Report on October Speaker: – Melissa Todd,  “Cumulative effects – Well, it’s all a Bit Messy, isn’t it?”

Melissa Todd, Terrace area, BC

October 6, 2023 Speaker, Melissa Todd (Master of Sciences, Registered Professional Biologist, Research Wildlife Ecologist for the BC Ministry of Forests)

Melissa introduced her topic about the cumulative effects of land use and climate change with the words, “Cumulative effects – Well, it’s all a Bit Messy, isn’t it?” And, that’s because it is; the ecosystem is extremely complex with one seemingly minor change having profound and unexpected effects on the habitats and the creatures who live there.

Melissa’s research provides insights into how coastal wildlife communities respond to being disturbed by us – our presence, our land use. Her special focus is on species associated with wetlands and dead wood habitats.

Her lively discussion was aided by several graphics showing the complexity and indeed “messiness” of it all!

Please review the graphics below to understand the essence of Melissa’s message.  You can also see below for a photo of Melissa speaking at the meeting, and a selection of her slides.



Disease and Legacy Effects

(Canuti Post Doctorate Memorial University, Canuti et al. 2020)


Pollutants and Legacy Effects

(Shanebeck, PhD, U of A, Shanebeck 2023)



Cumulative Effects are about Change, Loss, and Resilience

Natural Disturbances such as Climate and Land Use Have Impacts such as:

Habitat Conversion/Change



Invasive Species


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