Natural/novel ecosystems paradigm. Conceptual flow chart for the development of restored near/natural ecosystems, rehabilitated hybrid ecosystems, and rehabilitated alternative (managed) and novel (unmanaged) ecosystems. The likely development pathways of post-mining landscapes were identified by comparing the planned severity of the disturbance impact and associated rehabilitation design (according to Doley et al. 2012) to which the notions of threshold ir/reversibility have now been added to distinguish between the respective domains of near/natural, hybrid and novel ecosystems (according to Hallett et al. 2013). Notably, in this scheme, it is assumed that mining disturbances resulting in the crossing of abiotic thresholds also necessarily result in the crossing of biotic thresholds. While this may not be the case universally, our pathway primarily leads directly to novel outcomes. Refer to the Endnote for definitions of near/natural, hybrid and novel ecosystems relating to threshold ir/reversibility within the post-disturbance environment.