Reforesting surface coal-mined land using Douglas-fir seedlings in Washington State
MetadataShow full item record
The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 regulates the reclamation of surface-mined land in the United States. It uses a performance bond program to ensure sufficient resources to reclaim lands after mining. In the Appalachian region, the Forestry Reclamation Approach has led to successful reforestation of productive hardwood forests. This study investigated two modified Forestry Reclamation Approaches to restore Douglas-fir forests after surface mining in the Pacific Northwest. Three treatments were considered: a Control, a modified FRA treatment that uses only Douglas-fir, and an FRA+Ash treatment (same modifications as FRA treatment with ash from the on-site coal-burning power plant). Bareroot and container Douglas-fir seedlings were planted in each reclamation treatment. The results indicate that outplanted seedling survival was affected by precipitation during the growing season, understory cover, and soil properties. The Control treatment had the lowest seedling survival, although the differences between treatments declined over the study. There were no differences in survival between seedling types. Seedlings had deficient foliar nutrient concentrations as measured during the second growing season after planting, and an application of fertilizer during the third growing season had some affects on foliar nitrogen and phosphorus. A severe drought during the third growing season and heavy understory competition likely reduced potential benefits of fertilization on seedling performance.
- Forestry