Testing the moss layer transfer technique on mineral well pads constructed in peatlands

Testing the moss layer transfer technique on mineral well pads constructed in peatlands Peatlands are abundant in the boreal region of Canada but little is known about their restoration on oil sands well pads. The goal of this study is to compare the reintroduction of different peatland plant communities and substrate amendments/decompaction in order to rehabilitate peatland vegetation on former in situ well pads constructed in wetlands. One field experiment tested which peatland plant communities (Shrubby Rich Fen, Treed Rich Fen) would best colonize different substrates (sawdust, clay loam, mix sawdust-clay, peat, surface roughness). We found that the moss layer transfer technique (MLTT) facilitated the establishment of peatland communities on residual mineral soil used to construct the pad, when shaved back to an average water level of the surrounding wetland. The choice of peatland plant community is key to the introduction of bryophytes. Peat amendment facilitated the establishment of plants, whereas soil decompaction had no effect. The MLTT is a promising approach to restore fen plants on well pads. We recommend a scale-up experiment for a whole well site to test the validity of MLTT along different pad removal techniques. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Wetlands Ecology and Management Springer Journals

Testing the moss layer transfer technique on mineral well pads constructed in peatlands

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Life Sciences; Freshwater & Marine Ecology; Conservation Biology/Ecology; Environmental Law/Policy/Ecojustice; Marine & Freshwater Sciences; Hydrology/Water Resources; Water Quality/Water Pollution
ISSN
0923-4861
eISSN
1572-9834
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11273-017-9532-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Peatlands are abundant in the boreal region of Canada but little is known about their restoration on oil sands well pads. The goal of this study is to compare the reintroduction of different peatland plant communities and substrate amendments/decompaction in order to rehabilitate peatland vegetation on former in situ well pads constructed in wetlands. One field experiment tested which peatland plant communities (Shrubby Rich Fen, Treed Rich Fen) would best colonize different substrates (sawdust, clay loam, mix sawdust-clay, peat, surface roughness). We found that the moss layer transfer technique (MLTT) facilitated the establishment of peatland communities on residual mineral soil used to construct the pad, when shaved back to an average water level of the surrounding wetland. The choice of peatland plant community is key to the introduction of bryophytes. Peat amendment facilitated the establishment of plants, whereas soil decompaction had no effect. The MLTT is a promising approach to restore fen plants on well pads. We recommend a scale-up experiment for a whole well site to test the validity of MLTT along different pad removal techniques.

Journal

Wetlands Ecology and ManagementSpringer Journals

Published: Feb 7, 2017

References

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