Old-Growth Forest Ecology along Baden Powell Trail

Old-Growth Forest Ecology along Baden Powell Trail

Trip report by David Cook

On 9 June, 2019, fifteen members of Friends of Cypress Prov. Park Society and Nature Vancouver, participated in this interpretive walk along the Baden Powell Trail, east of the Cypress Provincial Park downhill ski area. The focus was to note the characteristics of an old-growth forest and talk about the plant species that make up this old-growth ecosystem. The area is particularly interesting because it is the transition zone between the western hemlock and mountain hemlock zones where both hemlock species occur together. There were unexpected surprises such as rove beetles pollinating and feeding on skunk cabbage flowers attracted by the fetid smell. A show of the orchid coralroot was an opportunity to talk about the parasitic relationship of this orchid with a fungus (probably Russula) that has in turn a mycorrhizal relationship with a conifer, probably Douglas-fir. Other highlights were the plant/animal slime mold Physarum polycephalum growing on very wet, rotten wood and the biology of iron bacteria that stain many of the drainages throughout Cypress Bowl.

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