A preliminary study of successional changes in vegetation and soil development on unamended flyash (PFA) in southern England.
Vegetation cover and soil development were studied on abandoned PFA (pulverized fuel ash) lagoons in southern England, covering 7-24 years. The plant succession resembled that found on colliery spoil, with a mixed ruderal community leading to woodland dominated by birch (Betula spp.) and willow (Salix spp.) The soil profile developed a humic surface horizon with little vertical mixing because decaying vegetable matter was not buried by earthworms. The thickness of this horizon correlated closely with development of other soil variables and with site age. Multivariate analyses showed that soil development correlated more closely with site age than did the plant community composition.