FERNANDEZ HONAINE mariana
AN ASSESSMENT OF SPONTANEOUS VEGETATION RECOVERY IN AGGREGATE QUARRIES IN COASTAL SAND DUNES IN BUENOS AIRES PROVINCE, ARGENTINA
FERNANDEZ MONTONI, MARIA VICTORIA; FERNÁNDEZ HONAINE, MARIANA; DEL RÍO, LUIS
Lugar: Berlin; Año: 2014 vol. 54 p. 180 - 193
Sand dune quarries are a common aggregate mining activity developed in coastal areas, especially in southeast Buenos Aires province, Argentina. In this paper, the spontaneous plant development after the extraction activity ceased was evaluated. Five areas (three quarried and two natural/conservation areas) were sampled for plant cover and composition, and sediment characterization. Different indexes, principal component analysis and cluster analyses were applied in order to compare the areas. The dominant families observed in four of the five areas were Asteraceae, Poaceae and Cyperaceae, and most of the species are commonly found in sandy and humid soils, and/or modified/anthropized ones. Percentages of plant cover increased with time since the cessation of active aggregate extraction. Indexes and multivariate analyses showed that it was possible to distinguish quarried and natural areas, based on the composition and vegetation cover. The distribution of plant species among the four areas responded to the presence of mining activity, but also to the topographical position, and consequently to the depth of the groundwater level. Besides these differences, the four areas shared many native species. The results might indicate that, once the activity has ceased, quarried areas may spontaneously and quickly develop a plant community with some similarities to those present in the non-quarried areas. However, given that the extracting activity involves the removal of the soil, the re-vegetation of this type of environment depends on the presence of natural areas in the surroundings, which can provide the source of seeds and propagules for plant regeneration.