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The 1760 fire

The balsam fir - white birch - white spruce stand type characterizes the oldest forests in the area. Sporadically, and especially close to water bodies, eastern white cedar becomes abundant and often dominates the tree layer of old stands. Cedar is easily eliminated by fire but is very shade tolerant. Its late recrutement appears to be explained by a low dispersal potential and the importance of dead wood for germination and seedling establishment. Despite their low abundance, these forests could contain key elements for biodiversity protection. Although no vascular plants are unique to old balsam fir forests (DeGrandpré et al., 1993), studies are underway to evaluate the importance of these stands for the maintenance of lichen and moss species, as well as for insects and wildlife.


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