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Long-term agronomic and environmental impact of aspen control strategies in the Aspen Parkland

  • Author / Creator
    LaRade, Shawna Elizabeth
  • Since European settlement the Aspen Parkland has been subject to agricultural intensification. This research assessed the agronomic, ecologic and economic impact of native Parkland conversion into tame pasture, by building on a study initiated in 1980 investigating the short-term agronomic responses within three landscape-level treatments: an intensive Clear & Break (C&B), a Spray & Burn (S&B) and a burnt Native Check (NC). Historical information was supplemented with recently collected data (2005-2006). Production remained high within the NC relative to the others after 25 years, in part due to contributions from browse in areas with increasing woody species. Plant species composition also demonstrated considerable convergence (i.e. overlap) between native and tame grasslands, and although not different in soil organic matter, microfaunal activity differed marginally. Net present value (NPV) economic analysis indicated the NC and S&B provided greater aggregate returns over the study period, and has implications for aspen management in the future.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2010-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3V93V
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Bork, Edward
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Irving, Barry
    • Willms, Walter
    • Jeffrey, Scott