Sustainable forest management in the Maritimes

Visit the Atlantic Forest Research Collaborative, of which Dr. Westwood is a member, for resources on current projects and challenges regarding the management of forests in the Maritimes.

Forest ecology tree fact sheets

Students in Dalhousie University’s first ever Forest Ecology course produced tree fact sheets. These fact sheets display the social, economic, and biological characteristics of native and non-native trees.

Tree growth and forest health

Partners: Dr. Richard Westwood (University of Winnipeg), Dr. Jacques Tardif (University of Winnipeg)

We collaborate with partners at the Centre for Forest Interdisciplinary Research, University of Winnipeg, to support a variety of projects related to forest growth and health. This includes understanding the impacts of a common insecticide used against spruce budworm on non-target moth species, as well as understanding how Armillaria root rot disease slows growth of black spruce trees. We have contributed dendroecological data to the international plant trait database (TRY) which has been used to better understand global patterns of how tree growth slows in the years immediately preceding tree death.

Applied ecological forestry: roads, biodiversity, connectivity, and human recreation

Partners: University of New Brunswick (Dr. Anthony Taylor), Medway Community Forest Co-operative, Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute, Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources & Renewables

The Wabanaki forests (Acadian and Maritime Boreal) of Mi’kma’ki are unique, which is why we have partnered with various groups to address knowledge gaps as Nova Scotia formally adopts ecological forestry practices across the province. Uneven-aged forest management may have ecological benefits (e.g., enhancing, and mitigating risks to, biodiversity), but it requires more frequent silvicultural and harvesting interventions than clearcutting. The lab is studying if and how uneven-aged management may increase the footprint and frequency of use of the forestry road network and if these increases will impact ecological connectivity (particularly for species at risk) and recreation opportunities. We will use a mix of field studies, geospatial modelling, and survey-based research related to hunting, fishing, and ecotourism to achieve this objective.

More: coming soon