British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Propagation of three native alpine legumes Willey, Norman Andrew, 1950-

Abstract

The anticipated growth rate of the native legumes will be slow in comparison to fertilized agronomic grasses. Because of this they are poor candidates for immediate erosion control on new spoils, however, their strengths lie in longevity, soil amelioration and wildlife forage. In such roles they will be best suited to a second stage of reclamation when the initially applied grasses regress in cover value. To promote the regression, maintenance fertilizer used on the grasses will need to be cut back. The employment of shorter-lived grass species, such as Agrostis scabra. would also fit such a scheme quite well (Winterhalder, 1976; Amiro & Courtin, 1980). Nonetheless, these native legumes will have limitations of use in a similar fashion to the various Salix species. Reclamation sites will need to mimic the snow loading of the alpine ridge-tops and receive adequate sunlight. This will apply to convex subalpine spoils with a south to west aspect; snow must blow clear by the end of April. Since this describes one of the more adverse sites for reclamation, the native legumes could be a useful tool in promoting long term recovery.

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