Great Canadian Parks / Newfoundland

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The Parks / Newfoundland & Labrador / Terra Nova National Park



 


 

 

The park's boreal forest supports only the type of tree that can grow in thin soil, at low temperatures, with a very short summer. Dominated by black spruce and balsam fir, the wooded areas in more sheltered valleys display stands of poplar, alder and red maple. Much of the forest was logged before the park was established. In the boreal forest, fire is the most important factor controlling vegetation, since black spruce forests rely on fire for renewal. Fire reduces dead wood to mineral-rich ash, releasing nutrients for new plants and removing thick branches to allow the sun to reach new growth, both of which result in natural plant diversity. The park works to suppress any threatening fires while using a system of controlled fires to create new forests and more open wooded habitats. Bogs thickly matted with wet sphagnum moss spread out in every direction. Shrubs such as bog laurel, leatherleaf, pitcher plants with deep crimson flowers, Labrador tea and sundews sprout from the many varieties of moss that thrive in the humid environment. As the forests and bogs give way to barrens, caribou lichen, low-growing spruce and berry shrubs cling to the inhospitable rock.

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