Colonization of spoil benches of an opencast lignite mine in northwest Spain by amphibians and reptiles

  • Published source details Galán P. (1997) Colonization of spoil benches of an opencast lignite mine in northwest Spain by amphibians and reptiles. Biological Conservation, 79, 187–195.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Replant vegetation

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation
  1. Replant vegetation

    A replicated, before-and-after, site comparison study in 1988–1994 of spoil benches of a lignite mine in northwest Spain (Galán 1997) found that reseeded benches were colonized by nine amphibian species. Species richness increased steadily with time since seeding. Species composition was most similar to that in control plots in the oldest restored plots (10-years-old). Common midwife toad Alytes obstetricans and Perez's Frog Rana perezi were the first species to colonize, in the second year. Spoil benches (60 ha) were created, planted with a slurry of pasture mix seeds and mulch and were fertilized in 1984–1994. Subsequent management was minimal. Monitoring was undertaken annually on a single 2 ha plot over the six years following seeding and in 1994 on 10 randomly selected 2 ha plots seeded 0–10 years previously. Three randomly selected undisturbed control plots close to the mine were also monitored in 1994. Surveys involved a total of 30 hours of visual searches in February–November.


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