Revegetation of Disturbances in the Northeast Coal Block,
Current Activities and State-of-the-Art, 1977
Paper 1978 - 6
Data gathered by companies, consultants and the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum Resources in the Peace River (Northeast) Coal Block is sufficient to present an initial set of findings.
There is a major difference between species survival both above and below the treeline. Legume species do not generally survive above the treeline.
A total of 34 species (or varieties) consisting of 21 grasses and 13 legumes has been seeded at various times.
Above treeline, grass species performance was excellent for meadow foxtail, good for creeping red fescue and timothy, and moderate for meadow fescue, Canada bluegrass, slender wheatgrass, and bromegrass. Redtop grows well the first season but has a poor ability to overwinter. Legume growth was very poor above treeline. The only two legume species which grew at all were a Isike and red clover and these only grew in sheltered moist pockets.
Below treeline, growth of grass and legume species was generally good for the majority of species tested. Growth was excellent for creeping red fescue and redtop; good for Canada bluegrass, slender wheatgrass, and timothy; and moderate for meadow fescue, bromegrass, and meadow foxtail. Legume growth was excellent for alfalfa, alsike clover, red clover, sweet clover, and white clover. Birdsfoot trefoil and sainfoin grew poorly.
Grass species survival and performance is greatly enhanced by the addition of fertilizer. Above the treeline, fertilizer applications are critical to the survival of all seeded species. Below the treeline, legume survival is very important to the survival of the unfertilized grass - legume mixture. Sites of low nutrient availability rely on legume growth for several years in order to inject enough available nitrogen into the system to allow grass survival.
The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum Resources have set out test plots to demonstrate the application of different seeding rates Three broad types of seeding techniques have been tried in the Peace River Coal Block including broadcast seeding, harrowing after broadcast seeding, and hydroseeding.
Broadcast seeding is the most common method of seeding, consisting of scattering seed on the surface of the ground.
Broadcast seeding without fertilizer applications has resulted in satisfactory growth at most sites below the treeline. Above treeline, this method of seed application has generally resulted in poor growth.
Harrowing all areas above treeline has been recommended by the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum Resources since 1976.
Hydroseeding was used in an experimental way in the alpine areas of Builmoose/Chamberlain and initial results indicate favourable growth over the first summer. Good survival is anticipated next year.
Grass seed coated with micronutrients and legume seed coated with micronutrientes as well as rhizobia innoculant were tested during 1977.
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