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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Wood Residue and Fertilizer Amendment of Bentonite Mine Spoils: I. Spoil and General Vegetation Responses1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 14 No. 4, p. 575-580
    Received: Apr 2, 1985

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  1. J. A. Smith,
  2. G. E. Schuman,
  3. E. J. De Puit and
  4. T. A. Sedbrook2



Bentonite mine spoils in the northern Great Plains are difficult to rehabilitate and manage because of extreme saline-sodic conditions and high percentage of 2:1 expanding clays. Wood residue and N fertilizer amendments have been shown to promote vegetation establishment on bentonite mine spoils. This study was conducted to determine wood residue and N fertilizer levels necessary to revegetate these mine spoils. Treatments included 0, 45, 90, and 135 Mg ha−1 of dry ponderosa pine wood residue and N fertilizer rates of 0, 2.5, 5.0, and 7.5 kg N Mg−1 of residue. A uniform P fertilization rate of 90 kg P ha−1 was used across all treatments. The greatest increase in seeded plant density, canopy cover and aboveground biomass occurred at 90-Mg ha−1 wood residue fertilized at 2.5 kg N Mg−1 of residue. Spoils amended at these levels exhibited a mean first-year plant density of 59 seedlings m−2, second-year plant canopy cover of 67% and second-year plant biomass (dry weight) of 2060 kg ha−1 compared to the zero wood residue treatment which had a plant density of 14 seedlings m−2, 8% plant canopy cover, and 80-kg ha−1 plant biomass.

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