Tree Regeneration on Seismic Lines

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: petroleum industry, biology, revegetation, forestry, succession

Principal Investigator: Greene, David F (5)
Licence Number: 13660
Organization: Concordia University
Licenced Year(s): 2005 2004
Issued: Jun 18, 2004
Project Team: Grad stude

Objective(s): The purpose of this project is to identify the factors that promote or retard forest regrowth after seismic line cutting. Oil and gas development in the Mackenzie Valley has the potential to heavily impact the region's slow-growing forests. The impacts of linear disturbance such as seismic lines, roads, and cutlines on the northern boreal forest is poorly studied, however, it is clear that permafrost terrain is easily degraded and vegetation is slow to recover. For lines (or parts of lines) that regenerated poorly, the small research team will evaluate the efficacy and cost of a variety of mitigative techniques that could be used to enhance forest regrowth within the two main forest types along the proposed pipeline route from the Mackenzie River Delta to Travaillant Lake: white spruce forests in the Mackenzie Delta and black spruce forests that predominate in the upland areas. The field work in 2004 will involve sowing seeds on selected portions of 30-40 year old seismic lines as well as on very recent lines to assess spruce seedling establishment. The Field work will also involve modifying the seedbed (e.g., by roto-tilling, raking, and/or moss shearing) or overtopping shrubs in small plots to determine if these enhance growth. This project is intended to continue with field work in 2005 and 2006.

Project Description: The purpose of this three-year project is to identify the factors that promote or retard forest regrowth after seismic line cutting. Oil and gas development in the Mackenzie Valley has the potential to heavily impact the region's slow-growing forests.