There is widespread interest in restoring land damaged by gravel-sand mining, but the high costs of such projects can be off-putting. A new study published in Restoration Ecology offers remarkable new evidence that these damaged environments can be effectively restored within a matter of years, and at virtually no cost.
According to the study, damaged sites can be restored without human interference by spontaneous revegetation (or vegetation succession), whereby plants from the area surrounding disused gravel-sand pits move in and take root. Simply by leaving abandoned mines alone they will naturally restore themselves within just twenty-five years.
These findings have major repercussions for the way in which restoration projects are considered around the world. Rather than debating the relative costs and benefits of such projects, the evidence of spontaneous revegetation found in this study may render financial considerations unnecessary. In fact, besides removing invasive plant species before allowing revegetation to begin, human involvement in reclamation is not needed.
“Instead of using expensive technical reclamations it is possible to rely more upon spontaneous succession then is generally expected,” says lead author Klára Øehounková. “For this, it is important to preserve at least some remnants of natural vegetation during mining and postmining operations to act as seed sources of many target species.”
This study is published in Restoration Ecology. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact email@example.com.
Klára Øehounková, Ph.D. is post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Botany at the University of South Bohemia in Èeské Budìjovice and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Institute of Botany. Dr. Øehounková can be reached for questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Restoration Ecology fosters the exchange of ideas among the many disciplines involved in the process of ecological restoration. Addressing global concerns and communicating them to the international scientific community, the journal is at the forefront of a vital new direction in science and ecology. Original papers describe experimental, observational, and theoretical studies on terrestrial, marine, and freshwater systems, and are considered without taxonomic bias. For more information, please visit www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/rec.
Sean Wagner | EurekAlert!
How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.
Using drones to estimate crop damage by wild boars
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences
12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering