Dr. Kirsten D. Hannam

Systems Agro-Ecologist

Examining water, carbon and nutrient dynamics within agro-ecosystems at a range of spatial scales

Education and awards

  • Ph.D. University of Alberta, 2006
  • M.Sc. University of British Columbia, 2002

Key publications

  1. Increased frequency and severity of heat waves and drought are becoming a major challenge for Okanagan fruit growers. These events can reduce fruit quality and compromise tree health, and may be an important trigger for sudden apple decline. A toolbox to help fruit growers mitigate the impacts of heat- and drought-related stress on fruit quality and tree health is urgently needed. Sprayable nanoparticle calcium carbonate is a potential tool for protecting fruit from sunburn and mitigating water stress, and is less expensive than shade cloth and/or evaporative cooling. This tool was tested on an experimental apple block at the Summerland Research and Development Centre over the summer of 2021. An initial spray was applied to test trees in early June, with a second spray applied immediately prior to the ‘heat dome’ event in late June, and a third spray in late July. Throughout the growing season, stem water potential, leaf transpiration and photosynthesis rates were monitored. At harvest, yield and fruit quality were assessed (e.g., sun burn [Schrader-McPherson scale], fruit size and weight, titratable acidity, and Brix. The calcium carbonate spray reduced the incidence of severe sun burn, but caused no other significant differences in fruit quality. When drought stress was applied, by temporarily cutting off the irrigation supply to both treatments, sprayed trees showed lower water stress than un-sprayed trees. Although just a preliminary study, this work suggests that sprayable protectants, such as nanoparticle calcium carbonate sprays, have potential for protecting fruit quality and mitigating drought stress during extreme heat or drought and may be an important, low-cost tool to include in Okanagan fruit growers’ climate change toolbox.

    2021 - View publication details

  2. Proper balanced nutrition is important in all crops; however, knowing what the right nutrient needed at the right time for the right reasons with the right product can be very different between commodities, orchards, and seasons. There are several different sampling methods that can be utilized to assess the nutrient status of a block and help aid in nutrient management decisions. The main assessment methods are leaf, fruitlet, and soil analysis. There are some other techniques, such as sap analysis, that are being tested and may be more available in the future.

    2021 - View publication details

  3. Bamber, N., Jones, M., Nelson, L., Hannam, K., Nichol, C., Pelletier, N. (2021). Life cycle assessment of mulch use on Okanagan apple orchards: Part 2 - Consequential. Journal of Cleaner Production, [online] 280 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.125022

    2021 - View publication details

  4. Kalcsits, L., Lotze, E., Tagliavini, M., Hannam, K.D., Mimmo, T., Neilsen, D., Neilsen, G., Atkinson, D., Biasuz, E.C., Borruso, L., Cesco, S., Fallahi, E., Pii, Y., Valverdi, N.A. (2020). Recent achievements and new research opportunities for optimizing macronutrient availability, acquisition, and distribution for perennial fruit crops, 10(11), http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10111738

    2020 - View publication details

  5. Midwood, A.J., Hannam, K.D., Forge, T.A., Neilsen, D., Emde, D., Jones, M.D. (2020). Importance of drive-row vegetation for soil carbon storage in woody perennial crops: A regional study. Geoderma, [online] 377 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2020.114591

    2020 - View publication details

  6. Bamber, N., Jones, M., Nelson, L., Hannam, K., Nichol, C., Pelletier, N. (2020). Life cycle assessment of mulch use on Okanagan apple orchards: Part 1 - Attributional. Journal of Cleaner Production, [online] 267 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.121960

    2020 - View publication details

  7. MacDonald JL, Forge T, Hannam K, Judd G, Moffat C, O'Gorman D, Sanfacon H, Xu H. 2020. 'Apple Decline' in the Okanagan Valley. Summerland Research and Development Centre via Instagram and Facebook.

    2020 - View publication details

  8. Hannam, K.D., Midwood, A.J., Neilsen, D., Forge, T.A., Jones, M.D. (2019). Bicarbonates dissolved in irrigation water contribute to soil CO2 efflux. Geoderma, [online] 337 1097-1104. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2018.10.040

    2019 - View publication details

  9. Thomas, B.W., Hunt, D., Bittman, S., Hannam, K.D., Messiga, A.J., Haak, D., Sharifi, M., Hao, X. (2019). Soil health indicators after 21 yr of no-tillage in South Coastal British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, [online] 99(2), 222-225. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjss-2018-0146

    2019 - View publication details

  10. Forge, T., Hannam, K., Neilsen, D., Neilsen, G. (2019). Nitrogen inputs and irrigation frequency influence population dynamics of Mesocriconema xenoplax under grapevines. Journal of Nematology, [online] 51(1), http://dx.doi.org/10.21307/jofnem-2019-084

    2019 - View publication details

  11. Hannam, K.D., Fleming, R.L., Venier, L., Hazlett, P.W. (2019). Can bioenergy ash applications emulate the effects of wildfire on upland forest soil chemical properties?. Soil Science Society of America Journal, [online] 83 S201-S217. http://dx.doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2018.10.0380

    2019 - View publication details

  12. Forge, T.A., Neilsen, D., Neilsen, G.H., Hannam, K.D., Randall, P., and Wambold, L. (2016). "Water-conserving mulch and micro-irrigation practices affect assemblages of nematodes parasitizing winegrape in the Okanagan Valley.", Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. (Abstract)

    2016 - View publication details

  13. Fentabil, M.M., Nichol, C.F., Jones, M.D., Neilsen, G.H., Neilsen, D., Hannam, K.D. (2016). Effect of drip irrigation frequency, nitrogen rate and mulching on nitrous oxide emissions in a semi-arid climate: An assessment across two years in an apple orchard. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, [online] 235 242-252. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2016.09.033

    2016 - View publication details

  14. Fentabil, M.M., Nichol, C.F., Neilsen, G.H., Hannam, K.D., Neilsen, D., Forge, T.A., Jones, M.D. (2016). Effect of micro-irrigation type, N-source and mulching on nitrous oxide emissions in a semi-arid climate: An assessment across two years in a Merlot grape vineyard. Agricultural Water Management, [online] 171 49-62. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2016.02.021

    2016 - View publication details

  15. Hannam, K.D., Neilsen, G.H., Forge, T.A., Neilsen, D., Losso, I., Jones, M.D., Nichol, C., Fentabil, M.M. (2016). Irrigation practices, nutrient applications, and mulches affect soil nutrient dynamics in a young merlot (Vitis vinifera L.) vineyard. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, [online] 96(1), 23-36. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjss-2014-0118

    2016 - View publication details

  16. Hannam, K.D., Kehila, D., Millard, P., Midwood, A., Neilsen, D., Neilsen, G.H., Forge, T.A., Nichol, C., and Jones, M.D. (2016). "Bicarbonates in irrigation water contribute to carbonate formation and CO2 production in orchard soils under drip irrigation.", Geoderma, 266, pp. 120-126. doi : 10.1016/j.geoderma.2015.12.015

    2016 - View publication details

  17. Hannam, K.D., Neilsen, G.H., Neilsen, D., Midwood, A.J., Millard, P., Zhang, Z., Thornton, B., Steinke, D. (2016). Amino acid composition of grape (Vitis vinifera L.) juice in response to applications of urea to the soil or foliage. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, [online] 67(1), 47-55. http://dx.doi.org/10.5344/ajev.2015.15015

    2016 - View publication details

  18. Forge, T.A., Neilsen, D., Neilsen, G.H., Hannam, K.D., Randall, P., and Wambold, L. (2015). "Water-conserving mulch and micro-irrigation practices affect assemblages of nematodes parasitizing wine grape in the Okanagan Valley.", Canadian Phytopathological Society BC. Regional Meetings, Abbotsford, BC, Canada, October 21, 2015. (Presentation)

    2015 - View publication details

  19. Hannam, K.D., Neilsen, G.H., Neilsen, D., Bowen, P. (2015). Cluster thinning as a tool to hasten ripening of wine grapes in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, [online] 95(1), 103-113. http://dx.doi.org/10.4141/CJPS2013-397

    2015 - View publication details

  20. Hannam, K.D., Neilsen, G.H., Neilsen, D., Forge, T.A., Jones, M.J., Nichol, C.F., and Fentabil, M. (2014). "Soil nutrient dynamics and yield in a young Merlot grape (Vitis vinifera L.) vineyard; implications of irrigation and soil amendment practices.", ASA, CSSA and SSSA International Annual Meeting 2014, Long Beach, CA, USA, November 2-5, 2014, Number 139-8. (Abstract)

    2014 - View publication details

Research facility

4200 Highway #97
Summerland, BC V0H 1Z0
Canada

Affiliations

  • Member, Canadian Society of Soil Science (CSSS)
  • Member, Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), American Society of Agronomy (ASA) & Crop Science Society of America (CSSA)
  • Adjunct, University of British Columbia - Okanagan

Language

English