Plant Ecology

, Volume 155, Issue 1, pp 79-89

First online:

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

  • C. Martínez-RuizAffiliated withE.T.S.II.AA. de Palencia, Universidad de Valladolid, Area de Ecología
  • , B. Fernández-SantosAffiliated withFacultad de Biología, Universidad de Salamanca, Area de Ecología
  • , J.M. Gómez-GutiérrezAffiliated withFacultad de Biología, Universidad de Salamanca, Area de Ecología

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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 factors Direction Mine-spoil heaps Natural revegetation Speed