RESTOQUARRY: Indicators for self-evaluation of ecological restoration in open-pit mines

Carabassa V., Ortiz O., Alcañiz J.M. (2019) RESTOQUARRY: Indicators for self-evaluation of ecological restoration in open-pit mines. Ecological Indicators. 102: 437-445.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.03.001

Resum:

Several methods and criteria to evaluate and assess quarry restoration are available in the scientific literature, but they are very specialized and time consuming. Furthermore, there is a lack of evaluation tools appropriate for technicians involved in these types of activities, such as quarry engineers, restoration managers and quality control supervisors in public administration. The work presented attempts to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and practical needs by proposing a simplified methodology (RESTOQUARRY protocol), which enables the non-scientific public to evaluate restored areas. This procedure focused on five groups of parameters for zone (homogeneous portions within the whole restored area) evaluation: geotechnical risk, drainage network, erosion and physical degradation, soil quality and vegetation status and functionality. Moreover, three groups of parameters are proposed for area (whole restoration) evaluation: landscape integration, ecological connectivity and fauna, and anthropic impacts. This protocol has been tested in 55 open-pit mines located throughout Catalonia (NE Iberian Peninsula), covering a wide range of Mediterranean climatic conditions and geological substrates. Results indicate that the proposed methodology is suitable for detecting critical parameters that can determine the success of the restoration. © 2019 Elsevier Ltd

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