Great Canadian Parks / Ontario

Page 1 2 3 4 5 Quiz

The Parks / Ontario / Bruce Peninsula National Park







The Bruce has a uniquely diverse range of habitats from rugged cliffs to the dry alvars to the swampy wetlands. The broad-leafed forests on the peninsula are made up of mainly of sugar maple, beech, basswood, white oak, red oak, shag-bark hickory, black walnut and butternut. White pine, red pine and red oak dominate the forest along dry ridge tops. The Dorcas Bay Nature Reserve is a fragile ecosystem that begins with wet bogs that are home to some of the peninsula’s 43 species of orchid and insectivorous plants including pitcher plants, sundew and butterworts. Of the orchids the most amazing are the Calypso Lady's Slipper, the Dwarf Lake Iris, and the Alaskan Rein. About half the world's Dwarf Lake Iris, most of Canada’s Indian plantain and over 20 varieties of fern, including the rare Northern Holly Fern, are found on the peninsula. Beyond the fen, is sandy forest with stands of red and white pine and dense cedar bush interspersed with lichen-covered rocky knolls called alvars which may harbour mixed forest of cedar, spruce, birch and aspen. Alvars are flat open areas of limestone bedrock with little or no soil where primarily vascular plants, mosses and lichens create a unique habitat. Of the 54 vascular plants known to grow mostly on alvars, 17 are designated as provincially rare. In winter, alvars have little snow coverage but in spring, growth begins early as the rock warms quickly. In summer a prairie-type flora often gives the alvar a grassland appearance. Ferns and moss also grow in the cracks of rocks where small amounts of soil have collected. Most surprising are the dwarfed and twisted cedars that grow on ledges and out of cracks in sheer rock faces far from any soil. In 1988 a 511 year old cedar was discovered growing from one of these cliffs.


Page 1 2 3 4 5 Quiz