British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Long-term development of vegetation communities at four past-producing B.C. mine-sites Binns, John Brailsford


Few long-term ( > 15 years) studies of vegetation communities on past-producing mine-sites have been carried out. Considerable effort goes into test-plot experiments to design re-vegetation programs prior to termination of production but usually little monitoring has been done after mining operations cease. In addition, little is known from test plots of the long-term effect of competitive interactions between seeded/planted species themselves and between seeded/planted species and invading native species. The present study revisited and repeated some of the scientific studies carried out at four minesites during the period 1973-1978 by Ministry of Energy, Mines & Petroleum Resources (MEMPR) and/or University of British Columbia. (UBC) On-site studies carried out during the 1993 field season included soil sampling and visual measurements of plant species and population density. Mine-sites were in different biogeoclimatic locations and at each mine, sample sites varied by type of waste material. Results show an expected variation between mine-sites under different biogeoclimatic regimes and less predictable development of the plant community over a 17-19 year period at individual mine-sites. This study was carried out by the author as part of an M.Sc. thesis project studying natural regeneration of vegetation at past-producing mine-sites.

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