Posts Tagged ‘macmillan provincial park’

Bigleaf Maple in Macmillan Provincial Park

Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) along the riverbed of the Cameron River at Macmillan Provincial Park in Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada

bigleaf maple near cameron river in macmillan provincial park

Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) along the Cameron River (Purchase)

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    The Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) in this photograph (left) is a good example of an ecological “edge effect”. In ecology the edge effect refers to the phenomenon that species (and diversity) you would normally see within an area change along the boundary with a different area. This can be the edge of a trail or road, a clear cut, grassland/forest transitions and in this case, the edge of the Cameron River in Macmillan Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. In this particular type of forest, you’ll get Bigleaf Maples, Vine Maples, Red Alder (successional species) and a number of other tree species growing on a newly formed or existing edge. Just inside the edge the majority of the trees are conifers such as Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir. This was one of the better specimens of mature Bigleaf Maple in Macmillan Provincial Park that I found. The tree on the right hand side of the image is a Red Alder (Alnus rubra) and is also a frequent edge resident.

You can see more of my photos of this area in my Vancouver Island Gallery.

Cathedral Grove Fallen Trees

Fallen trees at Cathedral Grove in Macmillan Provincial Park near Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada

fallen trees in cathedral grove at macmillan provincial park near port alberni, british columbia

Cathedral Grove Rainforest (Purchase)

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   Macmillan Provincial Park lies to the east of Port Alberni on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island. This photo was made in the Cathedral Grove area of the park, and a shows two fallen, large trees (windstorm casualties) along the trail. While there are many large trees there, it was a challenge to show any of the larger ones in the context of their natural environment (this photo does not fulfill that challenge, obviously). First it is often difficult to give a sense of scale with trees, especially those not surrounded by recognizable foreground elements (or people hugging the trunk). Second, many of the larger trees were rather highly visited by the tourists in the area and were not longer really sitting in a natural setting.

   That said, Cathedral Grove is a great place to stop and stretch your legs (or photograph for 2 hours like I did). It is not the best example of an “old growth” forest that many purport it to be, however. Still, this park receives a lot of visitors each year, indicating that at least some people do have some manner of interest in this kind of nature. Even though this is a bit of a pseudo forest in a way, high interest from the public is a good thing. Genuine old growth forest would likely cease to be as diverse as it should be upon becoming a highly visited tourist destination, so with Cathedral Grove I think a decent balance is found.