British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Use of locally sourced moss, lichen and vascular plant propagules for the revegetation of mineral disturbances in a boreal climate Campeau, Suzanne; Blanchard, Kathleen


Mosses, lichens and low ericaceous shrubs are the dominant component of the barrens vegetation around Mary’s Harbour, Labrador. In 2004, an experiment was undertaken near this town where propagules (fragments, seeds, spores, etc.) of mosses, lichens and vascular plants, obtained from nearby donor sites, were spread thinly onto experimental plots that were set up on four disturbed, bare mineral soil areas. The plots were covered with grass mulch, and low doses of bone meal fertilizer were applied. Reintroduction plots were compared to control plots in order to see if reintroducing local plants propagules accelerates the recovery of vegetation. Data collected after one, two and five years showed that vegetation establishment was better on plots where propagules were introduced than on control plots. Five years after the onset of the experiment, mosses (mainly Polytrichaceae), fruticose and foliose lichens and seedlings of ericaceous shrubs and other woody species were well established on the plots where plant material had been spread. Control plots, in contrast, had a lower moss cover, fewer shrubs and seedlings, and generally lacked lichens.

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