Authors: Tongway, DJ; Ludwig, JA


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Tongway, DJ & Ludwig, JA 2006, 'Assessment of Landscape Function as an Information Source for Mine Closure', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Proceedings of the First International Seminar on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 21-29,

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A pressing need in mine closure is for a “toolbox” of procedures that can provide evidence that agreed completion criteria have been met. We propose that one of those tools be based on the assessment of landscape function, which we define as how well a landscape performs as a biophysical system. A functional landscape retains vital resources against erosion, whereas a dysfunctional landscape tends to leak them beyond the landscape boundaries. This tool is based on published principles in landscape ecology, is quickly learnt, can be used without modification in a range of biomes and provides information about ecosystem trend over time, comparing rehabilitating sites with reference sites to examine the rate of rehabilitation progress. The procedure uses quickly assessable indictors of the status of biotic and abiotic processes acquired on gradsects, a highly efficient data acquisition system. Interpretation of rehabilitation progress in terms of resilience, self-sustainability and stability are design features.

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Plenary Addresses
Mine Closure 2006, Perth, Australia 29

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