95th ESA Annual Meeting (August 1 -- 6, 2010)

SYMP 4 - Environmental Impacts of MountainTop Removal-Valley Fill Coal Mining

Tuesday, August 3, 2010: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
Blrm A, David L Lawrence Convention Center
William Schlesinger
William Schlesinger
During the past several decades, mountain-top removal-valley fill procedures have been widely adopted to extract coal from the central Appalachians. The procedures destroy diverse, old-growth deciduous forest, which provides habitat for some of the most diverse ecosystems in North America. Reclaimed areas seldom show the net primary production, carbon storage or nutrient cycles characteristic of undisturbed landscape. Adjacent stream ecosystems are buried by spoil materials, which produce alkaline runoff, rich is dissolved solids, including metals such as selenium. There are no documented examples of successful restoration of stream ecosystem function from reclaimation, and the disturbance effects poliferate downstream into undisturbed areas. The procedure has received widespread, negative press coverage, yet their is little scientific documentation of these effects. This session will bring together terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem scientists to discuss what is known and what can be done to ameliorate the impacts of mountain-top removal mining, in the face of growing national dependence on coal as an energy source.
8:10 AM
Patterns of surface mining in the central Appalachians, 1976 – present
Philip Townsend, University of Wisconsin - Madison; Suming Jin, University of Wisconsin - Madison; Clayton C. Kingdon, University of Wisconsin - Madison; Keith Eshleman, University of Maryland
8:40 AM
Alteration of ecosystem services by surface mining and reclamation in Appalachian Mountain watersheds
Keith N. Eshleman, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; William S. Currie, University of Michigan; Jeffrey A. Simmons, Mount St. Mary's University; Kathleen M. Kline, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; William H. Schlesinger, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
9:40 AM
9:50 AM
Surface mining effects on hydrology
Joseph R. Ferrari, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; Keith Eshleman, University of Maryland
10:50 AM
Mountaintop mining: Are current regulations and policies adequate?
Margaret A. Palmer, University of Maryland
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