Visual abstract of our proposal on Quarry Life Award
A functional habitat description Artificial area Quarry habitat With an intense human frequentation, this is the area where the industrial buildings and offices are placed. But it still can be the place of interesting species. A pair of kestrels had a nest on this building till last year, when repairing works of the ceiling destroyed their nest. Deforested and bare areas with low human frequentation. It provides ecosystem services to Granite extraction area the surrounding natural habitats by different ways. A potential habitat for rock and cliff 1: Circaetus gallicus hunting reptiles over the quarry. 2: One of the breeding birds but that keeps void temporals ponds. 3: Natterjack toad tadpoles (Bufo calamita) on the pond because of the extraction works and of the photo 2; 4: roe deer tracks left when going for water; 5: the soft manly because the sound waves of the texture of the soil of the granitic quary is ideal for rabbit holes and dens; blasts (one per week). Human 6: Typha latifolia; 7: Cyanistes caeruleus on a Salix elaeagnos; 8: frequentation localized on machine flowering Lavandula estoechas most visited by bees. trails and punctual extraction areas.A potential breedeing place
Dimension of time and sizeAs time passes, some quarry habitats change and others dont .Fortunately the best quarry habitats grow with time. 1970 1970 2012 Hypothetic scenario for 2040 As the photographic flight of 1970 shows, Ivonnes quarry is at least 42 years old. The photo shows the highway under construction. So, quarries are usually modified habitats that can last for decades. We propose here an hypothetic scenario with a boundary that optimizes the surface/volume ratio and so, minimizes the non profitable volume of altered granitic material. Hypothetic scenario for 2040 The quarry may grow, but the treatment installations will keep the same size and on the same place. 44% As the quarry may grow on next decades, the 44% 2 145.143 m 2 145.143 m share of the different habitats can change. The range of high human frequentation will keep 2012 the same size, thus its share will be halved. Conversely the quarry habitat will double in 40% 2 size. So there is an important opportunity for 75.735 m environmental management. 39% 74.229 m2 21% 12% 2 38.913 m 38.913 m2
A quarry is an ecosystem services providerFunctional relationships with natural habitats We have observed short toed eagle (Circaetus gallicus) and The deforested areas that conserve the original soil The metapopulation of natterjack toadbuzzards (Buteo buteo), but there is a high probability for goshawk constitute, within the ponds, the areas with more biodiversity. (Bufo calamita) of the central Catalan littoral(Accipiter gentiles) presence. All those species uses the quarry as The better exposition to sun promotes a notable abundance of mountain range survives almost exclusivelyhunting area. A pair of kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) nested on the flowering shrubs which, on their side, maintains a bunch of on the temporal and semi-permanent pondshighest building of the quarry till reparation works following an pollinator invertebrates. From mid June, when local streams that forms on active and abandoned quarries.accidental fire on the building. Badger tracks are common on the dry up, the ponds of the quarry are the only source of water in The breeding of ringed plovers (Charadrius a 5Km radius area. Roe deer is the most significant species hiaticula) is frequent on the quiet playas closeareas close to natural forest. The quarry habitat has a density ofrabbits significantly higher than in the surrounding areas. The visiting the quarry for watering. Alisma plantago-aquatica, to the quarry ponds. The Blue Rock Thrushpresence of palatable herbs and a sandy soil where excavate their Typha latifolia, Tamarix gallica, Salix elaeagnos, and (Monticola solitarius) is a rock breedingdens are probably the main reasons for this abundance. Polypogon monspeliensis, are the most remarkable plants species that has been observed on the colonizing the ponds. extraction area of the quarry. Its quite probable that with the appearance of rocky areas protected from the sound of blasts, it will become a regular nesting species. Quarry area in 2012 Hypothetic limit in 2040 Two types of interactions: Fauna associated with new Clear ecosystem services to surrounding habitats: Typically cliff and rock nesting habitats: The quarry habitat (mainly already exploited birds and fauna but also “playa” nesting birds, areas, or places that are just deforested for future extraction) like the pair of ringed plover (Charadrius is more than a new set of microhabitats and places hiaticula) which nested on the flats close to a characterized by being more exposed to sunlight, with local temporal pond last year. accumulation of water and unvegetated soils: the quarry Cliff and rock nesting birds are by now habitat offers some interesting ecosystem services to the occasional visitors and potential breeders surrounding natural areas. A lot of fauna comes just for when rocky and cliff landscape incorporates to water. Rabbits get a safe place with an ideal substrate to the quarry habitat category (mainly as the excavate their dens. The sunny habitat is also the place of extraction cavity gets bigger and then new thermophilous vegetation which is also exploited by a lot of quiet areas appear). pollinators. Different predators hunt on the area, and the quarry ponds are the only reproduction habitat for natterjack toads.
Biodiversity management opportunitiesEcosystem management during extraction Quarry area in 2012 Hypothetic limit in 2040 As the extraction phase can last some decades (Ivonne quarry has One immediate objective is to get back the breeding pair of kestrels. A simple nest-box is needed. already 42 years), there is an opportunity for ecosystem Placing bat nest-boxes on the property area (that should be excavated in the future) on trees and cliffs management. The basic traits being: would be an important opportunity to attract bats. The most altered zones with buildings and intense frequentation The extent of flowering herbs and shrubs should not be limited to the “preparation area” (deforested will remain the same size and in the same place. zone before works of extraction); but also extended to the forest area of the property, and mainly on the ! As the extraction area will increase its surface, there is a need to area that in a future could be excavated. This property forest should be cleared to a tree density slightly construct quiet places of rock and cliff habitat. under 300 trees/ha . This would lower the risk of forest fire and should enhance biodiversity. ! As cliffs and ponds are important habitats and potential Queep the hunting free area on the quarry in order to protect and enhance rabbit population. biodiversity hot spots, there is a need to construct as much of those Natural looking cliffs construction. Eagle owl (Bubo bubo) is a possible breeder on quiet cliffs. habitats during the extraction phase as possible. The stability and Promote pond construction, mainly as retention basins to prevent sediment transportation by runoff. rock falling prevention should be compatible with this aim. Keep the limits with the natural area without barriers to animal movement. No entry zone for people to prevent risks of accident on the cliff area.
A flowchart for our proposalEcosystem dynamics and decision environment Natural habitataround the quarry is affected by landscape dynamics. Abandonment of forest management practices affects The disappearance of rain fed negatively the forest structure of the plantations P. of, agriculture leads to afforestation. pinea; P. pinaster and P. radiata. Afforestation reduces runoff, thus lowering stream water discharge and even interrupting streamflow. Net loss of biodiversity linked to open habitat disapperance Agricultural fauna and mostly ground nesting birds : Miliaria calandra, Athene noctua, Alauda arvensis, Natural temporal ponds disappear Oryctolagus cuniculus, Tymon lepidus, Bufo calamita.. except on quarries. The quarry activity involves modifications of landscapes. New landscapes varies The quarry asecosystem services provider from simple deforestation on preparation works, to profound modifications of the Quarry ponds become vistually the only relief and soil disappearance. The biodiversity linked to temporal suitable reproduction habitat for ponds becomes quarry biodiversity. natterjack toads (Bufo calamita). The extraction phase of the Barren soils, rocks and cliffs as new quarry can last several When local streams dry up on mid habitats decades. Time enough for summer, the ponds of the quarry establishing ecosystem become the only source of water. Opportunities for rock and cliff interchange with surrounding nesting species: B bubo, ubo habitats Monticola solitarius,.. Roe deer and other species visit the quarry for watering Pond formation on concavities and pond construction as Quarry areas with natural soil becomes a retention basins to prevent silt reserve on flowering herbs and shrubs, transport by runoff. and its pollinator invertebrate fauna. Presence of birds of preyButeo buteo, ( Circaetus gallicus. Quarry as hunting ) range. Soils developed from granite are easily excavated by rabbits. No human hunting area + palatable herbs abundance + easy den excavation = rabbit abundance.Conventional decision environment Environmental consequences of prevailing dogmas Restoration projects ignoring the ecological interactions of the quarry Impact on Frequent erosion problems Loss of quarry habitat during the extraction phase. Natterjack toad on attempts to restore habitats populations vegetation on slopes over 15% Aesthetic landscape management restricted to mimicking the pre- existing situation. Landscape visual Rabbit The camouflage landscape objective treatment = camouflage? population rarely accomplished as it is difficult to decline grow xenophile vegetation on reconstructed hillsides, and so the The recuperation of previous relief cover of vegetation is much lower. is the main objective. Proposal for an integrated management approach Restoration projects Why not to try must be a consequence to "sculpture" of the ecosystem stable natural dynamics during the looking cliffs? extraction phase. Implement the biodiversity GIS analysis use to optimize management plans during the useful extraction volume. Optimize extraction phase taking into account quarry production on ecological the ecosystem services that the quarry grounds is not a sin! habitat provides to the surrounding natural landscapes.