Great Canadian Parks / Québec

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The Parks / Québec / La Mauricie National Park



 

La Mauricie's dense forest cover is composed of no fewer than 30 species of trees covering 93% of the park's area. The park is in a transition zone at the northern edge of Quebec's large broad-leaved forests, which in the north end of the park gives way to boreal forest. In the richest soil environment, the southern sugar maple, yellow birch and beech trees do well; pine, balsam fir and red spruce manage best in the damp valleys and hilly slopes.

 

One of the oldest and largest white spruce plantations in Canada, planted by a pulp and paper company between 1930 and 1932 using what was then farmland, is now managed by the park. In the Esker Bog, where the peat is about 7 metres thick, a black spruce and tamarack forest has taken hold. Protection and increase of the remaining white pine has become a conservation concern. One method of improving its condition is to initiate a controlled burn of the existing white pine areas, which will re-seed if the understory of competing balsam fir has been burned off. Balsam fir, which is threatening to overrun the white pine, does not successfully regenerate itself after a fire. The 440 species of plants include some 70 species of particular interest as rare or uncommon plants found mostly on rocky cliffs and swampy areas. Undergrowth in the forests is a blend of mosses and lichens.

 

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