Bulkley Valley Research Centre - Science in the Public Interest

Assessing Lichens, Birds and Stand Structure as Indicators of Biodiversity

Wednesday November 1, 2017  12:00pm-1:00pm

The Old Church (corner of First Avenue and King Street) - Smithers, BC

About this presentation
Our project investigates the effectiveness of post-harvest retention of forest stand structure for maintaining biodiversity within sub-boreal spruce forests of the Babine Watershed Monitoring Trust (BWMT) study area. Our question was: Is the level of retention of forest stand structure actually working to conserve biodiversity at the stand scale? Our study design aimed to sample stands across a range of structural retention and edge influence to quantify risks to biodiversity and potentially identify thresholds for management. We used canonical analysis and mixed effects model selection to assess risks to biodiversity across gradients of forest retention and edge influence. We present the results of these analyses and relate them to objectives of the BWMT. This small study, the first of its kind in the region, has established an important baseline for the Babine Watershed and we are hopeful that monitoring can continue. 

About Sybille Haeussler
Sybille Haeussler PhD RPF is a research scientist and forest ecologist based in Smithers since 1979. She operates a small consulting firm, Skeena Forestry Consultants, and is an adjunct professor with UNBC and associate researcher with the Bulkley Valley Research Centre. Sybille’s work addresses the dynamics and diversity of plant communities and ecosystems in northern BC forests and the restoration of endangered ecosystems. In the 1990s she participated in the development of the Bulkley Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP). Sybille was pleased to carry out this project for the Babine Watershed Monitoring Trust because, in part, it provided an opportunity to examine whether practices implemented in the Bulkley LRMP have been successful in maintaining biodiversity.

About Kerrith McKay
Kerrith McKay MSc is a biologist and ecologist based in Smithers since 1996 where she operates McKay Environmental Consultants. Kerrith’s work focuses on behavioral ecology, asking questions on how and why animals do the things they do. Sometimes this involves working with actual animals and sometimes inferences from animal signs and habitats. This work has taken her extensively throughout northern BC and Nunavut, as well as Alaska, Alberta, Manitoba, and the southern US. From 1995-2001, she conducted habitat surveys of cutblocks and laid out many wildlife tree patches and areas of biodiversity in the Morice Forest District. Some of these were carried out in the Babine Watershed and this project for the BWMT provided an excellent opportunity to investigate the effectiveness of her early work.