Fisheries and Land Resources

Forestry and Agrifoods

Avalon Forest


This ecoregion represents a sheltered outlier within the more open and exposed Maritime Barrens Ecoregion. Pure stands of Balsam Fir with a significant mixture of White Birch and Yellow Birch dominate this region. Trembling Aspen is rare and Black Spruce is only abundant on wet site types. The Avalon Forest Ecoregion has been spared the ravages of fire that decimated forests in the surrounding landscape, converting it to open heathland. The excessively moist climate and ribbed moraine topography give this small (500 km2) ecoregion its uniqueness. The excessive fog frequency is clearly expressed by the abundance of pendant lichens hanging from the branches of Balsam Fir. Aspect appears to be an important factor controlling forest composition and growth (Delaney and Cahill 1978). North facing slopes are dominated by the Dryopteris-Balsam Fir type whereas south slopes have Clintonia-Balsam Fir and Nemopanthus-Kalmia-Black Spruce with Taxus canadensis abundant. Gleyed Ferro-Humic Podzols with loam to silt-loam texture dominate in the land-type. Silviculturally, these sites are difficult to manage because of the considerable difference in ecological conditions over a very small area. Understocked sites (which are generally rare) have an ericaceous heath vegetation on slope summits with birch and raspberry on the slopes. Also, these forests are subject to considerable climatic stress from wind and large clearcuts should be discouraged. The low abundance of Black Spruce in these forests suggests they would be prone to softwood regeneration failure after fire.


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