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Techniques and Guidelines for Reclamation of Phosphate Mined Lands


This is the final technical report to the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research on results of the research project: “Techniques and Guidelines for the Reclamation of Phosphate Mined Lands as Diverse Landscapes and Complete Hydrologic Units.” Mark T. Brown and G. Ronnie Best were Principal Investigators. The final results of a companion project on hydrology of phosphate mined lands, Hans Riekerk, Principal Investigator, are also included. Accompanying this report is a data appendix that contains extensive tables and figures that further summarize the data collected over the duration of the project. A book entitled Landscape Restoration: A Reclamation Manual for Phosphate Mined Lands is being prepared by the Center for Wetlands and is forthcoming.

This project began in 1984 and spanned 5.75 years. The principal field research was carried out in north Florida in the Suwannee River Basin and in the central Florida phosphate district, in and around the Peace River Basin. Numerous mined land research sites were located on lands owned by Gardinier, International Mineral Corporation, Mobil, and Occidental Chemical.

While there had been some research conducted prior to 1984 concerning techniques of reclamation at the ecological system scale, there was a dearth of information related to landscape scale reclamation. It was apparent that there was a need for research that addressed a larger scale above the level of ecosystem reclamation. In addition it was apparent that information was lacking on the structural properties of ecological systems that were necessary as the “ingredients” for constructing ecological communities. It was felt that both a comprehensive study of native Florida ecosystems and a thorough study of the potentials of reclaimed lands were necessary to develop guidelines and techniques for reclamation.