Using priority effects and soil amendments to optimize ecological restoration of the Fortis pipeline right-of-way - Year two

FortisBC proposes to replace a pipeline in Kamloops, B.C. Of concern are habitat losses, loss of native plant communities and alteration of the composition of plant communities due to introduction of invasive species. My research addresses the role of order of seed arrival, called priority effects, and soil amendments such as straw matting and wood ash in facilitating ecosystem restoration after pipeline replacement. I will establish permanent monitoring along the pipeline, and in consultation with local indigenous community plant early and late successional plant species on the same plots six months apart, and at the same time to track the restoration success of these plots. Some plots will have nutrients added through wood ash, while seed survival will be boosted using straw-matting. In another experiment, I will test different grass:forb ratios, while adding wood-ash and straw matting. I will monitor plant cover, biomass and diversity over eighteen months. This work will enable FortisBC to use native plants and soil amendments in post-pipeline replacement restoration. My research will identify what order of seed arrival provides the best restoration outcomes for disturbed Canadian grasslands, and provide a template to maintain native plant diversity and resist colonization of disturbed sites by exotic species.

Intern: 
Morodoluwa Akin-Fajiye
Faculty Supervisor: 
Lauchlan Fraser
Province: 
British Columbia
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