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The Peace River Parkland Vegetation

White SpruceThe upland forests of the Peace River Parkland occur mostly on till deposits and are virtually indistinguishable from those of the surrounding Mixedwood Boreal Forest. They are dominated by aspen and white spruce with lesser amounts of balsam poplar especially on wetter sites. The grasslands, on Solonetzic soils, are dominated by sedges, intermediate oat grass, western porcupine grass, bearded wheatgrass, inland bluegrass, old man's whiskers, and low goldenrod. Grasslands on steep, south-facing slopes are dominated by western porcupine grass, sedges, and pasture sage. Other common species include columbia needle grass, June grass, green needle grass, pale comandra and mountain goldenrod.

More northerly grasslands occur on both fluvial and glaciolacustrine sites and are best characterized as an wheatgrass-sedge type. These grasslands are dotted with willow groves and dense thickets of western snowberry and woods rose.

The grasslands of the Peace River Parkland are most closely related to those of the Northern Fescue Subregion. The absence of rough fescue is perhaps not surprising since it is often absent from Solonetzic soils in the Central Parkland and Northern Fescue subregions.

Cushion CactusThese isolated grasslands are also notable for their disjunct occurrence and the presence of species which have a more southerly or westerly distribution. These include brittle prickly pear cactus, Richardson's needle grass, columbia needle grass, short-stemmed thistle, and groundsel.

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