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An Assessment of the Restoration of Shade in the Stoney Creek Habitat Improvement Project

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Author: Lu, Yoko
Author: Spira, Marta
The Stoney Creek restoration project was expected to have a large impact on the surrounding riparian vegetation. Canopy shade is an important factor affecting salmonids through regulation of water temperature. In seven restored and three unrestored sites, fish-eye photography was used to measure canopy openness as an indirect measurement of shade, and to determine if this was similar between restored and unrestored areas. There were several limitations of this analysis, however, including the fact that deciduous trees did not have all their foliage at the time of year this project was conducted. A clinometer was used to measure the heights of the tallest trees surrounding the sites to see which sites would have more cover from the sun. There were several limitations with the clinometer use, as well, including the weather. Several of the restored sites had similar levels of canopy openness as unrestored sites, but several had lower levels. Tree heights were found to be fairly similar across all sites. We conclude that it appears as though several sites were not sufficiently restored to their pre-restoration project levels, which may be due to an insufficient amount of growing time since replanting occurred, and this may have important impacts on salmonids.
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