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Boreal Plant Species for Reclamation of Athabasca Oil Sands Disturbances - Updated December 2014 Open Access


Author or creator
Smreciu, A.
Gould, K.
Wood, S.
Additional contributors
Tar Sands
Oil Sands
Type of item
Canada, Alberta, Fort McMurray
Oil sands reclamation guidance documents prepared by the Cumulative Environmental Management Association and endorsed by the provincial government include lists of potential reclamation species and their characteristics (Alberta Environment 2008, 2010). This report consolidates and updates profiles for 98 of these species. Each profile contains the following information (where applicable): • Species Nomenclature – up-to-date scientific names and widely used common names along with plant family designations; common names should be used with caution as many distinct species have the same or similar common names and common names may vary by region • Plant Description o Fruit o Seed • Habitat and Distribution of the species locally and worldwide o Seral Stage o Soil o Distribution based on Moss (1983) unless otherwise noted. Moss uses the following convention to describe distribution: The North American distribution is generally given in two tiers from west to east across the continent. The first tier represents the northern limit, the second tier the southern limit. A comma indicates a reasonably continuous distribution and a semi-colon indicates a disjunction. • Phenology – particularly based on observations from north eastern Alberta • Pollination mechanisms are described if known. • Genetic Information (ploidy) • Known Symbioses • Seed Processing o Collection o Seed Weight o Harvest Dates o Cleaning o Storage Behaviour o Storage o Longevity • Propagation – including seed and vegetative propagation o Natural Regeneration o Germination o Pre-treatments o Vegetative Propagation • Greenhouse timelines for seedling production • Aboriginal/Food Uses o Food o Medicinal o Other • Wildlife/Forage Usage • Reclamation Potential – with examples from oil sands reclamation studies where available • Commercial Resources o Harvest Methods o Availability o Cultivars o Uses (other than the Aboriginal uses noted above) • Notes – including comments on alternative names (genera and species names change with increasing knowledge of biology and genetics; caution should be used when consulting older references such as Budd and Best (1969) and Moss (1983) because of potential name changes since these were published) Each profile is illustrated with photographs of the plant, flowers, fruit and/or seeds if available and line drawings are also included if available (Budd and Best (1969) is an excellent source for line drawings). References for the content are provided with each profile. Although the original objective for the profiles was to inform decisions made by reclamation planners and practitioners in the oil sands and to promote the inclusion of these species in revegetation, the information has a much wider audience appeal. We continue to be inundated with requests for all types of species information from professionals in other industries as well as provincial, municipal and federal government agencies, nursery producers, aboriginal groups, researchers, archeologists, cultural anthropologists and ethno-botanists, wildlife biologists, foresters, range managers, horticulturalists, naturalists and the general public. At the November 25, 2013 OSRIN workshop Future of Shrubs in Oil Sands Reclamation participants noted a lack of awareness of, and in for many species the need for, the types of information contained in these species profiles. This report is a valuable tool for those directly responsible for planning and executing reclamation in the oil sands as well as for other professionals involved in native plant work.
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Filename: TR-44 - Smreciu - Native Species Profiles Dec 2014 Update.pdf
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