Ecosystem development on reclaimed china clay wastes. I. Assessment of vegetation and capture of nutrients.

Published online
01 Jan 1981
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Marrs, R. H. & Roberts, R. D. & Bradshaw, A. D.

Publication language


In a survey of 68 reclaimed china clay wastes, the grass/clover vegetation was scored for overall cover, legume cover and the number of ingressed spp., and the accumulation of biomass and major plant nutrients was measured at 43 sites. Vegetation cover was adequate for slope and sand stabilization, and at certain sites there was a high legume component which contributed to the N economy of the vegetation. There was limited ingression of new spp. into these reclaimed areas. OM and most major plant nutrients accumulated in these new ecosystems. An overall nutrient budget comparing inputs from atmospheric deposition and fertilizer sources to net accumulation within these ecosystems showed a net loss of all elements measured with the exception of N and to a lesser extent P. In the case of N there was an overall accumulation in excess of measured inputs reflecting the influence of leguminous spp.

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