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Natural Plant Invasion into Reclaimed Oil Sands Mine Sites

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Vegetation cover data, collected annually in reclaimed areas of the Syncrude and Suncor mine sites, have been analyzed to determine the effect of reclamation methods and site factors on species composition and rate of natural plant invasion. Sites monitored include reclaimed tailings sand and overburden seeded to agronomic grasses and legumes as well as sites not seeded, and reclaimed tailings sand seeded to native grasses and legumes. Natural invasion into sites seeded to agronomic grasses and legumes was minimal even after 15 years. Slightly more invasion occurred on tailings sand sites seeded to native grasses and legumes, but much more invasion occurred on non-seeded sites. Organic matter content of the surface soil layer (0 to 15 cm) had the greatest influence on the rate of invasion with the optimum soil having from 7 to 15 percent organic carbon content. There was also a trend towards more invasion on north-facing as opposed to south-facing slopes. Agronomic species, especially sweet clover, accounted for most of the invading cover in non-seeded areas. The dominant native invaders were the herbs: sow thistle, fireweed and hawksbeard. Native shrubs and trees provided negligible cover, irrespective of site factors.

  • Date created
    1990
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Report
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R39K4602G
  • License
    This material is provided under educational reproduction permissions included in Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development's Copyright and Disclosure Statement, see terms at http://www.environment.alberta.ca/copyright.html. This Statement requires the following identification: \"The source of the materials is Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development http://www.environment.gov.ab.ca/. The use of these materials by the end user is done without any affiliation with or endorsement by the Government of Alberta. Reliance upon the end user's use of these materials is at the risk of the end user.