Innovative Techniques for Landscape Recovery after Clay Mining under Mediterranean Conditions

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Title: Innovative Techniques for Landscape Recovery after Clay Mining under Mediterranean Conditions
Authors: Turrión, Diana | Morcillo Juliá, Luna | Alloza Millán, José Antonio | Vilagrosa, Alberto
Research Group/s: Gestión de Ecosistemas y de la Biodiversidad (GEB)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ecología | CEAM (Centro de Estudios Ambientales del Mediterráneo)
Keywords: Quarry reclamation | Ecological restoration | Geofluv™ | Mediterranean vegetation | Ecosystem functioning | Stress-tolerant species | TECMINE Project
Knowledge Area: Ecología
Issue Date: 19-Mar-2021
Publisher: MDPI
Citation: Turrión D, Morcillo L, Alloza JA, Vilagrosa A. Innovative Techniques for Landscape Recovery after Clay Mining under Mediterranean Conditions. Sustainability. 2021; 13(6):3439.
Abstract: Open-pit mining results in profound modifications at different environmental scales that may persist for very long time periods, or even indefinitely. Considerable research efforts in mine reclamation strategies have been made, although reclamation failures are still common. In dry climates, such as in the Mediterranean Basin, successful actions may depend on features related to proper species selection and restoration techniques, which may substantially contribute to provide substrate stability and facilitate the regeneration of the main ecological processes. In this context, we developed the TECMINE case-study aimed to evaluate the feasibility and suitability of innovative restoration practices applied to clay-mine reclamation under Mediterranean conditions. The restoration strategy was designed at the landscape level with two main approaches: the recovery of natural geomorphology shapes and ecological restoration, including vegetation recovery and soil quality, based on proper reference ecosystems. After the geomorphological land remodeling, a combination of several innovative restoration techniques was implemented to reclaim plant communities and ecosystem functioning. These techniques involved: (i) accurate species selection according to microhabitat characteristics; (ii) high-quality plant production; (iii) surface remodeling to improve substrate stabilization; and (iv) implementing rainfall collection to enhance resources availability, soil fertility improvement and the amelioration of abiotic conditions for seedlings. Finally, we developed a monitoring program to assess the success of the implemented restoration techniques over time. The application of these innovative techniques has reported interesting results and represents a step forward in the improvement of mine restoration under Mediterranean climate.
Sponsor: The study was funded by the LIFE TECMINE Project (LIFE16 ENV/ES/000159) from the European Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (2014–2020)*. L.M. was supported by the Spanish MICINN (PTA2019-018094). The CEAM foundation is funded by the Generalitat Valenciana.
ISSN: 2071-1050
DOI: 10.3390/su13063439
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Peer Review: si
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Appears in Collections:INV - GEB - Artículos de Revistas

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