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Regeneration of moderate-yield conifer forests at Fording Coal’s Fording River Operations

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Title: Regeneration of moderate-yield conifer forests at Fording Coal’s Fording River Operations
Author: Straker, Justin; O'Brien, Billie; Jones, Carol Elizabeth, 1953-; Berdusco, Roger Joseph
Issue Date: 2002
Publicly Available in cIRcle 2009-06-18
Series/Report no. British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium 2002
Abstract: The Fording River Mine, operated by Fording Coal Limited, is located in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia at elevations ranging from 1650 to 2285 meters. Reclamation research has been conducted at the mine since 1969 to develop techniques for restoring the forest resource and critical wildlife habitat. In 1986, research trials were initiated to test the effects of delayed legume interseeding on the survival and growth of conifer seedlings in plantations on reclaimed coal waste rock. Previous reclamation work had indicated that planting conifer seedlings into an existing cover of agronomic grasses and legumes resulted in high seedling mortality, due to competition for moisture and nutrients. Delayed legume interseeding was tested as a technique that would allow early establishment of conifer seedlings without excessive competition, but would subsequently provide increased soil nitrogen capital through symbiotic nitrogen fixation. Analysis of different lengths of interseed delays on this trial indicates that the best nutritional status and growth performance are achieved through a two-year delay, which allows sufficient time for seedling establishment in the absence of ground-cover competition, but quickly provides the benefits of enhanced nutritional status, as well as providing erosion protection, forage, and increased habitat diversity. This paper presents the 15-year results from these trials.
Affiliation: Applied Science, Faculty of
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/9439
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