Program ID: Innovation Anthology #378
Program Date: 02/22/2011
Program Category: Energy, Environment, Forests, Oil Sands, Women in Science
CONRAD Part 2: Kaitlin Schott Grows Aspen From Seed
When loggers cut aspen for lumber or pulp, the trees generally grows back from old roots in the soil.
Kaitlin Schott is a graduate student at the University of Alberta. She’s researching the best way to regenerate aspen from seed.
Caitlin presented her findings at the recent CONRAD Symposium on oil sands reclamation.
KAITLIN SCHOTT: Aspen seeds are very, very small and they’re surrounded by a big clump of fluff. So they fly in the air and the spot on the soil where they land is actually going to determine their growth because they have very few nutrients within the seed.
In the field, Kaitlin made observations every 20 centimeters along transects that were 126 meters long. She found that seeds that landed in tiny pockets did better than those that fell on flat, hilly, or sloped ground.
KAITLIN SCHOTT: We need to have a variable micro topography on our reclamation sites We don’t want a perfectly flat parking lot for our trees to be growing on. And we really want to be encouraging regeneration from seed because those seeds are from local sources and they’re the best adapted for the site.
Kaitlin Schott’s research also shows it’s important to limit the use of big machinery on reclamation sites to avoid damaging the soil.
Thanks today to Syncrude
FOR INNOVATION ANTHOLOGY
I’M CHERYL CROUCHER