Sensitive Ecosystems on Cortes Island

 Sensitive Ecosystems on Cortes Island

Woodland, riparian, wetland, freshwater/lake, intertidal, herbaceous, old forest: all of these types of sensitive ecosystems are found on Cortes Island. Sensitive ecosystems are considered ecologically significant and, at one time, expanded a much larger area of space. These ecosystems are rare, fragile, and/or at risk due to human influences on the landscape.

Sensitive ecosystems are inherently rich in biodiversity and provide habitat for both plant and animal species at risk. The more biodiverse an ecosystem is, the more resilient it is to stress and changes. This is very important to maintain the integrity of these islands!

We are grateful to Discovery Islands Ecosystem Mapping (DIEM) project for their hard work, their research, and information on these ecosystems in the Discovery Islands! Each of these photos is of an ecosystem found on Cortes Island and each of these photos will link you to the DIEM website. There you will find more of their work, including their mapping of these ecosystems, showcasing where these ecosystems are found on the Discovery Islands! Check them out!

 

 

 

 

Woodland ecosystems (e.g. Green Mountain) are dry and open mixed forest ecosystems that occur on rocky outcrops. They quickly drain and have shallow and nutrient-poor soils. Read more...

Riparian ecosystems (e.g. Basil Creek) occur along flowing freshwater, and around the still waters of lakes and ponds and wetlands. Usually narrow and linear. Read more…

 

Wetland ecosystems (e.g. Hague Lake, wetland) are characterized by flooding and poor drainage. Water depth fluctuates – generally less than 2 metres. Wet soils and moisture dependent plants. Read more…   

Freshwater ecosystems (e.g. Gunflint Lake) are open water bodies with water depths greater than 2 metres and little to no floating vegetation.  Read more…

Intertidal ecosystems (e.g. Sutil Point Reef) vary from rocky beaches to open mudflats. They are exposed as the tide ebbs; usually twice every 24 hours. Read more …   

Old forest ecosystems (e.g. Kwas Park) consist of trees of all ages and stages: massive living old trees, young trees in a well-developed understory, large dead trees, etc. (picture to come). Read more …

Herbaceous ecosystems (e.g. Easter Bluff) are areas of coarse shallow soils and bedrock found on exposed hilltops and headlands. There, you can find mossy outcrops in forest openings, etc. (picture to come).  Read more …
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