The Old Ausable Channel is adjacent to one of the most vulnerable ecosystems on the planet. Oak savanna is a globally rare ecosystem that is a transition between prairie grasslands and oak forests. More than 99% of the oak savanna in the world has been altered or destroyed. Through careful management, Pinery Provincial Park has restored its oak savanna and protects nearly 50% of the remaining oak savanna in the world.
What is an oak savanna?
An oak savanna is an ecosystem with 25-35% canopy cover – meaning 25-35% of the ground will be shaded at solar noon. This is compared to a true forest, where cover is greater than 50%. This extra light within an oak savanna allows for understory plants to grow that would otherwise be unable to survive in the thick cover of a dense forest. Some of these unique plants include: