1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
849 General Services Building (GSB), University of Alberta, Edmonton AB
Event details: A graduate exam seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree.
This is an ALES MSc Final Exam Seminar by Mika Little-Devito. This seminar is open to the general public to attend.
MSc with Dr. William Shotyk
Thesis Topic: Impacts on Water Quality at a Newly Opened and Extracted Peatland: Influence of Internal Processes and Hydrological Connectivity in Horticultural Peat Harvesting
Water quality impacts when peatlands are mulched, drained, and extracted for horticultural peat are understudied in western Canada. Changes to the in-field and outflow hydrology, physicochemical parameters, and concentrations and exports of nitrogen, phosphorus, carbon, and major ions were assessed at a recently opened peatland in Alberta, Canada to discern potential downstream impacts. Relative to the reference peatland, nutrient concentrations were higher in the harvested peatland. However, hydrological connectivity with the outflow had seasonal and interannual fluctuations, resulting in variable nutrient exports. When drainage ditches intersected mineral sediments, outflow water electrical conductivity, pH, and phosphorus concentrations differed from the reference and harvested peat porewaters. Beaver (Castor canadensis) dams established at the outflow further modified the water; ammonium and dissolved phosphorus concentrations were higher, but particulates were reduced. Although internal processes increased nutrient availability in the harvested field, hydrological connectivity, ditch substrate, and beaver dams governed the final outflow water quality.