1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
We will develop the ability to forecast reclamation outcomes on former coal mining lands plagued by invasive annual brome invasion (i.e. cheatgrass and Japanese brome). The forecasts will predict plant species compositions resulting from particular combinations of seed mixes, soils, climate, vegetation, and other reclamation attributes. We will develop an outreach program to educate reclamation managers about the most consistently effective reclamation procedures our project identifies.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Our team will collect data from 80 sites distributed across eight coal mines and two states in order to develop an extensive database of information on reclamation planning, monitoring and outcomes. We will use statistical modeling of these data to develop the ability to forecast reclamation outcomes.
Current year of data collection for a project focused on improving restoration of former coal mining lands threatened with cheatgrass and Japanese brome invasion. Collaboration with mine operators was highly effective for locating GPS waypoints establishing appropriate (per experimental design) locations for vegetation inventory and sampling. These procedures were conducted at reclamation fields distributed across nine coal mines in Montana and Wyoming. Data analysis is in progress.