Canadian Forest Service Publications

Monitoring ecological recovery of reclaimed wellsites: Protocols for quantifying recovery on forested lands. McIntosh, A.C.S., Drozdowski, B., Degenhardt, D., Powter, C. B., Small, C. C., Begg, J., ... & Schieck, J. (2019). MethodsX, 6, 876-909.

Year: 2019

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 40280

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1016/j.mex.2019.03.031

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Abstract

We developed a scientifically robust and financially sustainable monitoring protocol to enable a consistent assessment of ecological recovery of physical, chemical, and biological indicators at certified reclaimed industrial wellsites in forested lands in noutheastern Alberta. Using the developed protocols, data can be generated from measurement of soil, vegetation, and landscape indicators at reclaimed wellsites and adjacent reference sites. We selected the appropriate vegetation, soil, and habitat indicators for a long-term reclamation monitoring program and have provided sampling protocols for the selected indicators here. The protocols may be used to identify and prioritize indicators of reduced ecosystem health and to track ecological recovery of reclaimed sites over time. The development of these integrated monitoring protocols is a first step towards successful and consistent long-term monitoring to assess ecological recovery of certified wellsites in Alberta. These protocols can be applied to wellsites and other similar sized disturbances in other forested regions too.

Plain Language Summary

We developed a monitoring protocol to enable consistent assessment of ecological recovery of physical, chemical, and biological indicators at certified reclaimed industrial well sites in northeastern Alberta. Data can be generated from measurement of soil, vegetation, and landscape indicators at reclaimed well sites and adjacent reference sites. Appropriate vegetation, soil, and habitat indicators were selected and we have provided sampling protocols for the selected indicators. The protocols may be used to identify and prioritize indicators of reduced ecosystem health, as well as tracking for ecological recovery. These monitoring protocols are the first step to consistent long-term monitoring and assessment of ecological recovery of well sites in Alberta. These protocols can not only be applied to well sites, but also other similar sized disturbances in other forested regions.