University of Manitoba Field Station. Delta Marsh. Annual Report. Number Four. 1969

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Delta Marsh Field Station
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University of Manitoba
The University Field Station had another successful season and fifteen research projects were undertaken during the summer. They included:--popu1ation and productivity studies in algae and emergent marsh species; nitrification processes in marsh soils; the relationship between evapotranspiration in Phragmites and water table fluctuations; ecological studies on benthic fauna; factors determining mollusc distribution; population dynamics of Brook Sticklebacks; comparative ecology of two species of Shiner; internal helminths of two amphibian species; reproductive biology of Forster's Tern; territory in the Yellow Warbler, seasonal energy balance in the muskrat; geomorphic, sedimentological and stratigraphic investigations of the area between Portage la Prairie and Lake Manitoba and groundwater studies in the Delta area. We had the pleasure of visits from a number of distinguished scientists from various parts of the world. The Department of Anthropology held a field course for one month and groups from Botany and Zoology stayed at the Station for shorter periods of time. The following staff, students and technicians spent all or part of the summer at the Field Station: FACULTY J. M. Walker G. G. C. Robinson J. Wright C. T. Shay R. M. Green GRADUATE STUDENTS T.O. Acere (Zoology) H. Bauer (Psychology) D. Bernard (Zoology) D. Brown (Botany) L. H1ynka (Zoology) M. Fenton (Earth Science) D. Lutchman (Earth Sdence) M. McNicholl (Zoology) F. Phillips (Botany) SUMMER ASSISTANTS W. Dentry L. Hendzel T. Hochbaum J. Leberdensky P. Lemon K. Machniak R. Moyshenko T. Sulymko G. Vascatto J. Yarysz C.K. Yeung The first project started in early April, and from then until mid-September the accommodation was used for 265 resident-weeks with 4,269 meals being served! There are two projects continuing throughout the winter. Seminars A weekly programme of seminars and films was held in June July and August , and we were privileged to hear lectures from Dr . L. Rudescu (Roumania), Dr . R. Nero (Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature), Dr . R. Miller (Yale University) , Mr . L. Gray (Water Control and Conservation , Department of Mines and Natural Resources), Dr . J. M. Walker (Botany, University of Manitoba), Dr . E. S. Burch (Anthropology, University of Manitoba), Dr. G. G. C. Robinson (Botany, University of Manitoba), Dr . D. Schindler (Fisheries Research Board, Winnipeg), and Dr . G. Brunskill (Fisheries Research Board, Winnipeg). We welcomed the participation of members of the Delta Waterfowl Research Station at these seminars and appreciated their invitation to attend the two-day Seminar on "Spacing Mechanisms in Waterfowl" and their July and August seminar series. At the 3rd November Seminar fifteen research summaries were presented, including reports from Mr . F. Austin and Mr. P. Ould, graduate students in the Department of Zoology who carried out their work at the Delta Waterfowl Research Station. The seminar attracted about 80 people, promoted discussion and is now well established as an important part of the Field Station programme . Brief summaries of most of these projects form the major part of this Annual Report. Courses Anthropology 76.662 A small Archaeological Field School led by Prof. C. T. Shay of the Department of Anthropology was held during the month of July. The class surveyed for archaeological sites in the area and spent two weeks excavating a small campsite on the Bell Estate. The campsite, located on a small beachridge, yielded stone artifacts and pottery dating between 1300-1600 A. D. We would like to extend to Mr. P. Ward our appreciation for permission to excavate this site and for helpful assistance throughout the course. Comparative Chordate Zoology 22.220 and Plant Kingdom 1.220 Dr . G. Ross and Dr. B. Young respectively spent useful days at the Field Station with their students. Introductory Ecology (Botany 1.336 and Zoology 22 . 334) Three sections each of 3 1/2 days duration were organized by Drs. J. Gee, J. M. Stewart. J. M. Walker and J. F. Wright, assisted by Mr. D. Bernard. Two sections were held in Registration Week and one the following weekend. During the course, the students were introduced to a variety of habitats, sampling techniques and methods of assessing environmental parameters, which give an insight into the structure and functioning of ecosystems . 2 Plant Ecology 1.452 Drs. J. M. Stewart and J. M. Walker organized a weekend course in Plant Ecology with emphasis upon ordination and sampling techniques as an aid to plant community description. Advanced Taxonomy 1.442 Dr. R. Longton conducted a weekend course during which intensive collecting of critical groups from a range of habitats was undertaken. The collections were for analysis later in the term. Marsh Ecology 1.721 The Marsh Ecology course spent a weekend at the Station with Drs. J. M. Stewart and J. M. Walker, and examined the plant communities =rom the lakeshore to the forested ridge and from the wet meadow to the marsh. Materials were collected for plant and soil analysis, calorific determinations, etc. Visitors We had the pleasure of visits from members of a number of other Universities and institutions: Dr. T. Pritchard (Nature Conservancy, U.K.), Dr. D. Bellamy (Durham), Dr. L. Rudescu (Bucharest, Rumania), Dr. K. Patalas (Freshwater Institute), Dr. Bilden (Macdonald College), Dr. D. Pimlott (Toronto), Dr. G. Ross (Southern), the members of the Board of Trustees of the North American Wildlife Foundation, Dr. B. Kendrick (Waterloo), Miss V. Humphreys (National Museum, Ottawa) Miss M. Dwyer (National Parks, Ottawa), Mr. E. Carp (International Wildlife Research Bureau), Dr. A. Johnson (Hendrix College), the members of the 11th Delta Waterfowl Research Station Seminar, Dr. G. MacLachlan (McGill), Dr. J. Burnett (Glasgow), Dr. H. Dale (Guelph). Special Events There were three events worthy of special mention. On August 14th, Dr. H. H. Saunderson officially opened the new laboratories at the Station, when we were happy to be joined by friends from the University, Provincial Government and others. A tour of the facilities and displays by graduate students helped to make the day a memorable one. The Biology Division Picnic in July was the occasion for a gathering of more than eighty for a beach celebration which became the merrier when driven indoors by rain. Perhaps the marathon social event was a barbeque supper for the 128 participants at the International Coregonid Conference on August 27th, accompanied by suitable musical revelry. 3 Buildings During the winter and spring two cottages were built east of Mallard Lodge and Murrays Cottage was renovated . The transformation of the latter was completed with the assistance of graduate students armed with paint brushes and permitted the building to be used for the Archaeology Field Course. The Bell House was converted into a laboratory by Dr. Robinson and Dennis Brown. However, despite this increase in facilities, the basement of the lodge was in constant use as a laboratory. A site plan and survey was prepared during September to enable future expansion to take place on an orderly basis. I would like to express appreciation for the efforts the Provincial Government made to acquire for the Field Station two housing units from the Macdonald Airfield. These will be brought to Delta during the winter and will provide the laboratory and living accommodation which is essential if an expanding programme of research and teaching is to be carried out at the Field Station. General We are grateful for the opportunities afforded to us to use the Bell Estate for various projects and for the friendly co-operation extended to us by the members of the Delta Waterfowl Research Station. Thanks are also due to the Portage Country Club for allowing us to use their property for study' purposes. To all departments of the Provincial Government upon whose jurisdiction we impinge, warm thanks are extended for their many kindnesses. I would like to thank all the staff for their help during the season and look forward to an even more successful year in 1970.
delta marsh, manitoba, field station, ecology