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Rehabilitation Of Plant Communities In The Hudsons Bay Lowlands After Mining

Rehabilitation of Plant Communities in the Hudson’s Bay Lowlands after Mining

The paucity of research on the rehabilitation of upland and wetland habitats in subarctic and high boreal biomes impedes efforts to develop suitable rehabilitation protocols for severely disturbed environments. This is especially true for the Hudson Bay Lowland, where mining developments are expected to increase exponentially. In my recent research my students and I have begun to fill this void at the De Beers Canada Victor Mine, near Attawapiskat. We had four objectives:

  1. to test whether peatland rehabilitation techniques developed for mined peatlands in northern temperate and southern boreal peatlands are suitable in a subarctic context and to modify them as required;
  2. to identify suitable plants for the rehabilitation of newly created upland areas through a functional inventory of local native plants;
  3. to characterize existing upland areas as rehabilitation targets for newly created upland deposits; and
  4. to develop soil amendment protocols for newly created upland areas to make them adequately fertile to support local vegetation.

This research will help establish protocols for the successful rehabilitation of disturbed upland and peatland habitats associated with the mining activities at Victor Mine, but will also be an invaluable knowledge base to restore severely disturbed terrestrial environments in Canada’s north, in particular those associated with other mining operations.

MSc student A. Corson on peatland restoration plots

MSc student A. Corson on peatland restoration plots.

MSc student K. Garrah sampling soils along Attawapiskat River for reference condition study

MSc student K. Garrah sampling soils along Attawapiskat River for reference condition study.



Collecting seed from wild plants in northeastern Ontario

In 2014 the De Beers Victor mine began collecting local, native seed to revegetate their mine site. There was a need for simple and effective protocols on how to collect, clean, store, and grow wild seed. This information can be used by mine planners, consultants, and nearby First Nation communities that wish to begin small seed collection businesses. This website, the plant guide, and these protocols were developed as part of a Master’s research project at Laurentian University, under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Campbell. Please visit our website for more information at:

Download the full plant guide here