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A vegetation-based Index of Biotic Integrity to assess marsh reclamation success in the Alberta oil sands, Canada
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A vegetation-based Index of Biotic Integrity to assess marsh reclamation success in the Alberta oil sands, Canada

Author: Dustin Raab Affiliation: Biological Sciences Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E9; Suzanne E Bayley Affiliation: Biological Sciences Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E9
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:Ecological Indicators, v15 n1 (201204): 43-51
Other Databases: WorldCatWorldCat
Summary:
Thousands of hectares of wetlands that are being destroyed by the oil sands mining process in Alberta, Canada must be compensated for. The reclamation requirements demand that compensatory wetlands meet a minimum level of ecological health, and be certified as successfully reclaimed. To assist the government in compliance monitoring we developed a vegetation-based Index of Biotic Integrity (vIBI), an ecological  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: Dustin Raab Affiliation: Biological Sciences Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E9; Suzanne E Bayley Affiliation: Biological Sciences Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E9
ISSN:1470-160X
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 5900171063
Notes: Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 780 492 4615; fax: +1 780 492 9234.
Awards:

Abstract:

Thousands of hectares of wetlands that are being destroyed by the oil sands mining process in Alberta, Canada must be compensated for. The reclamation requirements demand that compensatory wetlands meet a minimum level of ecological health, and be certified as successfully reclaimed. To assist the government in compliance monitoring we developed a vegetation-based Index of Biotic Integrity (vIBI), an ecological assessment tool that has been used in many jurisdictions to assess the ecological health of natural, degraded, or reclaimed wetlands. Our 45 study sites represented a gradient of physical and chemical stress, with 25 natural reference wetlands to represent the optimal outcome of reclamation, and 20 oil sands reclaimed wetlands. We assessed vegetation community attributes (metrics) for correlation with a physicochemical stress gradient, and incorporated the metrics with the highest correlations into two vIBI tools, an advanced vIBI (AvIBI) and a basic vIBI (BvIBI). A small fraction of all possible metrics had acceptable correlations (R 2 > 0.25) with the stress gradient. Six metrics were incorporated into the AvIBI, and three metrics into the BvIBI. Both indexes were highly and significantly correlated with the stress gradient. The AvIBI requires in-depth vegetation assessment at each site and can be used to certify sites that display ecological health within the range of natural wetlands. The BvIBI requires little botanical expertise to implement, and can be used to chart reclamation progress. Both the AvIBI and BvIBI evaluated 14 of the 20 oil sands reclaimed wetlands as having low ecological health.

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Primary Entity<\/h3>\n
<http:\/\/www.worldcat.org\/oclc\/5900171063<\/a>> # A vegetation-based Index of Biotic Integrity to assess marsh reclamation success in the Alberta oil sands, Canada<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0a \nschema:Article<\/a>, schema:CreativeWork<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nlibrary:oclcnum<\/a> \"5900171063<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nrdfs:comment<\/a> \"949 $l Full-length article<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:about<\/a> <http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/1045441900#Thing\/tar_sands<\/a>> ; # Tar sands<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:about<\/a> <http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/1045441900#Thing\/ref_reference_treatment<\/a>> ; # REF: reference treatment<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:about<\/a> <http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/1045441900#Thing\/marsh<\/a>> ; # Marsh<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:about<\/a> <http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/1045441900#Thing\/vibi_vegetation_based_index_of_biotic_integrity<\/a>> ; # vIBI: vegetation-based Index of Biotic Integrity<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:about<\/a> <http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/1045441900#Thing\/bvibi_basic_vegetation_based_index_of_biotic_integrity<\/a>> ; # BvIBI: basic vegetation-based Index of Biotic Integrity<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:about<\/a> <http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/1045441900#Thing\/osref_oil_sands_reference_treatment<\/a>> ; # OSREF: oil sands reference treatment<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:about<\/a> <http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/1045441900#Thing\/boreal<\/a>> ; # Boreal<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:about<\/a> <http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/1045441900#Thing\/index_of_biotic_integrity<\/a>> ; # Index of Biotic Integrity<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:about<\/a> <http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/1045441900#Thing\/ospa_oil_sands_process_affected_treatment<\/a>> ; # OSPA: oil sands process-affected treatment<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:about<\/a> <http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/1045441900#Thing\/reclamation<\/a>> ; # Reclamation<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:about<\/a> <http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/1045441900#Thing\/avibi_advanced_vegetation_based_index_of_biotic_integrity<\/a>> ; # AvIBI: advanced vegetation-based Index of Biotic Integrity<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:about<\/a> <http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/1045441900#Thing\/vegetation<\/a>> ; # Vegetation<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:contributor<\/a> <http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/1045441900#Person\/bayley_suzanne_e<\/a>> ; # Suzanne E. Bayley<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:creator<\/a> <http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/1045441900#Person\/raab_dustin<\/a>> ; # Dustin Raab<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:datePublished<\/a> \"2012-04<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:description<\/a> \"Thousands of hectares of wetlands that are being destroyed by the oil sands mining process in Alberta, Canada must be compensated for. The reclamation requirements demand that compensatory wetlands meet a minimum level of ecological health, and be certified as successfully reclaimed. To assist the government in compliance monitoring we developed a vegetation-based Index of Biotic Integrity (vIBI), an ecological assessment tool that has been used in many jurisdictions to assess the ecological health of natural, degraded, or reclaimed wetlands. Our 45 study sites represented a gradient of physical and chemical stress, with 25 natural reference wetlands to represent the optimal outcome of reclamation, and 20 oil sands reclaimed wetlands. We assessed vegetation community attributes (metrics) for correlation with a physicochemical stress gradient, and incorporated the metrics with the highest correlations into two vIBI tools, an advanced vIBI (AvIBI) and a basic vIBI (BvIBI). A small fraction of all possible metrics had acceptable correlations (R<\/b> 2 > 0.25) with the stress gradient. Six metrics were incorporated into the AvIBI, and three metrics into the BvIBI. Both indexes were highly and significantly correlated with the stress gradient. The AvIBI requires in-depth vegetation assessment at each site and can be used to certify sites that display ecological health within the range of natural wetlands. The BvIBI requires little botanical expertise to implement, and can be used to chart reclamation progress. 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<http:\/\/experiment.worldcat.org\/entity\/work\/data\/1045441900#Person\/raab_dustin<\/a>> # Dustin Raab<\/span>\n\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0a \nschema:Person<\/a> ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\nschema:name<\/a> \"Dustin Raab<\/span>\" ;\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0\u00A0.\n\n\n<\/div>\n
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