CONSULTANCY of Fern Hill
- Wetland delineation and Functional Assessments
- Ecological and Conservation Assessments
- Botanical surveys
- Wetland restoration and planting riparian natives
- Wetland delineation training courses
- Communication..e.g. medicinal plant story, rare plants as guides to restoration, Wetland Guide to Peatlands
- Applied Research
A sustainable economy is based on sound ecology.
Ecosystem landscapes that are sound, have integrity and reflect the promise of the Nova Scotian climate, waters, soils and rocks.
Stewarding forest ecosystems in rural areas is vital to rural survival
Wetlands, waterways and coastal waters are connected.
Long term sustainability relies on this understanding.
Wetlands are the kidneys of the landscape and the purifiers of waterways
Wetlands are underground waterbodies that connect rain to the coastal waters via rivers and lakes
Rare plants and animals are specialists that tell a landscape story
Rare plants are more than bureaucratic hurdles
They fit into exact landscape positions of microclimate, water quality, soil type or forest quality
Rare organisms can be guides of how to restore and rehabilitate ecosystems
We know enough to restore and rehabilitate wetlands and landscapes..knowing and knowing through doing
The widespread loss of wetland is staggering because it is counter-productive. These ecosystems at the interface of the terrestial and aquatic worlds are vital for the protection of water quality and aquatic systems.
Our province’s legislation through the Environment Act is leading the way to a new era of development that can be sustainable. The Town of Truro has municipal laws that protect wetlands, floodplains and landscape in watersheds prone to flooding. These provisions protect private property, infrastructure, recreational opportunity, ecological services and biodiversity; in fact, a more ecological approach to management within Truro’s Victoria Park (see Conservation Consultancy: Victoria Park) is part of this holistic understanding.
A final example of win:win wetland restoration is Brier Island (see Conservation Consultancy: Brier Island’s Big Meadow). A major peatland, Big Meadow Bog, was ditched 57 years ago with multiple disadvantages to the village community and to ecosystems. Restoration is now underway because of multiple positive and practical reasons that include:
–recovery of the globally rare wildflower, the Eastern Mountain Avens,
–restoration of a peatland community of plants, butterflies, dragonflies, birds etc.
–reduction of flood damage to village infrastructure
–protection of coastal fishery and aquaculture
–recovery of recreation and hunting opportunities
–creation of educational and ecotourism potential for jobs
We carry out peer-reviewed research on Nova Scotian native plant communities and on particular species of concern.
In the past 5 years, a variety of peer reviewed studies on Nova Scotian plants or plant communities has been published (or await submission). These are listed here:
Garbary, D.J. Hill, N.M. and Miller, A.G. 2013 Invasion of Rosa rugosa …Brier Island, Nova Scotia. Canadian Field
Naturalist 127: 319-331
Hill, N.M. & Garbary, D.J. 2013. Early spring flowering in Nova Scotia.. Proceedings of the Nova Scotian
Institute of Science
Hill, N.M., S.P. VanderKloet and D.J. Garbary (2012). The regeneration ecology
of Empetrum nigrum… Botany 90: 379-392
Hill, N.M. and D.J. Garbary (2011) Habitat may limit herb migration at the
northern edge of the Appalachian deciduous forest. Botany 89: 635-645
Hill, N.M., L. Beveridge, A. Flynn, and D.J. Garbary. 2010. Rosa rugosa
Thunb. as an invader of coastal sand dunes.. Canadian Field Naturalist 124:
MacKay, R., S. Reid, R. William, N.M. Hill. 2010. Genetic evidence of introgressive
invasion of the globally imperilled, Scirpus longii.. Rhodora 112: 34-57
Hill, N.M. and S.C. Blaney. 2010. Exotic and invasive vascular plants of the Atlantic
Maritime Ecozone. IN: D. MacAlpine and I. Smith (Eds). National Research
Council Press, Ottawa, Canada. pp. 215-232.
In addition, other work on the Eastern Mountain Avens is reaching fruition:
a Seed bank study of three Brier Island fens,
a Paleoecological study of Big Meadow Bog (lead: Ian Spooner),
a Photo-physiological investigation of Avens showing photo-inhibition upon removal of its shrub canopy,
Finally, Fern Hill is assessing a long-term study of the southern twayblade (leads Shawn Hicks, Mike Crowell, Rich Lapaix)