Ecology, Hydrology and Disturbance of Western Boreal Wetlands (HEAD)
Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc.
Lead Researcher: 
K.J. Devito, University of Alberta, Edmonton
The ecological and hydrological factors controlling the character and productivity of wetland complexes in the Western Boreal Forest (WBF) of north central Alberta are poorly understood. This project increased the basic understanding of these processes to predict the impact of environmental changes on wetlands, and to set targets for protection and post-development restoration. The project had three objectives: determine the abundance and distribution of wetlands that provide suitable habitat for water birds in the WBF in north central Alberta; determine the natural variation in dominant ecological and hydrological process controlling wetland structure and function by comparing these processes across a range of geologic settings and over several years; and derive and automate indices of these dominant process for inclusion in a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based Decision Support System (DSS) that will be used to predict the productivity and response of individual ponds and wetland complexes to disturbances within the landscape.

Research was conducted at the HEAD research site located in the WBF north of Utikuma Lake, approximately 500km north of Edmonton, Alberta.

Results are presented as refereed journal articles, conference presentations, technical reports, and non-refereed articles and reports.