Application of Habitat Suitability Models in Boreal Forest Reclamation

Mining operations in the Oil Sands area can affect extensive areas of boreal forest. Those forested areas affected by mining are expected to be reclaimed by mining companies to reestablish their natural conditions after the exploitation ends. The long-term success of reclamation plans can be assessed with ecological models that simulate how different environmental factors affect tree growth and development, and how changes in forest structure through time will affect boreal wildlife. In this project, a data base of models defining the suitability of different stand types as habitat for wildlife species will be assembled along with a corresponding series of projected changes in available habitat through time. A series of statistical calculations will be developed that describe the relationships between forest structure and its adequacy for wildlife habitat. Results of this research will be used in the assessment of potential impact of reclamation prescriptions on populations of selected wildlife species important for biodiversity conservation.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. James P. Kimmins


Juan A. Blanco


FORRx Consulting Inc.






University of British Columbia



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