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Selection of Native Species to Develop Natural Ecosystems on Open Cut Coal Mines in the Central Queensland Region

Open Cut » Environment

Published: February 98Project Number: C4010

Get ReportAuthor: Bevan Emmerton, James Elsol, Gil Fletcher | Land Reclamation Services

Field examination of plant communities and their associated soils in Western and Central Queensland has provided a range of approximately 60 potentially suitable species for trial and incorporation into rehabilitation programs.

These groundcover, shrub and tree species are able to survive harsh natural conditions which were assessed primarily on the basis of pH, salinity and exchangeable sodium percentage at 60 to 80cm depth. Natural subsoil pH of sites encountered ranged from 3.8 to 10.5, with chloride contents of 3000 to 4000 ?g/g often encountered.

Mine site field trials were established with only a limited available range of species selected from the list of potential species and observation of establishment after 10 months shows encouraging results on some sites.

A list of potential rehabilitation species found on the field trips is provided along with the extremes of conditions in which they were encountered. Not all extremes listed may occur at the same site and all the detailed field descriptions and analytical results are available on the CD attached to this summary and should be referred to for more complete information. This data can be accessed according to soil conditions by species.

In some of the species listed, the range of tolerance presented is limited by the number of investigation sites, and, with further investigation, the species may be found to tolerate other extremes of pH and salinity.

With further investigation of new areas, it is likely that many additional species could be added to the list of potential rehabilitation species.

Field examination of plant communities and their associated soils in Western and Central Queensland has provided a range of approximately 60 potentially suitable species for trial and incorporation into rehabilitation programs.

These groundcover, shrub and tree species are able to survive harsh natural conditions which were assessed primarily on the basis of pH, salinity and exchangeable sodium percentage at 60 to 80cm depth. Natural subsoil pH of sites encountered ranged from 3.8 to 10.5, with chloride contents of 3000 to 4000 ?g/g often encountered.

Mine site field trials were established with only a limited available range of species selected from the list of potential species and observation of establishment after 10 months shows encouraging results on some sites.

A list of potential rehabilitation species found on the field trips is provided along with the extremes of conditions in which they were encountered. Not all extremes listed may occur at the same site and all the detailed field descriptions and analytical results are available on the CD attached to this summary and should be referred to for more complete information. This data can be accessed according to soil conditions by species.

In some of the species listed, the range of tolerance presented is limited by the number of investigation sites, and, with further investigation, the species may be found to tolerate other extremes of pH and salinity.

With further investigation of new areas, it is likely that many additional species could be added to the list of potential rehabilitation species.

The final report is also available on interactive CD ROM for $25, copies can be obtained direct from Gil Fletcher at Land Reclamation Services on +61 7 4982 2964 (phone) or +61 7 4982 2628 (fax).

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