On the Wednesday morning we heard seven presentations on the effects of climate change on species such as spruce bark beetles, pine weevils, MPB and defoliators. Among them, Maartje Klapwijk of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences wove together Hungarian data from 1961 and showed an overlay of various moths to illuminate existing correlations.
Then we went on field trips. The hike up Sulphur Mountain had been canceled due to wet snow have higher elevations, and it was pouring rain at our level. Claire, Annerose and I chose the Tunnel Mountain excursion over Johnson Lake.
We couldn’t see much through the low clouds and rain, but the weather created a lovely inkscape through which we looked at two kinds of pine that are at risk there: white bark (P. albicaulis) and limber (P. flexilis)
Then an amazing thing happened. Just as Erica Samis (from Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development), our stalwart guide was explaining how Clark’s nutcracker plays a role in caching white bark pine seeds, one flew onto a branch right behind her! I was afraid of what might happen if she uttered the word, “grizzly”!
At the end of the afternoon we attended a poster session – a very different, more informal way to share research, compared to the oral screen presentations.
At the conference banquet that evening, Jane Park of Parks Canada gave a screen presentation about the history of fire in Banff National Park. After about 100 years of fire suppression, they are now returning to something similar to the intentional fires First Nations used to start to create fresh pasture for ungulates, etc.