Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Assessing the success of mine restoration using Hemiptera as indicators

Gamal Orabi A B D , Melinda L. Moir A C and Jonathan D. Majer A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University of Technology, PO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia.

B Present address: Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Suez Canal University, Ismalia, Egypt.

C School of Botany, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Vic. 3010, Australia.

D Corresponding author. Email: gamalorabi@hotmail.com

Australian Journal of Zoology 58(4) 243-249 https://doi.org/10.1071/ZO10033
Submitted: 9 May 2010  Accepted: 10 September 2010   Published: 13 October 2010

Abstract

Understanding trends in assemblage composition of key invertebrate groups can provide important insight into the ‘condition’ of, or changes in, the environment. Species density, abundance and composition of Hemiptera (true bugs) were assessed in jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) forest and a chronosequence of restored bauxite mine pits near Boddington, Western Australia, in order to evaluate how restoration was progressing. A significant difference was uncovered for hemipteran species density between the youngest restored treatment and forest. In contrast, hemipteran composition was distinct between the forest and all restored treatments. Hemipteran composition was associated with the presence of the plant species Conostylis setigera and Trichocline spathulata, and plant structure between 160–180 cm and 260–280, plus soil pH. Restoration was successful in returning Hemiptera with respect to species density, but restoration was yet to attain a similar composition of Hemiptera to that of unmined forest, despite some of the restored sites being almost 20 years old. These results are similar to those of other studies that have assessed the response of Hemiptera to disturbance, and highlight the need to wait for considerable periods in order to achieve restoration goals. This study also confirms the utility of Hemiptera as bioindicators of environmental ‘condition’ and change.

Additional keywords: Indicator species, bioindicators, insects, rehabilitation, bauxite.


Acknowledgements

We thank Worsley Alumina Pty Ltd for project funding, Lubomir Bisevac for field assistance, Mattiske Consulting Pty Ltd and Ninox Wildlife Consulting for participating in survey work. We are also grateful for the constructive comments provided by two anonymous reviewers and the Editor.


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