Vegetative Community Development Over 30 Years within Pine Plantations on Reclaimed Mine Land in EastChristian CL, Oswald BP*, Williams HM and Farrish KW
Division of Environmental Science, Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, Stephen F Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX 75962, USA
- *Corresponding Author:
- Oswald BP
Division of Environmental Science
Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture
Stephen F Austin State University
Nacogdoches, TX 75962, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: January 27, 2017 Accepted Date: February 13, 2017 Published Date:February 19, 2017
Citation: Christian CL, Oswald BP, Williams HM, Farrish KW (2017) Vegetative Community Development Over 30 Years within Pine Plantations on Reclaimed Mine Land in East Texas. Forest Res 6: 194. doi: 10.4172/2168-9776.1000194
Copyright: © 2017 Christian CL, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Reclamation of surface mines to plantation forests is a management option that reestablishes both economic and ecological functions after mining. This study investigated vegetative community characteristics (composition, richness, importance) over time in loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantations established over a thirty-year period on reclaimed lignite coal surface mine land in East Texas, United States. The open landscape of newly planted loblolly pine plantations on reclaimed mine land was amenable to shade-intolerant herbaceous and grass species but, when the canopy closed, favored woody species (trees, shrubs, vines) within two decades after stand establishment. Given that these plantations were established on sites generally described as dry to mesic uplands, species composition was generally congruent with East Texas ecology. Community composition, species richness and species importance were discussed, and loblolly pine growth data and vegetative community characteristics of unmined loblolly pine plantation sites in East Texas were compared to reclaimed sites. Surface mined lands reclaimed to plantation forests are ideal locations to conduct further research on how biodiversity and other ecosystems services can be improved while maintaining intended economic and ecological purposes.