Revegetation is the process of replanting and rebuilding the soil of disturbed land. This may be a natural process produced by plant colonization and succession, or an artificial (manmade), accelerated process designed to repair damage to a landscape due to wildfire, mining, flood, or other cause. Originally the process was simply one of applying seed and fertilizer to disturbed lands, usually grasses or clover. The fibrous root network of grasses is useful for short-term erosion control, particularly on sloping ground. Establishing long-term plant communities requires the establishment of woody plants.

Soil replacement

Mine reclamation may involve soil amendment, replacement, or creation, particularly for areas that have been strip mined or suffered severe erosion or soil compaction.

Mycorrhizal communities

Mycorrhizae, symbiotic fungal-plant communities, are important to the success of revegetation efforts. Most woody plant species need these root-fungi communities to thrive, and nursery or greenhouse transplants may not have sufficient or correct mycorrhizae for good survival. Regional differences in ectomycorrhizal fungi may also affect the success of revegetation.

See also Restoration ecology

References and further reading

"Revegetation in Alaska: Usibelli, seeds & topsoil, and mycorrhizae," Dot Helm. Agroborealis (37:2) 4-15.

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