Increasing Woody Species Diversity for Sustainable Limestone Quarry Reclamation in Canada
Published: 20 March 2013 by MDPI in Sustainability
MDPI, Volume 5; 10.3390/su5031340
Abstract: Environmental sustainability of post mined limestone quarries often requires reclamation to a diverse woody plant community. Woody species diversity may be severely limited if only nursery stock is relied on for propagation material; thus other sources must be evaluated. To address woody species establishment and survival from different propagule sources at a limestone quarry in western Canada, native trees (4) and shrubs (3) were seeded and transplanted into amended substrates (wood shavings, clean fill, unamended control) in two seasons (spring, fall). Plant sources were nursery stock, local forest wildlings, seeds and forest soil (LFH mineral soil mix). Plant emergence, survival, height, health and browsing were evaluated over four years. Survival was greater with fall transplanted seedlings than with spring transplanted. Survival was greater for Picea glauca, Pseudotsuga menziesii and Populus tremuloides from nursery than local source stock. Seedlings from seeds and LFH did not survive for any of the species. Growth and survival were affected by bighorn sheep. Amendments did not improve plant establishment. Diversity of the woody plant community was increased at the quarry in spite of the severe conditions.
Keywords: woody vegetation, Nursery stock, local wildlings, seeds, LFH mineral soil mix, spring planting, fall planting, limestone quarry, reclamation, bighorn sheep