M. Derek MacKenzie

Derek Mackenzie

Assistant Professor. Soil-plant relations

Phone: 780-492-6388
Email: mdm7@ualberta.ca
Department: Renewable Resources
Office: 348E South Academic Building
Office Hours: By appointment
Address: University of Alberta
348E South Academic Building
Edmonton, AB
Canada T6G 2G7

Job/Research Area:  Soil-plant relations

Personal Website:  http://www.ualberta.ca/~mdm7/

Derek MacKenzie is a participant in the Land Reclamation International Graduate School (LRIGS) program sponsored by NSERC CREATE. 

Major Responsibilities/Research Interests: My research program examines how soil-plant relations are affected by both natural and anthropogenic disturbance. Four basic principles guide my research and these are: 1. plant nutrients can be available or unavailable for uptake based on chemical characteristics and association with soil organic matter (SOM) which causes fluxes between these pools; 2. after uptake, nutrients are re-deposited in the soil as leaf litter which becomes SOM through decomposition; 3. decomposition is mediated by microorganisms which can be influenced by plant rhizosphere chemistry; and 4. disturbance is a stochastic ecosystem event, which causes temporal and spatial fluctuations in these ecosystem processes. Many research questions can be derived from these four basic principles. For example, if natural disturbance influences ecosystem processes, such as increased nutrient availability, how can we better emulate the effect in managed ecosystems? Another area of my research examines whether plant community dynamics reflect top down (litter) or bottom up (microbial) controls in different ecosystems and the temporal shifts of these controls after disturbance? I have focused primarily on the effects of disturbance and the rhizosphere chemistry of nitrogen (N) availability, but recently have been examining soil carbon (C) stocks, specifically black C (charcoal and biochar), and the interaction between C and N. My research has focused on disturbed forest soil ecosystems, but in the future I would like to examine agroforestry and ways of improving resource management through emulation of natural ecosystem dynamics.

University of Alberta Libraries Education and Research Archive - Collections in Department of Renewable Resources

Selected Publications

Pinno, B.D., S.M. Landhausser, M.D. MacKenzie, S.A. Quideau, And P.K. Chow. 2012. Trembling Aspen Seedling Establishment, Growth, and Response to Fertilization on Contrasting Soils used in Oilsands Reclamation. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 92: 143-151.

Sorenson, P. T., S. A. Quideau, M. D. MacKenzie, S. M. Landhäusser, and S. W. Oh. 2012. Forest floor development and biochemical properties in reconstructed boreal forest soils. Applied Soil Ecology 49:139-147.

MacKenzie, M. D. and S. A. Quideau. 2011. Laboratory Based Nitrogen Mineralization and Biogeochemistry of Two Soils Used in Oilsands Reclamation. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 92: 131-142.

Ball, PN; MacKenzie, MD; DeLuca, TH; Holben, WE. 2010. Wildfire and charcoal enhance nitrification and ammonium oxidizing bacterial abundance in dry montane forest soils. Journal of Environmental Quality 39: 1243-1253.

MacKenzie, M.D. and S.A. Quideau. 2009. Microbial Community Structure and Nutrient Availability in Oil Sands Reclaimed Boreal Soils. Applied Soil Ecology, 44: 32-41.

Swallow, M., S.A. Quideau, M.D. MacKenzie and B. Kischuk. 2009. Microbial community structure and function: Effects of prescribed burning and topographic position. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 41: 770-771.

Norris C.E., S.A. Quideau, J.S. Bhatti, R.E. Wasylishen, and M.D. MacKenzie. 2009. Fire and harvest influence on jack pine soil organic carbon. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 39: 642-654.

MacKenzie, M.D., E.J.B. McIntire, S.A. Quideau and R.C. Graham. 2008. Charcoal affect C and N contents in forest soils of Sierra Nevada, California. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 72: 1774-1785.

McMillan, R., S.A. Quideau, M.D. MacKenzie and O. Biryukova. 2007. Nitrogen Mineralization and Microbial Activity in Reclaimed Boreal Forest Soils. Journal of Environmental Quality, 36: 1470-1478.

Kurth, V.J., M.D. MacKenzie and T.H. DeLuca. 2006. Estimating charcoal content in forest mineral soils. Geoderma, 137: 135-139.

MacKenzie, M.D. and T.H. DeLuca. 2006. Resin adsorption of carbon and nitrogen as influenced by season and time since fire. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 70: 2122-2129.

MacKenzie, M.D. and T.H. DeLuca. 2006. Charcoal and shrubs modify soil processes in ponderosa pine forests of western Montana. Plant and Soil, 287: 257-266.

MacKenzie, M.D., T.H. DeLuca and A. Sala. 2006. Fire exclusion and nitrogen mineralization in low elevation forests of western Montana. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 38: 952-961.

DeLuca, T.H., M.D. MacKenzie and M.J. Gundale. 2006. Charcoal enhances nitrification in forest ecosystems. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 70: 448-453.

MacKenzie, M.D., M.G. Schmidt and L. Bedford. 2005. Soil microclimate and N availability ten years after mechanical site preparation in northern British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 35: 1854-1866.

Hart, S.C., T.H. DeLuca, G.S. Newman, M.D. MacKenzie and S.I. Boyle. 2005. Post-fire vegetation dynamics as drivers of microbial community structure and function in forest soils. Forest Ecology and Management, 220: 166-184.

MacKenzie, M.D., T.H. DeLuca and A. Sala. 2004. Forest structure and organic horizon analysis along a fire chronosequence in the low elevation forests of western Montana. Forest Ecology and Management, 203: 331-343.