Erosion control blankets, organic amendments and site variability influenced the initial plant community at a limestone quarry in the Canadian Rocky Mountains
- Department of Renewable Resources, 751 General Services Building, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2H1, Canada
Abstract. Season of seeding and soil amendment with manure mix, wood shavings and erosion control blankets were evaluated over two growing seasons to determine their effect on soil properties and native grass establishment at a Canadian limestone quarry and lime processing plant. A season (fall, spring) of soil amending and seeding did not significantly affect revegetation or soil properties. Site characteristics such as slope, aspect, initial soil nutrients and surrounding plant communities influenced early plant community development and overall effects of soil treatments. Erosion control blankets resulted in the highest seeded plant cover and the lowest non-seeded plant cover despite not significantly changing soil chemical properties. Total nitrogen and carbon significantly increased establishment of seeded grasses and non-seeded species. Increased nitrogen and carbon in the constructed soils were best achieved through addition of manure. Wood shavings did not favour establishment of vegetation and resulted in similar, and in some cases less, vegetation than the controls. Assisted revegetation increased plant cover from < 6 to 50% and reduced cover of non-seeded species. Amendments that modified both chemical and physical soil conditions were best to increase vegetation establishment in the harsh conditions of the quarry.