Scaling up fen restoration in Canada: in size and number of projects

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Line Rochefort, Marie-Claire LeBlanc, Bin Xu , Maria Strack, Pete Whittington

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While peatland restoration in Canada have mainly focused on repairing bog ecosystems, peat extraction activities can also expose the deeper, underlying sedge-peat layers. These minerotrophic remnant peat conditions command a restoration towards a fen, a type of peatland for which restoration methods applicable in North America are yet to be developed. Fens are also impacted by multiple infrastructure in the boreal forest. Since fens are fed with water coming from multiple sources (vs precipitation only in bogs), water management is a major challenge when designing restoration plans. Furthermore, the first trials of vegetation transfer with the Moss Layer Transfer Technique used for Sphagnum peatlands did not result in satisfactory moss establishment in large scale fen restoration projects. For these reasons, new approaches more closely linked to site characteristics and regional landscape have been developed. Recently, this approach has been applied to sites in Manitoba and Alberta (Canada) where restoration technique relies mainly on site rewetting (return water levels close to the surface) and connectivity with the surrounding natural habitats. In this presentation, we will review the basics and the objectives of fens restoration in Canada. Examples of fen restoration projects conducted in Qu├ębec, Manitoba and Alberta will be presented.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program