Caragana arborescens Lam. For afforestation of oil sands reclamation sites: A review

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  • The Alberta Forest Service has questioned the use of Caragana arborescens Lam. (common names: caragana, Siberian peatree and Siberian peashrub; the common name caragana will be used throughout this report) as a high-portion species for afforestation of reclaimed areas associated with oil sands surface mines. Concern was expressed because caragana is not indigenous to North America and it is suspected that it may become aggressive and displace other planted native trees and shrubs (Bondy, 1982). Oil sands mining company officials indicated that caragana has a high survival rate and does well under the harsh conditions present on oil sands reclamation sites (Anderson, 1982). As a result of the concern expressed by the\" Alberta Forest Service, a review of the positive and negative contributions of caragana\" to oil sands reclamation sites was requested (Bondy, 1982). This review will focus on answering the following questions: - Where is caragana native? - What is the natural habitat of caragana? - What are the growth habits of this plant? - What environmental conditions does caragana prefer? - How does it interact with other plant species? - How might it contribute to an anthropogenic forest ecosystem? - How will wildlife make use of caragana? - What are other possible uses of caragana? Recommendations will be made based on the answers to the above questions. The answers will, it is hoped, assist government agencies and the oil sands mining companies in developing specific guidelines for use of caragana.

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