Next Article in Journal
Assessing the Trade-Offs of SPOT7 Imagery for Monitoring Natural Forest Canopy Intactness
Previous Article in Journal
Genomic Prediction of Growth and Stem Quality Traits in Eucalyptus globulus Labill. at Its Southernmost Distribution Limit in Chile
Article Menu
Issue 12 (December) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Forests 2018, 9(12), 780; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9120780

Spoil Type Influences Soil Genesis and Forest Development on an Appalachian Surface Coal Mine Ten Years after Placement

1
Lewis Honors College, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40526, USA
2
Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546, USA
3
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Delaware, Georgetown, DE 19947, USA
4
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 13 December 2018 / Accepted: 16 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring and Management of Forest Recovery)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3444 KB, uploaded 18 December 2018]   |  

Abstract

Surface mining for coal (or other mineral resources) is a major driver of land-use change around the world and especially in the Appalachian region of the United States. Intentional and well-informed reclamation of surface-mined land is critical for the restoration of healthy ecosystems on these disturbed sites. In Appalachia, the pre-mining land cover is predominately mixed hardwood forest, with rich species diversity. In recent years, Appalachian mine reforestation has become an issue of concern, prompting the development of the Forestry Reclamation Approach, a series of mine reforestation recommendations. One of these recommendations is to use the best available soil substitute; however, the characteristics of the “best” soil substitute have been an issue. This study was initiated to compare the suitability of several types of mine spoil common in the Appalachian region: brown sandstone (Brown), gray sandstone (Gray), mixed spoils (Mixed), and shale (Shale). Experimental plots were established in 2007 with each spoil type replicated three times. These plots were planted with a mix of native hardwood species. Ten years after plot construction and planting, tree growth and canopy cover were highest in Brown, followed by Shale, Mixed, and Gray. Soil conditions (particularly pH) in Brown and Shale were more favorable for native tree growth than Mixed or Gray, largely explaining these differences in tree growth and canopy cover. However, soil chemistry did not clearly explain differences in tree growth between Brown and Shale. These differences were more likely related to differences in near-surface soil temperature, which is related to soil color and available shade. View Full-Text
Keywords: forestry reclamation approach; reforestation; canopy cover; sandstone; shale; tree growth forestry reclamation approach; reforestation; canopy cover; sandstone; shale; tree growth
Figures

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Sena, K.; Agouridis, C.; Miller, J.; Barton, C. Spoil Type Influences Soil Genesis and Forest Development on an Appalachian Surface Coal Mine Ten Years after Placement. Forests 2018, 9, 780.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Forests EISSN 1999-4907 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top