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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effects of Topsoil Depth Replacement on Soil and Plant Community Attributes on a Reclaimed Mine Site

Authors
item Bowen, Cliff - UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING
item Schuman, Gerald
item Olson, R - UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING
item Ingram, Lachlan - UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING

Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 11, 2002
Publication Date: November 11, 2002
Citation: BOWEN, C.L., SCHUMAN, G.E., OLSON, R.A., INGRAM, L.J. EFFECTS OF TOPSOIL DEPTH REPLACEMENT ON SOIL AND PLANT COMMUNITY ATTRIBUTES ON A RECLAIMED MINE SITE. AGRONOMY ABSTRACTS. 2002.

Technical Abstract: It has been hypothesized that variable topsoil replacement on reclaimed mine lands may enhance plant species richness and diversity. Using a research site established in 1977 in southcentral Wyoming, this study evaluated the effects of variable topsoil replacement depth (0, 200, 400, and 600mm) on plant community diversity, production, canopy cover and soil parameters after 24 years. Species diversity and richness were greater on the 0 mm treatment than on the 600 mm topsoil depth. Aboveground biomass and canopy cover were greatest for the 400 and 600 mm topsoil depths and lowest for the 0 and 200 mm replacement depths. Soil chemical and physical parameters also varied among topsoil depth treatments. Total N, available P, and organic C were greatest for the 600 mm depth and lowest at 0 mm. As topsoil depth increased soluble cation concentrations decreased. The average sand content was lower in the deeper topsoil depth treatments, while clay content was greatest in the shallow topsoil treatment profiles, reflecting the characteristics of the geologic materials. These results indicate variable topsoil replacment may be required to ensure adequate canopy/ground cover to protect against soil erosion but still enhance plant community diversity.

Last Modified: 4/24/2014
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