Rehabilitating Arctic Tundra in Alaska

by Jay D. McKendrick,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


During the past 25 years, there has been significant progress in tundra rehabilitation. Initially, agronomic practices requiring large quantities of grass seed and fertilizer were believed essential to quickly revegetate extensive disturbances to control soil erosion. Since oil production began in Arctic Alaska in the mid-1970s, revegetation needs have been different from that anticipated. Soil erosion and large oil spills have not occurred. Except for seeding along the Trans-Alaska Pipeline route and overburden stockpiles, there has been relatively little need for extensive tundra revegetation. The plant materials and techniques originally selected have proven only partially effective. Small disturbances on a variety of habitats, not incorporated in the original experiments, have been the more common tundra revegetation problems. Experience and research have increasingly confirmed that natural plant succession is a feasible option.

Subject Headings: Vegetation | Cold regions | Rehabilitation | Erosion | Hazardous materials spills | Agriculture | Fertilizers | Nutrient pollution | Alaska | United States | Arctic

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