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. Three possible limiting factors to native plant establishment will be investigated: seed availability, seed herbivory, and the availability of soil mycorrhizal inoculants. This experiment will be performed on three different field sites in Kamloops, Clinton, and Riske Creek, BC.