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Natural Recovery of Upland Boreal Forest Vegetation on a Hummocky Peat-Mineral Mix Substrate in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta

  • Author / Creator
    Shaughnessy, Brenda Erin
  • This research investigated the natural recovery of upland boreal forest vegetation on a peat-mineral mix substrate in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta. Three sites, aged 26 to 34 years, were assessed to determine effects of substrate (pH, electrical conductivity, texture), topography, slope, aspect, hummock size, litter depth, tall shrub and tree stem densities, canopy cover, and tree ages on community composition and cover of upland boreal vegetation. Environmental variables that had the most influence on the plant communities were substrate texture (clay), tree canopy cover, and tall shrub stem density. The plant communities, which likely developed from early successional lowland communities, most closely approximate an upland boreal mixedwood forest in transition from an early to mid successional stage. Community development was concluded to be a product of measured environmental variables, with unmeasured factors such as propagule dispersal, germination conditions, and initial species composition also playing important roles.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2010-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3F02N
  • 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 Renewable Resources
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Naeth, M. Anne (Renewable Resources)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Bork, Edward W. (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
    • MacDonald, S. Ellen (Renewable Resources)
    • Chanasyk, David S. (Renewable Resources)