British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Effectiveness of soil amendments and revegetation treatments at Huckleberry Mine, Houston, British Columbia Carson, Allan W.; Rutherford, P. Michael; Burton, Philip J.


Supplies of topsoil are often limited for use in mine reclamation activities; it may be necessary to build soils using locally available substrates. Revegetation test plots were established at Huckleberry Mine, Houston, B.C., to investigate the performance of seven native plant species treatments on stockpiled topsoils amended with (or without) non-acid generating (NAG) sand (obtained from desulphurized copper tailings) and NPK fertilizer. Seeding treatments (single or mixed species) consisted of species native to the mine site (local genotype) obtained from commercial seed (mixed genotype). Soil sampling and vegetation monitoring were conducted during two growing seasons. NAG sand reduced some soil properties conducive to plant growth (e.g. cation exchange capacity), yet plant performance was not significantly lower than in soil-only plots. When combined with a fertilizer, plant performance significantly increased over non-amended topsoils. Trace element concentrations in supplemented soils were low and should not adversely affect plants or the local environment. Plant performance of blue wildrye (mixed genotype variety) was shown to be higher than all other species examined and is suggested as the best candidate for the revegetation at Huckleberry Mine.

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