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The ecology of the sub-boreal pine-spruce zone

Author(s) or contact(s): BC Ministry of Forests - Research Branch
Source: Research Branch
Subject: Ecology
Series: Brochure
Other details:  Published 1998. Hardcopy is available.


The Sub-Boreal Pine-Spruce Zone is an unique landscape dominated by dry lodgepole pine forests and abundant wetlands. There is little agricultural or urban development in the zone, but forestry and ranching are extensive. Cattle range widely through forests, meadows, and wetlands. Although the zone contains fewer tree species than nearly any other part of British Columbia, the dry forest undergrowth with its dwarf shrubs, low herbs, mosses, and rich col-lection of lichens is unique within British Columbia.

The Sub-Boreal Pine-Spruce Zone is located on the high, gently rolling Fraser Plateau and the southernmost Nechako Plateau in the central interior of British Columbia. In the west, it extends onto the leeward lower slopes of the Coast Mountains, as well as the lower slopes of the Itcha and Ilgachuz ranges. Although most of the zone occurs west of the Fraser River in the area known as the Chilcotin, a separate strip occurs east of 100 Mile House. The Sub-Boreal Pine-Spruce Zone lies at elevations of 850-1300 m in the north and as high as 1500 m in southern and western parts. There are no major towns in this zone, but numerous lakes, including Tsacha, Anaheim, Charlotte, Palmer, Stum, McIntosh, and Bonaparte, are located here. The lakes are part of a drainage system that includes the Chilcotin, West Road (or Blackwater), Dean, San Jose, and Bonaparte rivers.

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Updated October 17, 2008