Status: Ongoing

The Ecological Monitoring and Forest Regeneration study is addressing community-driven and northern-focused questions about forest ecosystems and their capacity to regenerate and continue to provide valuable ecosystem services.

YukonU researchers Scott Gilbert and Stephen Biggin-Pound are collaborating with the Government of Yukon’s Forest Management Branch (YG) to study the natural regeneration of forests post-harvest and the impacts of natural ecosystem cycles on regeneration and ecosystem services. The project will engage a YukonU student in original, northern-focused research as a research technician through the Government of Yukon’s Student Training and Employment Program (STEP). This opportunity will help build northern research capacity and provide experiential learning that will positively impact our local communities. In collaboration with government agencies, this project will also engage past students and graduates of YukonU programs in building capacity, experience, and local networks.

The project will continue collaboration with YG to investigate whether mechanical site preparation and planting nursery-grown seedlings can improve the survival and growth of the regenerating forest on sites where natural regeneration has not met objectives. In support of this work, a new study of natural regeneration patterns will sample naturally regenerated seedlings to determine their year of germination and correlate to known White Spruce mast years. In related work, our project will continue and support existing research into the natural cycles of spruce reproduction and berry crops, including impacts on wildlife and human-wildlife conflict management.

This work is supported by [YukonU’s Scholarly Activity Grant and] funding from YG partners and the STEP wage subsidy. It will help inform ecosystem management decisions in a northern context while providing valuable research experience for students and helping to build YukonU’s identity and culture as a research institution that is responsive to community needs.

Partners and funders

YukonU Scholarly Activity Grant