Program ID: Innovation Anthology #401
Program Date: 05/24/2011
Program Category: Chemistry, Energy, Forests, Oil Sands, Women in Science
CONRAD Part 15: Dr. Sylvie Quideau and Soil Biogeochemistry
Mining Alberta’s oil sands involves stripping the land of the soil that supports the forest.
And replacing it afterwards involves more than throwing some dirt into a hole in the ground and expecting the trees to grow back.
Dr. Sylvie Quideau is a biogeochemist at the University of Alberta. She’s researching the best way to reconstruct the soil and the microbial community to support a viable forest.
DR. SYLVIE QUIDEAU: We know a lot of the activities, biological activity, happens in the forest floor. So some of the work we have been doing is to look at the development of that forest floor in reconstructed ecosystems. See how fast that happens. See how we can maybe foster faster development by planting different type of trees. And then how is that forest floor going to influence the functioning of the soils? How is that going to influence the composition of the microbial community? Whether the microbial community recycles nutrients? Also, how does that influence the quality of the organic matter? And finally, how does that influence available nutrients?
Dr. Quideau’s team has found that aspen stands encourage faster development of the forest floor in reconstructed sites.
Thanks today to Syncrude
FOR INNOVATION ANTHOLOGY
I’M CHERYL CROUCHER