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Tiny invader, big trouble

Tiny invader, big trouble

by Andrea Smith Beneath the surface of many an Ontario lake lurks a tiny organism that is wreaking havoc on our aquatic ecosystems. The spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus) is less than two centimetres long, with a barbed tail over half its length. Originally from Europe, the flea was introduced to the Great Lakes in […]

Endangered ecosystem: Wetlands

Mer Bleue Conservation Area

by Andrea Smith Not far from Ottawa’s city limits I’m suddenly immersed in a landscape more typical of the subarctic or arctic regions of northern Canada. I’ve come to Mer Bleue Bog, a stunning example of boreal peatland named for its resemblance in foggy weather to a large blue sea. The 3,700-hectare sphagnum bog is […]

Endangered ecosystem: Alvars

Endangered ecosystem: Alvars

by Andrea Smith I’m driving through one of Ontario’s biodiversity hot spots on a sunny November day, but my timing is all wrong. According to my guides, Kyra Howes and Lou Probst (both of the Couchiching Conservancy), the best time to see the Carden Alvar is from mid-May to mid-June, when a rich palette of […]