Plant Ecology

, Volume 155, Issue 1, pp 79–89

Effects of substrate coarseness and exposure on plant succession in uranium-mining wastes


  • C. Martínez-Ruiz
    • E.T.S.II.AA. de PalenciaUniversidad de Valladolid, Area de Ecología
  • B. Fernández-Santos
    • Facultad de BiologíaUniversidad de Salamanca, Area de Ecología
  • J.M. Gómez-Gutiérrez
    • Facultad de BiologíaUniversidad de Salamanca, Area de Ecología

DOI: 10.1023/A:1013208305393

Cite this article as:
Martínez-Ruiz, C., Fernández-Santos, B. & Gómez-Gutiérrez, J. Plant Ecology (2001) 155: 79. doi:10.1023/A:1013208305393


Speciesturnover and speed of primary revegetation on uranium-mining spoils aredescribed from the Centre-West part of Spain. Four 21-yr-old successional seresdiffering in substrate-grain size (broken/unbroken waste) andslope orientation (North/South) are compared. Qualitative andquantitative changes in species composition and the time required for recoveryof a terminal stage are analysed, using an undisturbed pasture as reference.Revegetation succession is faster on the broken waste and on the North slope.Moreover, there is a combined effect of both abiotic factors on the pattern andduration of revegetation succession. 195 plant taxa are recorded showing one offour patterns of change: (1) 'pioneer';(2) 'intermediate'; (3) 'latecoloniser'; (4) 'fluctuating'. Multivariateanalysisallows us to identify species following each of these patterns on eachsubstrate.

Abiotic factorsDirectionMine-spoil heapsNatural revegetationSpeed

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001