CESM’s revegetation cooperative was established in 2014 with three copper mining companies with sites across southern Arizona and has expanded to five companies in Arizona and Sonora Mexico. The specific objective of the revegetation cooperative is to identify below-ground biogeochemical indicators of ecosystem development as tools to be used by the mining industry to quantify revegetation/reclamation progress and to evaluate the impact of revegetation strategies including: the significance of capping material quality, the value of soil amendments, seeding methods and timing, and seed mix composition.
Reclamation success can be defined as the establishment of a quantity of plant cover (%) comparable to surrounding undisturbed areas with a plant community that is characterized by a diverse structure of native species (grasses, forbs, shrubs and trees). Revegetation goals are dependent on end-use objectives; however, all reclamation strategies aim to establish a stable ecosystem that facilitates carbon sequestration, dust control and prevention of water-driven erosion processes. We contend that a critical component of long-term revegetation success is progress in soil development of the below-ground substrate to progressively generate a plant-growth supporting material for sustainable ecosystem development.
We welcome new industry partners to join this research cooperative. Please contact us for additional information. The contract Scope of Work (SOW) can be found below.