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Cavender, Nicole
Bechtoldt, Cathy
Byrd, Shana
Bauman, Jenise

Vegetation Communities of a Coal Reclamation Site in Southeastern Ohio


Identifier
3.60038
Type
Article
Date created
2014
Abstract
Laws regulating mine reclamation following coal extraction mandate the establishment of vegetative cover, which often includes the introduction of non-native plant species. We evaluated the vegetative community composition of a recovering, reclaimed surface mine at The Wilds, a conservation center in southeastern Ohio. In 2007 and 2009, we identified a total of 109 species within a 1885-ha grassland area. After >30 years post reclamation, invasive species were the predominant plants at the site, with no evidence of succession towards a mixed mesophytic forest typical of the region. Our study illustrates how non-native plantings followed by passive management can result in the development and stability of non-native communities even decades after reclamation. Strategic and longterm management efforts, such as careful preparation of the rooting zone for trees, or the establishment of deep-rooted native plants, along with frequent monitoring, are needed to recover native vegetation and associated wildlife.
Volume, Issue, Page Number
21, 1, 31-46
Related Entities
Northeastern Naturalist (published by)