Invasive Plant Research

Has Godzilla moved into your neighbourhood?  That is what I call Japanese knotweed and its hybrids.  This invasive species has long been a problem in England and other areas, and is now spreading in many areas of Canada.  My students are researching various aspects of the ecology of these invasive plants.  The basic information we need to know includes the distribution and rate of spread of these plants.  UFV Biology students have been mapping and attempting to identify Japanese knotweed, Giant knotweed, and their hybrid Bohemian knotweed.

Japanese knotweed has been considered a sterile plant, with only female plants introduced to North America and Europe.  However, hybrids have been found in many areas.  Through a combination of molecular techniques and germination trials UFV Biology students are attempting to identify hybrids and their ability to sexually reproduce.

Global Rivers Project

I am researching in collaboration with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI), Steve Marsh, UFV Geography Department, and Alida Janmaat, UFV Biology Department the Fraser River water quality.  Several UFV Biology and Geography students are involved in collecting Fraser River water quality data and samples for analysis at WHOI.

See: http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=19735

 Presented at:  Western Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers 2011

VARIABILITY AND SOURCES OF DISOLVED INORGANIC CARBON IN THE FRASER RIVER, B.C. CANADA

Downey, B. (University of the Fraser Valley), Fanslau, J. (University of the Fraser Valley), Marsh, S. (University of the Fraser Valley), Gillies, S. L. (University of the Fraser Valley), Janmaat, A. (University of the Fraser Valley), Peucker‐Ehrenbrink, B. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Voss, B. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Wang, Z. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Hoering, K. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Eglinton, T. I. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Montluçon, D. B. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Fraser, H. (University of the Fraser Valley), Macklam‐Harron, G. (University of the Fraser Valley), Wiebe, B. (University of the Fraser Valley), Martinec, M. (University of the Fraser Valley), Johnson, C. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Birdwhistell, S. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

 


As global temperatures rise the understanding of carbon sequestration and its mechanism, and rate of transport from land to the atmosphere becomes progressively more important. Inorganic carbon is a large source of atmospheric carbon. By studying the rate at which it is released from different locations and materials, it is possible to estimate the rate at which carbon will be released as global temperatures change. A major component of the global carbon cycle is the transport of sequestered carbon to the ocean via rivers, where outgassing into the atmosphere can occur; the study and quantification this process lead to the formation of the
World River Group (WRG). One river that is being studied by the WRG, is the Fraser River in B.C., although smaller than the other rivers being studied, it provides valuable information as it contains a wide range of terrains and inorganic carbon sources. During the summer of 2009 dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentrations were collected from several locations along the Fraser River. This data was then associated to their individual watersheds and tributaries via GIS, to determine high and low source areas of DIC. The DIC concentrations from the various sampling locations ranged from 295.5 ‐ 1633.3 (μmol/kg). By identifying these sources and

studying them, it is possible to estimate how much DIC would be released if river beds shifted or water levels changed and impacted different geologic features.

 

 


SPATIAL VARIATION OF DISSOLVED AND PARTICULATE ORGANIC CARBON CONCENTRATIONS ALONG THE FRASER RIVER,

BRITISH COLUMBIA


Jenna Fanslau1, Bryce Downey1, Steven Marsh1, Sharon Gillies1, Alida Janmaat1, Bernhard Peucker‐Ehrenbrink2, Britta Voss2, Ekaterina Bulygina4, Gregory Fiske4, Timothy Eglinton2,3, Daniel Montluçon2,3, Helena Fraser2, Garrett Macklam‐Harron2, Brayden Wiebe2, Michelle Martinec2, Carl Johnson2, and Scot Birdwhistell2

1 University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, Canada

2 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, USA

3 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zürich, Switzerland

4 Woods Hole Research Center, Woods Hole, USA

 


With the growing threat of global warming, the need to understand the world’s carbon biogeochemical cycle has become increasing crucial. Since rivers provide an important interface between ocean and land, it is important to study the flux of carbon within river catchments. The growing interest in the study of organic carbon as well as related global geochemical cycles sparked the for mation of the World River Group (WRG). The Fraser River, included in the WRG project, is one of particular importance. Its unique characteristics include no damming of the main stem, significant seasonal variation in discharge, and diverse geological terrain. Particulate organic carbon (POC) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations were measured on samples taken from multiple sites along the Fraser River during the summer 2009. It was found that the POC concentrations varied from 0.05‐0.83mg/L and the DOC concentrations varied from 0.21‐6.56mg/L. This data was then used to perform a preliminary assessment of the variability of organic carbon concentrations at each of the different collection sites. Geologic terrain, vegetation types, and varying intensities of landuse at each collection site along the Fraser River are used to help explain the variations in POC and DOC concentrations. In addition to analyzing carbon concentrations along the Fraser River, the relationship between POC and DOC concentrations is also examined. These preliminary analyses are critical steps in understanding how the global carbon cycle is influenced by the world’s rivers.

 


VARIATION OF FRASER RIVER, KANAKA CREEK AND SILVER CREEK GEOCHEMISTRY, BRITISH COLUMBIA


Steven Marsh1, Sharon Gillies1, Alida Janmaat1, Jenna Fanslau1, Bryce Downey1, Bernhard Peucker‐Ehrenbrink2, Britta Voss2, Ekaterina Bulygina4, Gregory Fiske4, Timothy Eglinton2,3, Daniel Montluçon2,3, Helena Fraser2, Garrett Macklam‐Harron2, Brayden Wiebe2, Michelle Martinec2, Carl Johnson2, and Scot Birdwhistell2

1 University of the Fraser Valley

2 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA

3 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Switzerland

4 Woods Hole Research Center


As the threats posed by global warming rise it is becoming crucial to better understand the cycling of carbon within the Earth system. One aspect of this is to gain greater knowledge of the sources, pathways and timescales of river export of both organic and inorganic carbon from terrestrial surface to the oceans. Geography and Biology faculty and students at the University of the Fraser Valley have been provided the opportunity to collaborate with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Woods Hole Research Center scientists through the time series analysis of geochemical parameters within the Fraser River basin. Samples have been collected at New Westminster and Fort Langley on the Fraser River, at Kanaka Creek in Maple Ridge and at Silver Creek in Mission since late 2009. These samples are analyzed for dissolved nutrients, major ions, 87Sr/86Sr and water chemistry parameters of dissolved oxygen, conductivity, temperature, pH, orp and turbidity were measured in situ with water quality sensors. A year of data is providing a greater understanding of the variation of the geochemistry of both the Fraser River and the two tributary creeks. This year will see an expansion of the sampling to two more tributary creeks and to an increase in the number of samples being collected. These two tributaries will provide an insight into the impact of agricultural activities and the impact of urban development on the variation of geochemistry of the tributaries.

 

 

Presented at AAG 2012:

 

Abstract Title:
Analysis of the spectrophotometric properties of dissolved organic matter to determine the effects of land use on water-quality of the Fraser River, British Columbia


Author(s):
Jenna Lee Fanslau, B.Sc.* - University of the Fraser Valley
Steven Marsh, M.Sc. - University of the Fraser Valley
Sharon Gillies, Ph.D. - University of the Fraser Valley
Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Ph.D. - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Britta Voss, B.Sc. - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Paul Mann, Ph.D. - Woods Hole Research Center
Rob Spencer, Ph.D. - Woods Hole Research Center
Ekaterina Bulygina, M.Sc. - Woods Hole Research Center
Max Holmes, Ph.D. - Woods Hole Research Center

Abstract:
Due to increasing global population, the rate at which pristine lands are being converted into anthropogenic land uses are prompting concern over the impact this is having on water quality in the associated drainage basins. For example, agricultural land use is thought to be increasing the concentration of dissolved organic matter (DOM), phosphorus, and nitrogen entering fluvial systems. The Fraser River in British Columbia is often perceived as a relatively pristine watershed, yet much of its basin is devoted to agricultural practices, therefore nutrient overloading is a potential concern. Spectrophotometry is proving to be a valuable tool for analyzing water quality in fluvial systems as well as many other applications. Dissolved organic matter is of particular importance to the study of water quality due to the relationship between its optical properties and biochemical characteristics. These characteristics can provide information about the source (i.e. natural or anthropogenic) and the biogeochemistry of the fluvial system. By analyzing the biochemical structure of DOM, this study considers how anthropogenic land use compared with natural land cover influences the water quality of a fluvial system. Water samples were collected, via a synoptic approach, at several locations along the Fraser River's main stem; these samples were collected during the summer of 2009, the fall of 2010, and the spring of 2011. The utilization of spectrophotometric techniques for discerning land cover impacts on DOM export will be highlighted and the potential of these measurements for future studies discussed.

Abstract Title:
Impact of industrial and agricultural land use on nutrients and water quality of the Fraser River Basin, British Columbia


Author(s):
Helena Fraser* - University of the Fraser Valley
Jocelyn M Herbert* - University of the Fraser Valley
Sharon Gillies, Ph.D. - University of the Fraser Valley
Steven Marsh, M.Sc. - University of the Fraser Valley
Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Ph.D. - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Britta Voss, B.Sc. - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Paul Mann, Ph.D. - Woods Hole Research Center
Ekaterina Bulygina, M.S - Woods Hold Research Center

Abstract:
The Fraser River basin is one of British Columbia's most diverse and valuable ecosystems. Although the basin comprises only twenty five percent of the area of the province, this watershed contains the majority of British Columbia's population and commerce. Approximately seventy percent of British Columbia's softwood lumber industry is contained within the basin; it sustains most of British Columbia's agriculture, and supports one of the world's largest stocks of salmon. The primary land uses within the basin are industrial, specifically pulp and paper mills, agricultural farmland, and municipal cities. In order to ensure the future of these industries, water quality of the Fraser River and its watershed is of prime importance. The aim of this preliminary study is to evaluate the effect of pulp mill effluents, municipal wastes and agricultural runoff on nutrient levels of the Fraser River and several of its tributaries. Nutrient and water quality data was collected during two synoptic expeditions in fall 2010 and spring 2011. Ammonium, nitrate/nitrite, and phosphate concentrations were determined for sampling sites within the basin. In addition to analyzing nutrient distribution throughout the basin, the spatial relationships between site location and major point and nonpoint-sources of effluent were also examined. These analyses are the essential first steps to a better understanding of basin-wide effects of land use on nutrient levels and water quality of the Fraser River.

 

Abstract Title:
Variation of Kanaka Creek and Silver Creek Geochemistry, Fraser River Basin, British Columbia, Canada


Author(s):
Steven Marsh* - University College Of the Fraser Valley
Bryce Downey, student - University of the Fraser Valley
Jenna Fanslau, student - University of the Fraser Valley
Sharon Gillies, Faculty - University of the Fraser Valley
Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Senior Scientist - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Britta Voss - Woods Hole Oceanographic Instutition
Ekaterina Bulygina - Woods Hole Research Center
Gregory Fiske - Woods Hole Research Center
Timothy Eglinton - Woods Hole Research Center and Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule
Daniel Montlucon - Woods Hole Oceanographic Instirution and Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule
Helena Fraser, student - University of the Fraser Valley
Garrett Macklam-Harron, student - University of the Fraser Valley
Brayden Wiebe, student - University of the Fraser Valley
Michelle Martinec, student - University of the Fraser Valley
Carl Johnson - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Scot Birdwhistell - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Abstract:
The treat posed by global warming is making it crucial to gain a better understanding of the cycling of carbon within the Earth system.  One aspect of this is to gain greater knowledge of the sources, pathways and timescales of river export of both organic and inorganic carbon from terrestrial surface to the oceans.  Geography and Biology faculty and students at the University of the Fraser Valley have been provided the opportunity to collaborate with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Woods Hole Research Center Scientists through the time series analysis of geochemical parameters within the Fraser River basin.  An aspect of this project is the ongoing collection and analysis of samples collected at Kanaka Creek in Maple Ridge and at Silver Creek in Mission, both tributaries of the lower Fraser River, since winter 2010.  These samples are dissolved nutrients, major ions, and trace elements.  Water chemistry parameters of dissolved oxygen, conductivity, temperature, pH, ORP (oxidation reduction potential)and turbidity were measured in situ with water quality sensors.  Two years of data is providing a greater understanding of the geeochemical variation within these two tributary creeks.  The results obtained from sampling these two tributaries will provide an insight into the impacts of agricultural activities and urban development on the geochemical variation of these tributary creeks.

 

Presented at International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry 2011


Exploiting isotopic, organic, and inorganic geochemical tracers of terrestrial matter in suspended particles of the Fraser River, British Columbia.
Britta M. Voss,

Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Timothy I. Eglinton, Valier Galy, Daniel B. Montluçon,

Ekaterina Bulygina, R. Max Holmes, Gregory Fiske, Li Xu, Sharon L. Gillies, Steven Marsh,

Alida Janmaat, Bryce Downey, Jenna Fanslau, Helena Fraser, Garrett Macklam-Harron

 

 

Presented at: American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2010, abstract #H51A-0866

Seasonal variability of river geochemistry in the Fraser River, British Columbia

Voss, B. M.; Peucker-Ehrenbrink, B.; Eglinton, T. I.; Montlucon, D.; Gillies, S. L.; Marsh, S.; Janmaat, A.; Downey, B.; Fanslau, J.; Fraser, H.; Macklam-Harron, G.


River
systems play a dynamic role in the cycling of carbon between terrestrial and marine reservoirs. The response of these systems to global warming and human activities is uncertain, but likely to involve complex interactions between hydrologic and biogeochemical changes from the basin-scale (e.g. shifts in distribution, volume, and type of precipitation; ecosystem adjustments to land use changes) to particle-scale (e.g. changes in organic matter composition due to altered terrestrial vegetation, changes in sediment characteristics due to damming on individual watersheds). To address these processes in a manner relevant to their global scope, a campaign (funded by the National Science Foundation’s Emerging Topics in Biogeochemical Cycling initiative) is underway to study basin-wide geochemical characteristics of the dissolved, suspended, and bed loads of several major rivers. The Fraser River is of particular interest due to its diversity of geological terrain, seasonality of discharge, and limited damming. Field campaigns in summer 2009 and fall 2010 offer a detailed characterization of the stable and radiogenic isotope signatures of particulate and sedimentary organic carbon; dissolved nutrients, organic and inorganic carbon, and trace metal concentrations; and dissolved 87Sr/86Sr at multiple points along the Fraser main stem and many tributaries. The critical next step is to extrapolate this information across seasonal cycles throughout the year. To that end, a time series sampling program has been established near the Fraser River mouth. Since late 2009, samples for dissolved nutrients, major ions, and 87Sr/86Sr have been collected by colleagues and undergraduate students at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, B.C. With a full year of monthly or more frequent samples, we can assess how river geochemistry changes in response to seasonal cycles of temperature and discharge in such a heterogeneous system. This aspect of the world river project will support estimates of annual fluxes and predictions of how river geochemistry may change under different climatic circumstances.

 

Contact Information

Patrick Harrison

Chair of the Centre for Sustainability

Patrick.Harrison@ufv.ca

1-888-504-7441 ext. 4348

Abbotsford A Building Room 317

 

Mailing Address

Patrick Harrison

Chair of the Centre for Sustainability

University of the Fraser Valley

33844 King Road

Abbotsford, British Columbia

V2S 7M8

centre for sustainability logo

YouTube goUFV Linkedin Facebook Twitter Flikr