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 Innovation Anthology

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Program ID: Innovation Anthology #541
Program Date: 03/12/2013
Program Category: Conservation, Environment, Forests, Natural Sciences, Oil Sands, Women in Science

CONRAD 2013.12: Ectomycorrhizal Fungi Communities in Aurora Capping Study

Forest ecologist Dr. Justine Karst studies the linkages between trees, soil and ectomycorrhizal fungi.

In the Aurora Capping Study on Syncrude’s oils sands lease, Dr. Karst will look at how well the fungi do in two different types of reclamation soils - a peat mineral mix and another salvaged from the forest floor.

DR JUSTINE KARST: And those two cover soils, they'll be really different probably in what ectomycorrhizal fungi will persist. And all of those factors are going impact what mycorrhizal community first are in those substrates. But then you also have to take it one step further because now they are being removed from their source conditions and there are only going to be some mycorrhizal fungi that can tolerate that displacing. So what we're left with at the end of the day is probably going to be just a sub-set of that mycorrhizal community that was present at those source locations.

As Dr. Justine Karst explained at the recent CONRAD Symposium on oil sands reclamation, rebuilding a forest depends on restoring the interactions between species, and understanding the resiliency of these systems.

Thanks today to Syncrude

Learn more at Innovation Anthology.com

I’M CHERYL CROUCHER

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Dr. Justine Karst

Dr. Justine Karst

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Syncrude's Mal Carroll explains the long and careful process involved in creating a lake out of a spent oil sands mine pit. (Syncrude)

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