A review of revegetation techniques in the tropics
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Internal Report 333
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I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 4. Available information and information needs for revegetation at Ranger 4.1 Vegetation survey Adequate data are available on vegetation composition, density and structure for the Ranger mine site. The data are also available from sites which may form analogues to Ranger WRD. These data may be used to set initial standards for revegetation at Ranger. 4.2 Characterisation of properties of WRD spoils Sufficient information is available on chemical and biological properties of WRD. However, the information on plant available water, hydrology and soil development over time is yet to be collected. Further research is required to overcome some issues in particular with reduced infiltration into the WRD. Research is needed to find out the extent of waterlogging (development of perched water table), if any, at depth within the WRD and the associated redox conditions. 4.3 Surface preparation techniques Some data are available on ripping techniques, batter slope construction and protection of batters from erosion (eg hydro mulching). However, all these techniques have been tested without vegetation. The role of vegetation on the effectiveness of these techniques needs to be investigated. Surface preparation techniques that provide good tillage and optimum conditions for germination and establishment of native plants (eg harrowing, tine seeding, etc) need to be investigated. Some of the surface preparation techniques that are being used at Weipa and Gove may be relevant and these may be tested for Ranger situation. 4.4 Seed technology The available information on seed collection, processing and germination is probably sufficient for trees and shrubs, and scanty for ground cover species and grasses. Hardly any data are available for the long term storage of native plant seed. This is particularly true for ground cover species and those species with fleshy fruits. Very little data are available on propagation of vegetatively propagated native species. Research is required on seed storage procedures, seed germination techniques (ground cover species) and vegetative propagation techniques. The extent of this research will, to certain extent, depend upon whether or not fresh top soil will be used for revegetation. 4.5 Fertiliser and amendments Most native plants have the ability to cope with low soil fertility status, and often require only a low rate of fertiliser application for initial establishment. Some groups of plants (eg grevilleas) are very sensitive to high doses of fertilisers (eg P). As mine spoils differ from 49