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Succession and the Relationship between Vegetation and Soil in the Marl Quarries of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

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El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Avenida Centenario km 5.5, Quintana Roo, Chetumal 77014, Mexico
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Conacyt–El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Avenida Centenario km 5.5, Quintana Roo, Chetumal 77014, Mexico
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(2), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10020116
Received: 5 December 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 29 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Open-pit mining is a common activity in the Yucatan Peninsula for the extraction of limestone. These areas are characterized by the total removal of the natural vegetation cover and soil in order to access calcareous material. The present study shows the composition and structure of the vegetation in five quarries after approximately ten years of abandonment, and the target vegetation near to the quarries in southeastern Mexico. A linear mixed model showed that P availability is one of the limiting factors for species establishment in the quarries. Using a canonical correspondence analysis (CCA), the distribution of the species was determined in relation to the edaphic variables: soil depth, the percentage of organic matter (OM), cationic exchange capacity (CEC), pH and texture. Twenty-six families, 46 genera and 50 species were recorded in the quarries, and 25 families, 45 genera and 47 species were recorded in the conserved areas. The dominant species in the quarries belong to the families Poaceae, Fabaceae, Rubiaceae and Anacardiaceae. The quarries with higher values of OM (2%), CEC (24 Cmol/kg), depth (11 cm) and sand percentage (31%) include the following species Lysiloma latisiliquum (L.) Benth., Metopium brownei (Jacq.) Urb. and Bursera simaruba (L.) Sarg., which are common in secondary forests. Quarries with lower values of OM (0.4%), CEC (17 Cmol/kg) and depth (5.02), and with a higher percentage of silt (42%) were dominated by herbs belonging to Poaceae and by Borreria verticillate (L.) G. Mey., which are typical in disturbed areas of southeastern Mexico. In all cases, the pH was slightly alkaline due to the content of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), characteristic of the soils of the region. View Full-Text
Keywords: Post-mining regeneration; limestone quarry; tropical dry forest; quarry recovery Post-mining regeneration; limestone quarry; tropical dry forest; quarry recovery
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Valdez-Hernández, M.; Gil-Medina, R.; López-Martínez, J.O.; Torrescano-Valle, N.; Cabanillas-Terán, N.; Islebe, G.A. Succession and the Relationship between Vegetation and Soil in the Marl Quarries of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Forests 2019, 10, 116.

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