The stockpiling of topsoil is widely recommended as a “standard practice” for later use in site restoration. This practice of stockpiling changes the chemical and biological properties of the soil and seed banks in ways that can strongly influence the success of subsequent site restoration. Along with the initial soil properties, such as soil type, the age and depth of the stockpile impact the ways in which the soil and seed bank are affected.
Analyses will include soil chemical properties, soil biological properties and seed bank composition and dynamics. Data collected in this study will help improve soil storage practices through better understanding of relevant ecosystem processes and recommendations for greater success in site restoration. This work would serve as a basis for future work, described in a separate proposal also submitted, to experimentally investigate methods for restoration of areas where soil and seed bank have been adversely affected by energy development.