Saturday October 28, 2017
What would happen to the prairies if we stopped farming them?
more stories from this episode
- North Korean nuclear tests trigger earthquakes and fears of radiation leaks
- Incredible dandelions could hold the key to growing plants on the oilsands
- Spooky Arctic jellyfish surprises scientists in viral video
- What happens when you warm the Antarctic seabed by 1 degree
- How volcanoes helped the Romans destroy Egyptian rule
- Scientists aim to eradicate pneumonia with better vaccine
- What would happen to the prairies if we stopped farming them?
- Full Episode
Dr. Colin Laroque, a Professor in the Department of Soil Science at The University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon feels that the prairies would become grasslands if they were to be abandoned by farmers. This is based on observations of the many millions of boreal forest species that were planted as part of a 'shelter belt' program beginning in the early 1900's. The idea of shelter belt trees was to protect the prairies from erosion, and also provide a build up of snow for soil hydration. Species such as white spruce - which were part of the program - have not done very well in the more southern prairie environments. This suggests that grasslands and not forest would take over in the absence of farming.