Centuries of mining economically valuable minerals from serpentine have left a legacy of drastically disturbed landscape. Asbestos and nickel-laterite mining from serpentine is estimated to have degraded 11,130 and 19,070 ha, respectively, in 18 countries. Increasing mineral extraction, fueled by increasing global demand for industrial commodities, will continue to have devastating impacts on serpentine landscapes. Simultaneously, increasing environmental awareness is motivating nations to balance economic advancement with environmental protection. Revegetation of landscapes degraded by mining provides a way to address these issues. This review highlights some advances of the past decades in serpentine revegetation and ecology, and provides a framework of concepts, including physical stabilization, substrate amendment, and plant-materials selection, by which drastically disturbed serpentine substrates may be revegetated.
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