View topic - Study calls for preservation of Wolf L old-growth

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PostPosted: June 26th, 2013, 9:03 am 
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Joined: September 24th, 2006, 4:01 pm
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Location: North Bay
Published today in the prominent journal Biodiversity and Conservation

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10531-013-0497-1

Abstract

Old growth red pine forests (Pinus resinosa) cover less than 1% of their original range in North America and are essential for maintaining biodiversity at stand and landscape scales. Despite this, the largest remaining old-growth red pine forest in the world, the Wolf Lake Forest Reserve, is currently threatened by mining claims in Northern Ontario and has been receiving considerable media and public attention in recent months. We provide a timely review of how large old growth red pine forests maintain biodiversity at several taxonomic levels (with a focus on trees and plants) through heterogeneous partitioning of limiting resources such as light and nitrogen, formation of complex habitats through increased accumulation of coarse woody debris, and the maintenance of natural disturbance-driven succession. These processes shape the overstory community, allowing for the regeneration of pines, coexistence of early-mid successional shade intolerant species and cross-ecotonal establishment of late successional tree species in response to regional warming over the past three decades. Using Wolf Lake as a case study, we review legislation and policy complexities around this issue and provide scientific arguments for the preservation of this forest. We invoke recent insights into the ecological role of refugia, the development of criteria for assessing endangered ecosystems, and the challenges of conservation in the face of climate change and disturbance regimes. These forests are ecologically important and provide a scientifically irreplaceable system for assessing baseline ecosystem function, processes and services. As the largest remaining old-growth red pine forest in the world, Wolf Lake Forest Reserve deserves intensive study, monitoring and full protection from future development.

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PostPosted: June 26th, 2013, 3:29 pm 
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I paddled Wolf Lake for the first time earlier this spring. I did a loop from Matagamasi through Wolf & up to Laura & back. It's hard to comprehend that Wolf Lake is not protected as part of Chiniguchi Waterway park. I'd like to see a 'Temagami Wilderness Park' established, encompassing all of the existing parks and conservation reserves, as well as the gaps of crown land in between. However, the Ontario Liberals have shown little interest in creating or expanding the provincial parks system. On the contrary, they're closing parks!

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PostPosted: June 26th, 2013, 7:12 pm 
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Interview with Dr. Madhur Anand, lead author of the study, on CBC Radio's Points North

http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/ID/2394180823/

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