Using Landscape Context to Guide Ecological Restoration: An Approach for Pits and Quarries in Ontario Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The landscape has a dramatic effect on a site's ecological and social function. Landscape context and pattern are important considerations in ecological restoration for their effects on rehabilitation design and ecological function. In Ontario, Canada, there are more than 5,300 active aggregate mining sites, equivalent to a total area of over 70 square kilometers. Rehabilitation of inactive pits is required by law, but rehabilitation efforts rarely attempt to restore ecological function to a site, and even more rarely consider the ecological implications of landscape context. The size, spatial extent, and nonrandom distribution of aggregate extraction sites in Ontario offer opportunities to restore ecological functions through cooperative rehabilitation, where landowners and licensed aggregate extractors try to achieve better ecological outcomes. In order to illustrate how landscape context can make a meaningful contribution to rehabilitation design and ecological restoration of pit and quarry sites in Ontario and in other settings, we review methods of assessing critical aspects of landscape context, including patterns of habitats (mosaics), interpatch movements and dispersal (connectivity and permeability), and the heterogeneity of microclimates (niche diversity). We illustrate the potential of this approach with the example of the Karner blue butterfly. The described project may inform restoration approaches for other land uses and landscape contexts. ©2008 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.

author list (cited authors)

  • Corry, R. C., Lafortezza, R., Brown, R. D., Kenny, N., & Robertson, P. J.

citation count

  • 6

publication date

  • May 2008