Recovery of Red Cedar Savanna and Oak Savanna Plant Communities: Report to Pinery Provincial Park & Point Pelee National Park for the 1999 Field Season
Bazely, Dawn R
MetadataShow full item record
Executive Summary: 1. Southwestern Ontario is the most densely populated, urbanized, industrialized and intensively farmed part of Canada. The remaining natural habitat cover is 5-10%, and much of this has been subjected to intense human-induced disturbance in the past Conservation and habitat restoration is, to put it mildly, a huge challenge. 2. This report explains the 1999 fieldwork results of two projects, part of which comprises the research of Cecilia Tagliavia a York University M.Sc. student. The work done at Point Pelee by Ms. Tagliavia, followed up on the M.Sc. research of Nancy Falkenberg. 3. The overall aim of the research was to determine how best to restore Carolinian plant communities, specifically Oak Savanna and Red Cedar Savanna. 4. Both communities are to some degree a fire-dependent. Rare and endangered species (e.g. Wild Lupine and Karner Blue Butterfly) are present and oak savanna itself is considered to be extremely rare in Ontario and globally imperiled. 5. For Oak Savanna communities at Pinery Provincial Park, our goal was to assess the effects of restoration efforts (deer herd reductions and deer exclusion) on plant community composition. 6. Intensive deer herd reductions, and removal of planted pines at Pinery Provincial Park are allowing the Oak Savanna plant communities to move away from the species composition of the early to mid-1990s, towards communities characterized by prairie and savanna species. We support the proposals to continue deer herd reductions and to carry out prescribed burns at Pinery for the foreseeable future. 7. In the future, the recovery rates of these Oak Savanna communities will depend on the presence of a suitable seedbank and the dispersal rates of individual plant species from local seed sources. 8. For Red Cedar Savanna communities at Point Pelee National Park our goal was to assess the effects of restoration efforts (prescribed burns in 1997 and 1999, soil disking and manipulation of red cedar tree densities) on plant community composition. 9. At Point Pelee, there was a significant increase from 1997 to 1999 in the cover of species native to Red Cedar Savanna at one of the two experimental plots (De Laurier), while at the Nature Reserve the cover of native species declined, but this was not significant compared with 1997. Overall, the communities changed in opposite directions at the two experimental sites, most likely because the native seedbank and availability of seed sources varied. 10. We recommend that prescribed burns in Red Cedar Savanna sites be maintained and that desired species be actively reintroduced if no or low levels of local seed sources are available, in order for these species to compete more effectively with non-native species present at these sites.
The following license files are associated with this item: