We have several research projects designed to examine peatlands and how they function under changing environmental conditions such as predicted increases in fire frequency (climate-change induced) in combination with enhanced nitrogen deposition (from Oil Sands Mining in northern Alberta, Canada).
This is a project started in the summer of 2012 with one burned bog, and was expanded to 5 bogs in 2013 with NSF funding. We established plots across northern Alberta based on a chronosequence of bogs which have burned at various points in the past 125 years. We explored how Nitrogen and Carbon are linked and how the processes change with both the age of a bog and increased Nitrogen deposition.
Effects of increased nitrogen input on bogs and fens
|our Mariana CEMA funded fen research site|
This project was funded by CEMA (Cumulative Environmental Management Association). We have experimentally added different amounts of Nitrogen to a bog and a fen. With increasing pollution from Oil Sands Mining activities, there is concern that we are causing changes to the ecosystems. We are documenting those changes in bogs and fens and will relay valuable information that will hopefully be used to advise legislators and scientists. Part of this research was recently published in Ecological Monographs.
Monitoring Oil Sands Area bogs that are exposed to increased levels of N and S
|Syncrude facility, Fort McMurray, Alberta|
We have current funding for this project from AEP (Alberta Environment and Parks, government of Alberta) and were previously funded to do this research by WBEA (Wood Buffalo Environmental Association). We took on this project to determine how current and historical conditions affect nutrient cycling and bog health in the Oil Sands Mining area. We have been monitoring these sites for over 10 years and have seen changes along the way. Our sites are very close to the mining areas and we measure inputs of N and S to the bogs while also exploring how vegetation and water chemistry change in the bogs. We expanded this project in the summer of 2018 to include two new sites (one site burned in 2016 and one burned in 2012).