An Evaluation of habitat potential for wild rice (Zizania palustris L.) in Northern Saskatchewan
Weichel, Bertram Johannes
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A multifaceted approach was used to obtain a first approximation of the distribution of capability, within the 297,000 km2 northern Saskatchewan rice. Significant differences region, to in habitat support wild and growth performance were described and related to location. The least productive sites were found to be waters of lower nutrient status on the Precambrian Shield. Plants were also more robust in stream sites than lake bays, and an eastward or northeastward gradient of decreased production was noted in several habitat factors and measures of wild rice morphology. Accumulation of heat and light during the growing season was found to provide a basis for excluding one-third of the region as unsuitable. A broad classificatiori of habitat potential was completed. Integration of plant - habitat relationships, with factors affecting the availability of suitable conditions, allowed general limitations to be identified. Approximately one-third of the region was considered to have moderate or high capability for providing wild rice habitat.