Protecting and enhancing the natural values of Salt Spring Island and its surrounding waters


Rare Ecosystems

Rare Ecosystems2016-12-13T10:35:58+00:00

Rare Ecosystems of Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring is home to 34 rare ecosystems. A rare ecosystem is a designation given to a type of plant groupings. When certain plants grow close together, they foster different habitat for other rare species. Therefore these plant groupings are internationally recognized as special and worth protecting. This information booklet was put together by Ryan Batten for the Salt Spring Conservancy.

Photo by Ryan Batten

Grand Fir and Three-leaved Foamflower

Moist Coniferous Forest [Red-Listed] While more common on the northern Gulf Islands, grand fir and foamflower form a dominant community in shaded valley bottoms where the soils are rich and there is abundant moisture. Cedar, sword fern, western

Western Redcedar and Slough Sedge

Coniferous Swamp Forest [Blue-Listed] This striking sedge dominated association usually exists somewhere between a true wetland and a wet forest. The dense cover of slough sedge provides excellent habitat for a wide range of insects, snails

Western Redcedar and Sword Fern

Moist Coniferous Forest [Blue-Listed] Although neither cedar or sword fern is particularly uncommon on their own, there are only a limited number of sites where the two grow together in any abundance. Notable examples of these moist

Western Redcedar and Vanilla-leaf

Moist Coniferous Forest [Red-Listed] This ecological community occurs on nutrient rich flats along rivers and in humid valley bottoms. Often both grand fir and bigleaf maple occur intermixed and nearby. Because this association usually grows on relatively

Western Redcedar and Indian Plum

Moist Coniferous Forest [Red-Listed] This ecological community occupies valley bottoms along creeks and rivers. Usually there’s a closed forest canopy with western redcedar, bigleaf maple, and occasional grand fir. The shrub layer is dominated by Indian-plum and

Western Redcedar and Salmonberry

Moist Coniferous Forest [Red-Listed] Salmonberry thickets usually grow along creeks and wetland fringes where there is enough light filtering through to sustain them losartan potassium 100mg. Cedar trees may grow along the edges, along with stands of

Western Redcedar and Snowberry

Moist Mixed Forest [Red-Listed] Although traditionally thought of as a floodplain community, the cedar and snowberry association can occur along creeks with nutrient rich soils and a seasonally fluctuating water table. Grand-fir, indian plum, alder, and maple

Western Redcedar and Three-leaved Foam Flower

Moist Coniferous forest [Blue-Listed] This valley bottom association forms on soils that are thick and rich, where moisture is abundant. Scattered grand fir occur along with sword fern, western starflower and vanilla leaf. A near closed canopy

Red Alder and Skunk Cabbage

Wetland Swamp [Red-Listed] Most times, you’ll smell these skunk cabbage swamps well before seeing them. Many examples exist around the island but some of the best ones are along the road between Fulford and Ganges. They provide

Red Alder, Slough Sedge and Cottonwood

Wetland Swamp [Red-Listed] This shaded sedge dominated community forms on the edge of cottonwood stands where there are often mature alders. Sword fern, salmonberry, grand fir and cedar all usually fringe these associations in varying degrees. Currently

Black Cottonwood, Red Alder and Salmonberry

Wetland Forest [Blue-Listed] In wetter sites, the slough sedge and alder association transitions to a community with more cottonwoods and more salmonberry. Found on Salt Spring Island at the McFadden Nature Reserve and at the south end

Common Cattail Marsh

Wetland Marsh [Blue-Listed] These cattail dominated wetlands provide an important habitat resource to many species of birds, mammals, insects, amphibians and even fish. On Salt Spring, they form a partial fringe along the lakes and occur