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Keywords:

  • ecological rehabilitation;
  • natives;
  • natural revegetation;
  • overstory vegetation;
  • quarries;
  • understory vegetation

Abstract

To understand vegetation development during the ecological succession of rehabilitated quarries, floristic composition and structure were evaluated at different restoration phases on three quarries in Hong Kong that were planted with exotic woody species over the course of 2–14 years. A total of 113 species, of which 82 were woody species, were recorded. Exotic species dominated the overstory, and species number, richness, and diversity increased with age. Some light-demanding early successional species were becoming dominant in the overstory vegetation at the older phases of revegetation. These species could be potential candidates for early enrichment planting with Acacia spp. Common secondary forest species occurred naturally in the understory vegetation, and were more abundant and dominant after 10 years of ecological development. The most successful restorations were on scree slopes using leguminous Acacia spp. as nurse species.