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Title: “Determining the timespan and ecological conditions necessary for afforested environments to support older-growth understorey communities”

Researcher: Dr. Paul Richardson, Ontario Aggregate Resources Corporation and the University of Waterloo Centre for Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation


Landscapes are often restored through the implement of tree planting programs.  There is often little monitoring of the success of these plantation sites over time.  Paul is interested in predicting the timeline over which tree plantations come to resemble older-growth forests and understand how different management decisions help set this timeline. Possible influences that Paul will examine include managed stand-thinning, soil amendments, removal of competing plants, the identities and traits of the species planted and the historical usage of the sites for aggregate extraction or farming.

Paul will be looking at many sites in Southern Ontario but at rare he will be studying plantations on the Thompson Tract.  Within this site Paul will be measuring canopy size & structure, tree cover, basal area and snag frequency. Soil composition will also be determined. Sampling quadrats will be established in the forest understorey and plant species cover, presence and absence will be recorded.