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District Municipality of Muskoka Muskoka Water Web

Timber Harvesting and the Health of our Lakes: The Calcium Story

By Dr. Shaun Watmough




Held on Thursday, October 10, 2013 at the Muskoka Campus of Nipissing University in Bracebridge, Ontario. Admission was by donation






Decades of acid deposition have depleted soil calcium reserves and, when combined with timber harvesting, predicted losses of calcium from soil are considerable and may ultimately threaten long-term forest health and productivity and lead to negative impacts on lakes.


In this talk, Dr. Watmough will provide an overview of our current understanding of calcium biogeochemistry and describe the reasons for the widespread decline in calcium levels in lakes and the implications of calcium losses on soil fertility and forest health in addition to impacts on lake ecosystems.


With an emphasis on south central Ontario, Dr. Watmough will document a nutrient budget for a selection harvesting regime in central Ontario hardwood forests. This work is then extrapolated to regional harvesting activities and management issues are discussed.







About Dr. Shaun Watmough


Dr. Shaun Watmough, Ph.D., (BSc. Applied Biology, Liverpool U.K., Ph.D. Plant Stress Physiology, Liverpool John Moores University, U.K.) is an Associate Professor in the Environmental Resource Science Program at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.


His research focuses on ecosystem environmental stress, and his research interests include forest ecology, biogeochemistry, forestry, air pollution, climate change, trace metals, eutrophication, and environmental modeling.


Over the past 10 years he has worked on issues related to calcium decline in Muskoka Lakes and in particular the consequences of timber harvesting on lake calcium levels.