Meridian Road ER #78 Overview, Biological and Physical
MERIDIAN ROAD (VANDERHOOF)
ORIGINAL PURPOSE :To retain a sample of mature Engelmann spruce – Subalpine fir forest representative of uplands within the Nechako Plateau
Date established: 15 Dec. 1977
Location: 40 km S of Vanderhoof 53º39’N 124º01’W
Land: 262 ha
Elevation: 1,190-1,240 m
Access: Access via rough logging roads from Vanderhoof. One such road, the Meridian Road, marks the northeast boundary of the reserve.
Biogeoclimatic Zones: Engelmann Spruce- Subalpine Fir (ESSF); Sub-boreal Spruce (SBS)
Biogeoclimatic Variants: ESSF mv1 Nechako Moist Very Cold; SBS mc2 Babine Moist Cold
Ecosection: Nazko Upland
Management Area: Nechako
Physical: Located at the eastern edge of the Nulki Hills, a rolling upland within the Nechako
Plateau, this reserve has little topographic variation. Surface slope, almost
imperceptible, is to the east. Meandering unnamed streams which flow across the
reserve have formed shallow valleys. These drain into the Chilako River. Except in
a few sedge meadows and bogs, soils are predominantly Podzols, developed on
Biological: This reserve is almost entirely covered with dense stands of mature conifers;
boggy sites, mostly in the northern corner, comprise less than five percent of its
total area. The forest communities are characteristic of lower elevations in the
Engelmann Spruce-Subalpine Fir Zone, near its contact with the Sub-Boreal
Spruce Zone. Three species of spruce (Engelmann; white; black) as well as spruce
hybrids are present, and one or more species is prominent in all of the four
communities that have been described here. Subalpine fir and lodgepole pine also
Stands of predominantly Engelmann and white spruce, with an understory
dominated by white rhododendron, five-leaved bramble, and moss cover extensive
areas. Two upland communities contain mixed stands of spruce and Subalpine fir.
One of these is characterized by false azalea, black huckleberry, five-leaved
bramble and mosses, the other by sweet colt’s-foot, oak fern, and moss. Black
spruce-lodgepole pine bogs occupy small areas, and have an understory in which
Labrador tea, sphagnum and other moisture-loving mosses, and cup lichens are
prominent. Sedge meadows are also evident on aerial photos.
The fauna has not been surveyed, but is expected to be fairly limited due to lack of
habitat diversity. This is excellent habitat, however, for those species adapted to
mature coniferous forests.
SIGNIFICANT SPECIES None listed
Climate Change: Already evident within this reserve is the increase in levels of disturbance caused by the Mountain Pine Beetle infestations.
Another disturbance that may result from climate change is wildfire, due to excessive fuel loads accumulated from beetle killed pine.
Forest health: Disturbance by Mountain Pine Beetle.
Transportation: Altered hydrology within reserve may be due to adjacent industrial
A survey of fauna, and assessment of the health of lodgepole pine since the MPB epidemic would be beneficial.
SCIENTIFIC NAMES OF SPECIES MENTIONED IN THE MERIDIAN ROAD
(VANDERHOOF) ER ACCOUNT
azalea, false (Menziesia ferruginea ssp. ferruginea)
bramble, five-leaved (Rubus pedatus)
colt’s-foot, sweet (Petasites frigidus)
fern, oak (Gymnocarpium spp.)
fir, subalpine (Abies lasiocarpa var. lasiocarpa)
huckleberry, black (Vaccinium membranaceum)
Labrador tea (Ledum groenlandicum)
lichen (Cladonia sp.)
moss, peat (Sphagnum spp.)
pine, lodgepole (Pinus contorta var. latifolia)
rhododendron, white-flowered (Rhododendron albiflorum)
spruce, black (Picea mariana)
spruce, Engelmann (Picea engelmannii)
spruce, hybrid white (Picea glauca x engelmannii)
spruce, white (Picea glauca)
Beetle, Mountain Pine (Dentroctonus ponderosae)