December 2022 - Issue 77
The Wetland Knowledge Exchange (WKE) is the official voice of the Canadian Conservation and Land Management Knowledge Network's Wetland Knowledge Portal. The WKE is a venue for sharing wetland information to raise awareness, increase information transfer, and build a community of practice. Explore the Wetland Knowledge Portal here.

Monthly Webinar Series 

Join us for the Wetland Knowledge Exchange's first webinar of the new year.

In January, join Scott Davidson presenting on 'No longer just the Swamp of Sadness: an insight into the value of forested wetland ecosystems (swamps) as natural climate solutions'.

January 19, 2023 from 12:00 - 1:00 MDT
Register here

Miss a past webinar?  Be sure to check out past webinar recordings here.


What is blue carbon and why is it vital for mitigating Canada's carbon emissions?

In Canada's boreal forest, one man works to save caribou

Northern Ontario wetland receives international recognition

U of T researcher to lead $10-million project to study wetlands’ role in combating climate change

Floating Wetlands Are Helping to Clean Up Urban Waters

COP15: Adding monarch butterfly to endangered list could help preserve West Island Technoparc: Guilbeault

The world's permafrost is rapidly thawing and that's a big climate change problem


University of Waterloo Ecohydrology Research Group World Wetlands Day Celebration
Waterloo, Ontario
February 1, 2023

Alberta Soil Science Workshop 2023
Calgary, Alberta
February 21-23, 2023

13th Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference
Calgary, AB
February 21-23, 2023

CLRA Alberta Chapter 2023 AGM & Conference
Edmonton, Alberta
February 22-24, 2023

Alberta Chapter of the Wildlife Society Annual Conference
Calgary, Alberta
March 9-12, 2023

View a full list of events here. 

New Resources

Wetlands 101

Identifying and classifying wetlands is an essential skill to sustainably manage and protect these valuable ecosystems.  By understanding wetlands, land managers and users can better avoid or minimize potential impacts on these ecosystems.  

In this 10-minute video produced by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), wetlands are explained and classified using their characteristics, functions, and values. The video discusses the 5 main types of wetlands found in the boreal forest, their sub-classes, how to identify them and the functions, and roles they play on the landscape. Find this video on the CCLM here. 

Interested in a more in-depth understanding of boreal wetlands?  Check out DUC's Wetlands 101: An Introduction to Boreal Wetlands online training here.

              Centering Indigenous Voices

For many generations, Indigenous communities across North America have used fire to help manage landscapes. In the Boreal Forest, Indigenous peoples used fire to create and maintain meadows, openings of grasslands, to promote the growth (or extend the growing season) of berries and other medicinal plants. 

In documenting the burning practices of Indigenous communities, Christianson et al. (2022) drew from historical literature and interviews with Elders, highlighting the relationship between fire and Indigenous peoples of North America. Western researchers describe the role of fire as an agent of change, with the ability to alter surrounding landscapes, Christianson et al. (2022) highlight other uses, such as those of the Bigstone Cree Nation and Fort McKay First Nation who use fire to promote medicines and keep small waterways and trails open. Christianson et al. (2022) highlight the use of Indigenous knowledge to help guide forest management practices, as they identify cultural burnings lead to a reduction in overall wildfire risks. Learn more about the diverse Indigenous relationships with fire here

          Predicting Wetland Permanence

Pothole wetlands, found in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) extending through Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and parts of the United States provide, ecosystem services such as water filtration and regulation during periods of drought and floods. Wetland permeance, the ability of a wetland to remain unchanged, is an important predictor of a pothole wetland's potential to perform its ecosystem functions. Accurately predicting wetland permanence using climate patterns, topography (elevation changes on the landscape), and considering land use activities such as agriculture, can help us understand how pothole wetlands will respond to climate change, and how the ecosystem services the PPR provides will be affected. 

Considering climate, topography and land use, Daniel et al. (2022) aimed to identify which factor most accurately predicts the stability of Alberta's PPR. Daniel et al. (2022) found climate was the best predictor of wetland permanence in the Parkland and Grassland natural regions, as these semi-arid climates have a higher sensitivity to climactic changes, such as drought. Daniel et al. (2022) then compared the PPR with regions such as the southern Boreal Forest Natural Region, where topography was found to be the best predictor. Learn more here.

Did you know?
COP15, The 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity is being held in Montreal, Canada this December. COP15 will be the largest biodiversity conference in over a decade, with governments from around the world coming together to agree on new goals to guide global action through 2030 to halt and reverse nature loss. Learn more about COP15 here.
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