Landscape biodiversity & forest dynamics
Landscape biodiversity forest dynamics plots
Alberta, Canada
Principle Investigator
Associate Professor & Alberta Biodiversity Conservation Chair
Status: Active, Study began in 2014, conducting baseline surveys across Alberta

We are studying how biodiversity and forest stand structure is distributed across boreal landscapes and how it changes over time using 1 hectare forest dynamics plots that are designed as 2.5 km by 4 m wide strip transects (scale based on the Z7 landscape biodiversity protocol in Switzerland). This design maximizes landscape heterogeniety as compared to traditional forest dynamics plots that minimize landscape variability by being square or semi-square in shape.  In 2014 we completed 2 transects, while in 2015 we completed 1 additional transect with 1 more transect partly completed.

In each plot were tagging and mapping all trees >1 cm DBH.  We are also segmenting the transect into 100 sq-m subplots (25 m long by 4 m wide) and counting all regenerating trees and shrubs, as well as estimating vascular plant cover and diversity.  

UAV photogrammetry is also being explored, as well as considerations of other taxa such as songbirds.

This is a long-term project where value of information is mostly in the accumalation of more plots to assess landscape patterns and repeated visits to assess stand dynamics (tree mortality, growth, recruitment, plant diversity, etc.).

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