Wildfire represents the largest single impact on boreal peatlands. We are examining the ecohydrological controls on wildfire ignition, behaviour and combustion in peatlands and are examining how ecohydrological function recovers following wildfire. We are examining how peat burn severity is impacted by groundwater connectivity at our Alberta sites by measuring the radiation, energy and water balance at several forested bogs located in different hydrogeological settings. Nearby hydrological measurements provide insight on how the water and energy cycles interact. We are determining the post-wildfire hydrological status of peatlands to examine the hydrological processes controlling Sphagnum moss recovery. Through a series of peat fire ignition tests, moss hydrophysical properties measurements and the parameterization of our peat smouldering and ignition model, we are developing a new peat moisture code and models to predict peat depth of burn under land-use change and climate change scenarios.
MCMASTER ECOHYDROLOGY LAB c/o James Michael Waddington School of Geography and Earth Sciences McMaster University 1280 Main Street West Hamilton, ON, L8S 4K1
Phone: 905.525.9140 x23217 Lab: Burke Science Building 305 Office: General Science Building 234