Bednesti Lake ER #86 Overview, Biological and Physical
To preserve representative wetland communities and disjunct tamarack stands on the Interior Plateau.
Physical: This rectangular reserve, located on a nearly level portion of the Interior Plateau, contains two small, bog-like lakes. These are connected by a small, meandering stream of imperceptible flow that drains northwestward into Cluculz Lake and the Nechako River. The climate, based on statistics for nearby Prince George (http://www.pacificclimate.org/docs/publications/PrinceGeorge.31Aug2009.pdf) for the 1961-1990 reference period, is characterized by 69 cm of precipitation per year (33% as snow) and mean daily January and July temperatures of -10oC and 15.3oC respectively. The area has warmed at a rate of 1.3 oC from 1918-2006 with nighttime temperatures warming much faster than daytime (PCIC 2009). Precipitation is showing a downward trend with more falling as rain.
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Biological: The lakes, about 12 ha in total area, are surrounded by a broad band of treeless wetland vegetation, beyond which are stands of coniferous forest. Wetland vegetation comprises about 15 ha of the reserve. Most of the wetland zone is made up of floating mats of sedge, particularly cordroot sedge, a species which in British Columbia is confined to the Sub-Boreal Spruce Zone. Some water sedge occurs at the outer margin of these sedge mats, which are slowly encroaching into the lakes. Communities dominated by buckbean and pondweeds occur as narrow bands in shallow waters adjacent to the more extensive sedge stands. Toward the forest margin, shrubs such as scrub birch become common in the sedge habitats.
Boggy forests dominated by tamarack, black spruce, or a mixture of the two occur in low sites near the sedge wetlands. Scrub birch and sphagnum moss are characteristic understory species. Black arboreal lichens are abundant on the larch trees. Typical upland forests contain a mixture of white and black spruce and lodgepole pine, and have ground cover characterized by lingonberry, bunchberry and mosses.
Both tamarack and cordroot sedge occur here as isolated populations well south of their more continuous subarctic ranges.
The fauna has not been inventoried but these wetlands provide excellent habitat for a variety of nesting and migrating waterfowl, and other aquatic wildlife such as beaver and muskrat.
birch, scrub (Betula nana)
buckbean (Menyanthes trifoliata)
bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea ssp. minus)
moss, peat (Sphagnum spp.)
pine, lodgepole (Pinus contorta var. latifolia)
pondweed (Potamogeton spp.)
sedge, cordroot (Carex chordorrhiza)
spruce, black (Picea mariana)
spruce, white (Picea glauca)
tamarack (Latrix laricina)
Beaver, American (Castor canadensis)
Moose (Alces americanus)
Muskrat, Common (Ondatra zibethicus)