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Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority

Go Global - Tree measuring and monitoring of forest pests and climate change impacts

Help to measure locally, report globally to monitor climate change impacts and local forest pests
Help to measure locally, report globally to monitor climate change impacts and local forest pests

Go Global

Volunteers monitor tree, species changes at forest plot in Bannockburn Conservation Area as conservation authority encourages community to measure locally, report globally

Go Global is a new program that aims to track and report on changes in local forest conditions and species diversity in the long term. Ausable Bayfield Conservation staff members have created a one-hectare forest plot at Bannockburn Conservation Area as part of the Go Global program. The conservation authority invites local volunteers to be part of this work to ‘measure locally and report globally.’

For more information visit our tree measuring and tree monitoring page.

Staff members marked out a one-hectare plot of trees early in 2015. They divided the plot into 25 smaller areas called quadrats. Each quadrat is 20 metres by 20 metres in size. Staff members have a goal to find and train volunteers to do this job as citizen scientists. For each quadrat, these volunteer citizen scientists will identify tree species. The volunteers will then work together to measure the trees’ diameter, height, crown width, and health for any tree greater than four centimetres in diameter. These measurements will form a benchmark or baseline. When later measurements are taken, staff and volunteers can compare the new figures with the original measurements.

“By measuring what is changing in our forests and calculating the rate of change, we can begin to understand more about climate change and forest pests,” said Hope Brock, Healthy Watersheds Technician with Ausable Bayfield Conservation. “This will help us to understand climate change impacts on local biodiversity. This monitoring will also allow us to make the best possible decisions to protect the future of our local forests.”

The Association for Canadian Educational Resources (ACER) has a network of one-hectare forest plots called Go Global. Ausable Bayfield Conservation is working with local volunteers as a community partner on this program. The plots are to help show how effective local monitoring and reporting can be to find changes in forest diversity over the long term. For more information visit: www.acer-acre.ca/programs/go-global

Ausable Bayfield Conservation encourages community groups and organizations to take part in the Go Global program. Tree measuring works best with at least three people. Groups, clubs, schools, or places of worship may even want to ‘adopt’ a quadrat. Those groups that adopt one or more quadrats would be responsible for measurement of these areas over the long term. If you are interested in helping to collect tree data at Bannockburn, please contact Hope Brock at Ausable Bayfield Conservation at 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or visit our staff contacts page.