Study

Do thinning and burning sites revegetated after bauxite mining improve habitat for terrestrial vertebrates?

  • Published source details Craig M.D., Hobbs R.J., Grigg A.H., Garkaklis M.J., Grant C.D., Fleming P.A. & Hardy G.E.S.J. (2010) Do thinning and burning sites revegetated after bauxite mining improve habitat for terrestrial vertebrates?. Restoration Ecology, 18, 300-310.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed burning in combination with vegetation cutting

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Restore former mining or energy production sites

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Restore former mining sites

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Use prescribed burning in combination with vegetation cutting

    A replicated, controlled study in 2002–2006 of forest at a site in Western Australia, Australia (Craig et al. 2010) found that burning vegetation and thinning trees, as part of post-mining restoration, increased reptile abundance and species richness. Reptile abundance and richness in thinned and burned plots (abundance: 7–8 individuals/grid, richness: 4 species/grid) was higher than in plots that were not thinned and burned (abundance: 4–5 individuals/grid, richness: 2 species/grid). See paper for details of individual species. In 1984–1992, areas of a former bauxite mine were either planted with non-local tree species or sown with the seed of local tree species. Eight plots were thinned between December 2002 and July 2003 and then burned in November 2003. An additional eight plots were not thinned or burned. Reptiles were monitored for four nights each in October and November–December 2005 and March and May 2006, using pitfall traps with drift fencing and live cage and box traps.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, Katie Sainsbury)

  2. Restore former mining or energy production sites

    A replicated, controlled study in 2002–2006 of forest at a restored mining site in Western Australia, Australia (Craig et al. 2010) found that thinning trees and burning vegetation as part of post-mining restoration increased reptile abundance and species richness. The effects of thinning and burning cannot be separated. Reptile abundance and richness in restored mining plots that were thinned and burned (abundance: 6.5–8.0 individuals/grid, richness: 3.8 species/grid) was higher than in plots that were not thinned and burned (abundance: 4.0–4.7 individuals/grid, richness: 1.5–1.7 species/grid). See paper for details of individual species responses. In 1984–1992, areas of a former bauxite mine were either planted with non-local tree species or sown with the seed of local tree species. Eight plots were thinned between December 2002 and July 2003 and then burned in November 2003. Eight different plots were not thinned or burned. Reptiles were monitored for four nights each in October and November–December 2005 and March and May 2006, using pitfall traps with drift fencing and live cage and box traps.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, Katie Sainsbury)

  3. Restore former mining sites

    A replicated, controlled study in 2002–2006 of forest at a site in Western Australia, Australia (Craig et al. 2010) found that thinning trees and burning vegetation, as part of mine restoration, did not increase small mammal species richness or abundance. Thinning and burning were carried out in the same plots, so their individual effects cannot be determined. Small mammal abundance in thinned and burned plots (4.0–4.2 individuals/grid) did not differ significantly from that in plots that were not thinned and burned (2.5–4.7 individuals/grid). There was also no difference in species richness (thinned and burned: 2.0–2.8 species/grid; not thinned and burned: 1.5–2.0 species/grid). In 1984–1992, areas of a former bauxite mine were either planted with non-local tree species or sown with the seed of local tree species. Eight plots were thinned between December 2002 and July 2003 and then burned in November 2003. Eight different plots were not thinned or burned. Small mammals were monitored for four nights each in October and November–December 2005 and March and May 2006, using pitfall traps with drift fencing and live cage and box traps.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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