ResearchPDF Available

Rare Communities of Ontario: Freshwater Coastal Dunes

Authors:
  • Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Abstract

An overwiew of freshwater coastal dunes in Ontario, including dune types, locations, areal extent, characteristic flora and fauna.
Rare Communities of Ontario:
Freshwater Coastal Dunes
W.D. Bakowsky and B.L. Henson
March 31, 2014
Abstract Citation:
Bakowsky, W.D. and B.L. Henson. 2014. Rare Communities of Ontario: Freshwater Coastal
Dunes. Natural Heritage Information Centre. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 10pp +
appendices.
© 2014 Queen’s Printer of Ontario
In Ontario, freshwater coastal dunes occur
along shorelines of the Great Lakes and the
Ottawa River, and also along the southern
shore of Lake-of-the-Woods in northwestern
Ontario (Figure 1).
Dunes are depositional features composed
of unconsolidated sandy sediments. They
arise when winds act on exposed sand
surfaces, such as ancient glacial outwash
plains and lake bottoms, and beaches in
modern shoreline environments. Modern
dune systems in Ontario form along
shorelines when beach and nearshore
sands are piled up by onshore winds.
Dunes and other features formed by wind
action are referred to as being of aeolian
origin (Chapman and Putnam 1984, Albert
2000).
The open, actively moving sand portions of
freshwater coastal dune fields are rare in
Ontario, as they are narrow linear features
restricted to localized areas along major
shorelines. Their total area is quite small,
less than 1,800 hectares (Figure 2). The
vegetation is sparse, with extensive areas of
bare sand. They are dominated by grasses,
herbs and shrubs. Trees may occur as
scattered individuals, or as small patches of
forest within the active dune. Active dunes
vary in their topography. Large ones can be
complex, with concave and convex
topography, including areas of localized
blowouts. Smaller ones typically have a
more simple structure, consisting of one or
more simple low ridges.
In Ontario, the following coastal dune
classification has been developed for
freshwater systems (Davidson 1990)
according to their geomorphology:
Cove Dunes
Big Bay Dunes
Foreland Dunes
Baymouth Barrier Dunes
Tombolo Bar Dunes
Cove Dunes develop in the rocky coves of
irregular coastlines and include a narrow
crescent-shaped beach and a small
transverse foredune. The foredune usually
has small parabolic dunes and blowouts,
with individual dunes normally reaching
several metres in height.
Big Bay Dunes are large dune systems
found along the eastern shore of Lake
Huron, ranging in size from several hectares
(ha) to many square kilometres (km2). They
have developed at the heads of large
shallow bays on top of barriers and plains
abandoned by postglacial Nipissing Lake.
These systems include an active transverse
foredune and one or more higher secondary
dune ridges separated by low interdunal
areas. These dunes may reach heights of
30 metres.
Foreland Dunes have formed over large
sandy promontories, such as at Point Pelee
and Long Point on Lake Erie. These dune
complexes range in size from several ha to
as large as 18 km2 at Long Point. The
smaller systems consist of series of
Freshwater Coastal Dunes Rare communities of Ontario
Pinery Provincial Park
A. MacKenzie
Natural Heritage Information Centre
Figure 1: Distribution of freshwater coastal dunes in Ontario
Figure 2: Areal extent of freshwater dunes in Ontario
Natural Heritage Information Centre
transverse foredunes, while larger examples
consist of foredunes backed by inland dune
sequences separated by low wet to moist
interdunal areas also known as pannes.
Baymouth Barrier Dunes occur in bays, and
develop on top of the barrier bars which
have formed in these areas. Baymouth
barrier systems range in size from a few ha
to as much as 3 km2 at Sandbanks
Provincial Park. Such dune systems
typically have a narrow beach, a low
discontinuous foredune (i.e. the first dune
ridge closest to the water), a flat interdunal
area behind the foredune, and high
secondary dunes. Open water lagoons or
wetlands occur behind the secondary
dunes. The dune ridges are quite variable in
shape, often with blowouts and parabolic
dunes developed, and may reach heights of
over 20 m.
Tombolos are sandy bars which form
between coastlines and offshore islands.
They develop when offshore currents are
slowed by the island, which causes
suspended sediments to be deposited
between the island and the coast. At Point
Abino and Presqu'ile, tombolo dune
systems between 1 and 2 km2 in size have
evolved on top of tombolos. The Point Abino
system consists of a long narrow active
foredune, while the Presqu'ile dunes are
less active, and are comprised of numerous
low transverse foredunes, adjacent low
interdunal areas, and higher stable inland
dunes.
The following section describes the dune
vegetation and rare species of coastal
dunes and beach ridges in the province.
Only the dry, active portions of dune
vegetation are discussed. Stabilized dunes
with continuous vegetative cover are
excluded, as are associated wetlands such
as the interdunal pannes.
Lake Superior
The active cove dunes along Lake
Superior are not very extensive, totalling
some 100 ha, with the largest example
occupying 19.5 ha at the mouth of the Pic
River. Other relatively large examples occur
at Michipicoten River (10.3 ha) and two
dune areas at Pancake Bay totalling 11.7
ha. Caribou Island has three areas of
dunes totalling 12.5 ha.
The vegetation is usually dominated by
herbaceous species such as American
Beachgrass (Ammophila breviligulata), Sea
Lymegrass (Leymus mollis), Beach Pea
(Lathyrus japonicus), Tall Wormwood
(Artemisia campestris ssp. caudata) and
Canada Wild Rye (Elymus canadensis).
Other species frequently occurring include
Lyreleaf Rockcress (Arabidopsis lyrata),
Red Anemone (Anemone multifida), Slender
Wheatgrass (Elymus trachycaulus), and
Sweetgrass (Anthoxanthum hirtum).
Caribou Island has unique dune vegetation,
dominated by Woolly Beach-heath
(Hudsonia tomentosa) and Black Crowberry
(Empetrum nigrum) (Morton and Venn
1996).
Sea Lymegrass
W.D. Bakowsky
Natural Heritage Information Centre
Shrubs such as Red-osier Dogwood
(Cornus stolonifera), Common Juniper
(Juniperus communis), Creeping Juniper
(Juniperus horizontalis), Sand Cherry
(Prunus pumila), Soapberry (Shepherdia
canadensis) and Bush Honeysuckle
(Diervilla lonicera) may form extensive
patches. Protected areas, such as the
bottoms and lee slopes of old blowouts,
allow small patches of White Spruce (Picea
glauca) forest to develop.
A couple of species typical of the Hudson
Bay Lowlands occur on the dunes along
Lake Superior. For example, Lake Huron
Tansy (Tanacetum bipinnatum) occurs at
the mouth of the Sand River, while the
mouth of the Pic River supports a
population of Franklin's Lady's Slipper
(Cypripedium passerinum).
The Great Lakes endemic Pitcher’s Thistle
(Cirsium pitcheri) occurs in the dunes at
Pukaskwa National Park. Other rare species
found here and at other coastal dune
locations are listed in Appendix 1.
Lake Huron - Georgian Bay
Most of the dunes in this lake basin are big
bay dunes, although foreland dunes and
cove dunes also occur. The dunes along the
shoreline of Manitoulin Island and southern
Lake Huron are composed of calcareous
sands. Dunes along the North Channel are
composed of acidic sands originating from
the Precambrian Shield; hence they exhibit
differences in floristic composition.
The active dunes along Lake Huron cover
over 490 ha with the largest dunes
extending from Kettle Point northward to
Grand Bend occupying 274.7 ha, although
most of this is forested. Other large dune
systems are found at Sauble Beach (23.9
ha) and Wasaga Beach (17.5 ha of highly
disturbed dunes). On Manitoulin Island, the
largest examples are at Carter Bay (19.9
ha) and at Desert Point (30 ha) on the
offshore Duck Island.
Calcareous dunes in this region are
dominated by herbaceous vegetation, with
shrubs prominent in local areas.
Composition is variable, but the following
herbaceous species are the principal
dominants: American Beachgrass, Little
Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), Big
Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii),
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), Indian
Grass (Sorghastrum nutans), Canada Wild
Rye, Tall Wormwood, Golden Puccoon
(Lithospermum carolinianese) and Sand
Dropseed (Sporobolus cryptandrus). These
species are also the characteristic
dominants of dunes along Lakes Erie and
Ontario.
Additionally, two other characteristic grass
species, Sand Grass (Triplasis purpurea)
and Long-spined Sandbur (Cenchrus
longispinus), were historically restricted to
dunes along Lakes Huron and Erie but are
now adventive in disturbed sandy areas
further inland.
Pitcher’s Thistle with Monarch
M. Wester
Natural Heritage Information Centre
Long-leaved Reed Grass (Calamovilfa
longifolia var. magna) is a southern Great
Lakes endemic restricted to Lake Huron in
Ontario, where it is an important component
of the dune flora. Another Great Lakes
endemic, Pitcher's Thistle, occurs in dunes
along Lake Huron, primarily along the south
shore of Manitoulin Island and its offshore
islands, with a few occurrences south of the
Bruce Peninsula. Great Lakes Wheatgrass
(Elymus lanceolatus ssp. psammophilus) is
a species disjunct in the Great Lakes basin
from its principal range in western North
America.
Common shrubs include Bearberry
(Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), Sand Cherry,
Common Juniper, Fragrant Sumac (Rhus
aromatica), Shrubby Cinquefoil (Dasiphora
fruticosa), Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron
rydbergii), Wild Grape (Vitis riparia), willows
(Salix spp.) and Snowberry
(Symphoricarpos albus).
Prevalent tree species include Red Pine
(Pinus resinosa), Eastern White Pine (P.
strobus) and Red Oak (Quercus rubra). In
the northern dune systems such as on
Manitoulin Island and along the North
Channel, White Spruce and Tamarack
(Larix laricina) also occur, while Eastern
Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), Black
Oak (Quercus velutina) and Dwarf
Chinquapin Oak (Q. prinoides) are common
along southern Lake Huron dunes in the
Grand Bend area.
Dunes along the North Channel with acidic
sands lack many of the species found in
Lake Huron south of Georgian Bay (e.g. Big
Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Indian Grass,
Switchgrass, Golden Puccoon). They too
are dominated by herbaceous vegetation,
including Amemrican Beachgrass, Canada
Wild Rye, and in a few locations, Porcupine
Grass (Hesperostipa spartea). Other
common species include Beach Pea, Tall
Wormwood, Slender Wheatgrass and Sand
Cherry. Older sections of these dunes often
have high cover of Reindeer lichen (Cladina
spp.). Trees include Eastern White Pine and
Eastern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis).
North Channel dune, Georgian Bay
S.R. Brinker
Long-leaved Reed Grass
S.R. Brinker
Natural Heritage Information Centre
Lake Erie
The southern-most dunes in Ontario occur
along the shoreline and islands of Lake
Erie. Consequently, many species of
southern floristic affinity occur that are found
in no other lake dune systems in the
province. These include Fringed Puccoon
(Lithospermum incisum), Eastern Prickly
Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa) and Sky-
blue Aster (Symphyotrichum
oolentangiense).
The dunes along Lake Erie in Ontario cover
817 ha with the Long Point dunes the most
extensive in Ontario, occupying 648 ha.
Other notable sand dunes are found at
Rondeau Provincial Park (86.4 ha) and
Point Pelee National Park (19.2 ha). Smaller
examples are also found along numerous
bays along the northeastern shoreline of
Lake Erie.
The open dunes are dominated by the same
herbaceous species listed previously for the
Lake Huron dunes. These species also
dominate the dunes along Lake Ontario.
However, dunes along Lake Erie, such as
Point Pelee and Rondeau, have been
disturbed by human activities such as
pedestrian traffic, consequently, introduced
species such as Spotted Knapweed
(Centaurea stoebe ssp. micranthos),
Canada Bluegrass (Poa compressa), White
Sweet-clover (Melilotus alba) are frequent.
Trees may occur in Lake Erie dune
systems, usually as scattered individuals.
The principal species are Eastern Red
Cedar and Eastern Cottonwood (Populus
deltoides). In addition to Sand Cherry and
Common Juniper, the provincially rare shrub
Common Hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata) is also
frequently found on Lake Erie dunes.
Long Point, Lake Erie
S.R. Brinker
Natural Heritage Information Centre
Lake Ontario
Dune systems occur at the eastern end of
Lake Ontario, in the vicinity of Prince
Edward County, with smaller examples
occurring on the Toronto Islands and
Burlington Bay. The largest dunes are at
Sandbanks Provincial Park (Sandbanks bar
and Outlet bar) and extend over 216.3 ha.
These dunes may reach a height of 23 m
above the lake level (Chapman and Putnam
1984).
Other large dunes systems are found at
Presqu’ile Provincial Park (50.6 ha) and
those at Weller’s Bay and North Beach bar
totalling 50.7 ha. Historically, the Hamilton
Beach bar at the west end of Lake Ontario
was a fairly extensive dune system, but this
has now been almost completely
developed.
Ottawa River
Foreland sand dunes also occur along the
Ottawa River at Westmeath (1.8 ha) and
formerly at Constance Bay, where it was
once the most extensive example of this
vegetation along the river. However, the
shoreline here is completely lined with
cottages/homes, with only a few tiny
remnants remaining. Dunes along the river
systems are composed of acid sand, and
originated during the later stages of the
Champlain Sea. Originally, the dunes were
mostly forested with coniferous Jack Pine
(Pinus banksiana) forest and mixed Jack
Pine - Red Oak forest, but the margins
along the shorelines were open and
supported active dune vegetation (Porsild
1941). Most of this open dune vegetation
has been destroyed through cottage
development, but it still exists as small
fragments.
Characteristic species include Little
Bluestem, Canada Wild Rye, Long-fruited
Anemone (Anemone cylindrica), Sand
Cherry, Bearberry, Harebell (Campanula
rotundifolia), Balsam Ragwort (Packera
pauperculus), Starry False Solomon's-seal
(Maianthemum stellatum), Golden Puccoon
and Sweet-fern (Comptonia peregrina).
Sable Islands
The largest dunes in northwestern Ontario
extend for 31.3 ha and are on the Sable
Islands, a provincial Nature Reserve which
is part of a baymouth barrier dune system
located just north of the mouth of Rainy
River on Lake of the Woods. The name
'Sable' is derived from the French word for
sand. The islands together are
approximately 8 km in length, and average
about 75 m in width. They are formed of
calcareous sand and reach a maximum
height of 9 m.
The vegetative cover is variable, consisting
of open vegetation intermixed with thickets
and meadow marsh. Where the open
vegetation is dominated by herbaceous
species, it usually consists of Tall
Wormwood, Canada Wild Rye and Beach
Pea. Other open areas are dominated by
low shrubs, which often form near-
monocultures. Typical species here include
Sable Island, Lake of the Woods
S.R. Brinker
Natural Heritage Information Centre
Sand Cherry, Bearberry, Poison Ivy and
Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus inserta).
Thickets are mostly dominated by willow
(Salix spp.), with serviceberry (Amelanchier
spp.) and Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)
also common. A few thickets near the south
end of the islands are dominated by small
trees of Green Ash (Fraxinus
pennsylvanica), Manitoba Maple (Acer
negundo), and Common Hackberry (Celtis
occidentalis), which is disjunct here at the
northern limit of its range in this vicinity.
Fauna
Dune systems support numerous faunal
species, many of which are provincially rare
(Appendix 2).
Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon
playtirhinos, S3) can be found in dunes of
Georgian Bay-Lake Huron, as well as those
on Lake Erie. Common Five-lined Skink
(Plestiodon fasciatus, S3), Ontario’s only
lizard, is also found in the dunes of these
waterbodies.
A rare tiger beetle, the Little White Tiger
Beetle (Cicindela lepida, S2) is known from
Long Point, Pinery Provincial Park,
Constance Bay and elsewhere along the
Ottawa River (Sutherland pers. comm.).
The type locality for the Lake Huron Locust
(Trimerotropis huroniana, S1) is
Southhampton, Bruce County. It has also
been collected at Giant's Tomb Island and
Wasaga Beach, but is currently extant only
at Carter Bay, Manitoulin Island. Another
orthopteran, the Seaside Locust
(Trimerotropis maritima ssp. interior, G?T?
S4) occurs only in southern Great Lakes
dune systems (Sutherland, pers. comm.).
The only Ontario location for the Dusted
Skipper (Atrytonopsis hianna, S1) is the
Pinery Provincial Park - Port Franks area.
Another species, the Glorious Flower Moth
(Schinia sanguinea, S1) which feeds on
Cylindrical Blazing-star (Liatris cylindracea),
is only known in Ontario from Port Franks.
Numerous additional rare insect species
can be found listed in Appendix 2.
Little White Tiger Beetle
C.D. Jones
Natural Heritage Information Centre
Threats
Coastal dunes have long been associated
with recreational activities in Ontario and
elsewhere. Due to the unstabilized dune
sands, activities such as traffic (outdoor
recreational vehicles, human and deer
trampling) can severely impact dune
systems, and lead to their degradation and
destruction. Other threats include cottage
development, high controlled water levels,
and invasion by exotic species.
Protection
Many of Ontario's best examples of coastal
dunes have been identified and protected.
They are found in national parks, provincial
parks and in Areas of Natural and Scientific
Interest (ANSIs). However, at some of these
sites, including those in parks, inappropriate
uses continue to threaten this fragile
ecosystem.
Sandbanks Provincial Park
S.R. Brinker
Natural Heritage Information Centre
References
Albert, D. 2000. Borne of the Wind: An Introduction to the Ecology of Michigan Sand Dunes.
Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 63 pp.
Anonymous. 1995. Rare communities of Ontario: Great Lakes Coastal Meadow Marshes.
Natural Heritage Information Centre Newsletter, 2(2):4-5.
Bakowsky, W.D. 1996. Natural Heritage Resources of Ontario: Vegetation communities of
Southern Ontario. Natural Heritage Information Centre, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources,
Peterborough, Ontario, 21 pp.
Breitung, A.J. 1957. Vascular flora on the sand dunes at Constance Bay, Ontario.
Le Naturaliste Canadien 34(3-4):79-87.
Chapman, L.J. and D.F. Putnam. 1984. The physiography of southern Ontario, 3rd Edition.
Ontario Geological Survey, Special Volume 2, 270pp. Accompanied by Map P.2715 (coloured),
scale 1:600 000.
Davidson, R.J. 1990. Protecting and managing Great Lakes coastal dunes in Ontario.
Proceedings Canadian Symposium on Coastal Sand Dunes. National Research Council of
Canada pp 455-471.
Martini, I.P. 1981. Coastal dunes of Ontario: Distribution and geomorphology.
Geographie physique et Quaternaire 25(2):219-229.
Morton, J.K. and J.M. Venn. 1996. The flora of Caribou Island, Lake Superior. The Michigan
Botanist 35:3-25.
Morton, J.K. undated. The Butterflies and Moths (Lepidoptera) of dune systems on Manitoulin
and adjacent islands. Report prepared for the Lake Huron Dune Grasslands Recovery Team.
Noble, T. 1989. Life Science Inventory: Sable Islands Provincial Nature Reserve. Ontario
Ministry of Natural Resources.
Oldham, M.J. 1997. Personal communication, floral and faunal information.
Paiero, S., S. Marshall and M. Buck. 2005. Final report to Pitcher’s Thistle Recovery Team
(Dune Grasslands Arthropod Report).
Porsild, A.E. 1941. A relic flora on sand dunes from the Champlain Sea in the Ottawa Valley.
The Canadian Field Naturalist. Volume 55:66-72.
Sutherland, D.A. 2013. Personal communication, faunal information.
Natural Heritage Information Centre
Appendix 1: Characteristic Dune Species
Scientific Name Common Name Lake of
the
Woods
Lake
Superior Lake
Huron Lake
Erie Lake
Ontario Ottawa
River
Ammophila breviligulata American Beachgrass
X X X X
Andropogon gerardii Big Bluestem X
X X X
Anemone cylindrica Long-fruited Anemone
X X X
Anemone multifida Early Anemone
X
Arabidopsis lyrata Lyre-leaved Rockcress
X X X X
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Bearberry
X X X X
Artemisia campestris ssp.
caudata
Tall Wormwood X X X X X X
Asclepias tuberosa Butterfly Milkweed
X X
Asclepias viridiflora Green Milkweed
X X
Cakile edentula Sea Rocket
X X X
Campanula rotundifolia Purple Harebell X X X X X X
Carex muhlenbergii Muhlenberg's Sedge
X X X
Carex umbellata Hidden Sedge
X X X
Ceanothus herbaceus
Narrow-leaved New Jersey
Tea
X
Cenchrus longispinus Long-spine Sandbur
X X
Cornus stolonifera Red-osier Dogwood X X X X X X
Elymus lanceolatus ssp.
psammophilus
Great Lakes Wheat Grass
X
Euphorbia polygonifolia Seaside Spurge
X X X
Cyperus lupulinus Slender Sand Sedge
X
Cyperus schweinitzii
Schweinitz's Sedge X
X
Elymus canadensis Canada Wild Rye X X X X X X
Elymus trachycaulus Slender Wheatgrass X X X X X X
Equisetum hyemale
Common Scouring-rush
X
X
X
X
Festuca saximontana Rocky Mountain Fescue
X X
Hesperostipa spartea Porcupine Grass X
X X
Juniperus communis Common Juniper
X X X X X
Juniperus horizontalis Spreading Juniper
X
Juniperus virginiana Eastern Red Cedar
X X X
Anthoxanthum hirtum Sweetgrass X X X
Hudsonia tomentosa
Woolly Beach-heath
X X X
X
Koeleria macrantha Junegrass X
X
Lathyrus japonicus Beach Pea X X X X X X
Leymus mollis Sea Lyme-grass
X
Liatris cylindracea
Cylindric Blazing-star
X X
Lithospermum caroliniense
Golden Puccoon
X
X
X
Maianthemum stellatum Starry False Solomon's-seal X X X X X
Minuarta michauxii Rock Sandwort X
X X X
Mirabilis nyctaginea Four O-clock X
X* X*
Panicum virgatum Switchgrass
X X X
Parthenocissus inserta Virginia Creeper X
X X X
Natural Heritage Information Centre
Scientific Name Common Name Lake of
the
Woods
Lake
Superior Lake
Huron Lake
Erie Lake
Ontario Ottawa
River
Pinus resinosa Red Pine
X X
Pinus strobus Eastern White Pine
X X
X
Polygonella articulata Jointed Knotweed
X
X
Potentilla supina Bushy Cinquefoil X
X X
Populus balsamifera Balsam Poplar
X X X
Populus deltoides Eastern Cottonwood X
X X X
Prunus pumila var. besseyi
Bessey's Sand Cherry
X
Prunus pumila var. pumila
Sand Cherry
X X X X X
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken Fern X X X X X
Quercus alba White Oak
X
Quercus macrocarpa
Bur Oak
X
Quercus prinoides
Dwarf Chinquapin Oak
X
Quercus rubra Red Oak
X
X X
Quercus velutina Black Oak
X X X
Rhus aromatica Fragrant Sumac
X
X
Rudbeckia hirta Brown-headed Coneflower
X X
Salix cordata Heart-leaved Willow
X X X
Salix interior Sandbar Willow X X X X X X
Salix myricoides
Blue-leaved Willow
X
X
X
X
Schizachyrium scoparium Little Bluestem
X X X X
Sorghastrum nutans Indian Grass
X X X
Sporobolus cryptandrus Sand Dropseed X
X X X X
Heterostipa spartea
Porcupine Grass
X
X
Strophostyles helvula Trailing Wild Bean
X X
Symphyotrichum laeve Smooth aster
X
Symphyotrichum
oolentangiense
Sky-blue Aster
X
Tanacetum bipinnatum Lake Huron Tansy
X
Toxicodendron rydbergii Poison Ivy X
X X X X
Triplasis purpurea
Sand Grass
X
X
Trisetum melicoides Purple False Oats
X
Vitis aestivalis Summer Grape
X
Vitis riparia Wild Grape X
X X X X
Xanthium strumarium Spiny Clotbur X X X X X X
bold species are provincially significant
X* native status is questionable
Natural Heritage Information Centre
Appendix 2: Rare Dune Species and Communities
Scientific Name Common Name S-rank SARO
Lake
of the
Woods
Lake
Superior Lake
Huron Lake
Erie Lake
Ontario Ottawa
River
Vegetation Types
American Dune Grass - Beach Pea - Sand Cherry
Dune Grassland
S2
X
Little Bluestem - Long-leaved Reed Grass - Great
Lakes Wheat Grass Dune Grassland
S2
X
Little Bluestem - Switchgrass - Beachgrass Dune
Grassland
S2
X X
Wormwood - Canada Wild Rye - Rough Sand Sedge
Dune Grassland
S1
X
Juniper Dune Shrubland S2
X X X
Hop-tree Dune Shrubland S1
X
Sand Cherry Dune Shrubland S2
X
Cottonwood Dune Savannah S1
X X
Red Cedar Dune Savannah S1
X X
Flora
Asclepias viridiflora Green Milkweed S2
X X
Bromus pumpellianus Pumpell’s Brome S1
X
Calamovilfa longifolia var.
magna
Long-leaved Reed Grass S3
X X* X*
Celtis tenuifolia Dwarf Hackberry S2 THR
X X
Cirsium hillii Prairie Thistle S3 THR
X
Cirsium pitcheri Pitcher’s Thistle S2 THR
X X
Corispermum
americanum
American Bugseed S3?
X X X X
X
Corispermum hookeri Hooker's Bugseed S2?
X X
Corispermum pallasii Pallas Bugseed S2?
X X X
Corispermum villosum Hairy Bugseed S2?
X X X X
Cyperus houghtonii Smooth Sand Sedge S3
X
X
Cyperus scheinitzii Rough Sand Sedge S3
X
X
Desmodium canescens Hoary Tick-trefoil S2
X
Draba reptans Carolina Whitlow-grass S3
X X
Hudsonia tomentosa Woolly Beach-heath S2S3
X X
X
X
Juncus greenei Greene’s Rush S3
X
Lechea stricta Strict Pinweed S1
X
Liatris aspera Rough Blazing-star S2
X X
Liatris cylindracea Cylindrical Blazing-star S3
X X X
Lithospermum
caroliniense
Golden Puccoon S3
X
X X
Lithospermum incisum Fringed Puccoon S1
X
Mirabilis nyctaginea Four O-clock S1
X
X* X*
Opuntia humifusa
Eastern Prickly Pear
Cactus
S1 END
X
Packera paupercula var.
pseudotomentosa
False Tomentose Balsam
Groundsel
S2S3
X X
Prunus pumila var.
besseyi
Bessey's Sand Cherry S1
X
Prunus pumila var.
pumila
Sand Cherry S3
X X X X X
Natural Heritage Information Centre
Scientific Name Common Name S-rank SARO
Lake
of the
Woods
Lake
Superior Lake
Huron Lake
Erie Lake
Ontario Ottawa
River
Ptelea trifoliata Common Hoptree S3 THR
X
Pterospora andromedea Giant Pinedrops S2
X X
Pycnanthemum
tenuifolium
Slender Mountain-mint S3
X
Quercus prinoides Dwarf Chinquapin Oak S2
X
Schizachyrium littorale Shore Bluestem S2?
X X
Senecio plattensis Prairie Ragwort S2S3
X X
Solidago gillmanii Dune Goldenrod S1
X
X* native status is questionable, SARO Species at Risk in Ontario status: END Endangered, THR Threatened
Fauna
Plestiodon fasciatus Common Five-lined Skink S3 END
X X
Heterodon platirhinos
Eastern Hognose Snake
S3
THR
X
X
Atrytonopsis hianna Dusted Skipper S1
X
Schinia sanguinea Glorious Flower Moth S1
X
Ammophila cleopatra A thread-waisted wasp S3
X X
Ammophila harti
A thread-waisted wasp
S3
X
X
X
Mimumesa canadensis A pemphredonine wasp S2
X
Mimesa dawsoni A pemphredonine wasp S2S3
X X X
Diploplectron peglowi A crabronine wasp S2S3
X
Mellinus abdominalis A crabronine wasp S1?
X
Crossocerus
maculiclypeus
A crabronine wasp S3
X X
Microbembex monodonta
A sand wasp
S3
X
X
X
Euodynerus auranus A potter wasp S1S2
X
Anoplius apiculatus
autumnalis
A spider wasp S2S3
X X
Aporinellus taeniolatus A spider wasp S2S3
X X
Minagenia montidorsa A spider wasp S2?
X
Dasymutilla canella A velvet ant S1?
X
Perdita maculigera
maculipennis
An andrenid bee S3
X
Agapostemon splendens A green bee S3
X X X X
Anorostoma jersei A heleomyzid fly S2?
X
Curtonotum helvum A curtonotid fly S3
X X X
Phthiria (Poecilognathus)
spp.
Bombyliid flies S?
X X X
Dipalta banksi A bombyliid fly S3
X X
Otites michiganus An otitid fly S2
X
Pallicephala variegata A stiletto fly S2
X
Spiriverpa albiceps A stiletto fly S3
X X
Spiriverpa senex A stiletto fly S1S2
X X
Cyclotelus pictipennis A stiletto fly S2S3
X X X
Cyclotelus rufiventris A stiletto fly S3
X X X
Ozodiceromya notata A stiletto fly S3
X X X
Ozodiceromya argentata A stiletto fly S3
X X X
Stichopogon argenteus A robber fly S3
X
Natural Heritage Information Centre
Scientific Name Common Name S-rank SARO
Lake
of the
Woods
Lake
Superior Lake
Huron Lake
Erie Lake
Ontario Ottawa
River
Stichopogon trifasciatus A robber fly S3
X X X
Promachus bastardii A robber fly S3
X
Proctacanthus hinei A robber fly S2
X
Proctacanthus milbertii A robber fly S3
X X X
Trimerotropis huroniana Lake Huron Locust S2
X
Trimerotropis maritima Seaside Locust S3
X X X
Bembidion carinula A carabid beetle S2S3
X
Cardiophorus cardisce An elaterid beetle S3
X
Cicindela lepida Little White Tiger Beetle S2 X X X X
Stereopalpus vestitus A pedilid beetle S3
X
Stereopalpus mellyi A pedilid beetle S3
X
Cryptoleon signatum Ant Lion S3
X X X
Hesperoleon abdominalis Ant Lion S3
X X X
Prionapteryx nebulifera Diurnal Snout Moth S1S2
X
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Article
Full-text available
Transverse dunes (fore-dunes), parabolic dunes, rare cliff-top dunes, and blowouts are found in Ontario. Many of these coastal dunes are land-locked on abandoned sand plains of partially drained early-post glacial lakes and seas. Others are part of coastal systems found at different stages of evolution along the Great Lakes. An idealized coastal system, as is well developed at Wasaga Beach, is described. Most of the dune systems found along the Great Lakes have developed in the last 3-5000 years. Some of them have been intensely affected by man. -from Author
Article
Caribou Island is a remote Canadian island in the upper Great Lakes of North America. Its flora is relatively small with 223 species of vascular plants, of which 16 are not native to North America. The island is composed of a series of postglacial sand dunes formed in a reef of Precambrian rock. A dense scrubby boreal type of forest covers much of the island with extensive bogs between the dunes. Significant floristic features include an unusual dune system with Empetrum nigrum and Hudsonia tomentosa as major binding species. Rare and restricted species on the island include Potamogeton confervoides, Thalictrum revolutum, Vaccinium membranaceum, and V. ovalifolium. Because of its remoteness and near absence of human disturbance the island provides a valuable opportunity for biogeographic and ecological research. The topography and plant communities of the island are described, the flora listed, and its biogeography discussed in relation to climate and the postglacial history of the region.
Borne of the Wind: An Introduction to the Ecology of Michigan Sand Dunes. Michigan Natural Features Inventory
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Albert, D. 2000. Borne of the Wind: An Introduction to the Ecology of Michigan Sand Dunes. Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 63 pp.
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