2023 PS33 Soil Reclamation Update

Dr. Mike Waddington continues to do his research on soil in the area following the Parry Sound 33 Fire. The following is an update provided by Alan Burke

In mid-May, Dr. Mike Waddington and his McMaster University Ecohydrology Lab research team of Maia Moore, Kyra Simone, and Emma Tutt began to test their strategy to remediate soil following the Parry Sound 33 wildfire at the Burke island. Their approach was to test a method they helped develop 20 years ago for reclaiming moss in degraded wetlands on open rock barrens and on soils with no moss recovery five years following the fire. Mosses are the main soil forming process in eastern Georgian Bay rock barrens and Dr. Waddington’s team has calculated that a lot of organic soil was combusted in the fire.
The team set-up over sixty 8” x 8” moss plots containing a mixture of polytrichum and fire mosses, with and without a top layer of pine needles mulch to determine under what conditions the moss grew the most. The plots are identified by green rocks at each site.