Climate suitability estimates offer insight into fundamental revegetation challenges among post-mining rehabilitated landscapes in eastern Australia

Audet, P., Arnold, S., Lechner, A. M., Mulligan, D. R. and Baumgartl, T. (2012) Climate suitability estimates offer insight into fundamental revegetation challenges among post-mining rehabilitated landscapes in eastern Australia. Biogeosciences Discussions, 9 18545-18569. doi:10.5194/bgd-9-18545-2012


Author Audet, P.
Arnold, S.
Lechner, A. M.
Mulligan, D. R.
Baumgartl, T.
Title Climate suitability estimates offer insight into fundamental revegetation challenges among post-mining rehabilitated landscapes in eastern Australia
Journal name Biogeosciences Discussions   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1810-6277
1810-6285
Publication date 2012-12-18
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.5194/bgd-9-18545-2012
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 9
Start page 18545
End page 18569
Total pages 25
Place of publication Goettingen, Germany
Publisher Copernicus
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract Rehabilitation of post-mining sites in semi-arid/subtropical environments of eastern Australia have a general objective to establish specific types of native vegetation communities as defined in mine closure plans and in relation to the specific biotic and abiotic requirements of such communities. Critical for the success of rehabilitation is the availability of water and hence the climatic characteristic of this geographical region which is defined by a number of weather-bound factors (e.g. potentially erratic rainfall and periods of drought and flooding). However, specific estimates of climate suitability are seldom incorporated into current mined land rehabilitation design. To address this, our analysis combined various broad-scale climatic parameters (i.e. primarily relating to rainfall) to assess bioregional suitability-susceptibility within the context of plant early-establishment in the objective of informing rehabilitation schemes as to the inherent environmental challenges influencing both short- and long-term ecological development. Following our survey of available climate data, we derived site suitability-susceptibility indexes (that are otherwise currently not available within rehabilitation schemes) and compared the performance of 9 mine site locations in which our Centre has been engaged in environmental monitoring (Weipa, Mt. Isa, Ernest Henry, Eromanga, Kidston, Curragh, Tarong, North Stradbroke Island, and Newnes Plateau). More specifically, the sites were ranked from most-to-least suitable and compared with natural vegetation patterns (as estimated by the mean NDVI). Overall, it was determined that regular rainfall and relatively short periods of water-deficit are key characteristics of climate suitability (as found among the relatively more temperate coastal-hinterland sites), whereas high rainfall variability and (or) prolonged seasonal drought are primary characteristics of unsuitability (as found among the arid central inland sites). Conceptual and practical considerations are provided which could inform rehabilitation schemes as to the inherent environmental challenges influencing both short- and long-term ecological development.
Keyword Rehabilitation
Post-mining
Native vegetation
Water
Climatic characteristic
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Open access discussion paper

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation Publications
Official 2013 Collection
 
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Created: Wed, 19 Dec 2012, 07:46:00 EST by Dr Patrick Audet on behalf of Centre For Mined Land Rehabilitation