Great Canadian Parks / Ontario

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The Parks / Ontario / Pukaskwa National Park



 


 

Tamarack and jack pine, as well as some poplar and birch mix with the predominant white spruce, black spruce and balsam fir that survive the pervasive cool temperatures and thin soil of the Canadian Shield. In the sheltered depressions of rocky fault lines along the southern edge of the dense scrubby spruce forest, some white pine, red pine, sugar maple, black ash, eastern white cedar and a few more southern coniferous and deciduous species find deeper soil and protection from the damp frigid wind off the lake. Farther north, only open coniferous forest with lichen undergrowth survives and in some of the more exposed areas in the park, rare arctic-alpine plants cling to the thin soil and endure SuperiorŪs arctic chill. Bogs and fens support black spruce, Labrador tea, blueberries, bog rosemary and cloudberries which all do well in acidic soil. It is now well understood that the boreal forest depends on fire to ensure its health. The fire ecology program in the park uses fire on a controlled basis since fire suppression by park management has slowed the forestŪs regeneration, particularly in the case of the eastern white pine, which must compete with the hardier balsam fir.

 

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