Using landscape function analysis as a mine rehabilitation monitoring tool in South Africa

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Adrian Haagner

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In Africa, mine site rehabilitation is largely still considered an event rather than a process. The ‘event’ is assessed, post-disturbance, either on purely geotechnical merits or on purely biological development, both of which have substantial shortcomings when considered in isolation. A landscape ecology approach to evaluating rehabilitation development bridges the gap between the two opposing camps. Landscape function analysis (within the framework of ecosystem function analysis) provides a peer-reviewed, rapid method to assess, analyse and report on multivariate indicators that best describe the recovery of an ecosystem after disturbance and subsequent interventions. We have undertaken landscape function assessments on rehabilitating mine sites across the South African climatic sphere for multiple commodities and on a variety of waste landforms. In this symposium presentation we present the fundamentals of landscape ecology, the theoretical basis for landscape function analysis as a monitoring tool, and a series of case studies highlighting the applications and results of monitoring rehabilitated chronosequences over time. Attendees will receive a detailed overview of techniques and will be provided with reference lists, MS Excel spreadsheets, and a field manual.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Society for Ecological Restoration