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Successful rehabilitation of species-rich heathlands after mining for heavy minerals

Herath, D., Lamont, B., Enright, N.ORCID: 0000-0003-2979-4505 and Miller, B. (2009) Successful rehabilitation of species-rich heathlands after mining for heavy minerals. Minerals and Energy Research Institute of Western Australia, East Perth, Western Australia.

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As human populations have been increasing, there has been a proportional increase in anthropogenic activities resulting in environmental degradation and destruction of the Earth‘s biota (Novacek and Cleland 2001). For many people, biological diversity has intrinsic value, and as a result of increased community awareness and legislative obligations, the field of restoration ecology has emerged. This discipline is defined by SER (2004) as "the process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed". The ultimate goal is to restore a self-supporting ecosystem that is resilient to environmental perturbations without the need for further assistance (Urbanska et al. 1997; SER 2004)

This report presents a study on shrubland restoration after heavy-mineral sand-mining near Eneabba, southwestern Australia. Four themes were highlighted in this report. First, restoration efforts were evaluated by comparing compositional, structural, and functional attributes between rehabilitated and surrounding natural analogues. Second, experimental fires were introduced to study sites to determine the vegetation‘s resilience to natural disturbances. Third, growth and reproductive capacities of common species were compared between rehabilitated and natural sites. Fourth, recommendations are given to facilitate the restoration of natural analogues, and to improve the overall persistence of the restored shrublands after fire.

Item Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Series Name: Report No. 277
Publisher: Minerals and Energy Research Institute of Western Australia
Copyright: © Crown copyright
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