In the early 1920s Harvard University botanist Merritt Fernald led botanical expeditions throughout much of southwest NS, providing the initial documentation of the extent of ACPF in NS. In the 1950s and 1960s botanists including Albert Roland, Ernest Chalmers Smith, John Erskine and David Erskine greatly increased understanding of ACPF distribution through general botanical surveys all over the province. Researchers including Paul Keddy, Cathy Keddy, and Irene Wisheu published status reports and many scientific papers about the ecology of ACPF species in NS in the 1980s and brought conservation attention to many ACPF species, leading to the first legal protection for ACPF species at risk.
Many dedicated landowners and individuals have been looking after and enjoying these species for many years. The ACPF Recovery Team was initiated in 1995 and provides guidance on all aspects of the conservation and recovery of the ACPF species at risk. Many organizations including the NS Department of Natural Resources, Tusket River Environmental Protection Agency (TREPA), Parks Canada, NS Department of Environment, Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Center (AC CDC), Nova Scotia Nature Trust (NSNT), and professors, honours and masters students from universities have been involved in ACPF research, monitoring and stewardship projects over the last twenty years.
In 2010, the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute (MTRI) and its partners initiated a project focused on furthering the science, education, and stewardship surrounding this special group of plants. One aspect involves surveying the 36 lakes in the province where the 11 ACPF species at risk are found, to provide detailed data on species' distribution and habitat use, and to provide a benchmark for assessing changes that
maybe taking place over time. The project also includes a community-based, volunteer-driven water quality monitoring program to measure nutrients in ACPF watersheds. This provides useful information for both ACPF, which require low nutrient shorelines, and for people in the community, who also desire clean, lownutrient water. This project involves botanists, biologists and anyone that is interested in joining researchers in the field and learning about the plants with which that they share their province. To get involved contact MTRI at 902-682-2371 or visit www.merseytobeatic.ca.
To view all the organizations involved in ACPF in NS click here