Scientists looking to develop new types of trees

Want to develop trees that grow faster, resist insects and disease, and are resilient in a changing climate

Scientists looking to develop new types of treesAs one of Alberta’s leading sectors, forestry relies on healthy trees but, faced with challenges including climate change and environmental sustainability, there's a need for constant improvement. Creating ways to develop fast-growing, well-adapted trees in the province is a task that researcher Barb Thomas and her team of scientists in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences…

New research chair will look into the future of forests

The work of the $4-million endowed position will help inform forest companies as they sustainably manage land for timber and biodiversity

New research chair will look into the future of forestsRobert Froese can tell you the exact moment he knew forestry would be his lifelong career. He was an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia, standing in the forest with his classmates. “My professor went crashing into the woods … and he came back with a big Douglas-fir branch,” said Froese. “It was rainy…

Agricultural and forestry waste fanning the flames of innovation

Uses range from reclaiming wastewater to capturing carbon and decontaminating soil

Agricultural and forestry waste fanning the flames of innovationIt looks like the throwaway scrapings from a barbecue grill, but biochar is fanning the flames of discovery as University of Alberta researchers explore the product’s environmental benefits. The blackened byproduct – created from waste like cow manure, wheat and canola straw, and sawdust produced in Alberta – has many uses that help the environment…

Agricultural and forestry waste fanning the flames of innovation

Uses range from reclaiming wastewater to capturing carbon and decontaminating soil

Agricultural and forestry waste fanning the flames of innovationIt looks like the throwaway scrapings from a barbecue grill, but biochar is fanning the flames of discovery as University of Alberta researchers explore the product’s environmental benefits. The blackened byproduct – created from waste like cow manure, wheat and canola straw, and sawdust produced in Alberta – has many uses that help the environment…

How changing boreal forests could affect caribou

Researchers examine what logging, climate change and other factors mean for caribou populations

How changing boreal forests could affect caribouNew research by University of Alberta biologists paints a clearer picture of how food webs are shifting in response to changing habitats in Canada’s boreal forests, and what it means for dwindling caribou populations. “We know that habitat, prey and predators such as wolves are all pieces of the caribou conservation puzzle, and here we…

Study hopes to find ways to contain spread of mountain pine beetles

Mountain pine beetles can be an important contributor to forest health, but ...

Study hopes to find ways to contain spread of mountain pine beetlesIn a new study aimed at assisting efforts to contain the destructive spread of mountain pine beetles, University of Alberta biologists examined their flight techniques and used genetic information to track how they are spreading through the province. “One of the reasons these beetles have become such a problem is because of the difficulty in…

Energy sector key to reviving post-pandemic Canadian economy

2021 perfect opportunity for the feds to demonstrate its commitment to a sector critical to the Canadian prosperity

Energy sector key to reviving post-pandemic Canadian economyIf only the federal government would put its full force behind the energy sector, as it does other critical sectors in the economy. In early October, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he wouldn’t back down from the latest American round of attacks on Canada’s softwood lumber industry. Then, the federal government announced it would pursue…

Alberta’s forest industries focus of new U of A research chair

Alberta’s forest industries focus of new U of A research chairThe sustainability of Alberta’s forest industries will be strengthened through a new $4.125-million research chair being established at the University of Alberta. The Endowed Chair in Forest Growth & Yield, being established in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences (ALES), will focus on research that improves understanding of the growth of Alberta’s forests. “The new…

Soil fungi act like a support network for trees: study

U of A research is first to show that growth rate of adult trees is linked to fungal networks colonizing their roots

Soil fungi act like a support network for trees: studyBeing highly connected to a strong social network has its benefits. Now a new University of Alberta study is showing the same goes for trees, thanks to their underground neighbours. The study, published in the Journal of Ecology, is the first to show that the growth of adult trees is linked to their participation in fungal…

Wildfires, logging affect key fungi in pine forests: studies

Disturbances by humans or nature change the balance of fungi in soil, potentially making it harder for seedlings to regenerate

Wildfires, logging affect key fungi in pine forests: studiesDisturbances can hit Alberta’s lodgepole pine forests hard – including life under the soil, new University of Alberta research shows. Fungal communities that nourish pine tree roots are being altered by both human-made and natural disturbances, which can stress forests and make it tougher for pine seedlings to regenerate, said Jean Rodriguez Ramos, a PhD…