Scientists go underground to see how Haida Gwaii deer impact the soil

By Andrew Hudson
Haida Gwaii Observer
October 6, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Holding a spoon heaped with rich black Haida Gwaii soil, Dr. Sue Grayston asked the Ḵay Centre crowd: about how many things live inside? …A UBC professor who holds a Canada Research Chair in microbial soil ecology, Sue Grayston is leading a study of Haida Gwaii soils that is the flip-side, underground version of a 20-year project by Dr. Jean-Louis Martin. The key question for both is, what are invasive deer doing to Haida Gwaii forests? Aboveground, Martin’s team used plant enclosures and sweep-net surveys to track what most islanders can see from walking Haida Gwaii’s many open, moss-carpeted woods. Uncontrolled deer will eventually mow down most western red cedar, shrubs, and wildflowers. For many creatures, that causes a cascade of problems.

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