Commitment to Forest Research
TYING IT ALL TOGETHER
Our forest conservation and biodiversity efforts are supported with forest-related research in collaboration with experts in water, plants, and wildlife.
Since 1990, we have invested $30 million in forestbased, peer-reviewed research to learn more about our areas fish, wildlife, and plants. We are a founding partner of many wildlife and forestry research projects and have collaborated with dozens of researchers and over 100 graduate students.
JDI’s Forest Research Advisory Committee (FRAC) was established in 1998 to help the company bring forest managers and researchers together. FRAC’s goals are to identify, advocate, and conduct research to address knowledge gaps and have our research partners’ work peer-reviewed and published. Currently, we are focused on landscape level impacts on water, birds, beetles, bryophytes, moose, and deer.
Since 2016, JDI has partnered with scientists at Natural Resources Canada, Carleton University, and the Canadian Wildlife Service to conduct a fiveyear songbird habitat research project. The goal of this study is to assess songbird species presence and habitat preferences. A total of 458 sites were sampled with acoustic songbird monitoring devices in each of the 17 dominant forest types in Black Brook over two seasons. From the recordings in the laboratory, 90 bird species were identified.
Initial comparisons show the highest diversity of species is found in the most intensively managed forests, and preliminary results suggest that managed landscapes do not change the types of habitat important to forest bird species. We look forward to the full results of this study.
UNDERSTANDING CLIMATE: MOOSE AND WINTER TICK INTERACTIONS
To better understand winter tick impacts on moose populations, JDI is the major private sponsor of a five-year research project in partnership with Université die Laval, Université de Montréal, the University of New Brunswick, and the provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec.
Warmer winters and shorter periods of snow cover have likely made conditions ideal for a greater number of ticks. Our researchers and partners use catchand- release methods to collect measurements and attach GPS collars to explore what factors can lead to negative health impacts on moose populations.
As of December 2021, 106 calves were collared and monitored. Early results correlate drier summers with lower tick counts the following fall. Infestations weaken moose and make them vunerable to other diseases.
WHITETAIL DEER HABITAT IN THE WORKING FORESTS
We have partnered with six research and government groups to study the impacts of intensive forestry on the population of white-tailed deer. The study includes a snow model, a food model, and summer and winter habitat selection at landscape and within-home-range scales. By using data from collared animals we can predict whitetail deer population growth and how whitetail deer use the forest.
Preliminary data indicates that deer prefer locations with forest canopy height less than 12 metres, peaking at 5 metres. This habitat type would be typical of young regenerating clear cuts harvested within 15 years.
Past studies have shown that some forest management including tree removal, roads and silvicultural practices can impact freshwater ecosystems and thus compromise some of the benefits they provide. To avoid such negative impacts, best practices such as riparian buffer zones and improved stream crossing methods have been implemented.
To test the effectiveness of these best practices, researchers selected 12 streams in Black Brook that reflected a gradient in forest management intensity such as area harvested, road density and forest composition. Additionally, three unharvested catchments were selected in Mount Carleton Provincial Park as reference.
The amount of sediments entering streams was greater in more intensively managed catchments, however, stream insect communities did not seem to be impaired by forest management. A decrease in leaf litter breakdown rates was observed with increasing forest management intensity. Such a decrease results in the slowing down of the recycling of nutrients such as carbon and nitrogen. This study highlights the importance of proper road maintenance and improved best practices to keep sediments out of streams.