Vegetation types and forest productivity, west part of Syncrude's Lease 17, Alberta

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  • This monograph describes the vegetation that existed in August 1977 on the western half of Syncrude's Lease 17 near Fort McMurray, Alberta. Eight vegetation types were identified and are mapped in this monograph at a scale of 1:24,000. Black Spruce - Labrador Tea was the dominant vegetation type, making up 35.0% of the 9,250 hectare study area. The second most abundant vegetation type was Aspen - White Spruce (26.0%) and the third was White Spruce – Aspen (18.0%). The remaining 21.0% of the area was occupied by the Aspen- Birch vegetation type (7.5%), Balsam Poplar- Alder (6.0%) along the McKay River, Sedge - Reed Grass (4.0%) mainly around bodies of standing water created by beaver dams, Willow- Reed Grass (3.0%) along stream courses, and Black Spruce - Feathermoss (0.5%). The White Spruce – Aspen type is best developed in the southern part of the lease where there have been no major fires for 80 or more years. It is the only vegetation type that contains some white spruce stands approaching the present lower limits of merchantable forest in Alberta. The most productive stand sampled in the White Spruce - Aspen type had a gross volume of 324.5 m3/ha and a merchantable spruce volume of 226.7 m3/ha; site index for spruce in this stand was 22 m (72 ft) at age 70 years. The Aspen - White Spruce type was less productive, with an aspen site index averaging 16 m (52 ft) at age 50 years. In terms of mean annual increment and site index, the two vegetation types with the greatest potential for fibre production (White Spruce - Aspen and Aspen – White Spruce types) are of average or below average productivity when compared to data from similar stands elsewhere in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

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    Conditions of Use Peterson, E.B. and A.G. Levinsohn, 1977. Vegetation types and forest productivity, west part of Syncrude's Lease 17, Alberta. Syncrude Canada Ltd., Edmonton, Alberta. Environmental Research Monograph 1977-6. 50 pp. plus map. Permission for non-commercial use, publication or presentation of excerpts or figures is granted, provided appropriate attribution (as above) is cited. Commercial reproduction, in whole or in part, is not permitted without prior written consent. The use of these materials by the end user is done without any affiliation with or endorsement by Syncrude Canada Ltd. Reliance upon the end user's use of these materials is at the sole risk of the end user.