Northern Native Plant Development Collections in the NWT

Regions: Dehcho Region, South Slave Region

Tags: biology, land reclamation, native plants, revegetation, botany, agriculture, plant productivity

Principal Investigator: Seccombe-Hett, Pippa (8)
Licence Number: 14217
Organization: Aurora Research Institute
Licenced Year(s): 2018 2007 2006
Issued: Jul 31, 2007
Project Team: Annika Trimble (Summer Student / Technician, Aurora Research Institute), William Hurst (Technician, Aurora Research Institute), Jay Woosaree (Plant Development, Alberta Research Council)

Objective(s): This project has been designed in order to develop technologies utilized to propagate and cultivate native plant species. The main deliverable will ultimately provide a system where-by these species will become available for commercial production and use in revegetation and reclamation in the Northwest Territories. The need for native plant seed for reclamation and restoration has been identified because of increased industrial development in the territory and the need to improve land reclamation practices and environmental mitigation strategies.

Project Description: This project has been designed in order to develop technologies utilized to propagate and cultivate native plant species. The main deliverable will ultimately provide a system where-by these species will become available for commercial production and use in revegetation and reclamation in the Northwest Territories. The need for native plant seed for reclamation and restoration has been identified because of increased industrial development in the territory and the need to improve land reclamation practices and environmental mitigation strategies.

The main activities involved in this program include:

1) Identifying plant species suitable for reclamation and revegetation. This will involve collecting seed and plants to test their suitability through germination trials, field trials and assessing seed production capabilities. Seed will be collected from a number of locations across the territory for each of the candidate species in order to maintain genetic diversity in selected plants. The researchers plan to collect seeds from approximately 20- 40 different plant species.

2) Developing suitable agronomic and cultural practices for commercial production of the candidate species. Alberta Research Council will assist and work with this component of the program and offer their expertise in propagating native plant species.

In the long term seeds will be stored at the National Seed Bank in Saskatoon and the collections will be maintained by staff at the Plant Gene Resource Centre.
This project will be initiated during the late summer of 2007. Seed collection will be conducted during August and September. The field collections sites will be accessed by truck and by foot. All seed will be collected by hand. Plant species that will be targeted for seed collection will all be common, abundant plants which are early colonizing species. A number of sites will be accessed to ensure that genetic diversity is maintained in all plant species collected and also to minimize local impacts upon the seed bank within any given area.

The results of this work will be communicated to each community annually with project reports and through summaries of research activities submitted to the ARI Research Compendium.

Fieldwork will be conducted from August 01 to September 30, 2007 in the following areas:
- In the Deh Cho region: around Fort Liard, Jean Marie River and Hay River. Near Fort Liard, all of the collections will be within Land Use Zones 25 (Blackstone /Lower Petitot Rivers) and 26 (Liard Range); near Jean Marie River, in Land Use Zone 29 (Jean Marie River North); in the Hay River region, within Land Use Zone 32 (Lower Big Buffalo).
- In the South Slave Region seed will be collected at sites accessed from the road between Hay River and Fort Resolution.