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Woody plant encroachment into grasslands within the Red Deer River drainage, Alberta Open Access


Other title
aerial photographs
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Glines, Lindsay M.
Supervisor and department
Dr. Evelyn Merrill, Biological Sciences
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Colleen Cassady St. Clair, Biological Sciences
Dr. Clifford White, Parks Canada
Dr. Edward Bork, Renewable Resources
Department of Biological Sciences
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Montane grasslands play a key role in supporting wintering elk in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta. To document change in grassland extent and patch sizes, I analyzed repeat aerial photography at 4 sites in the upper Red Deer River drainage between 1952 and 2003. Excluding the Ya Ha Tinda, grassland extent declined 52 + 20%, shrubland 39 + 41%, with an increase in mixedwood forest of 32%, and coniferous forest of 39 + 10%. The rate of grassland loss differed among sites: West Lakes > Tyrrell Flats ~ Scotch Camp. Grassland area at Ya Ha Tinda was the same in 1952 and 2003 due to shrub mowing. Grassland patch size increased on average, but decreased in WL as larger patches of fragmented with woody plant encroachment. From 100-m transects along grassland-shrub-forest ecotones, differences in herbaceous biomass and species richness existed within cover types, but no pattern in edge effects on herbaceous biomass could be detected between ecotone type or among sites, except at the Ya Ha Tinda.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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