Aerial extent of Grasslands

Elk Island National Park

Elk Island National Park consists of various forest and grassland cover types that each contain their own unique species of flora and fauna. By monitoring the changes in forest cover over time, park staff can determine the composition and location of plant communities throughout the park. Remote sensing data, images and data collected using satellites and planes, is used to study the variety of forest types covering the park.

Park Ecologists look at three factors when monitoring forest communities:

Extent: How much forest is there? For example, does the forest cover 10 hectares or 100 hectares?

Distribution: Where are the forests and how are they spread throughout the park? For example, are all of the trees in one big stand or in many small stands?

Community: What kinds of trees make up the different forest stands? For example, are the stands mostly spruce trees or trembling aspen?

Park staff also monitor the health of forests and wetlands using similar techniques.

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