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Top Left of Navigation Bar The Parkland Region of Alberta
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The Foothills Parkland Vegetation

The Foothills Parkland Subregion forms a narrow, transitional band between the grasslands of the Foothills Fescue Subregion and the forests of the Montane Subregion. As in the Central Parkland Subregion, there is a continuum from grassland with groves, to forest with grassy parks, to closed deciduous forest. Because of rapid topographic and climatic change, the transition occurs over distances as small as one kilometre and rarely over more than five kilometres. This compression of the vegetational continuum results in small geographic areas being very diverse. Beaked Hazelnut Desiccation by wind and low precipitation appear to be the main factors determining the extent of this subregion. The northern boundary of this subregion has been placed near Calgary since this is apparently about the limit of a number of distinctive southwestem species. This is the most northerly place where lupines, oatgrass, and Idaho fescueBunchberry plant occur commonly. However, the majority of southwestern species do not occur north of the Whaleback-Porcupine Hills area. Central Parkland species conspicuously absent here include beaked hazel, highbush cranberry, sarsaparilla, bunchberry, and wild lily-of-the-valley.

The grassland of the Foothills Parkland Subregion is the same as in the Foothills Fescue Subregion, with a diverse arrangement of forb and grass species. There are also little-known communities on outwash terraces of major streams that are dominated by little bluestem.

Star-flowered Solomon's sealAspen is generally dominant in the upland forests with balsam poplar occurring on moister sites. Common understory species include snowberry, saskatoon, white meadowsweet, cream-coloured peavine, strawberry, leafy aster, western meadow rue, Canada violet, star-flowered Solomon's seal, cow parsnip, yellow angelica, and white geranium. A distinctive characteristic of these woods in the southwestern part of the subregion is large amounts of glacier lily which bloom in early to mid-May.

Canada anemone Willow groveland dominated by Bebb's willow occurs extensively on fine-textured glaciolacustrine material and on imperfectly to poorly-drained morainal sites. This distinctive community occurs mainly in the northern part of the subregion. Understory species include squaw root, Canada anemone, tall larkspur and white geranium. Narrow-leaved cottonwood forests occur on shifting fluvial terrace deposits in the southern part of the subregion as well.

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