The Terrestrial Bio-monitoring project involves the establishment of a regional vegetation monitoring program to examine a number of factors that may affect forest health and regeneration. These include the potential impact of climate change on Boreal and urban forest ecosystems, as well as the long-term fate of trees in riparian buffer strip following the harvest of the adjacent upland forest. Study plots have been established and baseline data have been collected using nationally accepted monitoring protocols, established by Environment Canada’s Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network (EMAN).
An important component of the bio-monitoring project is the involvement of high school students in the collection of data. The bio-monitoring project educates Model Forest area and Winnipeg high school science classes in data measurement and collection in forests of different ages and origin (e.g., logged or forest fire). Field trips allow students to gain hands on experience in collecting data on climate (air temperature, relative humidity), soils (temperature, pH), and vegetation (species composition and abundance of tree, shrub and herb layer, tree growth rates, tree health).
The data collected, by all classes, is compiled annually and distributed to all participants. This provides teachers with a complete data set with which to develop data analysis projects for class projects within the science curriculum. The data is also uploaded to the EMAN website, and is available to anyone for download. This data will assist the Model Forest in assessing the impacts of climate change on the boreal forests of eastern Manitoba and urban forests in the City of Winnipeg.
Bio-monitoring reports are available for viewing and download on the Publication (link to Bio-monitoring on publication page) page and are also listed at the top of this page.