Plant and invertebrate assemblages on waste rock at Wangaloa coal mine, Otago, New Zealand

Natural regeneration on waste rock was investigated at the old Wangaloa coal mine, south-east Otago. A 450-m long waste rock stack had been created 40–50 years ago, and has had little anthropogenic intervention since. The stack is made up of a gradient of three main waste rock types, defined as ‘silt-rich’, ‘mixed’, and ‘quartz-rich’, which reflect different proportions of loess siltstone and quartz gravel conglomerate. Plant species assemblages were quantified in four 5-m2 quadrats in each waste rock type.