Canopy, Snow and Lichens
on Woodland Caribou Range in Southeastern Manitoba

James A. Schaefer

Department of Zoology,
The University of Manitoba,
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
R3T 2N2

 

1Present address: Dr. James Schaefer, Department of Biology, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada K9L 7B8

 

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Canopy, Snow and Lichens
on Woodland Caribou Range in Southeastern Manitoba. Lakehead Centre for Northern Studies, Research Report No. 20: 15 pp.

 

Abstract

Api (snow) characteristics and lichen abundance were investigated on the range of the Aikens Lake population of Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in southeastern Manitoba. Percent cover of forage lichens (Cladina spp.) was positively correlated with maximum total thickness and with maximum vertical hardness of api averaged from two winters. Mixed communities of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides), spruce (Picea spp.) and balsam fir (Abies balsamea) showed the most favourable nival conditions for caribou but had low lichen abundance; those dominated by jack pine (Pinus banksiana) were the converse. The results suggest that an energetic compromise for Woodland Caribou exists when foraging for terrestrial lichens.

Key Words: api, caribou, habitat, lichens, Rangifer tarandus caribou, snow.

 


 

This page created October 28, 2000.

 

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