Managing Canada’s forested watersheds for the protection of our freshwater ecosystems
The watershed ecology team (WETlab) is a research group in the Canadian Forest Service Sector of Natural Resources Canada, at the Great Lakes Forestry Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The group researches forest watershed processes across scales to generate data and knowledge that informs the sustainable management of Canada’s forests. The team has ongoing projects addressing specific forest management questions, including understanding how natural disturbances by native defoliating insects affects aquatic food webs from the molecular level, to better inform decisions around control measures in outbreak conditions. In addition, the group is working with international partners and local forest management companies to test experimentally the biogeochemical effects of tree harvesting, specifically on carbon fate in aquatic systems. The WETlab combines a variety of molecular ecology approaches, including eDNA, carbon radiolabelling, and various molecular assays, with watershed-scale spatial and hydrologic analyses to both understand the inherent links between forests and healthy aquatic ecosystems, and also to further develop novel biomonitoring approaches for ecosystem condition in forested watersheds.