British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposia

Influence of cultivated grasses and legumes on the establishment success of native grass mixtures at.. Takyi, Samuel K 2010

You don't seem to have a PDF reader installed, try download the pdf

Item Metadata

Download

Media
1981 - Tomm, Takyi - Influence of Cultivated Grasses and.pdf [ 136.48kB ]
Metadata
JSON: 1.0042039.json
JSON-LD: 1.0042039+ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 1.0042039.xml
RDF/JSON: 1.0042039+rdf.json
Turtle: 1.0042039+rdf-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 1.0042039+rdf-ntriples.txt
Citation
1.0042039.ris

Full Text

Proceedings of the 5th Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Cranbrook, BC, 1981. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation             INFLUENCE OF CULTIVATED GRASSES AND LEGUMES ON THE ESTABLISHMENT SUCCESS OF NATIVE GRASS MIXTURES AT TWO ABANDONED COAL MINES IN THE SUBALPINE REGION OF ALBERTA by H. Tomm and S.K. Takyi Reforestation and Reclamation Branch Alberta Forest Service Department of Energy and Natural Resources Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5K 2C9                195 Proceedings of the 5th Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Cranbrook, BC, 1981. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation INFLUENCE OF CULTIVATED GRASSES AND LEGUMES ON THE ESTABLISHMENT SUCCESS OF NATIVE GRASS MIXTURES AT TWO ABANDONED COAL MINES IN THE SUBALPINE REGION OF ALBERTA ABSTRACT Field experiments on land disturbances in the subalpine region of Alberta have indicated that, with a great majority of the native grass species tested, plant cover development necessary for rapid erosion control is generally slower than with the cultivated varieties. The objective of the present study is to define seed mixtures that will produce erosion-controlling cover and ultimately evolve into mature native plant communities. Identical trials were established on both raw overburden and overburden topdressed with mineral soil on two abandoned subalpine coal mines to assess the influence of cultivated grasses and legumes on the establish- ment and performance of native grass mixtures. This report covers assessment results after the second growing season. Parameters dis- cussed include percent plant cover, and a general assessment of species frequency. INTRODUCTION Reclamation of coal-mines disturbances in high elevation alpine or sub- alpine environments represent unique and often difficult challenges in land management. The high value of these areas for watershed, wildlife range and recreation serve to emphasize the need for successful reclama- tion. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of information with respect to rehabilitation of disturbed alpine or subalpine sites. Expertise developed for more temperate zones cannot always be applied to high elevation situations where a different and/or more critical set of environmental constraints are encountered. Of particular importance is the low heat budget under which plant species must complete their life cycle (Brown and Johnston 1979, Root 1976). Brown and Johnston (1979) suggest that three important and interrelated variables must be con- sidered for successful high elevation rehabilitation: 1) overall climatic factors; 2) physiological adaptations of the plant; and 3) factors of the disturbed environment. 197 Proceedings of the 5th Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Cranbrook, BC, 1981. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation One phase of the Alberta Forest Service research program is directed at evaluating the physiological adaptations of native grasses for reclama- tion purposes. Emphasis has been placed on species adaptability trials in subalpine regions. Experience gained has indicated that despite the adaptations of high elevation native species, their cultivated counter- parts are often more adept at producing an early erosion-controlling vegetative cover (Russell and Takyi 1979, Takyi and Russell 1980). Ziemkiewicz (1979) noted that this paradox is plausible because of the genetically-enhanced capacity of most agronomic species to produce shoot biomass. Conversely, adapted native species avoid the nutrient cycling "bottleneck" of slow decomposition of dead plant material in high eleva- tion environments by maintaining relatively high proportions of root to shoot biomass. Thus, under favourable moisture and soil fertility conditions, cultivated species may initially be far more productive. The designated end land use objective of reclamation often requires the establishment of a self-perpetuating native plant community. However, measures implemented to meet this objective will not necessarily ensure the simultaneous production of an erosion-controlling cover in the early stages of reclamation. The present study was initiated in an attempt to define seed mixtures which will achieve both short- and long-term reclamation objectives. Specific objectives of the study are as follows: 1.  to evaluate and compare the main effects and interactions of five companion crop treatments and four native grass seed mixtures on the establishment of a vegetative cover on raw overburden and overburden topdressed with mineral soil at two subalpine locations, and 2.  to evaluate and compare the performance of three cultivated grass-legume control mixtures and four native grass mixtures on the establishment of a vegetative cover on raw overburden and overburden topdressed with mineral soil at two subalpine locations. Assessment results after the second growing season are presented. Because of the relatively short time span since the study was initiated, conclusions pertain only to the establishment of an early erosion- controlling ground cover. 198 Proceedings of the 5th Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Cranbrook, BC, 1981. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation DESCRIPTION OF STUDY AREAS The experiments were established on two abandoned surface coal mines in the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains. The sites are near Cadomin (elev. 1,695 m) in west central Alberta, and at Adanac (elev. 1,895 m) in the southwest corner of the province. The study areas fall into in the subalpine forest region (SA.1) as defined by Rowe (1972). The same climatic classification, subarctic snow forest (Dfc) according to Koppens' systems, describes both areas (Longley 1970). Abandoned in the early 1950's, the mine sites are now characterized by spoil and over- burden materials that are almost completely devoid of vegetation. Further description of the Cadomin area can be found in Root (1976) and Russell and Takyi (1979). Tomm and Russell (1981) give a description of the Adanac mine site, as well as a summary of soil and overburden analyses for both sites. MATERIALS AND METHODS EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN AND TREATMENTS Two separate but identical field trials were established at each study site; on raw overburden and overburden topdressed with mineral soil. The purpose of topdressing was to evaluate species establishment and performance on different seedbed types. Each trial consists of three replicates employing a completely ran- domized design. Seed mixtures for the factorial native grass-companion treatments are given in Table 1. The cultivated grass-legume control mixtures are summarized in Table 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF FIELD TRIALS Field trials were established in the spring of 1979. For the topdressed trials, mineral soil was stripped from nearby undisturbed sites, hauled to the mine sites, and spread to an average depth of 20 cm. Trials were fenced to minimize outside influences. All plots measure 2 m x 2 m (.0004 ha). Seedbed uniformity was achieved by hand raking each plot before and after broadcast seeding and fertilizing. Estab- lishment fertilization was carried out at a rate of 80 kg N/ha, 60 kg 199 Proceedings of the 5th Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Cranbrook, BC, 1981. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation TABLE 1 TREATMENT DESIGNATIONS OF THE NATIVE GRASS SEED MIXTURES AND CULTIVATED COMPANION CROPS Native Grass Mixtures1 1. Slender  wheatgrass  (Agropyron  trachycaulum),  alpine  sheep  fescue (Festuca saximontana), alpine bluegrass (Poa alpina) and interior bluegrass (P. interior). 2. Northern wheatgrass (Agropyron dasystachyum), bearded wheatgrass (A. subsecundum), slender wheatgrass and June grass (Koeleria cristata). 3. Northern wheatgrass, tufted hair grass (Deschampsia caespitosa), alpine bluegrass and spike trisetum (Trisetum spicatum). 4. Alpine sheep fescue, June grass, interior bluegrass and spike trisetum. Cultivated Companion Crops2 A. Meadow foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis, Canada No. 1 seed). B. Timothy (Phleum pratense cv. Climax, certified seed) and white clover (Trifolium repens, Canada No. 1 seed). C. Creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra cv. Boreal, certified seed) and alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum cv. Aurora, certified seed). D. Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne cv. Norlea, certified seed). E. Control (no companion crop). 1Each mixture was seeded at a rate of 4,000 seeds/m2. The number of seeds per species is approximately equal in each mixture. 2Each treatment was seeded at a rate of 5 kg/ha. 200 Proceedings of the 5th Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Cranbrook, BC, 1981. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation TABLE 2 TREATMENT DESIGNATIONS OF THE CULTIVATED GRASS-LEGUME SEED MIXTURES Mixture1 Species2 a. Creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra cv. Boreal, certified seed) (40%), white clover (Trifolium repens, Canada No. 1 seed) (20%), timothy (Phleum pratense cv. Climax, certified  seed) 120%) and crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum cv. Fairway, certified seed) (20%) b. Creeping red fescue (40%), white clover (12%), timothy (24%) and Canada bluegrass (Poa compressa, Canada No. 1 seed) (24%) c. Creeping red fescue (32%), timothy (20%), crested wheatgrass (32%) and alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum cv. Aurora, certified seed) (16%) 1Each mixture was seeded at a rate of 40 kg/ha.  2Percent figures in brackets following each species indicate proportion of seed mixture by weight. 201 Proceedings of the 5th Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Cranbrook, BC, 1981. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation P/ha, and 60 kg K/ha. The sources of fertilizer nutrients were 46-0-0, 10-30-10 and 0-0-60. Subsequent maintenance fertilization (spring, 1980) was applied at one-half the above rate using the same fertilizer forms. ASSESSMENT OF FIELD TRIALS Initial assessments (fall, 1980) included percent plant cover and species frequency. A general assessment of the latter index was ob- tained by ocular appraisal for the dominant species in each plot. Plant cover was measured in a 0.5 m by 0.5 m quadrat with grid of 100 sub- plots. Percent cover values were estimated on the basis of the per- pendicular projection of all living above-ground plant parts. Plant cover percent was expressed as the mean of four quadrat readings per plot. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION NATIVE GRASS-COMPANION CROP TREATMENTS Results summarized in Tables 3 and 4 show significant differences in percent plant cover among native grass seed mixtures in all trials except the topdressed overburden at Adanac (Table 4). Highest average percent plant cover in all trials was achieved by the native mixture composed primarily of wheatgrasses (northern wheatgrass, bearded wheat- grass, slender wheatgrass and June grass). Lowest percent cover re- sulted from the seed mixture lacking a wheatgrass representative: alpine sheep fescue, June grass, interior bluegrass and spike trisetum. The robust performance of the wheatgrasses suggest that these species are suitable for initial revegetation. It remains to be determined if the wheatgrasses will continue to be a significant component of plant cover beyond the maintenance (fertilization) stage or be replaced by other species in the seed mixtures. For example, both the fescues and the bluegrasses approached the wheatgrasses in frequency of occurrence although contributing little to the present plant cover. Spike trise- tum, June grass and tufted hair grass occurred much less frequently than the above species. The companion crop treatments were not significant in any of the trials. Furthermore, the interactions between native grass mixtures and 202 Proceedings of the 5th Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Cranbrook, BC, 1981. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation TABLE 3 PERCENT PLANT COVER OF THE NATIVE GRASS-CULTIVATED COMPANION CROP TREATMENTS AT CADOMIN (MEANS OF THREE REPLICATIONS) Native Grass Mixtures1   CompanionCrop Treatments1             Means2 A      B     C     D     E (Native Mixtures) Topdressed Trial 1 31.92 21.17 22.25 29.00 22.42 25.35b 2 38.08 31.92 29.50 25.42 22.42 29.47b 3 26.92 26.83 31.00 26.83 21.00 26.52b 4 17.67 17.92 13.42 12.58 10.00 14.32a Means 28.65 24.46 24.04 23.46 18.96 (Companion Crops) Raw Overburden Trial 1 7.25 12.00 5.58 14.58 12.75 10.43b 2 15.58 20.00 24.75 27.58 21.17 21.82c 3 8.83 16.75 13.67 12.75 11.25 12.65b 4 5.17  3.58 5.50 3.58 1.08 3.78a Means 9.21 13.08 12.38 14.62  11.56 (Companion Crops) 'Treatment designations: Native Grass Mixtures 1. Slender wheatgrass, alpine sheep  fescue,  alpine bluegrass and  interior bluegrass. 2. Northern wheatgrass, bearded wheatgrass, slender wheatgrass and June grass. 3. Northern wheatgrass, tufted hair grass, alpine bluegrass and spike trisetum. 4. Alpine sheep fescue, June grass, interior bluegrass and spike trisetum. Cultivated Companion Crops A. Meadow foxtail B. "Climax" timothy and white clover C. "Boreal" creeping red fescue and "Aurora" alsike clover D. "Norlea" perennial ryegrass E. Control -For significant main effects, means followed by a common letter are not significantly different at the five (5) percent level according to Duncan's Multiple Range Test. 203 Proceedings of the 5th Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Cranbrook, BC, 1981. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation TABLE 4 PERCENT PLANT COVER OF THE NATIVE GRASS-CULTIVATED COMPANION CROP TREATMENTS AT ADANAC (MEANS OF THREE REPLICATIONS) Native Grass Mixtures^ ______CompanionCrop Treatments^ ______                       Means A B C D E  (Native Mixtures) Topdressed Trial 1 38.83 20.50 15.67 24.42 16.92                         23.27 2 34.92 34.24 29.42 32.92 24.50                         31.20 3 42.08 21.33 28.67 28.58 17.58                         27.65 4 29.25 31.75 17.42 10.17 21.92                        22.10 Means 36.27 26.96 22.79 24.02 20.23 (Companion Crops) Raw Overburden Trial 1 28.92 20.33 26.00 32.25 23.42                         26.18a2 2 36.92 51.58 26.00 35.75 35.17                         37.08b 3 39.17 38.42 34.33 24.17 20.08                        31.23ab 4 29.75 32.50 33.58 28.92 22.17                         29.38ab Means 33.69 35.71 29.98 30.27 25.21 (Companion Crops) 'Treatment designations: Native Grass Mixtures 1. Slender wheatgrass,  alpine sheep  fescue,  alpine bluegrass and  interior bluegrass. 2. Northern wheatgrass, bearded wheatgrass, slender wheatgrass and June grass. 3. Northern wheatgrass, tufted hair grass, alpine bluegrass and spike trisetum. 4. Alpine sheep fescue, June grass, interior bluegrass and spike trisetum. Cultivated Companion Crops A. Meadow foxtail B. "Climax" timothy and white clover C. "Boreal" creeping red fescue and "Aurora" alsike clover D. "Norlea" perennial ryegrass E. Control -For significant main effects, means followed by a common letter are not significantly different at the five (5) percent level according to Duncan's Multiple Range Test. 204 Proceedings of the 5th Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Cranbrook, BC, 1981. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation companion crops were not significant, implying that these factors have independent effects on plant cover. Possible explanations are that 1) the effect of the companion crop treatments were similar on each native grass mixture or 2) the companion crops did not achieve sufficient cover to affect the establishment and growth of native species. These preliminary results suggest that good plant cover production can be achieved through the use of native wheatgrasses. At the seeding rate tested in this study, the companion crop treatments were not essential for establishing an early erosion-controlling cover. The more success- ful of the companion crops in frequency of occurrence were meadow foxtail, timothy and creeping red fescue. These species may yet in- fluence the performance of native grasses in subsequent seasons. Russell and Takyi (1979) found timothy to be one of the most promising species for erosion control at Cadomin. King (1980) and Mihajlovich and Russell (1980) noted that creeping red fescue was a successful colonizer of high elevation sites in southern Alberta. Brown and Johnston (1978) recommended meadow foxtail as one the few commercially available intro- duced species adaptable for high elevation reclamation. Comparisons of average percent cover among all trials suggest contra- dictory results. Average percent cover for the trials at Cadomin were 23.9 (mineral soil) and 12.2 (raw overburden). Percent values for the respective trials at Adanac were 26.1 and 30.1. Despite this variation, the relationship of percent cover to species composition was relatively consistent, particularly for the native grass treatments. NATIVE GRASS AND AGRONOMIC GRASS-LEGUME TREATMENTS The preceding discussion intimated that the native wheatgrasses are suitable species for producing an early plant cover. Comparisons of the pure native grass mixtures with the cultivated grass-legume mixtures (Table 5) tend to support this claim. Differences in plant cover attributable to seed mixture effects were not significant for the trials at Adanac. The summarized results (Table 5) suggest that the lower cover produced by the native seed mixture lacking a wheatgrass is responsible for the significant treatment effects for the trials at Cadomin. Native mixtures which included wheatgrasses generally compared favourably with the cultivated mixtures. 205 Proceedings of the 5th Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Cranbrook, BC, 1981. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation TABLE 5 PERCENT PLANT COVER OF THE CULTIVATED GRASS-LEGUME MIXTURES AND PURE NATIVE GRASS MIXTURES (MEANS OF THREE REPLICATIONS) ________ Cadomin ________                 Adanac _________ Treatment1 Topdressed Raw Overburden Topdressed Raw Overburden a 38.33b2 23.5Od2              22.33 35.50 b 35.08b 8.17ab              27.58 38.42 c 33.17b 13.25bc             29.17 38.83 1E 22.42ab 12.75b              16.92 23.42 2E 22.42ab 21.17cd             24.50 35.17 3E 21.00ab 11.25b              17.58 20.08 4E 10.0Oa 1.08a               21.92 22.17 'Treatment designations: Native Grass Mixtures 1. Slender wheatgrass,  alpine sheep  fescue,  alpine bluegrass and interior bluegrass. 2. Northern wheatgrass, bearded wheatgrass, slender wheatgrass and June grass. 3. Northern wheatgrass, tufted hair grass, alpine bluegrass and spike trisetum. 4. Alpine sheep fescue, June grass, interior bluegrass and spike trisetum. Cultivated Companion Crops E.  Control (no companion crops). Cultivated Grass-Legume Mixtures a. "Boreal" creeping red fescue, white clover, "Climax" timothy and "Fairway" crested wheatgrass. b. "Boreal" creeping red fescue, white clover, "Climax" timothy and Canada bluegrass. c. "Boreal" creeping red fescue, "Climax" timothy, "Fairway" wheatgrass and "Aurora" alsike clover. 2For significant main effects, means followed by a common letter are not significantly different at the five (5) percent level according to Duncan's Multiple Range Test. 206 Proceedings of the 5th Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Cranbrook, BC, 1981. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation CONCLUSIONS Results to date suggest that the native wheatgrasses are suitable species for initial revegetation of high elevation disturbances. The more successful of the native grass seed mixtures compared favourably with the cultivated grass-legume control mixtures. The companion crops tested were not an essential ingredient for pro- ducing plant cover. These cultivated species did not significantly affect the establishment or growth of the native grasses up to the end of the second growing season after seeding. 207 Proceedings of the 5th Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Cranbrook, BC, 1981. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation LITERATURE CITED Brown, R.W. and R.S. Johnston. 1978. Rehabiliation of a high-elevation mine disturbance. In; Proceedings: high altitude revegetation workshop No. 3. Ed; S.T. Kennedy. Colorado Water Resources Information Series No. 28. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. pp 116-130. Brown, R.W. and R.S. Johnston. 1979. Revegetation of disturbed alpine rangelands. In; Special management needs of alpine ecosystems. Ed; D.A. Johnston. Annual Meeting, Society for Range Management, Casper, Wyoming. pp. 76-94. King, P.J. 1980. Tent mountain reclamation demonstration plantings (1979). Reforestation and Reclamation Branch, Forest Service, Alberta Energy and Natural Resources. 25pp. Longley, R.N. 1970. Climatic classification for Alberta Forestry. In; Proceedings of the third forest microclimate symosium. Eds; K.M. Powell and C.F. Nolasco. Can. Dept. Fish. For., Can. For. Serv., For. Res. Lab., Calgary, Alberta. pp. 147-153. Mihajlovich, M.M. and W.B. Russell. 1980. Tent mountain reclamation demonstration plantings (1977 and 1978). Reforestation and Reclamation Branch, Forest Service, Alberta Energy and Natural Resources. 48pp. Root, J.D. 1976. Physical environment of an abandoned stripmine near Cadomin, Alberta. Alberta Research Council Bull. No. 34. 33pp. Rowe, J.S. 1972. Forest regions of Canada. Environ. Can., Can. For. Serv. Publ. No. 1300. 172pp. Russell, W.B. and S.K. Takyi. 1979. The Cadomin reclamation research project: first year results (1978). ENR Report No. 121. Forest Service, Alberta Energy and Natural Resources. 47pp. Takyi, S.K. and W.B. Russell. 1980. The Cadomin reclamation research project: second year results (1979). ENR Report No. 155. Forest Service, Alberta Energy and Natureal Resources. 54pp. 208 Proceedings of the 5th Annual British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium in Cranbrook, BC, 1981. The Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation Tomm, H.O. and W.B. Russell, 1981. Native grass and cultivated grass legume seed mixture trials on subalpine coal-mined disturbances in Alberta. ENR Report NO. T/21-80. Forest Service, Alberta Energy and Natural Resources. 41pp. Ziemkiewicz, P.R. 1979. The capacity of reclamation plant communities to supply their own nutrients: when does maintenance fertilzation become necessary? In; Proceedings Fourth Annual Meeting, Canadian Land Reclamation Association. Regina, Saskatchewan. pp. 195-200. 209

Cite

Citation Scheme:

    

Usage Statistics

Country Views Downloads
France 3 0
Canada 2 0
China 1 0
United States 1 0
City Views Downloads
Unknown 5 0
Beijing 1 0
Ashburn 1 0

{[{ mDataHeader[type] }]} {[{ month[type] }]} {[{ tData[type] }]}

Share

Share to:

Comment

Related Items