Forested Wetlands Project

The Project

Forested wetlands are an important ecosystem in Atlantic Canada because of the services they provide in water retention, flood protection, nutrient removal, contaminant filtration and surface water purification. Because of their complex vegetation structure and wide range of hydrological and edaphic (soil) conditions, forested wetlands are quite biodiverse and have a relatively unique set of ecosystem functions. Through a better understanding of their ecology, we aim to help in the development of strategies to mitigate anthropogenic impacts and to preserve the ecosystem services provided by forested wetlands in Atlantic Canada.

Funded by the Atlantic Ecosystem Initiative, this project has been undertaken by a diverse team of researchers, students, and institutions in Atlantic Canada. It builds on previous studies initiated by our team members, extending research on; structural diversity, vegetation communities, decomposition, rare and at-risk lichen distribution, habitat identification for at-risk land birds, mycorrhizae colonization and soil carbon sequestration.

Research components include:

  • Extensive surveys to characterize forested wetlands (e.g. birds, lichen, habitat, structure)
  • Intensive sampling to determine the diversity of flora in vegetation communities
  • Specific projects to test hypotheses about ecosystem processes
  • Landscape analyses to assess spatial and temporal dynamics
  • Synthesis activities to share information and to synthesize results, make recommendations and disseminate information to the public

The Principal Investigators of this project are Karen Harper, Cindy Staicer, and John Brazner.