Boyer, S. and S.D. Wratten
Among the potential species that are likely to be important early in mine land restoration, earthworms are particularly good candidates. They provide several ecosystem services that are likely to accelerate soil restoration, improve primary production and facilitate the restoration of a functional ecosystem in mining areas. These services include the following: increase in topsoil fertility, food for a wide range of predators and recycling of waste organic materials on rehabilitated areas. Here, we outline some of the challenges specifically facing opencast mining restoration and describe how the ecosystem services provided by earthworms may address some of these challenges.
Basic and Applied Ecology