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  • http://hdl.handle.net/10048/1271
  • Reclamation of wetland habitat in the Alberta oil sands: generating assessment targets using boreal marsh vegetation communities
  • Raab, Dustin Jeremy
  • en
  • oil sands
    reclamation
    Index of Biological Integrity
    wetland
    vegetation
    marsh
    assessment
  • Aug 12, 2010 9:22 PM
  • Thesis
  • en
  • Adobe PDF
  • 2541774 bytes
  • Thousands of hectares of wetlands are being destroyed by oil sands mining in Alberta, and the industry must undertake wetland reclamation to compensate for these losses. Wetland vegetation has developed at some previously mined sites, however reclamation is thus far exploratory, and limited in extent. To inform reclamation practices and assist compliance monitoring I examined vegetation communities in 25 natural boreal wetlands and 20 oil sands reclaimed wetlands, developed a Vegetation-based Index of Biological Integrity (vIBI) to quantify the ecological health of wetlands, and identified possible physical and chemical barriers to reclamation. The vIBI identified 6 reclaimed wetlands in fair to good health, however reclaimed wetlands have different vegetation communities, do not produce the same level of aboveground biomass, and have lower levels of sediment nutrients than natural wetlands. To reclaim healthy wetlands, planning should focus on establishing appropriate species, and alleviate nutrient and sediment deficiencies.
  • Master's
  • Master of Science
  • Department of Biological Sciences
  • Fall 2010
  • Bayley, Suzanne (Department of Biological Sciences)
  • Paszkowski, Cynthia (Department of Biological Sciences)
    Foote, A. Lee (Department of Renewable Resources)

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