Webinar - Establishing Vegetation on Constructed Fens in Alberta's Oil Sands Region

Andrea Borkenhagen
Resource Date:

Oil sands mining in Alberta has disturbed large areas of peatlands, the dominant regional ecosystem type, and no formal strategies exist to reconstruct the landscape. Peatland reclamation is challenging, but approaches are now being tested to determine the feasibility of rebuilding these valuable ecosystems. In compliance with a new regulatory framework, two pilot reclamation fens and associated watersheds were constructed on oil sands mines near Fort McMurray, Alberta. This presentation will focus on how soil, water level, biotic interactions, and species introduction approaches influence our ability to establish fen plants. Despite constraints, our results demonstrate that fen bryophytes and vascular plants can be established in constructed fens and that a range of successful outcomes is achievable.