A review of fauna in mine rehabilitation in Australia: current state and future directions

Cristescu, Romane H., Frere, Celine and Banks, Peter B. (2012) A review of fauna in mine rehabilitation in Australia: current state and future directions. Biological Conservation, 149 1: 60-72. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2012.02.003

Author Cristescu, Romane H.
Frere, Celine
Banks, Peter B.
Title A review of fauna in mine rehabilitation in Australia: current state and future directions
Journal name Biological Conservation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0006-3207
Publication date 2012-05-01
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2012.02.003
Volume 149
Issue 1
Start page 60
End page 72
Total pages 13
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Subject 1105 Dentistry
2309 Nature and Landscape Conservation
Formatted abstract
Restoration of degraded land has been identified as a top research priority in conservation. Fauna plays a critical role in the re-establishment of a functional ecosystem, yet fauna recolonization of restored areas is less studied than flora. We reviewed the findings of 71 publications on fauna recolonization, through the example of mining rehabilitation in the Australian continent, a global stronghold of large-scale mining.

Species densities and richness were frequently lower in rehabilitated compared to undisturbed areas, even more so when only native species were considered. Amongst all criteria used to measure success, recovery of the pre-mining fauna community composition was the hardest to achieve. Introduced species were often found in rehabilitated areas but further research is needed to determine the duration of this association. Meta-analyses of the factors influencing mining rehabilitation success for fauna revealed that fauna groups recolonized heterogeneously. Recolonization was dependent on the methods used to rehabilitate and the number of years since rehabilitation. Notably, methods combining the use of fresh topsoil with the addition of seeds and seedlings were most successful for fauna recolonization, both in term of fauna density and richness.

Limitations to this review included strong biases toward certain mining companies, as well as missing data, which decreased the power of meta-analysis. Available publications did not evenly represent all fauna taxa and studies were short when compared to the time needed to re-construct whole ecosystems. We consider the development of comprehensive fauna standards for assessing rehabilitation success critical. This could be the next challenge in restoration ecology. 
Keyword Fauna
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation Publications
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 21 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 27 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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