Revegetation/Reclamation Research

Regions: North Slave Region, South Slave Region

Tags: geology, land reclamation, revegetation, botany

Principal Investigator: Naeth, M. Anne (6)
Licence Number: 14346
Organization: University of Alberta
Licenced Year(s): 2017 2016 2015 2014 2009 2008 2005
Issued: May 12, 2008
Project Team: M. Anne Naeth (Principal Investigator, U of Alberta), Sarah Wilkinson (Research Assistant & Coordinator, U of Alberta), Ingrid Hallin (Research Assistant, U of Alberta), Helene Marcoux (Research Assistant, U of Alberta), Unknown - 1 student (Assistant, U of Alberta)

Objective(s): The objectives of this study are: (a) Native shrub establishment: try and determine the effect of season for seeding/planting on shrub establishment and survival; (b) Effect of microtopography: try and determine the effect of boulders, rocks, soil mounds and pockets on plant emergence and establishment, as well as how they influence soil structure; (c) Effect of Stockpiled Topsoil: investigate the effect of stockpiling salvaged topsoil on its potential as a soil amendment and source of native propagules for reclamation of disturbed sites. Stockpiled topsoil may lose nutrients over time and become ineffective for reclamation/revegetation purposes. (d) Investigate the ability of different substrates to retain water and increase cation exchange to facilitate plant growth; (e) Determine the best soil amendments to add nutrients to the soil to promote growth.

Project Description: The objectives of this study are: (a) Native shrub establishment: try and determine the effect of season for seeding/planting on shrub establishment and survival; (b) Effect of microtopography: try and determine the effect of boulders, rocks, soil mounds and pockets on plant emergence and establishment, as well as how they influence soil structure; (c) Effect of Stockpiled Topsoil: investigate the effect of stockpiling salvaged topsoil on its potential as a soil amendment and source of native propagules for reclamation of disturbed sites. Stockpiled topsoil may lose nutrients over time and become ineffective for reclamation/revegetation purposes. (d) Investigate the ability of different substrates to retain water and increase cation exchange to facilitate plant growth; (e) Determine the best soil amendments to add nutrients to the soil to promote growth

Research sites established on 3 blasting pads at the old magazine storage facility were investigated. The smaller pads were divided into 3 plots, the largest pad was divided into 6 plots, and 1 of 3 substrates randomly assigned. Each plot will be divided and assigned fresh or stockpiled topsoil, and then divided again crosswise and assigned spring or fall seeding/planting. Microsites sheltered by boulders, soil mounds or soil depressions will be established. Substrates were selected based on which had favorable properties and produced the highest plant densities in the first phase. The 4 revegetation treatments are: shrub cuttings spring collected and planted immediately, fall collected and planted immediately, seeding of shrubs in spring, and seeding of shrubs in fall. Subplots will be marked with wooden stakes. Seed from all previous collection times will be mixed.

A summary of research is provided in the Annual Report, provided to EMAB, and research is discussed in annual communities’ updates.
Fieldwork will be conducted from May 15 to October 31, 2008 at Diavik Diamond Mine, Lac de Gras (110"30'W and 64"30'N).