Boreal Forest Carbon Balance Studies
Principal Investigator: Layden, Ronald E. (3)
Licence Number: 16191
Organization: Aurora Research Institute
Licenced Year(s): 2017
Issued: Dec 08, 2017
Project Team: Dr Elyn Humpreys (Primary Investigator, Carleton University), Mr. Michael Treberg (Research Technician, Carleton University), Dr. Peter LaFleur (Primary Investigator, Trent University)

Objective(s): To increase the understanding of taiga carbon balance of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and predict into the future the impacts of climate warming on these systems.

Project Description: The objective of this project is to increase the understanding of taiga carbon balance of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and predict into the future the impacts of climate warming on these systems.

The exchange of carbon gases between the taiga and atmosphere is a significant component of the carbon balance and is dependent upon vegetation cover. The description below for the tundra site at Daring Lake applies equally to the methodology which will be used here. In addition the research team may measure soil flux with small ground based equipment and loggers and monitor temperature in the air and soil.

Drs. Humpreys' and LaFleur's research team have established 4 measurement sites near Daring Lake where fluxes are measured annually during the late-winter and over the growing (summer) season. At each site a small (3 m high) meteorological tower has been set up. Instruments are mounted on the tower that measure carbon dioxide, heat, and water vapour exchanges, in conjunction with wind speed, solar radiation, temperature and humidity, as well as instruments to monitor soil temperature and moisture. The data from these are recorded on electronic data loggers and later retrieve for computer analysis. The systems are powered by small battery banks charged with solar panel arrays. The 4 sites where these have been set up are for upland mixed tundra, sedge wetland, low shrub tundra and tall shrub tundra. Normally the system is set up in April or May and they run continuously until early September. Most of the instruments are removed for the winter period, but a small array is left on the towers to measure winter meteorology, such as solar radiation, air temperature and wind and soil temperature.

The site for this research is close to Yellowknife and easily accessible. The Principal Investigator will arrange trips for local school students to visit the site and see firsthand how research is carried out and what is being done to study climate change in the Northwest Territories.

The research team will provide public lectures in Yellowknife to inform the public about the results of this work at least once per year.


The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from December 7, 2017 to December 31, 2017.