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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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Maine ocean islands provide the only nesting sites for Atlantic puffins in the United States. Eastern Egg Rock in the midcoast region, Seal Island and Matinicus Rock at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, and Machias Seal Island and Petit Manan Island off the downeast coast provide habitat for more than 4,000 puffins each summer.