Whitebark Pine Conservation in the Canadian Rockies – Understanding Facilitation, Competition and Disturbance

Carmen Wong, PhD Candidate

ABSTRACT

Whitebark pine is facing significant decline across its range. What happens when a foundation species like whitebark pine is removed from a system? I am using tree rings sampled from stands across the Canadian Rockies to answer this question for my Ph.D. I am looking at:
1) how the role of facilitative versus competitive interactions between whitebark pine and other species may change,
2) how regeneration responds to a mountain pine beetle outbreak in Waterton Lakes National Park in the 1980s, and
3) whether there are distinct models of stand development associated with landscape position.
Starting in 2008, I will also be working as one of the monitoring ecologists for Kluane and Vuntut National Parks with Parks Canada.

This research is supported by scholarships and grants from NSERC, Waterton Lakes National Park – Parks Canada Agency, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y Science Grant), and an AAAS Canon National Parks Scholars Program.

MEDIA INTERVIEWS

Vancouver Courier http://archive.vancourier.com/issues06/115106/news/115106nn6.html
The Fitzhugh – Jasper’s Independent, Locally Owned Newspaper (see link below)

RESEARCH CONTRIBUTIONS

Daniels, L.D. and C. Wong. 2005. Fire, beetles, blister rust: case studies from Waterton Lakes National Park. Nutcracker Notes 9:14.
http://www.whitebarkfound.org/nut-notes.html

Wong, C., L. Daniels, V. LeMay. 2007. How many whitebark pine trees are there? A sampling design for estimating their density. Nutcracker Notes. 13.
http://www.whitebarkfound.org/nut-notes.html

Wong. C.L. 2007. Preparing for the field season. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America. 88:95-97
Look for ECOLOGY 101 at http://www.esajournals.org/toc/ebul/88/1