Patsuk Creek Ecological Reserve #85 Overview, Physical and Biological
To protect excellent examples of paper birch forest and a rich assemblage of associated plants.
The reserve is situated on moderate to steep mountain slopes bordering Patsuk Creek, which flows from the Misinchinka Range into Parsnip Reach of Williston Lake via Six Mile Creek. Most of the reserve is south of the creek, with slope exposure to the northwest and west. Small, flat, alluvial sites occur along the fast -flowing stream which drops at a rate of about 20 m per km in this area.
See the full PDF here: Patsuk Creek ER 85
Stands of paper birch, not of widespread occurrence in the province, are an important feature here. These stands and smaller areas of aspen and lodgepole pine, in the Sub-Boreal Spruce Zone below about the 1075 m elevation, appear to have originated after a fire. Forest cover maps indicate the stands to be 85-105 years old in 2010
Birch forest dominates on the cool, moist, northwesterly exposed slopes above Patsuk Creek. In places birch is mixed with aspen or white spruce, which also attain good growth here. In typical birch forest, trembling aspen is sub-dominant, Douglas maple characterizes the shrub layer, and mosses are abundant on the ground. A few shrubby openings support an association of Douglas maple, red elderberry, ostrich fern, stinging nettle and moss, while alluvial flats along Patsuk
Creek have developed a balsam poplar , Drummond’s willow,soopolallie,lichen community. Aspen and lodgepole pine woods tend to occur at middle elevations on steep, dry, west -facing slopes. Scattered white spruce stands occur at middle elevations and just inside the southwest corner of the reserve.
In the Engelmann Spruce-Subalpine Fir Zone, which occupies about half of the reserve area, an Engelmann spruce-Subalpine fir-black huckleberry-bunchberry association is present.
One rare plant, the mountain bladder fern (Cystopteris montana), isknown to be associated with blue clay soils in the reserve.
The fauna has not been surveyed, but moose and bears are known to be common. Arctic grayling occur in Patsuk Creek.
aspen, trembling (Populus tremuloides)
birch, paper (Betula papyrifera)
bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
elderberry, red (Sambucus racemosa)
fern, mountain bladder (Cystopteris montana)
fern, ostrich (Matteuccia struthiopteris)
fir, subalpine (Abies lasiocarpa var.lasiocarpa)
huckleberry, black (Vaccinium membranaceum)
maple, Douglas (Acer glabrum var. glabrum)
nettle, stinging (Urtica dioica)
pine, lodgepole (Pinus contorta var.latifolia)
poplar, balsam (Populus balsamifera ssp. balsamifera)
soopolallie (Shepherdia canadensis)
spruce, Engelmann (Picea engelmannii)
spruce, white (Picea glauca)
willow, Drummond’s (Salix drummondiana)v
Grayling, Arctic (Thymallus arcticus)
Moose (Alces americanus)