedological processes and nutrient supply from parent material in tropical soils. In: Mineral
nutrients in tropical forest and savanna ecosystems. J. Proctor (ed). Special Publication Series of the British
Ecological Society Number 9. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.
Chambers, J.C., Brown, R.W. and Williams, B.D. (1994) An evaluation of reclamation success on Idaho’s phosphate
mines. Restoration Ecology 2, pp. 4-16.
Chapman, S.B. (1986) Production ecology and nutrient budgets. In: Methods in Plant Ecology. 2nd edition. P.D. Moore
and S.B. Chapman (eds), pp. 1-59. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.
Indicators of Success for Mine Site Restoration in Tropical Moist Forest Ecosystems D.A. Jasper, et al.
728 Mine Closure 2006, Perth, Australia
Ehrenfeld, J.G. (2000) Defining the limits of restoration: The Needs for Realistic Goals. Restoration Ecology 8, pp. 2-9.
EMRC (1999a) Results of the initial and long term monitoring of areas rehabilitated following coal mining operations at
Sangatta, East Kalimantan. Environmental Management and Research Consultants. May 1999.
EMRC (1999b) PT Kaltim Prima Coal: A recommended monitoring program for areas rehabilitated following coal
mining operations at Sangatta, East Kalimantan. Consulting report prepared for PT Kaltim Prima Coal, Sangatta,
East Kalimantan, Indonesia. June 1999.
Grubb, P.J. (1989) Mineral nutrition and soil fertility in tropical rain forests. In: Tropical Forests: Management and
Ecology. A.E. Lugo and C. Lowe (eds). Ecological Studies 112, Springer-Verlag, New York.
Hartshorn, G.S. and Whitmore, J.L. (1999) Ecosystems of the disturbed ground. In: Ecosystems of the World 16. L.R.
Walker (ed). Elsevier, New York.
Holl, K.D. and Cairns, J.Jr. (2002) Monitoring and appraisal. In: Handbook of Ecological Restoration, Volume 1,
Principles of Restoration. M.R. Perrow and A.J. Davy (eds). Cambridge University Press.
Jansen, A. (1997) Terrestrial invertebrate community structure as an indicator of the success of a tropical rainforest
restoration project. Restoration Ecology 5, pp. 115-24.
Jasper, D. (2002) Soil indicators and monitoring of rehabilitation. In: Encyclopaedia of Soil Science. R. Lal (ed).
Marcel Dekker, New York.
Jasper, D.A., Nichols, O.G. and Veneklaas, E. (2003) A review of indicators of success for rehabilitated tropical forest
systems. Report to Misima Mines Limited prepared by Outback Ecology Services, February 2003. Perth,
Western Australia.
Karlen, D.L., Wollenhaupt, N.C., Erbach, D.C., Berry, E.C., Swan, J.B., Eash, N.S. and Jordahl, J.L. (1994) Crop
residue effects on soil quality following 10-years of no-till corn. Soil and Tillage Research 31, pp. 149-167.
Lavelle, P. (1997) Faunal Activities and Soil Processes: Adaptive Strategies that determine Ecosystem Function.
Advances in Ecological Research 27, pp. 93-132.
Losos, E.C. and Leigh, E.G. (2004) Tropical forest diversity and dynamism: findings from a large-scale plot network.
The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Ludwig, J., Tongway, D., Freudenberger, D., Noble, J. and Hodgkinson, K. (eds) (1997) Landscape ecology function
and management: principles from Australia’s rangelands (now available only on CD from Norman Hindley,
CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, GPO 284 Canberra City 2601 ACT, Australia,
Majer, J.D. (1992) Ant recolonisation of rehabilitated bauxite mines of Poços de Caldas, Brazil. Journal of Tropical
Ecology 8l, pp. 97-108.
Majer, J.D. (1996) Ant recolonisation of rehabilitated bauxite mines at Trombetas, Para, Brazil. Journal of Tropical
Ecology 12, pp. 257-273.
McGuire, G. and Green, A. (2000) Mitigating mine closure risks in a developing community. In: Proceedings of
Minerals Council of Australia Environmental Workshop, Perth. October 2000. Mineral Council of Australia,
Dickson, Australia.
Old, K., Coops, N., Tongway, D., Stone, C. and Smith, I. (1999) Scoping Study for Montreal Process National Indicator
of Forest Health and Vitality 3.1.c. Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, Australia.
Parrotta, J.A. (2002) Restoration and management of degraded tropical forest landscapes. In: Modern Trends in Applied
Terrestrial Ecology. R.S. Ambasht and N.K. Ambasht (eds), pp. 135-148. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Press, New
Parrotta, J.A. and Knowles O.H. (2001) Restoring tropical forests on lands mined for bauxite: examples from the
Brazilian Amazon. Ecological Engineering. 17, pp. 219-239.
Passell, H.D. (2000) Recovery of bird species in minimally restored Indonesian tin strip mines. Restoration Ecology 8,
pp. 112-118.
Proctor, J. (1983) Tropical forest litterfall. I. Problems of data comparison. In: Tropical Rain Forest: Ecology and
Management. S.L. Sutton, T.C. Whitmore and A.C. Chadwick (eds), pp. 267-273. Blackwell, Oxford.
Setyawan, D. (2005) Soil development, plant colonization and landscape function analysis for disturbed lands under
natural and assisted rehabilitation. PhD Thesis. The University of Western Australia.
Success Criteria
Mine Closure 2006, Perth, Australia 729
Silver, W.L., Ostertag, R. and Lugo, A.E. (2000) The potential for carbon sequestration through reforestation of
abandoned tropical agricultural and pasture lands. Restoration Ecology 8, pp. 394-407.
Tongway, D.J. and Hindley, N.L. (1995) Assessment of soil condition of tropical grasslands. CSIRO Division of
Wildlife and Ecology, Canberra.
Tongway, D., Hindley, N., Ludwig, J., Kearns, A. and Barnett, G. (1997) Early indicators of ecosystem rehabilitation
on selected minesites. In: Proceedings of 22nd Annual Minerals Council of Australia Environmental Workshop,
Adelaide. October 1997, pp. 494-505. Mineral Council of Australia, Dickson, Australia.
Tongway, D.J. and Murphy, D. (1999) Principles for designed landscapes and monitoring of ecosystem development in
rangelands affected by mining. In VIth International Rangeland Congress Proceedings with International
Rangeland Congress Inc. Aitkenvale Queensland, Australia.
Tongway, D.J. and Hindley, N.L. (2003) Indicators of Ecosystem Rehabilitation Success. Stage Two- Verification of
EFA Indicators. Final Report for the Australian Centre for Mining Environmental Research. CSIRO Sustainable
Ecosystems, Canberra.
Tongway, D.J. and Hindley, N.L. (2004) Landscape Function Analysis: procedures for monitoring and assessing
landscapes, with special reference to minesites and rangelands. CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Canberra,
Vincelette, M. (2003) Restoration of Tropical Ecosystems in Madagascar after Mining: Littoral Forests and Wetlands-
Approaches and Techniques. In: Abstracts- Preservation and ecological restoration in tropical mining
environments, 15th July 2003, New Caledonia, pp. 136-137. IRD Centre, Noumea, New Caledonia.
Ward, S.C. (2000) Soil development on rehabilitated bauxite mines in south-west Australia. Australian Journal of Soil
Research 38, pp. 453-64.
Ward, S.C. and Koch, J.M. (1996) Biomass and nutrient distribution in a 15.5 year old forest growing on a rehabilitated
bauxite mine. Australian Journal of Ecology. 21, pp. 309-315.
Whitmore, T.C. (1984) The forest environment: soils. In: Tropical rain forests of the Far East. T.C. Whitmore (ed).
Clarendon Press, Oxford.
Indicators of Success for Mine Site Restoration in Tropical Moist Forest Ecosystems D.A. Jasper, et al.
730 Mine Closure 2006, Perth, Australia

© Copyright 2024, Australian Centre for Geomechanics (ACG), The University of Western Australia. All rights reserved.
View copyright/legal information
Please direct any queries or error reports to