Montréal, Canada

Photo by the Montréal Botanical Garden

Monitoring, Maintenance, and Management

How has the initiative been designed and implemented so that long-term needs for management and maintenance are reduced and can be met?

This is one of the main principles underlying the implementation of the initiative. The use of vegetation to solve environmental issues relies on the fact that the plants will grow and become increasingly effective in accomplishing their task. The effectiveness of the two constructed wetlands in the aquatic garden of the Botanical Garden described above will improve from year to year through the development of the plant roots’ and their microbe communities; the phytoremediation potential of the revegetated wasteland will also be effective in several years; as will be the invasive plant management potential of a third station when the desired ecosystem will be fully established.

What protocols are in place to facilitate monitoring of results?

Each of the Stations has been designed by a team of horticulturists, gardeners, scientists, researchers, landscape engineers, etc. to ensure its effectiveness. Samples are being collected and analysed by the team of scientists at the Botanical Garden. The performance of the green infrastructures is accurately measured. For instance,  in the constructed wetlands, water samples are being analysed before and after the wetland to measure organic matter, nitrates, phosphates, etc. to ensure that the water filtered by the plants meets environmental guidelines; soil pollution, plant contamination are also meticulously monitored on phytoremediation station; we also take care to follow species establishment whether they have been planted or whether they appear spontaneously.

How has the initiative been enhanced in response to monitoring of results?

All the stations are monitored to properly document the efficiency of the green infrastructure exploited but also to improve the process specific to each of the phytotechnology’s used. This is done by measuring plant growth and productivity and certain physiological parameters, and by monitoring physio-chemical changes in water or soil and finally by sampling soils and/or water to assess variations in microbial communities. The Stations are small living laboratories that allow graduate students to carry out master’s or doctoral projects under the supervision of Botanical Garden researchers.

According to the responses recorded, adjustments are made, such as modifications to the plant species used, soil amendments, changes in flow rates, etc.