ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0083.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: post-mining regeneration; succession; tropical dry forest; post-mining recovery
Online: 6 December 2018 (11:04:06 CET)
Open pit mining is a common activity in the Yucatan peninsula for the extraction of limestone. This mining is known under the generic name of quarries, and regionally as sascaberas (sascab=white soil in Mayan language). These areas are characterized by the total removal of the natural vegetation cover and soil in order to have access to the calcareous material. The present study shows the composition and structure of the vegetation in five quarries after approximately ten years of abandonment, and the conserved vegetation near to each one of the quarries in southeastern Quintana Roo. Using a canonical correspondence analysis (CCA), the distribution of the species was determined in relation to the edaphic variables: soil depth, percentage of organic matter (OM), cationic exchange capacity (CEC), pH and texture. 26 families, 46 genera and 50 species were recorded in the quarries and 25 families, 45 genera and 47 species were recorded in the conserved areas. The dominant species in the quarries belong to the families Poaceae, Fabaceae, Rubiaceae and Anacardiaceae. The quarries with higher values of OM (1.63%), CEC (24.05 Cmol/kg), depth (11 cm) and sand percentage (31.33%) include the following species like Lysiloma latisiliquum, Metopium brownei and Bursera simaruba which are commonly found in secondary forests. On the other hand, quarries with lower values of OM (0.39%), CEC (16.58 Cmol/kg) and depth (5.02), and higher percentage of silt (42.44%) were dominated by herbaceous species belonging to the Poaceae family and by Borreria verticillata, which are typical in disturbed areas of southeastern Mexico. In all cases, the pH was slightly alkaline due to the content of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), characteristic of the soils of the region. The edaphic variables are significantly correlated with the development and distribution of vegetation, and with the structure of the communities.