Environmental Science - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Geochemical and Biological Response of an Intertidal Ecosystem to Localized Restoration Efforts: Squamish East Delta

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-04
Abstract: 

Geochemical and biological attributes of three intertidal areas in the Squamish Estuary with different levels of disturbance (low, medium, and high) were assessed to determine short-­term ecosystem responses to localized restoration efforts conducted one year previously on a former log handing site. Sediment and macroinvertebrate variables were analyzed among sites to characterize the ecosystems response and provide insight on the nature and process of an assisted successional trajectory. Invertebrate composition and biomass were lowest on the site with the highest level of disturbance. The high disturbance site also contained the highest percentage of fine sand (0.0067 mm to 0.25 mm). This confirms that in the short term there are distinct site responses to disturbance and ameliorative restoration efforts – even in a highly dynamic estuarine environment. The medium site contained more invertebrates than the low disturbance site indicating that something other than localized disturbance is affecting the invertebrate community on the low site. All sites exhibited a less-­rich and less diverse invertebrate community than that of historical records (circa. 1970-­1980). Invertebrate = community in the east delta today is more typical of estuarine environments with higher salinity levels -­ which indicates more widespread levels of disturbance throughout the Estuary is affecting the study sites. This study highlights the importance of considering temporal and spatial scales when setting restoration goals, objectives and creating monitoring plans. Additional monitoring of sediment, invertebrate, and other variables on restored and reference sites is recommended to characterize typical recolonization and reassembly attributes of restoring intertidal estuaries in coastal British Columbia. This would provide evidence and rigor in determining effective restoration techniques and management strategies for a critical and increasingly threatened ecosystem.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Leah Bendell
Department: 
Environment: Ecological Restoration Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Sc.

Eco-Cultural Restoration of Wetlands at Tl’chés (Chatham Islands), British Columbia, Canada

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-04
Abstract: 

This research project examined the restoration possibilities for two culturally important wetland ecosystems at Tl'chés (Chatham Islands, British Columbia, Canada). The first wetland is a sacred bathing pool and holds cultural significance, the second is a remnant silverweed and springbank clover (Potentilla anserine ssp. pacifica and Trifollium wormskjoldii) root garden. These wetlands are necessary ecosystems for the wildlife on Tl'chés as wetlands are rare, but also an integral part of Songhees' cultural practices. My work was done at the invitation from elder Súlhlima (Joan Morris) who was one of the last resident of the islands and retains hereditary rights there, and Songhees Chief Ron Sam and band council. The goal of my project was to develop a restoration plan to restore the wetlands to pre-abandonment conditions, so cultural practices can continue, and to benefit the islands native plant and animal species. The project highlights the value of combining traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and traditional resource and environmental management (TREM) practices with ecological restoration.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Darcy Mathews
Department: 
Environment: Ecological Restoration Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Sc.

Restoration of Old Forest Characteristics in a 1957 Spacing Trial in the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest, British Columbia

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-04
Abstract: 

Forest managers are interested in determining how stands that have been logged might be managed to restore features characteristic of forests in later-stages of development. Incorporating forest restoration into forest management enables the use of forest-management skills, such as silviculture and regeneration techniques, to manage individual stands for multiple objectives. Therefore, I performed a comparative analysis of large trees, very-large trees, large snags, very-large snags, and large CWD among three stand types (i.e., 60-yr-managed, 140-yr-natural, and 500-yr-natural stands). The 140-yr-natural and 500-yr-natural stands were used as reference conditions to guide the restoration of a 59-yr-managed spacing trial. All attributes differed among stand-types; however, large snags were the most similar attribute between 140-yr-natural and 500-yr-natural stands. Large trees were the fastest attribute to recover in 60-yr-managed stands, however mean values among stand-types still differed. This study highlights the potential of restoring old-natural attributes in younger-managed stands to increase ecological resiliency.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dr. Doug Ransome
Department: 
Environment: Ecological Restoration Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Sc.