Ecologically-based Criteria to Assess the Impact and Recovery of Seismic Lines: The Importance of Width, Regeneration, and Seismic Density

Erin Bayne
Hedwig Lankau
Jesse Tigner
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We conducted a series of surveys to evaluate wildlife responses to different types of seismic lines in bogs, conifer‐dominated, mixedwood and deciduous forests in the western boreal forest.  Research was focused on passerine birds and medium‐to‐large size mammals.

Vegetation recovery on lines can be predicted by the age of the seismic line but the models are not very accurate. Density and height of trees on seismic lines are the factors that are best predicted by line age. Shrub density, horizontal structure, canopy openness and downed woody material are better predicted by the conditions occurring in the forest
adjacent to the line rather than line age per se.

At local scales, the behaviour of many animals is influenced by seismic lines. Whether such behaviours translate into population consequences at larger scales is less clear. Marten are the clear exception, as they show a strong negative effect of linear features at all scales, suggesting their populations may be negatively affected by seismic line development.