Grand Lake Meadows
 


 

 

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Home > What : Forests
 
Knarled maple, courtesy of Richard Goodick
Knarled maple, courtesy of Richard Goodick
Maples, courtesy of Duncan Campbell
Maples, courtesy of Duncan Campbell
Raccoon hiding in an old maple, courtesy of Keith McKenzie
Raccoon hiding in an old maple, courtesy of Keith McKenzie
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Forests
 
Approximately 27 % of the Grand Lake Meadows area is described as forested land (Roberts, 1992). Much of this floodplain forest is classed as wetland based, primarily on the species of vegetation that are present, soil characteristics and hydrology and drainage patterns.
 
These forested wetlands are dominated by Silver Maple in the over story, along with Green Ash and American Elm. The shrub layer is primarily Speckled Alder, Black Holly, and Green Ash and Silver Maple saplings. The main plant species on floor of these forests are Sensitive Fern and Ostrich Fern.
 
On slightly higher ground, with better drainage and dryer soils, the forest is no longer classed as a wetland even though many of the same plant species are present. Here, along with Silver Maple and Green Ash, American Elm is more abundant and other tree species such as Red Oak, Red Maple, Butternut and Yellow Birch are present.
 
Extensive Silver Maple forest stands are restricted primarily to floodplain habitats and those along the St. John River represent much of this forest type in New Brunswick. These floodplain forests probably support the greatest diversity of wildlife species per unit area of any of the habitat types found in the Meadows.
 
For example, the mature maples in addition to some butternut and bur oak which are adapted to high and frequent flooding, provide valuable habitat for tree-nesting waterfowl, for other birds and for many small mammals. The floodplain forest has been harvested for generations, primarily by local landowners for fuel wood and more recently for hardwood pulp and commercial fuel wood production. It is critical to the wildlife populations of the Grand Lake Meadows that these floodplain forests be conserved.