Canadian Forest Service Publications

Restoration and reclamation of boreal ecosystems: attaining sustainable development. 2012. Vitt, D.; Bhatti, J., editors. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom. 432 pages.

Year: 2012

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 34042

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


This book is composed of chapters that reveal our current state of knowledge on reclamation and restoration of these boreal ecosystems. The boreal forest, or taiga, is a mosaic of lakes, peatlands, and upland forests, all placed on a mostly topographically flat, featureless landscape having strong hydrological connectivity. The climate is harsh, with long, cold winters and fairly dry, cool summers. Water is at a premium and species diversity is low. Community succession is largely driven by disturbance, especially wildfire; however, in recent decades anthropogenic disturbances have become increasingly prevalent. Disturbances related to resource development such as forestry practices, reservoir creation, peat harvesting, and oil and gas production most recently from bitumen extraction from oil sands are especially frequent. Both open-pit and steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) drilling operations produce either large scale or frequent disturbances and the science of reclaiming these areas is still in its infancy. Although much of the material presented in the chapters relates directly to oil and gas activities in Alberta Canada, however, it is very appropriate for the entire boreal subarctic regions of the world. The chapters in this book emphasize the use of natural regimes as models for reclamation and present the resulting challenges of reclaiming boreal ecosystems. In addition, the importance of the boreal forest as a carbon store has implications for global climate and several chapters focus on this global concern.