Northern Native Seed Development Greenhouse and Field Trials

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: native plants, revegetation, vegetation, botany, seeds, greenhouse, industrial development

Principal Investigator: Wenghofer, Kristen (2)
Licence Number: 13988
Organization: Inuvik Community Garden Society
Licenced Year(s): 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2007 2006
Issued: Jun 02, 2006

Project Description: Increased industrial development across the Northwest Territories is creating the necessity to reclaim and revegetate the land during and/or after development. Land management policy recognizes the need to maintain ecosystems, biodiversity, and habitat, and is implementing stringent policies for land use. Northern environments are particularly slow to recover from disturbance because of the short growing season and extreme environmental conditions. Use of invasive species can out-compete native vegetation and alter natural succession and habitat structure, which may have negative implications for both wildlife and traditional land uses. Revegetation with native species has been promoted to maintain successional processes, and ecological and genetic diversity. Native plant species have been successfully used in revegetation of extreme environments, because these species are adapted to local climatic conditions, increasing survival, and decreasing fertilizer requirements. Because of climatic change, genetic diversity of plant species must be maintained in order to adapt.

The need for developing native plant species for revegetation in the Northwest Territories was included in the recommendations from the Berger Inquiry; however, the lack of sources of native seed has been a major barrier. This community-based project will grow native seed, monitor revegetation success, and develop appropriate tools for restoring ecologically sensitive land. Nine plant species found in the Inuvik region will be grown in the Inuvik community greenhouse and in the field, in three separate disturbed sites in the surrounding area. Measurement of plant and seed productivity will be done to evaluate potential for revegetation of disturbed sites. Seed will be tested to verify seed germinability and purity prior to the use of the seeds in field trials. Greenhouse staff will provide tours of the plots to school groups and others. The project will be presented at the greenhouse AGM and on the Community Garden website. Copies of project reports will be available through the Inuvik Community Garden Society and the Aurora Research Institute.
The study will be conducted from June 15 to December 31, 2006 in the Inuvik Community Greenhouse and at field trial sites selected in consultation with the Town of Inuvik. Field sites will be located within the municipal bounds of Inuvik.