Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 14, pp 13745–13753 | Cite as

Additional disturbances as a beneficial tool for restoration of post-mining sites: a multi-taxa approach

  • Klára ŘehounkováEmail author
  • Lukáš Čížek
  • Jiří Řehounek
  • Lenka Šebelíková
  • Robert Tropek
  • Kamila Lencová
  • Petr Bogusch
  • Pavel Marhoul
  • Jan Máca
How can we restore the biodiversity and ecosystem services in mining and industrial sites?


Open interior sands represent a highly threatened habitat in Europe. In recent times, their associated organisms have often found secondary refuges outside their natural habitats, mainly in sand pits. We investigated the effects of different restoration approaches, i.e. spontaneous succession without additional disturbances, spontaneous succession with additional disturbances caused by recreational activities, and forestry reclamation, on the diversity and conservation values of spiders, beetles, flies, bees and wasps, orthopterans and vascular plants in a large sand pit in the Czech Republic, Central Europe. Out of 406 species recorded in total, 112 were classified as open sand specialists and 71 as threatened. The sites restored through spontaneous succession with additional disturbances hosted the largest proportion of open sand specialists and threatened species. The forestry reclamations, in contrast, hosted few such species. The sites with spontaneous succession without disturbances represent a transition between these two approaches. While restoration through spontaneous succession favours biodiversity in contrast to forestry reclamation, additional disturbances are necessary to maintain early successional habitats essential for threatened species and open sand specialists. Therefore, recreational activities seem to be an economically efficient restoration tool that will also benefit biodiversity in sand pits.


Human-made habitats Restoration ecology Trampling management Post-industrial sites Biodiversity conservation Sand mining 



The authors thank Keith Edwards for proofreading our English and Karel Prach and four anonymous reviewers for their comments. The study was supported by the following grants: the Czech Science Foundation (P505/11/0256, P504/12/2525), RVO 67985939, HeidelbergCement Group (Quarry Life Award 2012), the University of South Bohemia (04-168/2013/P) and University of Hradec Králové (SV 2117/2014). None of the funders had any influence on the study design, results and their interpretation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2016_6585_MOESM1_ESM.xls (138 kb)
ESM 1 Online Resource lists of all recorded species with their memberships in individual categories and references to nomenclature, conservation status, open sand specialisation and habitat use. (XLS 138 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klára Řehounková
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lukáš Čížek
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jiří Řehounek
    • 3
  • Lenka Šebelíková
    • 1
  • Robert Tropek
    • 2
    • 4
  • Kamila Lencová
    • 1
  • Petr Bogusch
    • 5
  • Pavel Marhoul
    • 6
  • Jan Máca
    • 7
  1. 1.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of South BohemiaČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic
  2. 2.Institute of Entomology, Biology CentreCzech Academy of SciencesČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic
  3. 3.Calla-Association for Preservation of the EnvironmentČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic
  4. 4.Faculty of ScienceCharles University in PraguePragueCzech Republic
  5. 5.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of Hradec KrálovéHradec KrálovéCzech Republic
  6. 6.BelecoPraha 3Czech Republic
  7. 7.Veselí nad LužnicíCzech Republic

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