Research Objectives

Using English ivy (Hedra helix) as an Art Material for Mimicking Natural Habitat Structures of South Coast Temperate Forests in British Columbia

Research Options

  • Standardize structure design for comparison (replicates)
  • Different lengths of time in which ivy has dried and its potential to grow (standardize drying methods and length)
  • Spreading of leaves on bare, un-invaded sites and on natural forested sites to gauge species growth
  • Structures placed in a non-natural habitat (lawn) and natural habitat
  • Different distances from natural habitat edge and colonization of structures. Aspect of site will likely have an influence on structure use

Types of Natural Structures to Mimic through Art and Ivy

  • Large and small coarse woody debris (CWD)
  • Snags: height and form
  • Rootwads
  • Perches: height and form
  • Brush/CWD piles
  • Live tree deadfall

Structure Design

  • Weave bark into structures
  • Size (width, length, diameter) – important for certain species, shape, density (try to mimic old growth forest densities), arrangement, and adjacency.
  • Distance from natural habitat
  • Distance from hard edge
  • Safety: standing structures (height, size, danger tree), fuel loading and fire hazard
  • Could place structures in aquatic habitats (e.g., in-stream woody debris, bank stabilization). Ensure they are not going to spread or re-grow.


  • Re-growth of invasive species
  • Pre and post species diversity and percent abundance
  • Rate of decay for standing and ground structures
  • Growth substrate for plant species, including fungi, lichens, mosses, ferns, etc.
  • Cover and shelter habitat for wildlife (some wildlife use may be hard to quantify). (e.g., invertebrates, small mammals, birds, salamanders).
  • Qualitatively describe surrounding habitat and location

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