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close this bookBiodiversity in the Western Ghats: An Information Kit (IIRR, 1994, 224 p.)
close this folder9. Appreciating and conserving biodiversity
View the document9.1 Biodiversity and the media
View the document9.2 Role of non-government organizations in conservation
View the document9.3 Watershed management
View the document9.4 Energy conservation and alternatives
View the document9.5 Nature trails
View the document9.6 Sacred groves
View the document9.7 Rehabilitation of iron ore mine wasteland in Goa
View the document9.8 Reforestation to restore mining areas
View the document9.9 Mining: Social and environmental impacts
View the document9.10 Resource utilization in Uttar Kannada district
View the document9.11 Biodiversity of Dudhsagar valley

9.8 Reforestation to restore mining areas

Planting trees is one alternative for rehabilitating land after ore lying beneath the surface has been extracted. While it is impossible for humans to completely recreate the pre-existing vegetation, tree planting can help re-establish protective vegetation and accelerate the natural succession that will eventually restore a rich community of plants and animals in the area.

Careful study and planning is necessary before an area is reforested. The studies should include physical, hydrological, chemical and biological factors as well as vegetation mapping.


Plant species

Choosing plant species

The choice of plant species depends on many factors, including their use and the role they play in the ecosystem.

Meets demand, solves problems

This is the key to all further efforts in planning and organizing forest activities. The species introduced should meet the needs of the humans in the area. They should also attract insects, birds and other wildlife to increase the biodiversity.


Meets demand, solves problems

Adapted to site conditions

Detailed information may be necessary to discover what species are suited to the site. Studies may be needed to collect data on:

· Climate: summer and winter temperatures, total annual rainfall, number of rain days, wind velocity and direction, etc.

· Soil: nutrient status and deficiencies, soil type and structure, organic matter, pH, etc.

Easy and safe to establish, low inputs

Seeds, seedling or other planting materials of the selected species must be available. Species that can be sown directly are preferred to keep costs low. They should be tolerant to conditions on the dumps, and the plant community should be able to regenerate and maintain itself.

Fast growth, high yields

This refers mainly to exotics but to some extent also to local species. Multiple uses are important, including suitability for intercropping in agroforestry. Leguminous plant species should be used for intercropping as they increase soil nitrogen levels due to their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen.

Compatible with other land uses

Species chosen should have multiple uses-for instance, fruit, timber, windbreaks and pulp.


Compatible with other land uses

Low risks

Plants should be resistant to pests, fire, and other threats. Species that are weeds in farms should be avoided.


Low risks

No legal restrictions

Phytosanitary regulations, laws protecting endangered plants and land tenure regulations must be observed.


No legal restrictions

Accepted by people

Local people are key to the sustainability of the new vegetation. The species to be introduced should be acceptable to them. Demonstrations and other extension activities may be necessary to introduce them to the new species.

Benefits of trees

The species in the tables overleaf attract several birds and monkeys. Nectar-bearing trees are a haven for Sunbirds, Flower-peckers, Mynas and Drongos. Trees of the Ficus family are homes to gall-wasps which help in pollination; their seeds do not germinate unless they pass through the digestive tract of birds and mammals. Decomposing fruit attract several insect species, which in turn attract insectivorous birds. Growing these plants would help to bring back the diverse life forms in the area before mining began.


Benefits of trees

Tree species for reforestation of mining dumps

Plant name

Common name

Uses

Acacia catechu

Kath

Medicine, fuel wood and timber

A. chundra

Tambdi khair

Fuelwood and substitute for catechu

A. nilotica**

Gum arabic

Medicinal, timber, fuelwood, fodder and improves soil

Adenathera pavonia

Ratan gunj

Ornamental shade

Aegle marmelos

Bo

Medicinal

Albizzia lebbek

Shirish

Fuelwood, timber, fodder and medicinal

Alstonia scholaris

Satvan

Timber, medicinal and fuelwood, blackboards

Anacardium occidentale*

Cashew nut

Nut edible, fodder and medicinal

Artocarpus

Jack fruit

Fruit edible and as a timber heterophyllus **

Azadirachta indica*

Neem

As a fuel wood, medicinal and timber

Bambusa arundinacea**

Bamboo

Poles used in construction

Bauhinia purpurea**

Baktakanchan

Ornamental, as a fuelwood

Bombax ceiba**

Silk cotton

Capsule: floss for mattress filling

Careya arborea

Kumblyo

Medicinal and as a timber

Cassia fistula*

Laburnum

Medicinal

Ceiba pentandra**

Silk cotton

Floss for filling mattress

Dalbergia latifolia
(Syn. D. emarginata)

Shisam

Timber and fuelwood

D. sisso

Rose wood

First grade timber

Delonix regia*

Gulmohar

Ornamental and as a fodder

Dendocalamus strictus**

Great bamboo

Used as poles

Dodonaea viscose

--

Fodder and for improving soil

Emblica officinalis

Amla

Drupes edible and medicinal

Erythrina indica**

Corol tree

Ornamental and improves soil

Ficus asperrima**

Kharrat

Leaves for filling purpose

F. benghalensis**

Banyan

Leaves as fodder

F. callosa**

--

Ornamental

F. glomerata**

Rumad

Ornamental and religious

Garcinia indica

Kokum

Pulpy berry edible and medicinal

G. xanthochymus

Jharambi

Fuelwood

Gliricidia septum

--

Improves soil, rat poison

Helicteris ixora*

Murud sheng

Medicinal

Holorhena

Kudo

Medicinal antidysenterica*

Hydnocarpus laurifolia

Korut, Kashti

Medicinal

Leucaena glauca

Subabul

Fuelwood, medicinal, soil improvement

Mallotus albus


Leaves used as wrappes

Mangifera indica**

Mango

Edible drupe, fuelwood, timber and medicinal

Memecylon wightii

Anjan

Fuelwood

Mimusops elengi*

Bakul

Ornamental and fuelwood

Morus alba

Mulberry

Leaves fed to silkworms

Parkia biglandulosa


Fuelwood, fodder, soil improvement

Peltophorum pterocarpum


Ornamental

Phyllanthus reticulatus


Medicinal

Prosopsis juliflora


Fuelwood, fodder and medicinal

Santalum album**

Sandalwood

Carving, medicinal

Sapium insigne

Dudla

Fruit as fish poison

Sterculia urens

Caraya gum

Gum used for various purposes

Strychnos nux-vomica

Kajaro

Medicinal

Syzygium cumin)**

Jambul

Fruits edible and medicinal

S. zeylanicum

Bhensa

Fruits edible

Tamarindus indica**

Tamarind

Fruits edible, timber, fodder and fuelwood

Tectona grandis*

Teak

High quality timber

Terminalia arjuna*

Arjuna, Matti

Medicinal and timber

T. bellerica*

Ghotina

Medicinal and timber

T. catappa*

Badam, Indian Almond

Medicinal; fruits edible

T. chebula*

Hirda

Medicinal and timber

T. paniculata*

Kindal

Timber

T. tomentosa*

Ain

Timber

Trema orientalism*

Gol

Fuelwood, preparing coal

Vitex negundo


Medicinal

Zizyphus jujube**

. Bor

Fruits edible and medicinal

Zrugosa

Chunna

Fruit edible; fuelwood

Pongamia pinnate**

Karanj

Medicinal

* useful as wildilfe habitat
** very useful

Prepared by Dr. A. V. Veeresh,
S. G. Tome and B. F. Rodrigues