Environmental Innovation, Technology and Local Solutions for Farmers and Ranchers

ALUS Innovation Stories

Nominations for the 2022 ALUS Innovation Awards Open

Nominations for the 2022 ALUS Innovation Awards Open

ALUS communities are encouraged to submit candidates for the Weston Family Research Innovation Award and the Dave Reid Award  Duane Movald, 2021 Dave Reid Award recipient, is presented the award by ALUS Senior Hub Manager, Christine Campbell.ALUS is pleased to...

ALUS Projects

ALUS – Working to Promote Biodiversity

Modeste Natural Infrastructure Pilot Project Overview

Modeste Natural Infrastructure Pilot Project Results

ALUS Guidebooks

Success with ALUS Enhanced Grazing Projects - ALUS Guidebook.

Success with ALUS Enhanced Grazing Projects – Western & Prairies Hub

Tree and Shrub guidebook

Success with ALUS Tree and Shrub Projects – Western Hub

Success with ALUS Wetland Projects – Western Hub

Success with ALUS Erosion-Control Projects in the Eastern Hub.

Success with ALUS Erosion-Control Projects – Eastern Hub

Success with ALUS Grassland Projects in the Eastern Hub.

Success with ALUS Grassland Projects – Eastern Hub

Success with ALUS Tree & Shrub Projects in the Eastern hub.

Success with ALUS Tree & Shrub Projects – Eastern Hub

Success with ALUS Wetland Projects in the Eastern hub.

Success with ALUS Wetland Projects – Eastern Hub

Monitoring ALUS Grassland Projects in the Eastern hub.

Monitoring ALUS Grassland Projects – Eastern Hub

Monitoring ALUS Wetland & Erosion-Control Projects in the Eastern hub.

Monitoring Wetland & Erosion-Control ALUS Projects – Eastern Hub

Monitoring ALUS Tree & Shrub Projects in the Eastern hub.

Monitoring ALUS Tree & Shrub Projects – Eastern Hub

Tallgrass Prairie Guide – Eastern Hub

ALUS Info Sheets

Helping Aquatic Species at Risk: Bigmouth Buffalo

Helping Aquatic Species at Risk: Carmine Shiner

Helping Aquatic Species at Risk: Lake Sturgeon

Helping Aquatic Species at Risk: Plains Minnow

Helping Aquatic Species at Risk: Western Silvery Minnow

ALUS Research

Summative Evaluation of Delayed Hay Cut Initiative on Prince Edward Island.

Summative Evaluation of Delayed Hay Cut Initiative on Prince Edward Island – Final Report

Report by CBCL Limited (2021)

Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS): A benchmark survey of public opinion on the environment in relation to farming and the quality of life in Norfolk County

Survey Report by Bob Bailey and Loreley Greenslade, Ecometrica Communications (2005)

Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS): A Preliminary Overview of Potential Cost Reductions and Financial Benefits to Canada

Report by Tyrchniewicz Consulting (2007)

Alberta Innovates: Cost Assessment of Ecosystem Services Procurement

Report by Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (2016)

Assessment of Potential Biodiversity Market Partnerships in Ontario-Amoveo Report ENBUS group

Research Project for the class of Pr. Goretty Dias, University of Waterloo (2012)

A Benefit Transfer Tool for Valueing Nature’s Benefits to Society from ALUS Farmlands

Report by EcoRessources (2013)

Community composition of pollinating insects on farms enrolled in Alternative Land Use Services in Norfolk County, Ontario

Research by Courtney Irvine, University of Guelph (2013)

Expansion of the Pollination Service Measurement (PSM) concept in Southern Ontario

Research by Tom Woodcock et al., University of Guelph & Seeds of Diversity (2013)

An analysis of the critical success factors for participation in agricultural – environmental program: A case study

Thesis by Jessica Rosenburg, University of Guelph (2010)

Grassland Carbon Sequestration Offset Protocol Framework

Report by EcoRessources (2011)

Payment for agro-ecosystem services: Developmental case-history descriptions of Canada’s Grassroots ‘ALUS’ Programs

Research by Robert L. France and Jeffrey B. Campbell, Research Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Management (2015)

Small Restoration, Big Impacts: How Habitat Influences Native Pollinators in Intensive Agricultural Landscapes

Thesis by Caitlin Paterson, University of Guelph (2014)

Investment in the Provision of Ecological Goods and Services on Private Rural Land in Ontario: A Framework for Policy Development

Thesis by Paul Guerra, University of Guelph (2010)

Studies of Bobolink and Related Bird Habitats on Agricultural Lands in Norfolk County

Report by Jon McCracken (2014)

Supporting Environmental Stewardship and Livelihood Benefits in Ontario’s Greenbelt: Assessing the Potential Contribution of the Alternative Land Use Services Program

Thesis by Bruce Mackenzie, University of Waterloo (2008)

Other Research

Ecological Goods and Services

EG&S: Estimating Program Uptake and the Nature of Costs and Benefits

George Morris Center (2007)

EG&S: Estimating Program Uptake and the Nature of Costs and Benefits in Agro Manitoba

George Morris Center (2009)

Estimating Ecosystem Services in Southern Ontario

Spatial Informatics Group, Austin Troy & Ken Bagstad (2009)

Estimating the Value of Natural Capital in the Credit River Watershed

The Pembina Institute and Credit Valley Conservation (2009)

Funding Natural Capital – Determining the Desired Characteristics of an Ecosystem Services Credit

Upstream Innovations; Alison Carlyle, Alex Watkins, Colin Little, Mackenzie Zettler and Sophia Sanniti (2014)

Payments for ecosystem services

Report by Helen Dunn, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affair- UK (2011)

Potential Contribution of Payments for Ecological Goods and Services to Farm Income

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (2007)

Proceedings of the Ecological Good and Services Technical Meeting, Ottawa, Canada

(2009)

Provision of Public Goods through Agriculture in the European Union

Institute for European Environmental Policy (2009)

Securing Natural Capital and Ecological Goods and Services for Canada

Nancy Olewiler (2008)

Understanding relationships among multiple ecosystem services

Elena M. Bennett, Garry D. Peterson and Line J. Gordon (2009)

Wetlands, Flood Control and Ecosystem Services in the Smith Creek Drainage Basin: A Case Study in Saskatchewan, Canada

John K. Pattison-Williams, John W. Pomeroy, Pascal Badiou, Shane Gabor (Ecological Economics 147 (2018) 36-47)

Grazing

Adaptive multi-paddock grazing improves water infiltration in Canadian grassland soils.

Adaptive multi-paddock grazing improves water infiltration in Canadian
grassland soils

Dobert et al. (2021). Elsevier.

Soil greenhouse gas emissions and grazing management in northern temperate grasslands.

Soil greenhouse gas emissions and grazing management in northern
temperate grasslands

Ma et al. (2021). Elsevier

Pollination

Attracting Beneficial Insects with Native Flowering Plants

Anna Fiedler, Julianna Tuell, Rufus Isaacs, and Doug Landis, Department of Entomology, Michigan State University (2007)

Conserving Native Bees on Farmland

Rufus Isaacs and Julianna Tuell, Department of Entomology, Michigan State University (2007)

Evaluation of Native Legume Species for Forage Yield, Quality, and Seed Production

Robert L McGraw, Floyd W Shockley, John F Thompson, and Craig A Roberts (2004)

Evidence for decline in eastern North American bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apidae), with special focus on Bombus affinis Cresson

Sheila R. Colla, Laurence Packer (2008)

Visitation by Wild and Managed Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) to Eastern U.S. Native Plants for Use in Conservation Programs

Julianna K. Tuell, Anna K. Fielder, Douglas Landis, and Rufus Isaacs (2008)

Water Quality and Riparian Buffers

Cost-effective targeting of riparian buffers to achieve water quality and wildlife habitat benefits.

Cost-effective targeting of riparian buffers to achieve water quality and wildlife habitat benefits

Study by Wanhong Yang, Wenbao Liu, Yongbo Liu, Robert C. Corry and Reid D. Kreutzwiser (2014)

Our Research Partners

Dr. Wanhong Yang

Professor in the Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics

Dr. Yang’s work, using his Integrated Modelling for Watershed Evaluation of BMPs (IMWEBs) application, validates the efficacy of ALUS project sites and will ultimately become an effective modelling and analysis tool for decision-makers across Canada to evaluate the benefits of the ALUS program as a cost-effective natural infrastructure solution that also fosters biodiversity.

In Ontario, Dr. Yang is conducting a cost-benefit analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of ALUS projects for phosphorus reduction within the priority regions identified by the Great Lakes Protection Initiative. This research is supported by a grant from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ALUS Norfolk, ALUS Middlesex and ALUS Chatham-Kent). In Alberta, Dr. Yang’s work is focused on the Modeste subwatershed of the North Saskatchewan River, which the Government of Alberta has identified as being a high priority for flood mitigation and water quality, and a moderate-high priority for drought. This research is supported by a grant from Alberta Environment and Parks’ Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program (WRRP). With funding from the RBC Tech for Nature program, Dr. Yang has extended his modelling into three sub-watersheds in the Lake Erie Basin. 

Watershed Evaluation Group, Dr. Wanhong Yang’s research program

Dr. Wanhong Yang receives 2018 Weston Family Ecosystem Innovation Award

About the Modeste Natural Infrastructure Project

Progress in Modeste Natural Infrastructure Project

ALUS Partnerships Lead Lake Erie Basin Impacts

Dr. Wanhong Yang’s research profile

Dr. Andrew McDougall

Professor & Head of the MacDougall Ecology Lab, Department of Integrative Biology

Dr. Andrew MacDougall and his team at the MacDougall Ecology Lab at the University of Guelph’s Department of Integrative Biology, are studying the efficacy of ALUS’ prairie restoration sites in southwestern Ontario (primarily in ALUS Norfolk and ALUS Elgin) and quantifying the ecosystem services being produced including biodiversity, carbon sequestration and nutrient retention. Their research has confirmed the positive impact of ALUS projects for pollinators and beneficial insects—indicating a 300% increase in pollinators and beneficial insects after project establishments. The Lab’s research has also confirmed that ALUS projects:
• provide critical habitat for arthropods and promote biodiversity in agroecosystems.
• serve as a soil carbon sink/storage.
• impede 50-100% of nutrients from synthetic fertilizers, especially nitrogen and phosphorus, from leaching into ground and surface waters.

MacDougall Ecology Lab 

Dr Andrew McDougall’s research profile 

Dr. Amy Newman 

Associate Professor & Head of the Newman Lab, Department of Integrative Biology

Dr. Amy Newman and her team at the Newman Lab at the University of Guelph’s Department of Integrative Biology studied avian biodiversity on ALUS farms in southern Ontario and worked with producers who are excited about the interface between restoration, preservation, and agricultural production. Dr. Newman’s research has validated the efficacy of ALUS project sites – confirming that bird species’ diversity and soil microorganisms significantly increase on ALUS projects sites. Her research on ALUS project sites has created a direct link to participants, piquing their interest and efforts to produce more biodiversity through their ALUS projects.

The Newman Lab 

Amy Newman wins the The 2020 Weston Family Research Innovation Award

Dr. Amy Newman’s research profile

Dr. John Fryxell

Professor and Executive Director for Biodiversity Institute of Ontario

Dr. John Fryxell, from the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph, is working on ecosystem genomics research by gathering data across 30 sites in southern Ontario that range from intensively farmed cash cropped land to ALUS restoration areas. Dr. Fryxell’s work will provide deep datasets on the full suite of factors influencing arthropod and aquatic insect biodiversity in relation to farming practices, climatic variation, physical features, and landscape heterogeneity. This work will establish a standardized methodology for biodiversity monitoring and environmental impact assessment, identify key uncertainties with respect to field metrics based on DNA-based methodologies, and outline a framework for early warning of insect pest outbreaks and/or decline of beneficial insect species.

The Fryxell Lab

Dr. John Fryxell’s research profile

School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph

Dr. Nigel Raine

Professor, Rebanks Family Chair in Pollinator Conservation & Head of the Nigel Raine Lab, School of Environmental Sciences

Dr. Nigel Raine, the Rebanks Family Chair for Pollinator Conservation at the University of Guelph, has led a three-year study documenting the species richness and abundance of native pollinators in Ontario from which to establish baselines to track declines and causes of pollinator losses in the coming years. The Nigel Raine Lab is currently conducting baseline studies of native pollinators on a number of ALUS farms in Ontario.

The Nigel Raine Lab

School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph

Dr. Nigel Raine’s research profile

Université du Québec en Outaouais

Dr. Vijay Kolinjivadi

Institut Des Sciences De La Forêt Tempérée, Université du Québec en Outaouais

ALUS Prince Edward Island has worked closely with Dr. Vijay Kolinjivadi, a researcher from the Université du Québec en Outaouais’ Institute of Temperate Forest Sciences (l’Institut des Sciences de la Forêt tempérée, ISFORT) to facilitate interviews with participating farmers across PEI in 2017. The resulting work, “Putting nature ‘to work’ through Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES),” was published in Land Use Policy (81, 2019).

ALUS PEI research published in Land Use Policy (81, 2019)

Institut des Sciences de la Forêt tempérée de l’UQO (ISFORT)

Dr. Vijay Kolinjivadi’s research profile (in French)

School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph

InnoTech Alberta

ALUS works with InnoTech Alberta on the Modeste Natural Infrastructure Project. InnoTech Alberta’s Dr Marian Webber is conducting an economic analysis of the costs and benefits of using nature to deliver infrastructure-related services in the Modeste subwatershed (ALUS Parkland, ALUS Brazeau, and ALUS Wetaskiwin-Leduc). This research is supported by a grant from Alberta Environment and Parks’ Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program (WRRP).

InnoTech Alberta website

About the Modeste Natural Infrastructure Project

Progress in Modeste Natural Infrastructure Project

 

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

ALUS works with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry on several research projects. For example, Land Use Unit Lead Karen Raven and Geographical Information Systems Lead David Speiss have conducted social science research in the form of a multi-criteria decision mapping process with some ALUS Partnership Advisory Committees in Alberta.

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph

The Ontario Badger Project

ALUS works with the Badger Recovery Team to help re-establish the North American badger in Ontario. Once common, the species has suffered from habitat fragmentation and is now listed as endangered both federally and provincially in Ontario. The Badger Recovery Team is currently radio-tracking badgers on 28 ALUS Norfolk farms, to track their movements and study their habitat and habits. People who see a badger or find a badger burrow on their farms are asked to report their sightings to Josh Sayers of the Ontario Badger Project: 1-877-715-9299.

The Ontario Badger Project

Innovate With Us