Hi, I'm Mr. Coppelli. Follow me to Nova Scotia as I participate in research studying mammals!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Kejimkujik National Park

Hi Peoples!
So we went to the Kejimkujik National park today (The work "Kejimkujik" is a Mi'maq tribal name). It's about a 2 hour drive from our cottage by the ocean in the interior of Nova Scotia.

Our primary objective was to observe the old growth Hemlock forest. In nearly all of Nova Scotia the old growth forest was cut down by man (either the natives but mostly European settlers during the 18th and 19th century). The old growth Hemlock trees provide a different ecosystem than the "new" growth trees. For one, the old growth hemlock trees are taller, and have an expansive canopy system. This makes the forest floor dark, and hence smaller brush does not growth there. Most of the area as you walk around is open space except for the large trunks of these magnificent trees.
Check out the picture below. You'll see a wooden walkway on there that the park service has built. These trees have shallow and sensitive root systems so they don't want people tramping all over them.
Contrast this picture of these beautiful hemlocks with some "new" growth forest comprised of birch, spruce, pine and aspen.

Question: Why is there a higher density of plant growth in new growth forests compared to old growth forest? Think of your answer in terms of sunlight and canopy.

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