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Responses of wheatgrass species to composite/consolidated oil sands tailings Wu, Shihong 2011

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Proceedings - Tailings and Mine Waste 2011 Vancouver, BC, November 6 to 9, 2011 Responses of Wheatgrass Species to Composite/Consolidated Oil Sands Tailings Shihong Wu Klohn Crippen Berger, Calgary, Canada Dave Sego Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada Anne Naeth School of Energy and the Environment, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada Bing Wang Klohn Crippen Berger, Vancouver, Canada Abstract A greenhouse study was carried out to assess the responses of two wheatgrass species: Northern wheatgrass and Slender wheatgrass to composite/consolidated tailings (CT) discharged from Alberta oil sands mine. Plant emergence, early growth and survival of selected species directly seeded using 3 seeding techniques (6 treatments in this study) were monitored. The effect of fertilizer on seed emergence and early plant growth were assessed. Results showed that Northern wheatgrass and Slender wheatgrass survived in CT and performed well during this fifteen week experiment. Slender wheatgrass and Northern wheatgrass produced significant biomass and leaf area which could provide dewatering capacity. Slurry seeding and hydro-seeding with mulch techniques are applicable for early stage of reclamation of CT deposits. Introduction The oil sands deposit located in Northern Alberta is the largest petroleum resource in the world and it contains a natural mixture of crude bitumen, silica sand, clay and water, known as the McMurray formation. The hot water bitumen extraction technique produces significant amounts of tailings consisting of water, sand, fines and residual bitumen. Since 1995, addition of gypsum to mature fine tailings (MFT) produces non-segregating composite/consolidated tailings (CT). However, the freshly discharged CT still has slurry characteristics and low surface bearing capacity (Qiu and Sego, 1998). Further dewatering is required to improve its strength to support reclamation equipment or activities. Dewatering of oil sands tailings is a major technological, economical, and environmental issue for this industry. Research carried out since the 1990s indicates that natural processes, including evaporation, freeze-thaw and evapotranspiration, can be practical methods for dewatering the surficial deposits of these high water content materials (Johnson et al., 1993; Sego et al., 1994; Stahl, 1996; Silva, 1999). Suitable plant species can grow in CT and increase the solids content to approximately 90 to 95% in one growing season by evapotranspiration (Johnson et al., 1993; Silva, 1999). However, the greatest challenge in plant dewatering of CT deposits is overcoming poor germination and seedling establishment. Selection of appropriate species is one important step in successful plant seeding and dewatering. In the past, exotic non-native species were preferentially selected because of their higher germination and better growth performance. Since 1993, many native and non-native plant species have been tested in the laboratory and in field trials for dewatering of oil sands tailings and initial reclamation. The experimental results indicated that germination and survival of introduced species is high compared to Proceedings - Tailings and Mine Waste 2011 Vancouver, BC, November 6 to 9, 2011 native species (Johnson et al., 1993; Silva et al., 1998; Naeth et al., 1999; Renault et al., 2004). Barley, which is one native plant to western Asia, was also tested for the initial reclamation of saline CT materials (Renault et al., 2003). The more rapid germination and faster growth characteristics that made these exotic species successful also resulted in their dominance and competitive exclusion of slower growing native species. Non-native plant species have a potential to alter natural communities when they invade undisturbed areas. The loss of native plant species may negatively impact the way an ecosystem functions (Lyster et al. 2001). The benefits of using native plant species to reclaim oil sands tailings is that the native plant species have evolved over time under local soil and climate conditions. Once established, they are well adapted to annual fluctuations in the local climate. Native plants often perform satisfactorily without supplementary irrigation or maintenance. Therefore, their use in reclamation projects is preferred. Johnson and Putwain (1981) provided several case histories on the use of native species on iron, bauxite, manganese, nickel, copper and other types of tailings, and demonstrated that native species can be successful in establishing a cover on mine waste sites even though they have low seed production and slower establishment rates. Field trial experiments were conducted at Mildred Lake, Alberta in 1981 to evaluate the growth of nine native grass species on tailings sands (Russell Ecological Consultants, 1982). The results showed that most species performed reasonably well. After nursery room, green house and field tests (Dames and Moore, 1970; Naeth et al., 1999; Renault et al., 2004), native wheatgrass species: Slender wheatgrass (Agropyron trachycaulum) and Northern wheatgrass (Agropyron dasystachyum) were recommended for reclamation of disturbed land at oil sands mines in Alberta as they are tolerant to salt and alkali. In general, there are five methods of applying seeds on a given site: drilling, broadcasting, hand seeding, hydro-seeding and transplanting. The use of transplanting has been successful in greenhouse and field tests on the dewatering capacity of plants (Johnson et al. 1993, Silva, 1999). But in the field, materials into which transplants will be introduced should have enough bearing capacity to support the weight of operating machines or human activities. Although mixed with cyclone sand and addition of gypsum to improve consolidation, the freshly discharged CT at 65% solids content still behaves as a slurry which will not support either manual or mechanical seeding equipment. Drilling, transplanting and hand seeding are therefore not applicable for seeding plants on CT deposits. Broadcast seeding, hydro-seeding and slurry seeding techniques are more likely to succeed over the vast surface area that will exist in a typical oil sands mine. Few studies have been conducted to assess the use of native plant species for dewatering of CT, rather than non native species. Little evaluation work has been carried out on seeding techniques that directly distribute seeds over the surface of CT materials. The objectives of this study were evaluation of native plant species response to CT discharged from Alberta oil sands mine and assessment of plant dewatering capacity by evapotranspiration. In this fifteen week greenhouse study, plant emergence and performance were recorded. Dewatering via transpiration and evapotranspiration was monitored (Wu, 2009). This paper only presents results on the evaluation of selected wheatgrass responses directly seeded on CT materials. Greenhouse Experiment Materials In the laboratory, CT was mixed with sand, MFT, pond water and gypsum to produce a mixture with an initial solids content of 65% and 20% fines. All solids content presented in Table 1 were determined using standard gravimetric analysis and represented the average of three samples. All samples, except Proceedings - Tailings and Mine Waste 2011 Vancouver, BC, November 6 to 9, 2011 for gypsum, were placed in the aluminium dishes and dried overnight in an oven at 110 0C and/or until a constant mass was reached. The solids content of the gypsum was measured and calculated after drying the sample to a constant weight at 80 0C (Boratynec, 2003). Table 1 Water Contents and Fines Contents of Tailings Samples  Tailings Sample Water Content (%) Solids Content (%) Fines Content (<44 µm) (%) Barrel  1 121.6 45.1 64.6 MFT Barrel  2 243.3 29.1 93.0 Sand 3.8 96.3 3.0 Gypsum 7.5 93.0 N/A CT mixture 63.6 65.1 20.0  Tailings sand samples were first weighed to obtain their mass then washed through a #325 sieve to determine the mass of fines. The material retained on the #325 sieve (sand) was oven dried overnight at 1100C to determine the dry mass retained on the #325 sieve. Two representative samples of pond water, MFT and CT mixture were used to determine nutrient status, pH and electrical conductivity (EC). Chemical analysis and major ions of CT are summarized in Table 2. This CT mixture was slightly saline with a pH range of 7.3 to 7.6. Ions of −−++ Cl and ,SO  ,Ca ,Na 24 were dominant. Nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium concentrations were deficient and magnesium was optimum for plants. Calcium was slightly higher than optimum. Electrical conductivities were 0.15 and 0.16 S/m which are slightly higher than 0.15 S/m indicating a high soluble salt level that could impact sensitive plant species. The calculated values of sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) were 10.3 and 10.4 for the two samples, respectively, which were less than optimum for a growth medium. Therefore, based on SAR, EC and pH, the CT can be classified as a slightly saline, non-sodic soil. 4L plastic pails with a diameter of 218 mm and a height of 145 mm were used in this experiment. The containers were filled with CT mixture. Self-weight consolidation was allowed to occur and the expressed water was siphoned from the surface. No bottom drainage was provided during the tests. Three duplicates were prepared for each plant species and for each seeding treatment. Grass Species According to the seed availability and plant growth characteristics, native wheatgrass species selected for dewatering CT in this greenhouse experiment were Northern wheatgrass (Agropyron dasystachyum), and Slender wheatgrass (Agropyron trachycaulum). Seeds were obtained from a commercial seed supplier Pickseed Canada Inc.. For each species, fifty seeds were counted by hand and selected based on their appearance such as plumpness, absence of spots and cleanliness. Direct Seeding Treatments The studies consisted of six seeding treatments.  Modified broadcast seeding (Treatment-1): the surface of each pail was roughened with a fork. Fifty seeds of each species were spread evenly on the surface and slightly covered with CT. Treatment-1 was used for comparison. Proceedings - Tailings and Mine Waste 2011 Vancouver, BC, November 6 to 9, 2011  Hydro-seeding with mulch (Treatment-2): Hydro-seeding slurry, mixed with fresh CT, fifty (50) seeds and mulch, was placed on the CT. The mulch application rate was 0.14 kg/m2 (1250 lbs/acre).  Fresh CT containing fifty (50) seeds was discharged as a 1-4 mm thick layer (Treatment-3) and a 4-6 mm thick layer (Treatment-4). These were allowed to flow over the surface of the CT.  Fertilizer 20-8-20 (N-P-K) was added to the hydro-seeding slurry with mulch (Treatment-5) and to a 1-4 mm thick layer of fresh CT slurry (Treatment-6) to assess the impact of fertilization on native plant seeds emergence. Table 2 Chemical Analysis and Major Ions of Pond Water, MFT and CT Mixture  Pond Water MFT+ CT+ Sample 1 2 1 2 1 2 Optimum of Growth Media* pH 7.69 7.69 6.95 6.95 7.47 7.49 6.00-8.00 E.C (S/m) 0.32 0.32 0.14 0.14 0.16 0.15 <0.10 Nitrogen (x100 ppm) 0.39 0.42 0.64 0.65 0.61 0.63 1.00-1.99 Phosphate (x100 ppm) BDL BDL BDL BDL BDL BDL 0.06-1.00 Potassium (x100 ppm) 0.21 0.24 0.27 0.27 0.29 0.30 1.50-2.40 Magnesium (x100 ppm) 0.05 0.06 0.12 0.13 0.65 0.62 0.30-0.70 Calcium (x100 ppm) 0.06 0.05 0.15 0.17 2.42 2.35 0.80-2.00 Sodium (x100 ppm) 16.96 17.19 18.63 17.27 7.07 6.89 0.00-80.00 SAR 124.95 127.39 87.90 76.60 10.44 10.32 <13 # Sulfate (x100 ppm) 3.39 3.41 0.01 0.02 15.15 15.20 N/A Chloride (x100 ppm) 2.92 2.90 1.36 1.42 1.93 1.93 N/A Fluoride (x100 ppm) 0.03 0.03 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01 N/A Note: * Warncke (1998) # Davis et al. (2006) + Concentrations of ions are for the paste saturate water for each sample BDL: Below Detection Level  A geo-grid system was used during hydro-seeding to prevent seeds being concentrated to the edge of the pail and floating in the standing water (Photo in Figure 1). Proceedings - Tailings and Mine Waste 2011 Vancouver, BC, November 6 to 9, 2011  Figure 1 Illustration of Geo-grid System Used in Hydro-seeding Treatments Greenhouse Experiment Design The pails were placed in a controlled environment greenhouse at an average temperature of 220C with 15 hours of light and 9 hours darkness, simulating the typical growing climatic condition in Fort McMurray from June to September. Mercury and sodium vapour lights (400 W) acted as a supplemental light to complement the low light intensity in the greenhouse during late fall and winter when this test program was conducted. This supplemental light was not turned on for the first 14 days to reduce surface desiccation and allow seeds to achieve maximum emergence. The plants were placed randomly in the greenhouse to minimize any effect of environmental differences. Distilled water was added twice a week to the CT surface to simulate the typical average precipitation. Since standing water would float the seeds out of the soil, 9.8 mm of distilled water was added weekly to these small scale samples, which represents approximately 89% of the typical average precipitation during the summer in Fort McMurray. Fertilizer with 100 ppm 20-8-20 (N-P-K) was used biweekly after 8 weeks. For pails with fresh or weak plant shoots, the total amount of fertilizer was added in two or three separate watering events. Plant Measurements Weekly monitoring began 7 days after seeding and continued for 10 weeks to record emergence and plant growth. The monitoring of plant dewatering from CT continued to week 15. Initially, monitoring involved counting the number of plant shoots in each pail that had emerged at 6 and 8 weeks. The plant density was calculated in plants per m2. Following plant emergence, average plant height in each pail was determined and degree of survival was calculated. At fifteen weeks, plants in Treatment-1 and Treatment-4 were harvested by cutting the plant from the CT surface, gently cleaned with soft paper towel and weighed to measure the wet plant mass. Then, plants were washed three times with distilled water, air dried at a room temperature for three days and Geo-grid Proceedings - Tailings and Mine Waste 2011 Vancouver, BC, November 6 to 9, 2011 weighed. Next the plants were oven dried for 12 hours or until the constant weight at 65 0C to determine the dry plant mass. The leaf area index was determined using the following procedure. The leaves of the subsample from each container were carefully put on a scanner (HP C5195). The leaf areas were then measured using the UCPE-leaf area measurement program (The University of Sheffield, UK). The total leaf area was determined by multiplying the area of the subsample by the total number of leaves. These leaf areas were then used to calculate the Leaf Area Index (LAI, dimensionless), which is defined as the area of one side of leaves per unit of soil surface (Jensen et al. 1990). One random CT sample for each plant species was used to determine root mass. Samples were submerged in a pail of water and roots were removed carefully.  Roots were washed using distilled water and dried with paper towel. The samples were air dried for three days and weighed to determine the wet mass of roots, then oven dried at 65 0C for 12 hours or until reaching a constant mass. Plant dry biomass above and below ground was calculated. Results and Discussions Plant Emergence During the experimental monitoring, Northern wheatgrass and Slender wheatgrass emerged in all treatments. The emergence (shown in Figure 2) varied by plant species and seeding techniques. Most plant emergence occurred within the first 3 to 4 weeks after seeding. At ten weeks, the average emergence rates, summarized in Table 3, varied from 34.0% to 58.7% for Northern wheatgrass and from 23.3% to 64.7% for Slender wheatgrass. Seeding technique was found to influence the emergence rate of wheatgrass species. The best emergence was achieved via modified broadcast seeding (Treatment-1). Six days after seeding, seeds of all species started to emerge (shown in Figure 2). Seedlings survived throughout the test period. Compared with Treatment-1, the emergence of some species was delayed about 4 days in slurry seeding treatments (Treatment-3, Treatment-4 and Treatment-6). Fertilizer added to the slurries during seeding did not contribute to a higher emergence rate because fertilizer added during seeding introduced a risk of soluble salt injury and is somewhat inefficient since plants do not use the nutrients until after they germinate and begin rooting (Comer, 2003). The reduction in emergence may be attributed, at least in part, to the high amount of concentration in CT (Table 2). The presence of a salt crust was observed at the surface of the CT material during the experiment which decreases the osmotic potential of the soil, creating potential for water stress and makes it more difficult for plants to absorb water. During slurry seeding and hydro- seeding, seeds were observed floating on the water surface, even with the use of geo-grid, giving a poor seed-soil contact. Some young shoots failed to root. −+ Cl andNa Proceedings - Tailings and Mine Waste 2011 Vancouver, BC, November 6 to 9, 2011  0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Av er ag e Em er ge d N u m be r Days after Seeding (a) Northern wheatgrass Treatment-1: Modified Broadcast Seeding Treatment-2: Hydroseeding with Mulch Treatment-3: 1-4 mm Fresh Discharged CT Slurry Seeding Treatment-4: 4-6 mm Fresh Discharged CT Slurry Seeding Treatment-5: Hydroseeding with Mulch and Fertilizer Treatment-6: 1-4 mm Fresh Discharged CT Slurry Seeding with Fertilizer   0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Av er ag e Em er ge d N u m be r Days after Seeding (b) Slender wheatgrass Treatment-1: Modified Broadcast Seeding Treatment-2: Hydroseeding with Mulch Treatment-3: 1-4 mm Fresh Discharged CT Slurry Seeding Treatment-4: 4-6 mm Fresh Discharged CT Slurry Seeding Treatment-5: Hydroseeding with Mulch and Fertilizer Treatment-6: 1-4 mm Fresh Discharged CT Slurry Seeding with Fertilizer  Figure 2  Average Emergence of Wheatgrasses in Treatments Table 3 Average Plant Emergence Rate (%) at 10 Weeks after Seeding  Treatment 1 2 3 4 5 6 Northern wheatgrass 58.7 54.6 34.0 49.3 52.7 46.7 Slender wheatgrass 64.7 23.3 50.0 27.3 28.0 46.0 Proceedings - Tailings and Mine Waste 2011 Vancouver, BC, November 6 to 9, 2011 Plant Survival The results of plant survival rate, listed in Table 4, showed that CT did not affect the survival of Slender wheatgrass and Northern wheatgrass significantly, at least during the first eight weeks. The early survival rates for selected wheatgrass species were above 90%. Table 4 Plant Survival Rate (%) in Treatments after 6 and 8 Weeks Treatment 1 2 3 4 5 6 6 weeks 100 100 97.9 100 100 93 Northern wheatgrass 8 weeks 100 98.8 91.7 100 96.2 92.4 6 weeks 100 100 98.7 100 100 98.4 Slender wheatgrass 8 weeks 100 94 98.4 100 97.6 96.8  Plant Performance Slender wheatgrass and Northern wheatgrass grow in CT reasonably well. Compared with other native plant species tested in this study, these two selected wheatgrass species had the greatest emergence, plant height, biomass and developed the largest leaf areas (Wu et al. 2011). After fifteen weeks, Northern wheatgrass produced 2087 mg of total dry biomass and Slender wheatgrass produced 4728 mg in total dry biomass (Figure 3) in Treatment-1. These two plant species also produced the longest root system. At the end of this experiment, roots reached and crawled at the bottom of the containers and may have developed deeper if not limited by the container depth.  Figure 3  Plant Biomass Above and Below Ground in Treatment-1 and Treatment-4 Figure 4 showed the average plant heights recorded every week. In Treatment-1, the average plant heights of Slender wheatgrass and Northern wheatgrass reached the maximum of 30.4 cm and 23.9 cm, respectively. Slender wheatgrass and Northern wheatgrass demonstrated a high degree of tolerance to the growing conditions in CT materials. Fertilizer (20-8-20) was added biweekly. The average plant Proceedings - Tailings and Mine Waste 2011 Vancouver, BC, November 6 to 9, 2011 height increased dramatically after 10 weeks. However, dry tips and wilting of plant leaves were observed at the end of the experiment. 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 Av er ag e Pl an t H ei gh t ( m m ) Days after Seeding (a) Northern wheatgrass Treatment-1: Modified Broadcast Seeding Treatment-2: Hydroseeding with Mulch Treatment-3: 1-4 mm Fresh Discharged CT Slurry Seeding Treatment-4: 4-6 mm Fresh Discharged CT Slurry Seeding Treatment-5: Hydroseeding with Mulch and Fertilizer Treatment-6: 1-4 mm Fresh Discharged CT Slurry Seeding with Fertilizer  0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 Av er ag e Pl an t H ei gh t ( m m ) Days after Seeding (b) Slender wheatgrass Treatment-1: Modified Broadcast Seeding Treatment-2: Hydroseeding with Mulch Treatment-3: 1-4 mm Fresh Discharged CT Slurry Seeding Treatment-4: 4-6 mm Fresh Discharged CT Slurry Seeding Treatment-5: Hydroseeding with Mulch and Fertilizer Treatment-6: 1-4 mm Fresh Discharged CT Slurry Seeding with Fertilizer  Figure 4  Average Plant Heights for Northern wheatgrass and Slender wheatgrass The capacity of a plant to uptake water from soil increases with leaf area index (LAI) (Ritchie, 1972). Leaf area index (LAI) and Root-to-Shoot Ratio for each plant species in Treatment-1 were calculated in Table 5. In Treatment-1, Slender wheatgrass and Northern wheatgrass produced the highest plant density, 1167 plants/m2 and 1008 plants/m2, respectively. Slender wheatgrass produced larger leaf area Proceedings - Tailings and Mine Waste 2011 Vancouver, BC, November 6 to 9, 2011 which indicated that Slender wheatgrass has more capacity to uptake water from CT compared to Northern wheatgrass (Wu et al. 2010). Table 5 Plant Density, Root-to-Shoot Ratio and LAI in Treatment-1  Plant Density (Plants/m2) Root:Shoot Ratio Average Leaf Area (mm2) Leaf Area Index (LAI) (%) Northern wheatgrass 1008.5 1.5 12,660 13.4 Slender wheatgrass 1167.7 1.1 16,841 28.3  Conclusions Selected wheatgrass species emerged in the CT when different seeding techniques were applied. Northern wheatgrass and Slender wheatgrass were tolerant of the CT mixture and grew reasonably well during 15 weeks (105 days), at least in these greenhouse experiments. Slender and Northern wheatgrass species were tested for the later study of native plant dewatering capacity. Broadcast seeding, hydro-seeding with mulch and slurry seeding with fresh CT containing seeds were successful for seeding grasses on CT, at least in the laboratory scale of this study. Some seeds floated during all seeding techniques. Slurry seeding provided good seed-soil contact which increased plant emergence rate. However, the thickness of slurry mixed with seeds is important, especially when compared to the seeds size. Hydro-seeding with mulch works very well because the seed is suspended in the mulch, which seals in the moisture to help germination and rooting in CT. In further work, coated seeds could be used in hydro-seeding and slurry seeding techniques to prevent seeds from floating at the surface and improve root penetration. Fertilizer 20-8-20 (N-P-K) added during seeding did not increase plant germination and emergence but did help plant growth for Slender wheatgrass and Northern wheatgrass. Additional research is required to determine optimum use of fertilizer in long term plant management strategies. Acknowledgements This study was funded by the Oil Sands Tailings Research Facility and the University of Alberta. The author would like to express her appreciation to Dr. Sego and Dr. Naeth for their invaluable advice and encouragement throughout this project. Special thanks to Mr. Terence Jibiki of Klohn Crippen Berger for his review of this paper. References Boratynec, D. J., 2003. Fundamentals of Rapid Dewatering of Composite Tailings. Thesis (M.Sc.). University of Alberta. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. 267 p. Comer, G. G., 2003. Extension Farm and Home News. University of Kentucky, Cooperative Extensions Service Publications. 3 p. Dames and Moore., 1970. Vegetative Stabilization of Tailings Ponds and Dykes: Athabasca Tar Sands, Lease Number 17, The Company, Alberta, 41 p. Davis, J.G., Waskom, R.M., Bauder, T.A., and Cardon, G.E., 2006. Managing sodic soils. Colorado State University Extension publications, No. 0.504, 3 p. Proceedings - Tailings and Mine Waste 2011 Vancouver, BC, November 6 to 9, 2011 Johnson, M.S. and Putwain, P.D., 1981. Restoration of Native Biotic Communities on Land Disturbed by Metalliferous Mining, Minerals and the Environment, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 67-85. Jenson, M.E., Burman, R.D., and Allen, R.G., 1990. Evapotranspiration and Irrigation Water Requirements. ASCE Manuals and reports of Engineering Practice No. 70. New York. 332 p. Johnson, R. L., Bork, P., Allen, E. A. D., James, W. H., and Koverny, L., 1993. Oil Sands Sludge Dewatering by Freeze-thaw and Evapotranspiration. Alberta Conservation and Reclamation Council Report No. RRTAC 93-8. Queen’s Printers. Edmonton, Alberta, 246 p. Lyster. L., Henderson, C., Tupper, D., and Bietz, B., 2001. Native Plant Revegetation Guidelines for Alberta. Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. 58 p. Naeth, M. A., Howat, D., and McClure, H., 1999. Germination of Plant Species on Syncrude Composite Tailings Sands. Department of Renewable Resource, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta. 22 p. Qiu, Y. and Sego, D.C., 1998. Engineering Properties of Mine Tailings. Proceeding, 51st Canadian Geotechnical Conference, Edmonton, Alberta. October 4-7. Vol. 1. pp. 149-154. Renault, S., MacKinnon, M., and Qualizza, C., 2003. Barley, a Potential Species for Initial Reclamation of Saline Composite Tailings of Oil Sands. Journal of Environment Quality. Vol. 32. pp. 2245-2253. Renault, S., Qualizza, C., and MacKinnon, M., 2004. Suitability of Altai Wildrye (Elymus angustus) and Slender Wheatgrass (Agropyron trachycaulum) for Initial Reclamation of Saline Composite Tailings of Oil Sands. Environmental Pollution 128 (2004), pp. 339-349. Ritchie, J. T., 1972. Model for Predicting Evaporation from a Row Crop with Incomplete Cover. Water Resources Research, Vol. 8, No. 5, pp. 1204-1213. Russell Ecological Consultants, 1982. Reclamation with Native Grasses in Alberta: Field Trail Results. Alberta Forest Service, Edmonton. 57 p. Sego, D. C., Dawson, R. F., Dereniwski, T., and Burn, B., 1994. Freeze-thaw Dewatering to Reclaim Oil Sand Fine Tails to a Dry Landscape. Proceedings, 7th International Cold Regions Engineering Specialty Conference, Edmonton, Alberta, pp. 669-688. Silva, M. J., 1999. Plant Dewatering and Strengthening of Mine Waste Tailings. Thesis (PhD). University of Alberta. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. 271 p. Silva, M. J., Naeth, M. A., Biggar, K. W., Chanasyk, D. S., and Sego, D. C., 1998. Plant Selection for Dewatering and Reclamation of Tailings. Proceedings, 51st Annual National Meeting of the American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation, St. Louis, Missouri, May 17-21, 1998, pp. 104-117. Stahl, R. P., 1996. Charaterization and Natural Process Enhancing Dry Landscape Reclamation of Fine Processed Mine Wastes. Thesis (PhD). University of Alberta. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. 297 p. Warncke, D.D., 1998. Recommended Testing Procedures for Greenhouse Growth Media. Michigan State University Representivie to NCR-13. The North Central Soil Testing Committe, pp. 76-83. Wu, S., 2009. A Greenhouse Study of Selected Native Plant Species for Dewatering CT. Thesis (M.Sc.). University of Alberta. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. 124 p. Wu, S., Sego, D., Naeth, A., and Wang, B.W., 2011. A Greenhouse Study of Grass Response on Composite Tailings Discharged from Alberta Oilsands Mine. Proceedings of the 5th Mining and the Environment International Conference. June 25-30, 2011. Sudbury, Ontario. Wu, S., Sego, D., Naeth, A., and Wang, B.W., 2010. Evapotranspiration Dewatering Effect on CT Deposits by Grasses. Proceedings of the 63rd Canadian Geotechnical Conference and 6th Canadian Permafrost Conference. September 12-15, 2010. Calgary, Alberta.

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