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Public Information Center     State of Alaska > Natural Resources > A Revegetation Manual For Alaska > Chapter 1

Chapter 1:  An Introduction to Revegetation

Revegetation – An introduction and background to the terms used in the field

Revegetation is a complex term with many near-synonyms; it is often broadly lumped with the terms restoration, re-seeding, reclamation, land rehabilitation, and erosion control.  In actuality, these terms, although related, differ in purpose and definition.

For the purposes of this document revegetation is:

the re-establishment of plant cover by means of seeding or transplanting on a site disturbed by natural or man-caused actions.

Activities such as surface preparation, fertilizer application, and standard horticultural and agronomic practices (i.e. irrigation and mulch application) often accompany revegetation efforts. These secondary activities will only briefly be addressed in this text because the primary purpose of this manual is seed and plant selection for revegetation projects.

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Figure 1
An abandoned mine site a few weeks after seed and fertilizer were applied.
Figure 2
The same abandoned mine site after the third growing season.  Note the establishment of invading tree and shrub species.

Why revegetate an area?

The reasons for revegetation are varied.  This section will address some of the commonly acknowledged reasons for using seed to re-establish vegetation and some accepted types of re-seeding.

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Figure 3 
A typical cut slope being hydroseeded in Interior Alaska.

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