FRIP Abstracts

WEYDV-02-062
Networks of Centres of Excellence for Sustainable Forest Management
Sponsor:
Weyerhaeuser Company Limited
Lead Researcher:
Luigi Morgantini, Weyerhaeuser Company Limited, Edmonton, Alberta
Established in 1995, the Sustainable Forest Management Network (SFMN) is an incorporated, non-profit Canadian research Network of Centres of Excellence, based at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. The SFMN supports interdisciplinary, university-based research that addresses issues related to sustainable forest management.

The research program was designed to contribute to the transition from sustained-yield forestry to sustainable forest management. All projects focus on at least one of nine specific research areas. The nine research areas include five areas dedicating to developing strategies and alternatives for achieving sustainable forest management and four areas dedicated to developing criteria and indicators. The SFMN is funded by the Government of Canada, provincial governments, forestry companies, aboriginal groups, a non-governmental organization, the University of Alberta, and the BIOCAP Canada Foundation. Funds are allocated to research projects based on a peer-review process.

Program details, funding partners, and funded projects are on the SFMN website at http://sfm-1.biology.ualberta.ca/english/home/index.htm.
WEYDV-02-065
Hydrologic Simulation of Wildfire on Sawridge Creek
Sponsor:
Weyerhaeuser Company Limited
Lead Researcher:
R.L. Rothwell, Watertight Solutions Ltd., Edmonton, Alberta
This project was prompted by the interest and concerns regarding the recent occurrence of wildfires in the Slave Lake region, and the history of flooding of Sawridge Creek, which flows through the town of Slave Lake, Alberta. The objective of the project was to simulate the effects of the Agnes Lake wildfire on the flows of Sawridge Creek, and provide a public presentation of the results.

Hydrologic simulations were carried out using the Regional Hydro Ecological Simulation System (RHESSys). The model is a spatial simulation system designed to estimate the spatial patterns of forest productivity, as well as the energy and water budget of watersheds. The Agnes Lake fire occurred in 1998 and burned approximately 25% of the basin. Hydrologic simulations of the effects of the Agnes Lake Fire on seasonal and daily flows of the Sawridge Creek were completed as well as a simulation for the watershed without fire. The hydrologic effects for both scenarios were simulated for a 15-year time series (1980-1990, 1995-1999). Simulating the fire in 15 different years provided an estimate of how the hydrologic effects would vary with changes in annual and seasonal precipitation.

The hydrologic effects of the Agnes Lake fire are not expected to significantly increase major flood events in the Sawridge Creek watershed. Simulated increases to flow were small. A much larger portion of the basin would have to be burned before changes in the magnitude and frequency of flows would be detectable in the Sawridge watershed. Changes in flow following an extensive fire in the watershed would be most noticeable in the small to medium sized flows than in the major flood events.
WEYDV-02-066
Aspen-White Spruce Mixedwood Research Review
Sponsor:
Weyerhaeuser Company Limited
Lead Researcher:
Ken Greenway, Alberta Research Council, Vegreville, Alberta
This project goal was to summarize past and current mixedwood studies, and to address information needed to support yield projections of current mixedwood management practices.

The literature review focused on studies based in the mixedwood boreal forest of Alberta, Northeastern British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. All studies (ie. company trials, formal research projects, operation techniques, etc.) that had a direct bearing on spruce/aspen growth in a mixed stand were investigated. In January 2000, a workshop was held in Edmonton in which presenters provided their perceived requirements necessary for further mixedwood growth and yield research. Facilitated sessions with the workshop participants followed the presentations, and served to further address weaknesses in data or knowledge that would affect mixedwood growth and yield projections.

The research review on mixedwood management of white spruce and trembling aspen stands was summarized and is available in the Mixedwood Research Database. In total, 204 records from 163 independent studies were included in the database. The workshop yielded written proceedings. Both the research review and the workshop identified information gaps that are addressed in the “Draft Research Plan” found in the workshop summary document.
WEYDV-02-067
Wildlife Presence and Use of Forested Landscapes within the Drayton Valley FMA Area 8500023
Sponsor:
Weyerhaeuser Company Limited
Lead Researcher:
L. Morgantini, Weyerhaeuser Company Limited, Edmonton, Alberta
Establishment of an ecological framework for sustainable forest management requires comprehensive information on the status of existing natural resources so that monitoring and evaluation programs can be developed. The overall objective of this research program is to provide baseline data to benchmark monitoring changes in the condition of forest ecosystems.

Researchers used existing data, studies, and literature, supplemented with field studies to obtain baseline data.

Deliverables from the research program are provided as the following reports: Landscape vegetation patterns and natural disturbance regimes with FMA 8500023; Fish population inventory and habitat associations in the Baptise River drainage; and An inventory of terrestrial resources within forest management agreement area 8500023.
WEYDV-02-068
Use of Flaming to Reduce Competition between Aspen Regeneration and Marsh Reed Grass
Sponsor:
Weyerhaeuser Company Limited
Lead Researcher:
J. Karpyshyn and E. Korpela, Alberta Research Council, Alberta
The use of fire as a method of vegetation control is often discouraged due to the risk of wildfire. The use of liquefied petroleum gas devices (LPG) can help to mitigate the risk and provide a potential method for the safe integration of fire into current management. This study addresses the efficacy of LPG devices to control marsh reed grass thus providing a competitive advantage to aspen and/or planted conifers.

Research to address the potential of LPG devices to control marsh reed grass included both laboratory and field trials. The laboratory study involved flaming marsh reed grass sod collected from an area adjacent to a pipeline. Initial biomass of the dormant grass was adjusted to three levels of biomass (ie. light, moderate and heavy). The sod was soaked to until moisture levels reached pre-determined levels (ie. dry, moist and soaking). The samples were flamed and placed in a greenhouse to re-grow. After 28 days of growth, the green vegetation was clipped to a height of 1cm and oven-dried. The field component was conducted north of Athabasca, Alberta. The two cutblocks that were utilized for the trial were harvested in summer 2000. Prior to flaming, sticks, fine fuels, green vegetation and duff were sampled for moisture content. The field plots were treated in fall 2000.

The study found that grass re-growth in the laboratory appeared to initiate from seed rather than rhizomes. Because the sample trays were only allowed to re-grow for 28 days prior to being clipped, many of the plants did not have sufficient time to mature and could only be identified at the species level. The greatest length of exposure to flaming (ie. 0.5 mph) decreased forb biomass production significantly. Although the grass biomass decreased with longer exposure to flaming versus no flaming, it is not known what specific effect flaming had on marsh reed grass, since the biomass of each grass species was not individually determined. Although grass biomass production did not significantly change over varying soil moisture conditions, forb biomass production was found to decrease in the wettest treatments. Of interest was the abundance of introduced species that germinated in the laboratory following flaming. The estimated costs of flaming are provided in the final report.

Re-measurement of the field study is scheduled for 2001.

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