British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Species richness at a small metals mine near an abundant source of native propagules Garrah, K.L.; Straker, J.


Nyrstar Myra Falls mine is located within the boundaries of Strathcona - Westmin Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. Vegetation assessment of NMF’s revegetated tailings disposal facility (TDF) seismic berm indicates the success of revegetation efforts in establishing cover, as well as modifying microclimates that support increased native species recruitment from local, proximate native seed sources. Via these processes, a site-specific, site-adapted, diverse vegetation community is forming. Planting programs at Myra Falls have been successful in establishing a high density of three native tree species, with 40 additional species establishing on the primary survey units of the upper TDF seismic berm, and 22 further species establishing along the lower portion of the TDF seismic berm, through processes of natural colonization. Native species percent composition is high, between 70-90%, despite being located near a roadway, which are known dispersal corridors for non-native species. The prevalence and proximity of native propagules in the area appear to be primary factors in the degree of successful germination and competition with non-native individuals for niche opportunities. Surveys conducted approximately 5 years following alder planting will help determine whether additional revegetation is required, or whether natural processes are likely to accomplish sufficient site revegetation within an acceptable timeframe.

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