Written by Sara A., Graduate Student at SFU & BCIT - April 24, 2021
As an environmental researcher I’ve been collecting monthly data at Langley Bog for the last six months as part of my master's thesis in ecological restoration.
Bogs are wetlands that offer an array of ecological benefits, such as flood protection, drought mitigation, water filtration and carbon sequestration. Ideally water stays at the surface of the bog throughout the year. This allows for moisture-loving plants such as mosses to survive, and prevents large trees from establishing, which would change the wetland into a forest. The good news is from November to March, the water levels in Langley Bog remained on average just at the surface. This is expected because of the amount of rain experienced over these months. However, even with the high rains, one monitoring site had levels too low to support moss establishment. It will be particularly interesting to see how dry weather will impact these levels throughout the summer months. Bogs are very acidic environments, with pH levels below 4. This allows for unique low-nutrient plants to survive in this habitat, such as Labrador tea and sphagnum moss. From January to March, the pH remained acidic, and as it rained through the winter, it dropped further. The top range in December, however, was rather high, close to a neutral pH. This suggests that as the bog dries out and does not receive cations from rain, the pH will rise in the summer. The next six months of data will be useful in determining how these measurements fluctuate over the year. I will be continuing to collect data for the next six months to get a holistic view of the conditions at Langley Bog over an entire year. I'm excited to share more of what I learn about this special ecosystem with DRBIPA!