Technical Resources

Explore technical notes, videos, field guides, publications and tools from NAIT's Applied Research Centres

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Technical Notes

Technical notes communicate: 

  • improvements of existing methods or procedures 
  • the development and application of new methods and procedures 

Forest Reclamation and Boreal Reforestation

Peatland Restoration

Plant and Seed Technologies

Archived Notes

Peatland Restoration

Regulatory Context

Ecological Framework

Technical Videos

The Centre for Boreal Research develops scientifically based best practices and applied technologies to address present and emerging knowledge gaps in the management and reclamation of disturbed landscapes. Our mission is to promote the informed use of boreal resources through applied science, education, and partnerships with industry, government agencies, practitioners and academic partners.

Peatland Restoration

Open Peatland Restoration Playlist

Upland Reforestation

Open Upland Reforestation Playlist

Plant and Seed Technologies

Open Plant and Seed Technologies Playlist

Other Videos

360 Videos

Virtual Walk in the Forest for Schools

This 3-part virtual series is an adaptation of the annual Walk in the Forest Program for schools in the Peace River Region. Explore interactive hotspots to discover what common boreal wetland and forest types look like, as well as learn about how wildfire and prescribed burn events affect these systems. 

Other Tours

EDF Site 360, NAIT Centre for Boreal Research EDF Site 360
Peatland Restoration - February 2021.

Explore the in-progress restoration of a fen community near Slave Lake, Alberta, through this brief 360° tour.

Webinars and Presentations

June 23, 2021

Vegetation Management Practices for Accelerating Dominance of Native Plant Communities on Industry Reclaimed Sites 
Dr. Mark Baah-Acheamfour, NAIT Centre for Boreal Research
Hosted by NAIT Centre for Boreal Research, Boreal Nature Series


April 20-21, 2021

Five Year Synthesis of Boreal Reclamation Research in the Peace River Region: Key findings, best practices and future opportunities
Hosted by NAIT Centre for Boreal Research

Session 1

Overview and Regional Context of the Research Program 2014 – 2019 
Dr. Kevin Kemball, NAIT Centre for Boreal Research

Restoration of Peatland Ecosystem by Removing/Burying Overburden (clay and wood chip) Under Peat Layer (BUPL) 
Dr. Bin Xu, NAIT Centre for Boreal Research

From Dirt to Peat: Fen Initiation on Residual Mineral Substrate 
Dr. Bin Xu, NAIT Centre for Boreal Research

Donor Moss Sites Harvested from Existing Linear Footprints: Do they naturally recover? 
Melanie Bird, NAIT Centre for Boreal Research

Session 2

Use of Organic Amendments to Improve Soil Quality of Recently Placed, 40-Year-Old Topsoil 
Dr. Chibuike Chigbo, NAIT Centre for Boreal Research

Understanding the Impact of Linear Features on Peatland Hydrology and Greenhouse Fluxes 
Dr. Bin Xu, NAIT Centre for Boreal Research

Seed Pelleting for Land Reclamation 
Dr. Jean-Marie Sobze, NAIT Centre for Boreal Research

Hitchhiking Native Forbs with Conifers 
Dr. Amanda Schoonmaker, NAIT Centre for Boreal Research

Osmotic Priming of Paper Birch and Green Alder Seeds 
Dr. Natalia Startsev, Canadian Forest Service


March 31, 2021

Clustered deciduous tree planting as a method to speed forest development in post-industrial disturbed landscapes
Amanda Schoonmaker, NAIT Centre for Boreal Research
Hosted by NAIT Centre for Boreal Research, Boreal Nature Series


December 2, 2020

Boreal Peatland Restoration: 10 Years of Learning
Bin Xu, NAIT Centre for Boreal Research
For presentation at the Society of Wetland Scientists Conference


October 28, 2020

Forest Health Perspectives: Indicators of Unhealthy Forests at Various Scales
Ryan Hermanutz, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (NW Alberta Regional Forest Health Team)
Hosted by NAIT Centre for Boreal Research, Boreal Nature Series

Watch the 360 companion video


April 22, 2020

Air Quality in the Peace River-Three Creeks Region: Monitoring a success story
Michael Bisaga, Peace River Area Monitoring Program
Hosted by NAIT Centre for Boreal Research, Boreal Nature Series


April 4, 2020

Open Access: Interim Reforestation of Soil Stockpiles
Dr. Amanda Schoonmaker, Centre for Boreal Research, NAIT
Hosted by the Society for Ecological Restoration


October 2, 2018

NAIT Centre for Boreal Research – Applied Research and Knowledge Exchange
Dr. Kevin Kemball & Catherine Brown, Centre for Boreal Research, NAIT
Hosted by the Wetland BMP Knowledge Exchange


November 14, 2017

Site Preparation and Vegetation Management in Reclamation – Part 1
Dr. Amanda Schoonmaker, Centre for Boreal Research, NAIT
Hosted by NAIT Centre for Boreal Research


November 14, 2017

Site Preparation and Vegetation Management in Reclamation - Part 2
Dr. Amanda Schoonmaker, Centre for Boreal Research, NAIT
Hosted by NAIT Centre for Boreal Research


February 2016

Spatial Analysis and Visualization of Soil Resistance Before and After Soil Adjustment on a Reclaimed Site
Dr. Amanda Schoonmaker & Trevor Floreani, Centre for Boreal Research, NAIT
Hosted by the Alberta Land-use Knowledge Network

Field Guides

Boreal plants

NAIT Centre for Boreal Research has published ‘A guide to Mosses and Liverworts of Alberta Peatlands’, by Dale H. Vitt (text) and Michael Lüth (photographs).

The guide identifies 60 species of mosses and liverworts that comprise the flora of fens and bogs in Alberta and western boreal Canada, designed for use in the field and laboratory.

Information in this publication may be reproduced for personal or public non-commercial purposes. Please indicate the complete title of the material reproduced, and the name of the authors and publisher. Commercial reproduction and distribution is prohibited.

Publications

Research Papers

Reclamation Field Tour of Upland and Peatland Industrially-Disturbed Sites. Field Notes. (pdf)
Centre for Boreal Research. 2018.
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.


NAIT advances plant and see technologies to accelerate native plant establishment on boreal reclamation sites (pdf).
Jeannine Goehing, Jean-Marie Sobze, Catherine Brown. 2017.
Canadian Reclamation, Fall/Winter: 36-37.


Silviculture knowledge for reclamation of oil and gas disturbances: soil decompaction (pdf).
Katalijn MacAfee, F. Cortini, and Amanada Schoonmaker. 2016.
Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Ottawa. 10 p.


Alternative native boreal seed and plant delivery systems for oil sands reclamation (pdf).
Amanda Schoonmaker, Jean-Marie Sobze, Erin Fraser, Eckehart Marenholtz, Ann Smreciu, Chris Powter. and Marshall Mckenzie. 2014.
Oil Sands Research and Information Network, University of Alberta, School of Energy and the Environment, Edmonton, Alberta. OSRIN Report No. TR-55. 61 p.


A life cycle approach to vegetation management on reclaimed industrial sites (pdf).
M Mihajlovich, Jean-Marie Sobze, and Amanada Schoonmaker. 2014.
Canadian Reclamation, 1 (14): 52-56.


Practices to effectively till industrial forest soils (pdf).
David H. McNabb, Jean-Marie Sobze, and Amanda Schoonmaker. 2013.
Canadian Reclamation, 1 (13): 40-42.


Wellsite clay pad removal and inversion – a peatland restoration pilot project (pdf).
Jean-Marie Sobze, Amanada Schoonmaker, and Line Rochefort. 2012.
Canadian Reclamation, 1 (12): 10-13.


Alberta native plants and seeds: wild harvest, registration and deployment. A guide for technicians and practitioners (pdf).
Ann Smreciu, 2011.


Optimizing Weed Control for Progressive Reclamation: Risk Analysis on Regulated Weeds in the Boreal Region. (pdf)
Schoonmaker, S. Schreiber, C.B. Powter, and B. Drozdowski. 2018.
Optimizing Weed Control for Progressive Reclamation: Retrospective Case Study and Risk Framework. InnoTech Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta. 68 pp.


Optimizing Weed Control for Progressive Reclamation: Literature Review (pdf)
Small, C., D. Degenhardt, B. Drozdowski, S. Thacker, C.B. Powter, A. Schoonmaker and S. Schreiber. 2018.
Optimizing Weed Control for Progressive Reclamation: Literature Review. InnoTech Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta. 48 pp.


Peer-Reviewed Papers

Restoration approach influences carbon exchange at in-situ oil sands exploration sites in east-central Alberta
Kimberley R. Murray, Melanie Bird, Maria Strack, Michael Cody, Bin Xu. 2021. Wetlands Ecology and Management.


Manipulating aspen (Populus tremuloides) seedling size characteristics to improve initial establishment and growth on competitive sites
Kyle D. Le, Stefan G. Schreiber, Simon M. Landhäusser and Amanda L. Schoonmaker. 2020. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, 35 (1).


Effects of cold stratification on the germination of Vaccinium myrtilloides (common blueberry) and Vaccinium vitis-idaea (bog cranberry) seeds from Alberta, Canada.
Jessica J Hudson, Çağdaş Kera Yucel, Amanda L Schoonmaker, and Jean-Marie Sobze. 2017. Native Plants, 18 (3).


Cluster planting: early enhancement of structural diversity in a reclaimed boreal forest (pdf).
Bradley D. Pinno, Amanda Schoonmaker, Çağdaş Kera Yücel, and Robert Albricht. 2017.
Journal American Society of Mining and Reclamation, 6 (2).


Mineral nitrogen and phosphorus pools affected by water table lowering and warming in a boreal forested peatland. 
Tariq M. Munir, Bhupesh Khadka, Bin Xu, and Maria Strack. 2017.
Echohydrology ,10 (8).


Impact of winter roads on boreal peatland carbon exchange.
Maria Strack, Divya Softa, Melanie Bird, and Bin Xu. 2017. 
Global Change Biology, 24 (1).


Germination and early growth of boreal understory plants on 3 reclamation soil types under simulated drought conditions. 
Bradley D Pinno, Edith H Y Li, Bhupesh Khadka, and Amanda Schoonmaker. 2017. 
Native Plants, 18 (2).

Length of cold stratification period affects germination in green alder (Alnus viridis (Chaix) DC. subsp. crispa (Aiton) Turrill) seed collected from northwestern Alberta (pdf).
Jasmeen Kaur, Amanda L Schoonmaker, and Jean-Marie Sobze. 2016.
Native Plants, 17 (2).

Tools

Decision Support System

The Decision Support Systems (DSS) uses a scenario approach to guiding reclamation and restoration activities. They are integrations of decision trees, illustrative videos, technical notes, and photographs which assist practitioners in making reclamation decisions under given site conditions.

Soil Treatment Process for Forest Land (Upland)

Boreal Reclamation soil

Silviculture Toolkit

The Silviculture Toolkit is a suite of knowledge extension tools used by the forest industry, to provide  information and instruction related to improving  forest cover on areas disturbed by oil sands exploration activities and operations. Topics include site preparation and regeneration techniques.


The Ecosystem Management Emulating Natural Disturbance (EMEND) Project 

Teacher resources  including 360 degree videos and lesson plan.