Suspended sediment contributions from forest roads in the Honna River watershed

The Honna River is a source of drinking water for the Village of Queen Charlotte on Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. There is concern that sediment from a highly traveled logging road is contributing to poor water quality in the Honna River. This project is following up on the work of Elizabeth Baird (2010 Mitacs Intern), where she determined what factors controlled sediment leaving logging roads. However, the dataset she used was limited to a 10 month period. This project has two main objectives using a longer dataset collected over the past 3 years: 1.

Towards species specific management of invasive hawkweeds in British Columbia: Quantifying distributions, modeling potential invasion extent, and investigating genetic-morphometric congruence

The species of European hawkweeds present in British Columbia are aggressive and ecologically detrimental invaders of meadows, parks, agricultural lands and rangelands. Left unmanaged, these species could cost the province of British Columbia upwards of $60 million in economic losses by 2020. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (MoFLNRO) is responsible for addressing invasive plant species on Crown land.

Population Estimation of the Western Conifer Seed Bug by Mark Release Recapture, and Calibration of a Visual Monitoring Technique

The western conifer seed bug is an important seed orchard pest in southern interior British Columbia, where it is responsible for significant seed loss, particularly in lodge pole pine and Douglas‐fir. In order to develop an economic damage threshold, i.e., when it would be economically justifiable to apply a pesticide treatment to protect the seed crop, it is critical that a monitoring technique is developed that will allow an accurate assessment of the numbers of seed bugs present, and hence an estimate of the damage this population can inflict.

Establishing Native Plant Communities on Severely Disturbed Sites: Investigating the Limiting Factors to Restoring Slash Burn Scars

In many actively managed forest ecosystems, the most disturbed locations are the areas where excess woody slash has been piled and burned. Burning slash creates barren patches, which may provide locations for the invasion of exotic plant species. The intern will study the restoration of native species to these sites where slash piles have been recently burned, with the intent of preventing the entry of exotic invasive species into the area or, if invasive species are already present, preventing their further spread.

Predicting changes in early growing season water availability contributed as snowmelt following mountain pine beetle attack

This project with the BC Ministry of Forests and Range intends to use almost entirely existing stand spatial data and snow-melt data to model early season water availability in mountain pine beetle (MPB) affected stands. The resultant canopy loss due to the MPB is likely to have an influence on the volume and timing of snow melt and, consequently, on water availability.

Ecosystem Recovery after Disturbance: Thresholds for Biodiversity and Resiliency Indicators

This project will use vegetation indicators of biodiversity to define response curves for measuring ecological resilience in three forest ecosystems in central BC. The vegetation indicators to be evaluated are: 1) the rate of regrowth; 2) the rate of recovery of species richness; and 3) the rate of recovery of original species composition. The research team hypothesizes that ecological resilience increases with site productivity and decreases with the length of intervals between wildfires.

Measuring and Modelling Ecological Resilience

The BC Ministry of Forests and Range has recently undertaken a Future Forest Ecosystem Initiative (FFEI) whose purpose is to adapt the BC forest and range legislation and policy to a changing climate and to ensure BC’s forest and rangeland ecosystems remain resilient to stress. This research project helps to provide a scientific underpinning for the FFEI by developing mathematical models that predict how ecological resilience varies across environmental gradients and in response to cumulative environmental stress.

Analysis of Resistance to Mountain Pine Beetle in Clonal Lodgepole Pines: An Opportunity to Guide the Choice of Cultivars for Planting a More Beetle-resistant Forest

The current major outbreak of mountain pine beetle (MPB) in the central interior of BC has prompted research into planning of a future forest that is more resistant to this insect. In the summer of 2005, a lodgepole pine seed orchard was infested by MPB. The orchard contains many clones and the clones are packed in regular rows in a randomized fashion.