Date of Award

2003

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Ciberowski, J. J. H.

Keywords

Biology, Ecology.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of oil sands process material (OSPM) on the zoobenthic community of constructed wetlands in the Fort McMurray oil sands region. The unique characteristics of OSPM-affected wetlands may modify the successional trajectory of invertebrate communities compared to that of high or low-conductivity reference wetlands. The zoobenthic community of 31 wetlands, aged 0 to 30 years, was simultaneously sampled, allowing inference into the chronological sequence of change that results with wetland succession. Wetlands were categorised a priori into one of three classes: low conductivity (<700 muS/cm) or high conductivity (700--2,500 muS/cm) reference wetlands or OSPM-affected wetlands (700--4,000 muS/cm) containing tailings and/or water from bitumen extraction. Invertebrate communities in each wetland were assessed using core, artificial substrate, and sweep net sampling methods. Principal components analysis and discriminant function analysis were used to classify each OSPM-affected wetland as being "equivalent to young" or "equivalent to mature" reference wetlands. Restoration of mined areas to pre-mining conditions of diversity and abundance of habitat types, using wetlands as a component of a reclamation strategy, is a viable option. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of Biological Sciences. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2003 .L46. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 42-02, page: 0520. Adviser: J. H. Ciborowski. Thesis (M.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2003.

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