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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 48 No. 1, p. 178-184
     
    Received: Mar 18, 1983
    Published: Jan, 1984


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doi:10.2136/sssaj1984.03615995004800010033x

Properties of Minesoil Reclaimed for Forest Land Use1

  1. B. H. Bussler,
  2. W. R. Byrnes,
  3. P. E. Pope and
  4. W. R. Chaney2

Abstract

Abstract

Physical and chemical properties of minesoil reclaimed for forest land use in southwestern Indiana were evaluated to determine suitability for reforestation according to specifications of Public Law 95–87, The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. Properties of reconstructed minesoil and unmined reference soils were compared. Soil types on the reference area were primarily Ava (Typic Fragiudalf) and Parke (Typic Hapludalf) silt loams and were similar to soils on the mineland prior to excavation. Both the reclaimed mineland site and reference site supported mixed upland hardwood trees and shrub vegetation prior to surface mining. Chemical properties of minesoil were similar to or more favorable for plant growth than unmined reference soils. However, physical properties in the rooting zone were less favorable in minesoil than reference soils. Minesoil had higher bulk density, lower porosity, lower permeability, higher coarse fragment and clay content, and lower available water-holding capacity than reference soils at comparable depths. Mean bulk density of minesoil, adjusted for rock fragments > 2 mm, ranged from 1.53 Mg m−3 (g cm−3) in topsoil to 1.77 Mg m−3 in graded cast overburden. Mean available water-holding capacity was 16.5% in topsoil and 10.8 to 11.7% (kg kg−1) in graded cast overburden layers of minesoil. Chemical properties of minesoil should be adequate for cover crop and tree seedling establishment after liming and fertilization to recommended soil test levels of NPK. However, physical properties could adversely affect plant survival and growth.

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