• Author / Creator
    Aguilar Rojas, Jaime
  • Naturalization is a new and promising ecological approach to vegetation management for urban environments. Although there have been years of research focused on areas such as land reclamation, ecological restoration and plant establishment there is a lack of knowledge on how to reintegrate the native ecological component into green spaces of urban centres. Naturalization generally occurs in three stages: cessation of mowing, establishment of woody vegetation and site enhancement by planting native forbs (wild flowers). In this two year research project the response to naturalization was evaluated at seven sites in the City of Edmonton for four native tree species, four native shrub species, twenty-four forb native species and plant communities where mowing had ceased. Naturalization treatments included soil preparation with combinations of tillage and herbicide and soil amendments with applications of compost at different rates. Response to naturalization for the city of Edmonton and other similar urban centres was evaluated using mortality, height and stem diameter change (for woody species) and spread (for forb species), species richness and cover data. Woody species with the highest potential for use were Picea glauca and Symphoricarpos albus, poorest performing tree and shrub species were Populus tremuloides and Viburnum trilobum, respectively. The native forbs, Penstemon procerus, Fragaria virginiana, Heuchera cylindrica, Agastache foeniculum, Antennaria microphyla and Geum aleppicum performed well. Species response to soil treatments varied with species and site. For most of the evaluated seedlings, herbicide application prior to planting increased survival and growth, and compost application resulted in larger plants. Native forb species survival and spread was mostly influenced by amendment, with highest compost amounts leading to better growth and survival. Plant community development after cessation of mowing did not follow any particular pattern in plant community succession after one year. In general live vegetation cover depletion was only significant for one of the research sites. The most influential soil treatment was herbicide, resulting in a lower non native species cover and a higher noxious weed cover. Highly concentrated compost amendments resulted in reduced vegetation cover across sites.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2016
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • 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
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Land reclamation and remediation
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Chanasyk, David (Renewable Resources)
    • Parkins, John (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)