Authors: Standish, RJ; Morald, TK; Koch, JM; Hobbs, RJ; Tibbett, M

Paper is not available for download
Contact Us


Cite As:
Standish, RJ, Morald, TK, Koch, JM, Hobbs, RJ & Tibbett, M 2008, 'Restoring Jarrah Forest after Bauxite Mining in Western Australia — The Effect of Fertilizer on Floristic Diversity and Composition', in AB Fourie, M Tibbett, I Weiersbye & P Dye (eds), Mine Closure 2008: Proceedings of the Third International Seminar on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 717-725,

Download citation as:   ris   bibtex   endnote   text   Zotero

South-western Australia is well known for its diverse and mostly endemic flora that live on some of the most P-impoverished soils in the world. One of the challenges in the restoration of these ecosystems after mining is to establish colonizing species to facilitate vegetation succession, and to establish the dominant tree species, both without compromising the diversity and composition of the climax community. P-fertilizer is used to replace the nutrients that are lost as a result of the mining process, and to achieve these primary goals. In this paper, we explored the effects of P-fertilizer on the diversity of the jarrah forest that is restored after bauxite mining. We assessed the restored jarrah forest 13 years after its establishment and compared it to nearby unmined jarrah forest. The residual effects of the P-fertilizer, applied prior to seeding, were evident in the furrows of the rip-lines in the fertilized plots. We found that the native species richness, diversity and evenness of the restored jarrah forest were reduced with the application of P-fertilizer compared with the values of these measures for unmined jarrah forest. These measures were similar for the unmined jarrah forest and for the restored sites where no P-fertilizer was applied. Within the restored sites, the application of P-fertilizer had no statistically significant effect on native species richness, diversity and evenness. The similarity of the restored jarrah forest to the unmined jarrah forest decreased with increasing P (i.e. 0, 80 and 120 kg/ha P). The composition of the restored jarrah forest was different to that of the unmined jarrah forest but this was unrelated to the application of P-fertilizer.

Beard, J.S. (1990) Plant life of Western Australia. Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst.
Bradshaw, A.D. and Chadwick, M.J. (1980) The restoration of land. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.
Brundrett, M.C. and Abbott, L.K. (1991) Roots of jarrah forest plants I. Mycorrhizal associations of shrubs and
herbaceous plants. Australian Journal of Botany 39, pp. 445-457.
Clarke, K.R. (1993) Non-parametric multivariate analyses of changes in community structure. Australian Journal of
Ecology 18, pp. 117-143.
Gardner, J.H. and Stoneman, G. (2003) Bauxite mining and conservation of the jarrah forest in south-west Australia. In
IUCN ICMM Workshop, Mining Protected Areas and Biodiversity Conservation: Searching and Pursuing Best
Practice and Reporting in the Mining Industry, Gland, Switzerland, 7-9 July 2002.
George, S.J., Tibbett, M., Braimbridge, M.F., Davis, S.G., Vlahos, S. and Ryan, M. (2006) Phosphorus fertilizer
placement and seedling success in Australian jarrah forest. In Mine Closure 2006. A.B. Fourie and M. Tibbett
(eds), Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 341-350.
Grant, C.D. (2006) State-and-Transition successional model for bauxite mining rehabilitation in the jarrah forest of
Western Australia. Restoration Ecology 14, pp. 28-37.
Grant, C.D. and Koch, J.M. (2003) Orchid species succession in rehabilitated bauxite mines in Western Australia.
Australian Journal of Botany 5, pp. 453-457.
Handreck, K. (1997) Phosphorus requirements of Australian native plants. Australian Journal of Soil Research 35,
pp. 241-289.
Mine Waste Remediation and Restoration
Hingston, F.J., Dimmock, G.M. and Turton, A.G. (1981) Nutrient distribution in a jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata)
ecosystem in south-west Western Australia. Forest Ecology and Management 3, pp. 183-207.
Hopper, S.D. and Gioia, P. (2004) The southwestern Australian floristic region: evolution and conservation of a global
hotspot of biodiversity. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 35, pp. 623-650.
Koch, J.M. (1987) Nitrogen accumulation in a rehabilitated bauxite mined area in the Darling Range, Western
Australia. Australian Forestry Research 17, pp. 59-72.
Koch, J.M. (2007) Alcoa’s mining and restoration process in south Western Australia. Restoration Ecology 15,
pp. S11-S16.
Koch, J.M. and Hobbs, R.J. (2007) Synthesis: Is Alcoa successfully restoring a jarrah forest ecosystem after bauxite
mining in Western Australia? Restoration Ecology 15, pp. S137-S144.
Koch, J.M., Sudmeyer, J.E. and Pickersgill, G.E. (1988) Response of seeded eucalypts and understorey to broadcast
nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizer on a rehabilitated bauxite mine. Environmental Department Research
Bulletin No. 19, Alcoa of Australia Ltd, Perth.
Lambers, H., Raven, J.A., Shaver, G.R. and Smith, S.E. (2008) Plant nutrient-acquisition strategies change with soil
age. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 23, pp. 95-103.
Lamont, B.B. (1981) Specialised roots of non-symbiotic origin in heathlands. In Ecosystems of the World Vol 9A
Heathlands and related shrublands. Descriptive studies. R.L. Specht (ed), Elsevier Scientific, Amsterdam,
pp. 183-195.
Lockley, I.R. and Koch, J.M. (1996) Response of two eucalypt species to fertilizer application on rehabilitated bauxite
mines in Western Australia. Environmental Department Research Bulletin 27, Alcoa World Alumina Australia,
McCune, B. and Mefford, M.J. (1999) PC-ORD. Multivariate Analysis of Ecological Data, Version 4. MjM Software
Design, Gleneden Beach, Oregon, USA.
Myers, N., Mittermeier, R.A., Mittermeier, C.G., da Fonseca, G.A.B. and Kent, J. (2000) Biodiversity hotspots for
conservation priorities, Nature 403, pp. 853-858.
Norman, M.A. and Koch, J.M. (2005) The effect of fertilizer application and timing on jarrah and marri growth, density
and form in nine-year-old bauxite mine rehabilitation. Environmental Department Research Note No. 21. Alcoa
World Alumina Australia, Perth.
Norman, M.A., Koch, J.M., Grant, C.D., Morald, T.K. and Ward, S.C. (2006) Vegetation succession after bauxite
mining in Western Australia. Restoration Ecology 14, pp. 278-288.
Rayment, G.E. and Higginson, F.R. (1992) Australian laboratory handbook of soil and water chemical methods. Inkata
Press, Melbourne.
Rosenweig, M.L. (1987) Restoration ecology: a tool to study population interactions? In Restoration ecology: A
synthetic approach to ecological research. W.R.I. Jordan, M.E. Gilpin and J.D. Aber (eds), Cambridge
University Press, New York, pp. 189-203.
Shane, M.W., Szota, C. and Lambers, H. (2004) A root trait accounting for the extreme phosphorus sensitivity of Hakea
prostrata (Proteaceae). Plant Cell and Environment 27, pp. 99-104.
Spain, A.V., Hinz, D.A., Ludwig, J.A., Tibbett, M. and Tongway, D.J. (2006) Mine closure and ecosystem
development—Alcan Gove Bauxite Mine, Northern Territory, Australia. In Mine Closure 2006, A.B. Fourie and
M. Tibbett (eds), Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 299-308.
Ward, S.C. (1988) Biomass and nutrient accumulation by low-growing understorey on rehabilitated bauxite mines.
Environmental Research Note No. 13, Alcoa of Australia Ltd, Perth.
Ward, S.C. (2000) Soil development on rehabilitated bauxite mines in south-west Australia. Australian Journal of Soil
Research 38, pp. 453-464.
Warton, D.I. (2008) Raw data graphing: an informative but under-utilized tool for the analysis of multivariate
abundances. Austral Ecology 33, pp. 290-300.
Whisenant, S.G. (1999) Repairing damaged wildlands. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

© 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