Fisheries and Land Resources

Forestry and Agrifoods

Central Newfoundland Subregions

Central Newfoundland has the most continental climate of any part of insular Newfoundland. It has the highest summer temperatures and lowest winter temperatures. However, night frost can occur in any summer month. Due to the warm summer and high evapo-transpiration losses, soils in the northern part of this ecoregion display soil moisture deficiency.

The Hylocomium-Balsam Fir forest type occupies the zonal soils of this area. These soils are generally lighter in colour and have lower organic matter content compared to other ecoregions. Forest fires have played a more important role in the natural history of this region relative to other ecoregions. Much of the Balsam Fir-Feathermoss forest types have been converted to Black Spruce and some of the richer site types to hardwood forests dominated by White Birch and Aspen. Although Aspen occurs in other regions, it is most abundant and vigorous in Central Newfoundland. Yellow Birch is absent from this region primarily because of the short frost-free period. Alders rather than Mountain Maple are the most common problem on wet seepage slopes.

A. Northcentral Subregion

The Northcentral Subregion has higher summer maximum temperatures, lower rainfall and higher fire frequency than anywhere else in Newfoundland. The subregion extends from Clarenville in the east to Deer Lake in the west and for the most part has a rolling topography below 200m. Pure Black Spruce forests and Aspen stands dominate this area because of the prevalence of fire in the natural history of the subregion. Also, the high summer temperatures are thought to stimulate Aspen root suckering and contribute to the local success of Aspen (Damman 1983). Relatively low moisture, coarse soils and the prevalence of Black Spruce cover types make this subregion particularly susceptible to regeneration failure. Furthermore, where tree regeneration is lacking, succession to dwarf shrub heath dominated by Kalmia angustifolia occurs on the nutrient-poor coarse textured till that is prevalent through much of this area.

The rolling to undulating topography is characterized by shallow, medium quality till with a soil texture range from sandy loam to loam. Midslopes are dominated by the Hylocomium-Balsam Fir type, or the Black Spruce-Feathermoss type on seepage gleysols after fire. There are also local areas covered by poor sandy till over galcio-fluvial deposits and outwash deposits along some of the major river systems such as the Terra Nova, Exploits and Indian River. It is in these landtypes that succession of productive Black Spruce forest types to ericaceous heath dominated by Kalmia angustifolia is most prevalent.

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B. Red Indian Lake Subregion

This subregion is cooler than subregion A with more precipitation and a shorter growing season. Balsam Fir cover types predominate and White Birch rather than Black Spruce is most prominent in the landscape.

Much of the topography of this subregion is similar to subregion A, however there are some local areas of deeper, nutrient rich till. The southern slopes of Red Indian Lake to Noel Paul and Harpoon River systems provide good examples of this richer landtype. The Rubus-Balsam Fir and Dryopteris-Lycopodium-Balsam Fir types dominate the landtype. The soils have a texture ranging from silt loam to loam usually with a fragipan that promotes seepage in the rooting zone. These are by far the most productive forest types in Central Newfoundland. However, succcession to Alder thickets after cutting and fire is a serious silvicultural problem.

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C. Portage Pond Subregion

This subregion is characterized by rugged topography including the Annieopsquotch Mountains. Balsam Fir is the dominant tree on upland sites. However, there are a number of very productive Black Spruce fire stands in this subregion.

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D. Twillick Steady

This subregion occurs immediately to the north of the Bay d'Espoir Subregion of the Western Newfoundland Ecoregion. Trembling Aspen is absent from this area and Balsam Fir is the most common upland cover type.

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