Biophysical Impacts of Energy Systems and Indicators of Reclamation Success

Reclamation, an important step in the design and transition of energy systems, aims to return disturbed land and water systems to former or other productive uses and ensure their long term resilience. Quantitative measures of reclamation success are required to achieve diverse end land uses from agriculture, recreation and urban to natural areas.

To date measures of reclamation success have focused on biophysical indicators such as vegetation and soil and most measures are set by regulators to balance environmental integrity with economic development. Resilience, the ability of an ecosystem to recover following disturbance, is not commonly incorporated into indicators of success, although in an increasingly dynamic environment it may be one of the most important indicators to address. This research will result in development of science based indicators of reclamation success for land and water systems that address the needs of stakeholders and the public and contribute to criteria and policy.