• The Role of Fourwing Saltbush in Mined Land Reclamation: A Viewpoint

      Booth, D. T. (Society for Range Management, 1985-11-01)
      Ease of establishment by direct seeding has resulted in fourwing saltbush [Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt.] becoming the principal, sometimes the only, shrub on certain revegetated mined lands in Wyoming. To prevent dense stands that might exclude other shrub species, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality-Land Quality Division, now limits the amount of fourwing saltbush that can be included in a reclamation seed mix. There is evidence that fourwing saltbush may aid, rather than hinder, the establishment of other shrubs. A thesis is developed for fourwing's role as a pioneer species that creates ecosystem diversity, auguments the invasion of late-succession plants, and declines in density as succession progresses. The shrub is recommended as a means to direct succession toward successful reclamation. Mine managers are cautioned that the rate of natural invasion of climax species into seeded stands of fourwing saltbush is not known.