Revegetation of Fen Peatlands Following Oil and Gas Extraction in Northern Alberta

Anna Shunina
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A field experiment from 2012 to 2013 at two locations in northeastern Alberta examined the short-term success of different fen revegetation strategies following the removal of infrastructure (road and well-pad) associated with oil extraction. Although all treatments resulted in limited overall success in achieving revegetation relative to the adjacent intact fens, transplanting with sedge and cotton grass was more effective than that of other treatments. While composted (dead) peat had little to no effect on revegetation, live peat modified the plant community slightly, as did a rough surface treatment. Transplants of woody species were more successful at the top and middle microtopographic positions on the well-pad, and generally enhanced species richness and diversity. Water availability was important in regulating species recovery at all locations. After two years all treatments remain highly dissimilar to that of the adjacent undisturbed fens.