Forums Forums Help/Rules Help Edit Profile My Profile Member List Register  
Search Last 1 | 3 | 7 Days Search Search  
Ottertooth Forums * Temagami environment * Temagami forest info? < Previous Next >

Author Message
 Link to this message

frozentripper
Member

Post Number: 1
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Monday, December 13, 2010 - 10:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi all, I've been lurking here for years and have always found this place valuable... disconnecting my Romulan cloaking device for a forest-related question.

Does anybody know of any material, online or in print that describes Temagami forests? I'm not looking for political material (ie. save Temagami old growth, or save the Temagami logging industry)... more along the lines of objective and unbiased science-based material and descriptions.

Nuther question... how abundant is sugar maple generally thoughout the Temagami district? Sugar maples are present to some degree in some stands while the lake and river shores will often be dominated by conifers - pines, fir, cedar and spruces.

Thanks.
 Link to this message

canoedog
Member

Post Number: 37
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Monday, December 13, 2010 - 11:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

some info here - http://www.ancientforest.org/
 Link to this message

ed
Moderator

Post Number: 909
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Monday, December 13, 2010 - 1:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I notice that someone on CCR posted the link to the FMP. You might find info in there relating to tree stands. Not sure about Sugar Maple, since it is not usually cut much for lumber in the area. But there are some stands and there is some history of native use of the trees for sugar/ syrup uses.
 Link to this message

curly
Member

Post Number: 235
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Monday, December 13, 2010 - 2:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

If I was looking for what I think you're looking for, I'd be reading the text of the FMP. Post here if you want more info on how to sort your way through that. I know more about FMPs than any sane person should.
 Link to this message

frozentripper
Member

Post Number: 2
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - 9:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks for providing those leads... I'd read an earlier FMP and really can't remember now, how they describe the Temagami forests generally. I'll give the newer plan a read.

The Ancient Forests website, I've been reading for some time now... I went through the publications section earlier on and couldn't find any bigger-picture description of Temagami forests, with much of the forest info dealing with old growth pines. There were some references given that could be worth looking into (especially Day's reports to MNR twenty years ago).

The interest in all this comes from some reading I had been doing on Ontario forest succession and what is a climax forest for any region in the bigger scheme of things... in boreal regions, spruce and fir are typically climax upland forests, while further south, it's hemlock and/or sugar maple and beech. All are strongly shade-tolerant and this makes them climax since nothing else can compete under an existing forest canopy.

So why do Temagami old-growth pine stands persist for such a long time and are they climax? Some say that Temagami pine forests are outliers of more southerly mixed forest communities extending north into the boreal and there are no shade-tolerant sugar maples in the area (or too few) to colonize under shaded pine canopies.

Pines are relatively shade-intolerant species and cannot compete with young sugar maples in partially shaded areas. Without sugar maples, pine forests may be closer to climax in Temagami, than they would be throughout most of their range... and so they persist longer (possibly making Temagami old-growth pines a special case because they're at the northern limit of their range).

Others say that Temagami pines are fire-dependant, like they are everywhere else, and more shade-tolerant spruces and firs would become established under the canopy shade in the absence of fire (which kills off spruces and firs more quickly than pines). Fire interval in central Ontario may be as low as 25 years in dry areas under natural conditions, and since pines are fire-resistant, it's fire that may have kept the Temagami landscape dominated by pines.

Others have said that fire interval may be as short as several years, if historic native activity resulted in forest fires being started intentionally or by accident. It's known that natives started fires intentionally in southern Ontario in order to provide for more food and wildlife production. With it's long history of canoe travel, it's possible that Temagami pine forests may have been burned often this way, favoring fire-resistant pines.

Logging and fire suppression is changing Temagami's forests over the long term and some reports suggest sugar maples are becoming more abundant. Sugar maple seedlings have enough energy for their roots to penetrate a heavy layer of deciduous leaves on the forest floor, while pines and yellow birch cannot, possibly creating problems with regeneration. Fire suppression favors sugar maples.

None of this has much to do with canoe tripping except to get insight when seeing these forest areas and imagining them going through their long-term processes in the landscape. If anybody has anything to add along these lines, it's food for thought and discussion... sure helps with getting through this cold weather.
 Link to this message

curly
Member

Post Number: 237
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - 3:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Local natives did use fire to manage the forest, particularly to encourage blueberry crops.

What species is climax is a controversial subject. Modern foresters like to downplay the extent of old growth pine in the historic landscape. However, oral history of the Natives palynology, and the written accounts of early surveyors indicates that it was once much more widespread than currently. I'm not sure the FMP will shed light on the state of the historic forest. If you do go to the FMP, download the "Text" and read section 2.2.2 Historic Forest.

Given the end-range nature of pine here, it is probably accurate that in some micro-locales, Pw and Pr is climax, and in others (possibly very close by) sugar maple is climax. Best to think of it all as a mosaic, with fire playing a key role.

You might also like to read Hodgins and Benedickson's "The Temagami Experience", especially the first half. It deals with the province's original intent for the Temagami Forest Reserve as a sustained yield pinery, and why that policy quickly failed due to local economic pressures.

(Message edited by curly on December 14, 2010)
 Link to this message

alscool
Moderator

Post Number: 277
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 8:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

A another place to check for historical tree information is through the original lot and concession surveys of organized townships. I have original surveys for Townships around Lanark from 1822 that describe the trees and meadows that were found on the transect lines.
I understand that MNR has evaluated this information to come up with a picture of the forests of Ontario, pre-settlement.

I am not sure of how many of the Twp. in the Temagami region are 'organized' but I imagine around the village, Martin River and other places are. Surveys are warehoused with the Surveyor General at the MNR offices in Peterborough.
 Link to this message

frozentripper
Member

Post Number: 3
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 10:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Sure would be interesting to see pre-settlement forest descriptions. I drive through Peterborough from time to time, I'll phone to see if there is anything done with the Temagami surveyor's notes.
 Link to this message

frozentripper
Member

Post Number: 4
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 10:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

"If you do go to the FMP, download the "Text" and read section 2.2.2 Historic Forest."

Thanks for pointing that out... I'll be reading through the FMP the next several days.
 Link to this message

curly
Member

Post Number: 238
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2010 - 8:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

You can read original surveyor's notes for Temagami. but the surveys were not "township based" but rather long rambling canoe trips. Ideal summer job! Search for Gray 1900 or Bell 1875 with the Geological Survey of Canada on Google Books. But the twps aren't surveyed the way alscool suggests.
 Link to this message

frozentripper
Member

Post Number: 5
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2010 - 10:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

It's OK, the surveyor's notes info is summarized in a graph in the Historic Forest section along with the FMP text... this was a real surprise for me and well worth reading.

I hadn't expected such a strong component of boreal species in the Temagami forest. Black spruce, spruce (white?), jack pine and balsam fir made up almost half, 49% of the species composition. Spruce and fir are climax species in the pure boreal forests further north.

The text states that Temagami lies within the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Forest Region, which is the transition zone forest type between boreal to the north and deciduous to the south. The hardwoods that are common in southerly deciduous forests - sugar maple, black ash, yellow birch, cherry, and red oak - form a very small proportion of the total, only about 1.5 %.

Red and white pines add up to about 15% of the total and these are the species most responsible for adding the southerly component to Temagami.

Jack pine, poplar and white birch, disturbance-related species which often form pioneering first-growth stands after fires or blowdowns, formed 38% of the total, indicating that fires and storms must have been common, affecting large areas of the landscape. The text does state that fire was a major force in shaping historical forest composition.

Very interesting reading! More to come on the weekend.
 Link to this message

ed
Moderator

Post Number: 910
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2010 - 2:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

You will not find any Hemlock,in Temagami either. This species is very prevalent in and around the Haliburton /Minden area as is Red Oak.
 Link to this message

frozentripper
Member

Post Number: 6
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 9:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Ed, I've heard about the Haliburton hemlocks... IIRC, the stands at Clear Lake were extensive enough to form a conservation reserve for and have been studied for their characteristics. White pine forests are probably the most intensively studied of all in Ontario, but plenty has been written about hemlocks as well, including regeneration problems (ground fires may have been needed to burn off leaf litter in sugar maple forests so that hemlock seeds could contact mineral soil to become established).

For some reason I haven't seen pure stands of hemlock here in the Bancroft area. Red oaks are common in some of the dry areas, like hilltops... they're often associated with pines.

Interesting thing about pines... although they're said to be dry soil trees, like red oaks, they'll grow in almost all soils ranging from wet to dry. I've seen large pines on a portage where the soil was so wet that each footprint left a puddle of water. There were red pine seedlings growing on hummocks in a wet sedge meadow with standing water on one lake.

Those won't make it to tree size, but in other areas the wetter spots will produce some of the largest pines. Some of the most spectacular white pine stands probably grew in places where there was plenty of water, and these were logged off first because in winter, the level ground allowed easy access to machinery. The high quality pines would have produced the best profits.

 Link to this message

ed
Moderator

Post Number: 911
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 12:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Some of the largest pines I have seen are in Temagami, in somewhat out of the way places that were missed by the loggers. Always on portages where there are significant hills to either climb up or down. Pinetorch CR has a few of these monsters.One is on the portage going from Wakimika into Hortense Lake.
Another is on the portage going from Nichol into Isbister. These trees were too inaccessible to be cut and have survived for a few hundred or more years.
One of the biggest Pines I have ever seen is in Bonnechere PP on the beach. This is a bit south and east of Algonquin, and someone must have been protecting it before the area became a Park.

Curly did not mention the new book by Peter Quinby and Michael Henry " Ontario's Old Growth Forests"ISBN 978-1-55041-508-3 ( circa 2010) Not sure if it has made it into libraries just yet, but it attempts to cover most, if not all old growth stands in the Province.
 Link to this message

frozentripper
Member

Post Number: 7
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - 8:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

A little more to add to this thread... in Martin & Martin's "Biotic Forest Communities of Ontario", 4th edition, 2009, there's a table summarizing upland forest types and succession, ranging from northern tundra, to southern deciduous... for boreal forest, the climax trees are spruce and fir "with white pine in parts of the south".

This is the only indication in the book that white pines may form climax forests at the northern limit of their range (in the southernmost boreal forests)... no references are given. The author has been studying Ontario forests for fifty years and has a PhD in ecology.

If it's true, old growth white pine forests at northern locations like Temagami, the Spanish river, and Algoma may be capable of persisting for long periods of time without being dependent on disturbance for pine regeneration every several hundred years. Disturbances like forest fires, windthrow, insect infestations and logging will be necessary further south to maintain white pine stands in the landscape, otherwise more shade tolerant sugar maples will move in and replace the pines. Sugar maple isn't a dominant species in Temagami, so that may be partially responsible for white pines forming climax forests.



Another interesting comment from this book on size and growth of pine trees:


"White pines, like most Ontario upland trees, attain maximum growth on deep, rich loam of mesic moisture... Competition on mesic sites, however, especially from shade tolerant deciduous species, often tends to restrict white pine to less favourable sites, where it may be more plentiful but of smaller size."


This goes back to my earlier comment that the largest pines may be present where there's enough water to allow them to grow to a large size. At the Egan Chutes conservation reserve on the York river here near Bancroft, there are large pines with stems that must be three feet or more in diameter (I've never actually measured them to see how they compare to pines found elsewhere).

The largest pines are mostly found in bottomland near the river where there's plenty of water. Further away and higher up in sandy soil, the average size is smaller, and on the dry sites like clifftops, the pines tend to be small with stems less than a foot in diameter.

This area was logged off in the late 1800s, so I don't think the large pines are very old... still, there's no sure way of knowing except to count tree rings. The large pines may simply be getting plenty of water and that results in fast growth and a large tree.
 Link to this message

grncnu
Member

Post Number: 23
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2010 - 12:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

i haven't done any measuring but the "isthmus" of temagami island- the narrow midsection where ther's a portage- is an interesting and extremely accessible spot with a mixed old growth of w. pine, r. pine, w. spruce and b. spruce all growing to massive size within a few hundred yards either side of the portage. (i should add i haven't been there in almost 20 years, i assume it hasn't changed.)
i second the recommendation of "the temagami experience".
possibly the whole notion of a "climax forest" with its dominant species, etc. will eventually come to be viewed as slightly quaint, as you can't really generalize too much about these things. conditions are much too specific in the natural world, with "rich bottomlands" standing a few meters away from "dry uplands"... in short each species has its own "climax forest" here and there, and for a limited time...
 Link to this message

frozentripper
Member

Post Number: 8
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2010 - 11:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks for providing the info... I'll check that portage out next time out there. Somewhere on www.ancientforest.org is a map of the various islands on L. Temagami and old growth locations. The book is also on the reading list.

I agree that there is variability in forest composition on smaller scales from site to site. The forest will be a patchwork of pioneer species and later-stage successional species, depending on how recently disturbance (fire, wind, etc) has affected any particular site.

And soil moisture is the most significant variable affecting forest composition, so a wet site next to a dry one will have different species adapted to each (eg. tamarack, black spruce and cedar will be dominant in the wet sites and pines could dominate in dry upland sites).

Still, there will be areas in the patchwork of forests covering the landscape that escape disturbance for long periods of time. It's here that forest succession becomes the process that defines long-term climax and possibly old growth. The most shade-tolerant tree species will be climax and persist the longest since nothing else can compete in the shade they create for themselves.

In Temagami, the stable and persistant upland climax should be spruce and fir, or white pine (if it's true that white pine stands can maintain themselves for long periods of time without fires and other disturbances being necessary for regeneration). Bottomland climax should be black spruce and white cedar since those are most shade-tolerant where there's water at the soil surface.

It also depends on which school of thought and which forest scientists' models you're using to understand what's happening in the landscape... some stress the importance of individual site characteristics and processes on smaller scales, and others will interpret large-scale patterns in a general bigger-picture sense occuring in all of Ontario or eastern North America... all food for thought and that all helps to see the landscape more clearly.

PS... Ed mentioned earlier on that hemlock was absent in Temagami. In the FMP, Temagami forests are defined as Great Lakes - St. Lawrence... but, hemlock is the climax upland species in the GL-SL forest zone and since it is missing from Temagami, some have said that Temagami forest characteristics are mostly boreal, and could be generalized as boreal, with pine stands being outliers from the GL-SL forests further south.

Whether Temagami pines are climax in Temagami is a mystery to me and there are some reports on this at Peter Quinby's Ancient Forest website that I still haven't read.

If I'm wrong in any of the understanding here, please weigh in with the counter-evidence... it's going to be a long winter. It's all grist for the mill when planning out canoe trips and we'll get to see some of these forests on islands and on the portage.

(Message edited by frozentripper on December 30, 2010)
 Link to this message

curly
Member

Post Number: 239
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Friday, December 31, 2010 - 2:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I'd have to fish around for the exact reference, but I believe that Quinby's research, using palynology, showed that pine had been dominant in the Obabika Lake stand for quite some time. Search for anything on AFER with reference to the Obabika or Wakimika Triangle.
 Link to this message

grncnu
Member

Post Number: 25
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Sunday, January 2, 2011 - 1:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

to me the inclusion of the temagami forest in the "great lakes st. lawrence" forest region is not a particularily useful generalization. the character of the forest cover changes so much over the length and breadth of this vast area that it seems to me some more specific subdivisions are indicated.
whatever, as you say its a long winter and the canoe is hanging from the rafters in the gagage.
i'd say there is a kind of continuous gradient or "cline" that sort of goes from the carolinean forest in the south to the boreal forest. as you go vaguely north you lose the walnut, beech, hickory and white oak. further north you lose the hemlock as the gradient gradually changes from red oak/yellow birch/sugar maple to white pine/white spuce/balsam fir and eventually to black spruce/tamarack/white birch. (this is a gross generalization as obviously the more "northern" species occur in the southern forest)...
also i'd say the "temagami region" shows considerable change in character as you move (vaguely, as always) north- the makobe river and the montreal above elk lake exhibiting a very different aspect from the sturgeon at kelly's farm or the montreal at latchford.
whatever, as you say its a long winter and the canoe is hanging from the rafters in the garage.
 Link to this message

frozentripper
Member

Post Number: 9
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Sunday, January 2, 2011 - 1:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Another classification system is to define forests by biome type, which in the bigger picture are east-west bands that relate to climate as it affects vegetation.

There are three biome types in Ontario, going from north to south - tundra, boreal and deciduous. Between these three are transition zones, the tundra-boreal transition and the boreal-deciduous transition. The boundaries are ragged and uneven, with lots of variability in forest composition in each transition zone depending on site characteristics.

Temagami may be at the northern edge of the boreal-deciduous transition or it may be in the boreal, depending on what you use to define where the real boreal begins.

The old growth white pine forests are a dominant forest type, so some would say this places Temagami in the boreal-deciduous transition since white pines are southerly trees. Others say that no, the pines are an outlier from the south and the vegetation is mostly boreal in nature.

Canoeing through, one can recognize the forest type for what it is... some definite boreal characteristics here, and changing to more southerly characteristics there.

It's been said that with climate change, Temagami vegetation will become more southerly in nature with the biome bands shifting northward, so that may change the forest composition to include more sugar maple, hemlock, yellow birch along with other deciduous tree species.
 Link to this message

yossarrion
Member

Post Number: 5
Registered: 01-2011


Posted on Friday, February 4, 2011 - 5:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I haven't read this whole thread.. so I don't know if you got what you were looking for, but if not try this link; http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/stdprodconsume/groups/lr/@mnr/@forests/documents/document/243949.pdf

And with regards to sugar maple within the Temagami area, there's a very large stand of sugar maple with a little yellow birch thrown in between Friday and Cliff Lake. But aside from this, although sugar maple is fairly common in the Temagami area it's generally not found in really large stands like you find commonly in southern Ontario.
 Link to this message

frozentripper
Member
Post Number: 10
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Saturday, February 5, 2011 - 12:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks for providing the info... I'll read through this this weekend.

Regarding maples, something Curly and I had been discussing in emails was Peter Quinby's research... PQ showed that white pine stands can remain dominant in the Temagami landscape for long periods of time (as much as 700 years IIRC).

This may be because the Temagami pine stands are mostly competing with boreal mixed wood forests (a mix of poplar, birch and spruce) for dominance. This may be giving pines greater competitive advantage and capacity for regeneration than in southern Ontario.

Further south, there's much more sugar maple which is more shade-tolerant and these are more likely to grow in the shade of old pine stands, ending the dominance of pine sooner (maybe in 300 years, unless fire and other disturbance eliminates the maples and favors pine regeneration).

Protecting Temagami's old growth pine stands from logging may be a more critical need because of their greater persistance here... further south, pine stands are more likely to be replaced by maple sooner as forest succession goes on, eventually ending with hemlock, the most shade-tolerant of all (and hemlock is almost totally absent from Temagami).

Add Your Message Here
Post:
Bold text Italics Underline Insert a clipart image

Username: Posting Information:
Only registered users may post messages here. If you have cookies enabled, your username and password will automatically appear in the boxes. Register
Password:
Action:

Forums | Last Day | Last Week | Search | User List | Help/Rules Home