Quarrying is a form of mining distinguished by the fact that the product is for building or architectural purposes, rather than being destined for further processing (Lahiri-Dutt, 2004). Limestone is part of the rocks the more extracted, as this rock is also used as a source of aggregates and in the manufacturing of lime, whose global output in 2008 reached 290 million tonnes (USGS, 2009). In Benin, the limestone is mainly used for the cement production. Extraction activities can have both negative and positive effects on the various environmental components of the quarries areas. Indeed, although limestone quarries provide refuges for some endemic species (Clements et al., 2006), extraction activities lead to a complete loss of topsoil, compaction of the remaining soil, nutrient depletion and high pH that makes natural establishment of vegetation very unlikely (Cohen-Fernández, 2012). Therefore, revegetation requires the addition of amendments for soil improvement. Our study aims to assess the floristic characteristics of the Fongba limestone quarry in Benin for implementing strategies to restore the degraded sites. Plant communities and soil physico-chemical parameters in pits will be compared to the surrounding plants communities and soil, considered as the reference (Aïtondji et al., 2015a). An adapted restoration strategy will be developed through an experimental culture of useful species on amended sites.

Threatened plant species in Fongba quarry area

Floristic relevés revealed two threatened species of the Benin Red List. These are Milicia excelsa (Welw.) C.C.Berg (Iroko; Moraceae)) and Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides (Lam.) Zepernick & Timler (Fagara; Rutaceae). Milicia excelsa is considered Endangered and Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides is Vulnerable (Neuenschwander et al., 2011). These plant species are treatened today because of their various uses for the Benin populations: Milicia excelsa is a great value lumber while Zanthoxylum...

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08mai

Native plants nurseries

Establishment of plants nursery for the land restoration. The planting of these nursery plants in the backfilled pit will accelerate the reconstitution of soil fertility. Thus, the lands could be returned to the owners, for their original fonction.

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19mar

collection and pre-treatment of floristic data

In order to characterize the pre and post vegetation of the Fongba limestone quarry, some phytosociological relevés were carried out in the quarry and the surrounding areas, using Braun-Blanquet method.

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19mar