GREEN TREE RETENTION:
a Tool to Maintain Ecosystem Health and Function
Can we help to maintain ecosytems with better commercial forest harvesting practices?
A collaboration of interdisciplinary researchers are working to address
this question. An experiment is currently underway on Vancouver Island
at the BC Ministry of Forests' Silviculture Treatments for Ecosystem
Managment in the Sayward (STEMS) research facility. We are looking at
the health of coastal temperate Douglas Fir forests both pre- and
post-harvest. In some harvesting areas 'islands' of intact forest will
be retained and we will assess the impact of these conserved patches in
maintaining ecosystem function.
To measure ecosystem health and
function we are studying the soils. Soils contain a complex community
of organisms and are integral in promoting the growth of healthy
forests through processes such as decomposition, nutrient cycling, and
symbiotic relationships with higher plants. Our study includes
assessments of bacteria and other soil microbes; fungi, with attention
to mycorrhizae; and invertebrates such as nematodes, oligochaete worms,
collembola, and mites.
This website is a digital library
of the terrestrial arthropod mesofauna found in the experiment so far.
Serving as a record to aid in identification for our researchers the
library will also allow consultation with scientists worldwide to gain
confirmations of taxonomic identities.