Predicting climate change resilience of mine site reclamation in Yukon’s boreal region: from site and ecosystem classifications to biological response

Research problem: Reclamation practices in regions known to be undergoing rapid climate change must consider what adaptive measures could be implemented to maximize short-term reclamation success and long-term resilience of reclaimed sites. Objectives: I will investigate how a multi-scale ecological classification system can be used to predict regeneration success of different forest tree species at reclamation sites in north-central Yukon. To predict regeneration success, I will investigate how tree species in equivalent, nearby natural stands have responded to observed climate change in the past. Methods: I will use a dendrochronological approach to reconstruct tree growth over the last 50+ years in natural stands that are either directly comparable to the reclamation sites, or that are equivalent under an observed or predicted warming signal. Climate equivalency is determined with a climatic niche model. Site equivalency will be determined by evaluating topographic metrics and soil data at candidate sites. Water deficit will be measured during hot/dry periods at reclaimed and natural sites as a key factor in determining resiliency to climate change. Anticipated Outcome: “TO BE CONT’D”

Faculty Supervisor:

Andreas Hamann


Nadele Flynn


Integral Ecology Group


Resources and environmental management


Life sciences




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