Surface and subsurface tillage effects on mine soil properties and vegetative response

H. Z. Angel, J. P. Stovall, H. M. Williams, K. W. Farrish, B. P. Oswald, J. L. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The summary addresses concerns of soil compaction in surface mine operations due to heavy equipment use, which can adversely affect reclamation efforts, particularly in preparing sites for loblolly pine plantations. The study tested three tillage methods and a control, replicated five times, to evaluate their impact on soil properties and vegetation growth on mined land. The findings revealed that the combination of cross-ripping and disking (CR+D) was most effective in reducing soil bulk density and soil strength, and promoting the growth of pine seedlings and herbaceous winter cover crop. Specifically, the CR+D method yielded a lower mean soil bulk density (1.36 Mg m-3), soil strength (2220 kPa), and a higher pine seedling volume index growth (mean 32 cm3). Meanwhile, surface tillage alone also had positive effects on herbaceous cover and pine seedling survival. Hence, certain tillage methods, especially CR+D, can mitigate soil compaction effects, supporting better revegetation outcomes on mined lands.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-482
Number of pages8
JournalSoil Science Society of America Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

ASJC Scopus Subject Areas

  • Soil Science

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