Effects of cattle on intermountain depressional wetlands

Wetlands provide numerous environmental and economic benefits, including wildlife habitat, regulation of water regimes, filtration of polluted water, and production of forage crops. Functional wetlands are considered especially critical as habitat for breeding waterfowl. Wetland ecosystems are strongly determined by the abiotic environment, especially site hydrology and chemistry; however, livestock grazing can be a significant and pervasive stressor on wetlands. For example, grazing removes biomass, compacts soil, and adds nutrients. These factors have all been shown to negatively affect wetland functions, such as water quality, biodiversity, productivity, plant competitive interactions, and waterfowl breeding success. Understanding how grazing influences these complex interactions is critical for maintaining the biodiversity and productivity of wetlands and thereby sustaining their habitat and forage production values

Research supported by: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of CanadaDucks Unlimited Institute for Wetlands and Waterfowl Research; BC Grasslands Conservation Council; BC Forest Investment Account – Forest Science Program.

Partners: Bruce Harrison (Ducks Unlimited); Dr. Brian Heise (TRU); Dr. Jeff Curtis (UBC-O).

Current students: Marc Jones (PhD); Denise Clark (MSc)

Past students: Ashleigh Gilbert (MSc); Laurenz Teuber (MSc); Lindsey Smith (MSc)


effects of cattle
Lac du Bois Provincial Park, BC