Revegetation of oil well reserve pits in west Texas

  • Published source details McFarland M.L., Ueckert D.N. & Hartmann S. (1987) Revegetation of oil well reserve pits in west Texas. Journal of Range Management, 40, 122-127.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Add mulch before or after seeding/planting

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Grassland Conservation
  1. Add mulch before or after seeding/planting

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1981–1982 in two former pits used for disposal of waste from oil extraction in Texas, USA (McFarland et al. 1987) found that adding mulch after sowing seeds did not alter the density of six sown plant species in most cases compared to sowing without mulch. In 11 of 13 comparisons, after 6–7 months, the density of six plant species did not differ significantly between mulched and seeded areas (0–27 plants/m2) and unmulched and seeded areas (0–18 plants/m2). In two of 13 comparisons, there were more plants in mulched and seeded areas than in unmulched and seeded areas for king ranch bluestem Bothriochloa ischaemum (18 vs 2 plants/m2 respectively) and kleingrass Panicum coloratum (28 vs 1 plants/m2). Before seeding, each pit was covered with soil which was then disturbed using a tractor and fenced to exclude herbivores. At each site, in six 6.1 x 6.1 m plots, the seeds of either king ranch bluestem, Lehmann lovegrass Eragrostis lehmanniana, kleingrass, alkali sacaton Sporobolus airoides, kochia Kochia scoparia, or fourwing saltbush Atriplex canescens was sown, and mulch was applied to half of the plots. After 6–7 months, ten 0.5 x 0.5 m quadrats were placed in each plot and the number of seedlings counted.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

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