Forest Science Program


Garry Oak (Quercus garryana) Plant Communities in British Columbia: A Guide to Identification

Author(s) or contact(s): W.R. Erickson and D.V. Meidinger
Source: Forest Science Program
Subject: Ecology
Series: Technical Report
Other details:  Published 2007. Hardcopy is available.


This field guide covers the native plant communities with a component of Garry oak (Quercus garryana) in British Columbia. It is a guide to identification of these communities, which can be applied to the woodlands, savannah, meadow, and rock outcrops within and near the zone of influence of oak canopy. The guide does not cover very specific occurrences, such as vernal pools, or the broader set of associated ecosystems that help form the Garry oak landscape. In the background work (Erickson 1996, 1998, 2002b) on which this guide is based, Garry oak ecosystems were interpreted as a climax conditioned by a natural disturbance regime. This would occur within a smaller geographic scale than that addressed by the provincial biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification (BEC). In the BEC context they are placed as seral in comparison to climax Douglas-fir forest on circum-mesic sites, and could possibly be considered as a disclimax. This guide does not focus on management, which is addressed only via rankings and comments under each plant community. We have provided both scientific and common names to meet the diverse interests of guide users.

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Updated May 23, 2007