Studies of the environmental effects of disturbances in the subarctic (SEEDS)
Principal Investigator: Kershaw, G. Peter (38)
Licence Number: 13158
Organization: University of Alberta
Licensed Year(s): 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1990
Issued: Aug 01, 2000
Project Team: Linda Kershaw

Objective(s): The main study objective is to describe post-fire ecosystem responses in a subarctic forest. In 1985 the SEEDS site was created and then in June 1995, a fire swept over the site. Consequently, the burned SEEDS site offers an opportunity to study post-fire responses with a comprehensive pre-fire data base. Studies will involve micorclimate, soil, vegetation and wildlife on the site and on a nearby unburned area.

Project Description: The main study objective is to describe post-fire ecosystem responses in a subarctic forest. Access to the site will be along existing seismic lines from Tulita. Transport will involve helicopter, boat, ATV and foot. The research camp consists of tents on frames and on platforms and a food and equipment cache contained within a solar-powered electric shock fence (bear fence). Sleeping tents are on platforms outside the bear fence and away from the cooking area. The research sites have small instrument enclosures that contain solar-powered dataloggers that operate year-round. The research is to measure what happens after the fire to the permafrost, soils, plants and animals. An unburned area, 3 km northeast of the burned site is being monitored to provide comparison with the burned area. Many studies will be done, including measurement of air and soil temperatures, wind speed, moisture, water movement, permafrost, snow, plants and small animals. Most measurements will be made by hand, however, several automated microclimate stations run year-round. Small mammal (mice-size) live trapping will be conducted on capture and release grid to determine how they have been affected by burning of the research site. The studies will involve spring (May-June), summer (July-August) and winter (February) data collection.