To responsibly manage forest resources in southwestern Alberta, it is important to understand the disturbance regimes they have experienced in the past, are experiencing now, and are likely to experience in the future. The Mountain Legacy Project has several thousand repeat photographs which show areas of the mountains and foothills of the Rockies a century ago and today. This project will develop methods to georectify those photographs (i.e. flatten the pictures onto a map) in order to analyze them in a spatially relevant way.
Forest tent caterpillars causes serious damage to hardwood forests across Canada, and outbreaks are currently on the rise in several provinces.
Recent research by our team and others suggests that while parasites and disease play a key role in ending outbreaks, predators attacking young caterpillars could be important in preventing the start of outbreaks.
This project measures predation on young caterpillars in outbreaking and non-outbreaking forests and identifies the predators responsible.
City trees and forests provide numerous ecosystem services (e.g. cleaner air, cooler environment, recreation) to human society but they are increasingly threatened by the changing climate, urban sprawl, invasive pests and diseases. This is particularly the case for Eastern Canadian cities that see the need to replace a large proportion of their trees killed by the Emerald ash borer (an invasive exotic insect). Current species choice is mostly based on aesthetics, economics and tradition.
For many reasons, forest management in Canada will be constrained by ecological and social forest management objectives. Along with meeting the diverse needs of society, forest managers will need to consider increased demands for renewable resources, such as wood. Wood, as opposed to concrete and steel, has a positive impact on the global carbon cycle but is also strong enough to build large buildings. Therefore, there will be an increased demand for stronger wood in the future.
In forestry, the two major costs of delivering wood to the mill are the costs of forest road construction and transportation of harvested wood. Given the magnitude of the costs involved, and the complexity of the planning problem, computer optimization models are used. In this research project, we have outlined a research plan by which current, state-of-the-art algorithms can be used to improve how we model and solve this important problem.
An emerging strategy for managing natural resources such as Canada's forests more sustainably and responsibly is to use knowledge of how Mother Nature has done it to help guide our hand. This so-called ecosystem-based approach has gained favour with provincial and federal governments, as well as national and international certification agencies.
European colonization and industrial development have profoundly transformed the forested landscapes of north-eastern North America. Consequently, historical forest characteristics, such as forests prior to settlement and industrial exploitation (i.e. the presettlement forests), serve as a model for developing a sustainable forest management. In this project, we aim to reconstruct long-term changes in forest landscapes of southern Quebec.
Nova Scotia forests boast the second highest private ownership rate in Canada, with almost 3 of 4.5 million hectares owned by 30,000 woodlot owners and private corporations. Because of this, forest management practices vary widely. Though the Nova Scotian forests traditionally consist of large, mature, unevenly aged trees that support both important biodiversity and a thriving forest sector, mismanagement of these forests for decades has led to a decline of the forests and the rural communities that depend on them.
The proposed project will assess and quantify the energy transfer from wildland fires as it relates to coverage of vegetative fuel with wildland fire chemicals for protection of wildland/urban interfaces. The project will extend on preliminary work on the relative performance of wildfire chemicals (e.g., water, gel, foam, and long-term retardants) on forest vegetation. The results of this proposed project will further develop proactive fire control measures, a priori to the occurrence of a fire, for community protection.
This goal of this research project is to understand how wood fibre characteristics within planted and natural stands of spruce behave with changes to temperature and precipitation. Several methods of wood analysis will be used to determine this relationship including dendrochronology, scientifically dating tree-rings and comparing to climate, and analysis of fibre qualities, or cellular wood qualities, within samples of both natural and planted stands of spruce.