Revegetation of mine sites with native flowering plants attracting pollinators

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Marie Guittonny, Cynthia Cadet

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The mining sector is searching ways to contribute to biodiversity conservation. A regional initiative was developed in Northwestern Quebec by local operating mines and other partners aiming at favoring the reestablishment of insect pollinators. Pollinator populations are indeed declining due to exposure to pesticides and habitat losses, among other factors. A research project was developed to revegetate mine sites with native and pioneer flowering plants known to attract bees and butterflies. First, a database of native flowering plants able to establish on mine sites of the Canadian boreal region and  attracting pollinators was set. This work relied on a literature review regarding flowering pioneer plants found on mine sites, roadsides, and urban brownfields, as well as on field surveys of colonizing vegetation on regional mine sites. Second, the database results were used to construct nine experimental settings on several mine sites. These experiments were designed in a complete block design with four repetitions to test several treatments: standard revegetation seeding with agronomic herbaceous species and mineral fertilizer, seeding mixture of native selected plants improved or not with an organic amendment or a nurse legume species, and a mixture of seedlings of native selected plants. Short-term results (first growing season in 2019) of the plant establishment success (plant cover and seedling survival) will be presented. This project opens new avenues to add ecological value to rehabilitated mine sites.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

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