Garry Oak Ecosystems: Ecology, Culture, and Conservation


Garry Oak Ecosystems are the rarest ecosystems in Canada.  The Cowichan Valley has a large percentage of what remains.  These unique ecosystems have evolved with First Nations for thousands of years and the harvest of Camas.  The care of these ecosystems by First Nations, particularly in lowland deep soiled areas has assisted in allowing  a diversity of species to occur.  Garry Oak ecosystems have a very high number of rare plant species.  There are two main types of Garry Oak ecosystems, dry rocky shallow soil sites and deep soil sites.  The deep soil sites in the valley bottoms were taken from the First Nations stewards and exploited for agriculture and urban developments.  The shallow soil sites remain in more pristine condition.  This talk will introduce Garry Oak ecosystems and present some of the outstanding features of these wonderful ecosystems.