British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

The effect of site preparation on the establishment of native grassland species in southern interior Baethke, K.; Fraser, L.


New Gold’s New Afton Mine, located near Kamloops in the BC southern interior grasslands, is committed to ecosystem restoration through stakeholder consultation and research, including restoration of native grassland. Our objective was to study restoration potential of 24 selected native species from the BC interior grasslands, including those of cultural significance to First Nations. We applied a controlled experimental manipulation on the top of a flattened top soil stockpile to test germination and establishment of 12 native forb and 12 native graminoid species seeded on plots that were raked, hydroseeded or seeded with no manipulation. Raking resulted in greater establishment and count data for both native forb and graminoid species; however, it also increased the number of ‘volunteer’ non-native forbs. Hydroseeding had a negative effect on native graminoid species overall and on non-native forb species. Plant diversity, calculated as Shannon’s diversity index, was greatest in the seeded plots that had been hydroseeded and hydroseeded + raked. As well, species richness was highest in the raked + seeded treatments. In terms of management, raking appears to result in positive seed germination for many native species; whereas hydroseeding was less effective.

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