Sault Ste. Marie, Canada
Sault Ste. Marie, Canada

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is a government ministry of the Canadian province of Ontario that is responsible for Ontario’s provincial parks, forests, fisheries, wildlife, mineral aggregates and the Crown lands and waters that make up 87 per cent of the province. Its offices are divided into Northwestern, Northeastern and Southern Ontario regions with the main headquarters in Peterborough, Ontario.The current Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry is Bill Mauro. Wikipedia.

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Ding J.Y.,Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences | Year: 2011

The linear unit hydrograph used in hydrologic design analysis and flood forecasting is known as the transfer function and the kernel function in time series analysis and systems theory, respectively. This paper reviews the use of an input-dependent or variable kernel in a linear convolution integral as a quasi-nonlinear approach to unify nonlinear overland flow, channel routing and catchment runoff processes. The conceptual model of a variable instantaneous unit hydrograph (IUH) is characterized by a nonlinear storage-discharge relation, q = c Ns N, where the storage exponent N is an index or degree of watershed nonlinearity, and the scale parameter c is a discharge coefficient. When the causative rainfall excess intensity of a unit hydrograph is known, parameters N and c can be determined directly from its shape factor, which is the product of the unit peak ordinate and the time to peak, an application of the statistical method of moments in its simplest form. The 2-parameter variable IUH model is calibrated by the shape factor method and verified by convolution integral using both the direct and inverse Bakhmeteff varied-flow functions on two watersheds of vastly different sizes, each having a family of four or five unit hydrographs as reported by the well-known Minshall (1960) paper and the seldom-quoted Childs (1958) one, both located in the US. For an 11-hectare catchment near Edwardsville in southern Illinois, calibration for four moderate storms shows an average N value of 1.79, which is 7% higher than the theoretical value of 1.67 by Manning friction law, while the heaviest storm, which is three to six times larger than the next two events in terms of the peak discharge and runoff volume, follows the Chezy law of 1.5. At the other end of scale, for the Naugatuck River at Thomaston in Connecticut having a drainage area of 186.2 km 2, the average calibrated N value of 2.28 varies from 1.92 for a minor flood to 2.68 for a hurricane-induced flood, all of which lie between the theoretical value of 1.67 for turbulent overland flow and that of 3.0 for laminar overland flow. Based on analytical results from the small Edwardsville catchment, the 2-parameter variable IUH model is found to be defined by a quadruplet of parameters N, c, the storm duration or computational time step Δt, and the rainfall excess intensity i(0), and that it may be reduced to an 1-parameter one by defaulting the degree of nonlinearity N to 1.67 by Manning friction. For short, intense storms, the essence of the Childs - Minshall nonlinear unit hydrograph phenomenon is encapsulated in a peak flow equation having a single (scale) parameter c, and in which the impact of the rainfall excess intensity increases from the linear assumption by a power of 0.4. To illustrate key steps in generating the direct runoff hydrograph by convolution integral, short examples are given. © Author(s) 2011.

Subedi N.,Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources | Sharma M.,Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Global Change Biology | Year: 2013

To predict the long-term effects of climate change - global warming and changes in precipitation - on the diameter (radial) growth of jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) and black spruce (Picea mariana [Mill.] B.S.P.) trees in boreal Ontario, we modified an existing diameter growth model to include climate variables. Diameter chronologies of 927 jack pine and 1173 black spruce trees, growing in the area from 47°N to 50°N and 80°W to 92°W, were used to develop diameter growth models in a nonlinear mixed-effects approach. Our results showed that the variables long-term average of mean growing season temperature, precipitation during wettest quarter, and total precipitation during growing season were significant (alpha = 0.05) in explaining variation in diameter growth of the sample trees. Model results indicated that higher temperatures during the growing season would increase the diameter growth of jack pine trees, but decrease that of black spruce trees. More precipitation during the wettest quarter would favor the diameter growth of both species. On the other hand, a wetter growing season, which may decrease radiation inputs, increase nutrient leaching, and reduce the decomposition rate, would reduce the diameter growth of both species. Moreover, our results indicated that future (2041-2070) diameter growth rate may differ from current (1971-2000) growth rates for both species, with conditions being more favorable for jack pine than black spruce trees. Expected future changes in the growth rate of boreal trees need to be considered in forest management decisions. We recommend that knowledge of climate-growth relationships, as represented by models, be combined with learning from adaptive management to reduce the risks and uncertainties associated with forest management decisions.copy; 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Stanfield L.W.,Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2012

Assessing stream condition is a foundation of adaptive management. But, summarizing stream condition in ways that smooth over the variance that is inherent within a watershed may lead to erroneous conclusions about its condition. This study compared stream condition summarized at a variety of spatial scales from segments to tertiary watersheds in order to evaluate the effect of summarization procedures on map interpretation. Sites were classified as to their degree of impairment from a reference state; a rank sum approach based on the length of stream sampled and simple scoring criteria (e.g., scores <. 50. =. F) was used to grade each reporting area. This study determined that scaling effects, choice of mapping thresholds and the size of reporting areas all affect the interpretation of results. Larger reporting areas were generally ranked lower; the source of this tendency is that larger stream segments are generally in a more degraded condition. There was a good correlation between predicted and observed stream segment condition, which indicates that the segment scale is the most reliable and informative of the reporting units tested. Providing categorized site conditions and confidence rankings on all larger scale maps offers a partial solution to these challenges. Where multiple sites collected on one segment were available, dramatic changes in condition indicate potential areas for restoration. This study confirmed the incremental nature of stream degradation associated with intensive land use, and demonstrated how inclusion of anything but the smallest units of stream area and confidence rankings in the results can generate biased interpretations of stream condition. © 2012.

Jones N.E.,Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
River Research and Applications | Year: 2014

Philosophically, the natural flow regime concept is tremendously appealing; however, its application can be challenging for many biologists without the expertise or resources to handle such approaches on their own. This is particularly true on hydropeaking rivers, where incorporating natural flow is sometimes challenging. Additional challenges include our limited understanding of how individual flow components relate to geomorphic and ecological processes. Supplementary to environmental flow approaches is understanding that many hydropeaking rivers are ecologically two different rivers in one: the low flow and high peaking flow. Taxa that require a narrow range of water velocities or cannot withstand rapid changes in discharge would likely be eliminated or competitively disadvantaged under such harsh environmental conditions. As the low and peak flows diverge, the two rivers become increasingly different ecologically, and there will likely be fewer taxa that can withstand such abiotic variability. Deviations from a natural flow regime may result in new constraints on certain fishes and invertebrates, but this does not necessarily mean a loss of productive fish habitat. Viewing hydropeaking rivers as two rivers in one and the risks associated with high to low flow ratios may serve as a more practical and useful perspective towards maintaining altered yet productive rivers while representing a step towards improving the management river ecosystems. © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 2013.

Thompson B.A.,Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Restoration Ecology | Year: 2011

The conservation of biodiversity in highly fragmented landscapes often requires large-scale habitat restoration in addition to traditional biological conservation techniques. The selection of priority restoration sites to support long-term persistence of biodiversity within landscape-scale projects however remains a challenge for many restoration practitioners. Techniques developed under the paradigm of systematic conservation planning may provide a template for resolving these challenges. Systematic conservation planning requires the identification of conservation objectives, the establishment of quantitative targets for each objective, and the identification of areas which, if conserved, would contribute to meeting those targets. A metric developed by systematic conservation planners termed "irreplaceability" allows for analysis and prioritization of such conservation options, and allows for the display of analysis results in a way that can engage private landowners and other decision makers. The process of systematic conservation planning was modified to address landscape-level restoration prioritization in southern Ontario. A series of recent and locally relevant landscape ecology studies allowed the identification of restoration objectives and quantitative targets, and a simple algorithm was developed to identify and prioritize potential restoration projects. The application of an irreplaceability analysis to landscape-level restoration planning allowed the identification of varying needs throughout the planning region, resulting from underlying differences in topography and settlement patterns, and allowed the effective prioritization of potential restoration projects. Engagement with rural landowners and agricultural commodity groups, as well as the irreplaceability maps developed, ultimately resulted in a substantial increase in the number and total area of habitat restoration projects in the planning region. © 2010 Society for Ecological Restoration International.

Ridgway M.S.,Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Journal of Great Lakes Research | Year: 2010

Daily energy expenditure (DEE) and daily food intake (DFI) are key parameters in estimating population level consumption by cormorants. A number of different methods are still employed in estimating these parameters along with different estimates for assimilation efficiency (if used) and prey energy density. The pellet/fish size reconstruction and percent adult body weight methods underestimate DFI for a number of reasons including an implied underestimation of DEE. In the absence of study-specific data, an assimilation efficiency of 0.80 and prey energy density of 5.42 kJ{bullet operator}g- 1 are recommended. The bioenergetic model for field metabolic rate from Ellis and Gabrielsen (2002) is recommended for adults during the nesting season and their model for basal metabolic rate (BMR × 2.5) is recommended for adults or sub-adults outside the nesting season. Comparisons between empirical and bioenergetic models for chick DFI are also made with recommendations on estimating DFI. Crown Copyright © 2009.

1.Better understanding of the mechanisms affecting demographic variation in ungulate populations is needed to support sustainable management of harvested populations. While studies of moose Alces alces L. populations have previously explored temporal variation in demographic processes, managers responsible for populations that span large heterogeneous landscapes would benefit from an understanding of how demography varies across biogeographical gradients in climate and other population drivers. Evidence of thresholds in population response to manageable and un-manageable drivers could aid resource managers in identifying limits to the magnitude of sustainable change. 2.Generalized additive models (GAMs) were used to evaluate the relative importance of population density, habitat abundance, summer and winter climatic conditions, primary production, and harvest intensity in explaining spatial variation in moose vital rates in Ontario, Canada. Tree regression was used to test for thresholds in the magnitudes of environmental predictor variables that significantly affected population vital rates. 3.Moose population growth rate was negatively related to moose density and positively related to the abundance of mixed deciduous habitat abundant in forage. Calf recruitment was negatively related to a later start of the growing season and calf harvest. The ratio of bulls to cows was related to male harvest and hunter access, and thresholds were evident in predictor variables for all vital rate models. 4.Findings indicate that the contributions of density-dependent and independent factors can vary depending on the scale of population process. The importance of density dependence and habitat supply to low-density ungulate populations was evident, and management strategies for ungulates may be improved by explicitly linking forest management and harvest. Findings emphasize the importance of considering summer climatic influences to ungulate populations, as recruitment in moose was more sensitive to the timing of vegetation green-up than winter severity. The efficacy of management decisions for harvested ungulates may require regional shifts in targets where populations span bioclimatic gradients. The use of GAMs in combination with recursive partitioning was demonstrated to be an informative analytical framework that captured nonlinear relationships common in natural processes and thresholds that are relevant to population management in diverse systems. © 2011 The Author. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2011 British Ecological Society.

Rosatte R.C.,Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Journal of wildlife diseases | Year: 2011

The Arctic variant of rabies virus has been maintained in striped skunks in small foci in southwestern Ontario, Canada, despite the control of the disease in red foxes. To control the disease in skunks, high-density baiting with ONRAB(®) oral rabies vaccine baits was conducted by air and by hand distribution of baits in the vicinity of skunk cases. During 2009, antibody prevalences in skunks were higher in areas baited at a density of 300 baits/km(2) and flight-line spacing of 0.25 km than at 0.5-km spacing. Once an area containing Arctic-variant cases was treated with high densities of ONRAB baits, the disease did not reoccur in skunks in those areas. During 2009, only eight skunks were diagnosed with the Arctic variant of rabies virus in Ontario.

Jones N.E.,Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences | Year: 2010

Lakes and rivers are intimately connected in an alternating series of lentic and lotic reaches in many regions. The study of lakes and their outlets in hierarchical and branching river networks has not gained the attention of stream ecologists, and little effort has been focused on synthesizing the ecology of lake-stream interactions within a drainage network. Rapid and predictable changes in the ecological characteristics of streams occur at the interface with lakes. The influence that a lake might have on a stream is dependent on its position within the stream, stream type and size, lake size and shape, and the inlet and outlet positions. Little is known about the influences of multiple lakes within stream-lake networks and how these influences are determined by network shape and pattern. Fruitful collaborations and novel insights will come from the combined efforts of limnologists, stream ecologists, and landscape ecologists. Geographic information systems and network analyses will play an important role in summarizing aquatic landscape characteristics and creating a predictive science of aquatic networks. Lakes need to be more explicitly incorporated into ecological concepts in stream ecology, and reciprocally, streams need to be incorporated into ecological concepts involving lakes for the successful management and conservation of our aquatic resources.

Rosatte R.,Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Advances in Virus Research | Year: 2011

The development of tactics for the control of rabies in wildlife species has evolved dramatically during the past few decades in part due to research advances. Historically, rabies control measures primarily involved the culling of target species. However, contemporary advances in the research and development of oral rabies vaccines and delivery systems for wildlife have now made it feasible to treat rabies outbreaks over thousands of square kilometers of habitat. Systems have been developed to control rabies in several of the primary wildlife vectors such as raccoon dogs, red foxes, and raccoons, and rabies has been eliminated from many jurisdictions. However, future research is needed to develop cost-effective and efficacious methods to control rabies in species such as striped skunks as well as in nonterrestrial vectors such as bats. As well, cost-effective rabies management techniques need to be adopted by developing nations so that wildlife rabies control is a realistic and achievable goal globally. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

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