Skip To Content

Black Birch Lake

View Larger Map


Division No. 18, Unorganized SK

Potential productivity of black bear habitat of the AOSERP study area

Author(s): Young, B. F.

Year: 1978

Potential black bear (Ursus americanus) production was determined for the Alberta Oil Sands Environmental Research Program (AOSERP) study area using information obtained by radio-telemetry on forest cover use by bears during the two years of study at Cold Lake, Alberta. Expected densities for each of five forest over classes were calculated using the Cold Lake data. The areas of individual townships comprised by each of the cover classes were determined and multiplied by the expected bear density of each class to provide a population estimate for each township. The crude average bear density for the AOSERP study area, including water areas, was 0.18 per km2 assuming total avoidance of muskeg areas and 0.25 per km2 assuming use of muskeg. The potential entire population estimate was calculated as 5188 and 7431 bears using the two methods. The most productive bear habitat was located along the eastern and southern edges of the Birch Mountains and in the Gregoire Lake area. The poorest potential was in the Thickwood Hills and in the northeastern corner of the study area. Although final population estimates may be biased, township population estimates should provide at least a valid index for identifying important areas of black bear habitat.

Synecology and autecology of boreal forest vegetation in the Alberta Oil Sands Environmental Research Program study area

Author(s): Eulert, G. K., & Hernandez H.

Year: 1980

A review of the literature pertaining to the forest ecology of the Alberta Oil Sands Environmental Research Program (AOSERP) study area was completed. Because of the complex nature of the vegetation pattern, the dynamic interactions of overstory species, and the relation of understory species to the nature and type of the canopy, the stands are discussed on the basis of relatively pure overstory species dominance. Dominant species examined were: aspen, jack pine, balsam poplar, paper birch, white spruce, black spruce, tamarack and balsam fir. The ecological factors discussed for each of these and 12 other understory species include soil and moisture requirements, reproduction, establishment, growth, successional roles, sensitivity to pollutants, and the nature of associated species. Fire is the major disturbance factor of the boreal forest. Aspects of fire discussed are: the nature, causes, incidence and extent of fire; its influence on soil heat balance, soil pH, and nutrient availability; and the general effect on the vegetation mosaic. General dynamics of vegetation are discussed and summarized for muskegs and related wetlands, river and lake shores, uplands, lowlands and the understory. The literature relating to North American concepts of communities, climax and succession is summarized to clarify usage of these terms and to illustrate the diversity of views that exist. Five approaches to studying and classifying vegetation are discussed: (1) physiognomic classification; (2) the ordination (continuum) view of vegetation; (3) floristic classification; (4) the North American approach based on physiognomy and dominance, and (5) biophysical land classification. For each approach, a general description of its characteristics, data requirements, advantages, disadvantages and applications are discussed. The report concludes with a discussion of data gaps and recommends studies needed to fulfill AOSERP objectives.