Natural variation and short-term impact of aspen harvesting on surface stream chemistry in the Boreal Plains

  • Author / Creator
    Palmer, Amy R
  • This thesis describes the natural variation and influence of aspen harvesting on stream chemical concentration and flow-weighted export from catchments typical of the Western Boreal Plain, Alberta, Canada. The catchment stream discharge and stream chemical concentrations presented are taken from a subset of a five-year paired catchment (2005-2010) HEAD2 NSERC-CRD study. Nutrients, major anions, major cations and two minor ions were monitored from second-order streams draining a 18.3 sq km reference catchment (R1) and compared to a 9.9 sq km experimental catchment (H1) for two years of pre-harvesting (2005-2006) and two years of sequential harvesting (2007-2008). Preliminary analyses showed that non-harvest high flows had a total average instantaneous export greater than 10 times that of low flows. In addition, summer storms and beaver dam breakages had stream export equivalent to or greater than spring melt. Intensive upland aspen harvesting showed no significant differences in major cation and anion export post-harvest with the exception of increased sulfate.

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  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
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    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.