Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics Research Laboratory (CEDaR)

University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario
What the facility does

Study of forest ecosystem dynamics, climate change, wildfire, and paleoecology; analysis of tree rings for archaeology, eco-cultural history, and artistic purposes

Areas of expertise

Our main focus is on the analysis of the annual growth rings of trees for the purposes of reconstructing environmental histories – this includes climate of the pre-instrumental period, wildfire, patterns of stand development, and the effects of global change. We complement this research with ecological experiments and modelling. Our research has supported ecological restoration efforts for Parks Canada, The Nature Conservancy, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ontario Parks, and the Alderville First Nation, among others.  We have also undertaken dendroarcheological projects to date historical structures, lake sediment analyses to reconstruct fire histories, and analyses of regional- to hemispheric-scale analyses of climate data for various purposes. 

Research services

We have the skills and infrastructure to:

  • Prepare, measure and analyze tree-ring samples, whether from cores or cross sections
  • Prepare wood samples for stable isotope analysis
  • Collect, process, and analyze sediment cores to develop fire history records
  • Analyze large datasets from climate archives and other environmental datasets
  • Measure micro meteorological variability, and analyze the resulting data
Sectors of application
  • Arts and cultural industries
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Forestry and forest-based industries
  • Policy and governance
WinDENDRODigital image analysis system, for analyzing tree-ring widths, anatomical properties, and permanent archival of data
Microscope and Velmex stageDigital image analysis system, for analyzing tree-ring widths, anatomical properties, and permanent archival of data for more problematic samples
Weather station, iButtonsMeasure climate and microclimate at forest ecotones to determine causes of ecotone shifts and consequences of climatic change
Growth chamberCompare field results (messy, difficult) to control studies (unrealistic, easy)
Total Station, GPSReally accurate mapping at fine scales
Forest mensuration equipmentMeasure stand density, forest biomass, etc.
CentrifugeExtraction of cellulose for stable isotope analysis
MicrobalanceExtraction of cellulose for stable isotope analysis
  • Parks Canada
  • Alderville First Nation Black Oak Savanna
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • The Nature Conservancy of Canada