February 02, 2024 4 weeks ago

Happy World Wetland Day! InnoTech Alberta is partnering with the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) and Ducks Unlimited Canada on a project examining the “Effects of Agriculture and Climate Change on Prairie Wetlands”.

A new section in ABMI’s Wetland Atlas of Alberta highlights research on the impacts of agricultural land use and climate change on wetland health in Alberta’s Prairie Pothole Region—the most productive waterfowl breeding habitat in North America.

InnoTech and ABMI are examining the potential to use environmental genomic tools to assess aquatic macroinvertebrate community composition and estimate relative abundance as an alternative, or complement, to conventional methods which can be time-consuming and expensive.

During the project, aquatic invertebrates, waterfowl productivity, and water quality indicators are measured as indicators of wetland health. In addition, innovative genetic-based techniques are being deployed to measure species presence and richness for aquatic invertebrates and aquatic vegetation, and to estimate the relative abundance of various aquatic invertebrate species.

The goal of the project is to recommend better management practices associated with sustainable agriculture that promote healthy wetlands in the future. Preliminary results will soon be available for the first year of this four-year joint project, and yearly updates will be produced as the project continues.

Brian Eaton, Manager of InnoTech Alberta’s Environmental Impacts Team notes: “We have completed one year of field work and are completing the molecular analysis of the samples. A second round of pilot work will occur this year, with an expansion to additional areas to increase our overall sample size and geographic scope.” 

The Environmental Services Division develops and validates processes and technologies that enable more efficient, effective, and economical environmental monitoring and management.

For more information on this project please contact Brian Eaton, and to find out what InnoTech Alberta can do for you please contact Doug Podmore.

InnoTech Alberta is a premier applied research agency with expertise in a wide range of areas that are important to Alberta, including environment, agriculture, energy, carbon capture and utilization, and measurement sciences.