Voyageurs National Park Plants

Voyageurs National Park is located in the Laurentian Mixed Forest Province in northern Minnesota. A province is a unit of land that is defined by climate, native vegetation, and biome. The Laurentian Mixed Forest Province is a broad ecotone, a place where the predominantly deciduous northern hardwoods forest and conifer-dominated southern boreal forest mix and meet.

The area is comprised of a variety of ecological systems, including fire-dependent forests, mesic hardwood forests, wet forests, peatlands, fens, marshes, rocky outcrops and lakeshore environments. Pine, spruce, and fir are the primary conifers in the park, with aspen and birch forming a high percentage of the deciduous trees.

Historically, fire and wind were the primary disturbance factors shaping the composition and structure of the park's forests. Today, the effects of extensive 20th century logging, changes in the abundance of herbivorous wildlife species, the introduction of invasive non-native species, and a changing climate are also affecting the forest and other plant communities at Voyageurs National Park.

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The pika is a close relative of the rabbits and hares, with two upper incisors on each side of the jaw, one behind the other. Being rock-gray in color, pikas are seldom seen until their shrill, metallic call reveals their presence.