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The role of invasive plant species management in mined land reclamation

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Title: The role of invasive plant species management in mined land reclamation
Author: Polster, D. F. (David Franklin), 1952-
Issue Date: 2003
Publicly Available in cIRcle 2009-06-12
Series/Report no. British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium 2003
Abstract: Invasive plant species can turn productive reclaimed areas into non-productive wastelands in a very short time. The disturbances associated with mining offer opportunities for invasive species to become established. Weeds such as Canada thistle, Dalmatian toadflax, burdock and knapweeds can infest reclaimed areas making them unsuitable for forage production either as pastures or for hay. Scotch broom can invade forest plantations or reclaimed areas, restricting tree growth. Weeds can degrade wildlife ranges, making areas reclaimed for use as wildlife habitat unsuitable. Strategies for the prevention of invasive species establishment on mine sites and for control of established plants need to address the cause of the infestation as well as persistent control programs. Management of invasive species starts with prevention of establishment. Invasive species may establish from contaminated seed, from seeds carried on muddy equipment from infested areas and by birds and other animals. The second strategy in the management of invasive species is to contain and eventually eliminate established plants. Working from the outliers in towards the centre of the populations making sure that established plants are prevented from flowering and setting seed is an effective strategy for eventually bringing weed infestations under control. Where established weed populations are widespread on the mine site, programs for management must seek to replace weed stands with stands of acceptable vegetation or the weeds will simply re-appear. This paper explores strategies for the management of invasive plant species on reclaimed mine sites.
Affiliation: Applied Science, Faculty of
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/9085
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