Lack of Evidence for Impact of the European White Birch, Betula pendula, on the Hydrology of Wainfleet Bog, Ontario


  • Joshua Diamond Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, Welland, Ontario L3C 3W2
  • Mark Browning Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Wildlife Research and Development Section, Peterborough, Ontario K9J 8M5
  • Andrew Williams School of Mathematics and Statistics, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6
  • John Middleton Centre for the Environment, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 3A1



Betula pendula, Wainfleet Bog, Ontario, birch, invasive species, hydrology, bog


Over time peat harvesting and human encroachment have devastated the hydrology of Wainfleet Bog. Disturbances caused by human activities have rendered the bog ecosystem vulnerable to an influx of invasive species. The European White Birch (Betula pendula) has contributed to the degradation of the Wainfleet Bog. The disrupted hydrology has allowed for the development of dry conditions that have enabled B. pendula to take over habitats that were once dominated by native flora. To determine whether B. pendula was depressing the water table through evapotranspiration, we examined water table levels (March 1998 to July 1999) and vegetative data from 15 well stations. Analysis of results using a Repeated Measures Statistic Design failed to demonstrate a significant relationship between the presence of B. pendula and water table levels at Wainfleet Bog.