Soil Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning


Global Litter Invertebrate Decomposition Experiment

Rocky Harbour, Canada

Site Manager

Dr. Stephen Flemming
Ecosystem Scientist
Gros Morne National Park
Rocky Harbour, NF
A0K 4N0
Telephone: (+1) 709 458 3577

Site Description

The GLIDE site is located on the Great Northern Peninsula of the Island of Newfoundland, along the eastern shore of the Eastern Arm of Bonne Bay, within Gros Morne National Park of Canada (the full official name of the park, established 1973). The site was laid out in a second-growth balsam fir-white birch forest with an estimated average tree age of about 50 years. The understory is fairly open because of the shade of the trees and moose browsing. The moose population is very high in the park area (the park has an area of 1,805 square kilometres and a moose population between 8,000 and 8,500). Moose were introduced to the Island of Newfoundland about 100 years ago, and feed heavily on balsam fir boughs in winter, and to a smaller extent in summer. Moose movement through the site had to be considered in the placement of the bags.

Site Location

Site location is 49° 32' 35" latitude and 58° 49' 50" longitude.

Site Area

The litterbags are located on a site with an area of about 2 hectares.

Site Elevation

Site elevation is 50.0 m.

Annual Rainfall

Average annual precipitation is around 1,500 mm.

Annual Temperature

Average annual temperature based on 30-yr normals is 4.2°C.


Soil classification is Podzol (more specifically Podzol/Gleysol, Gleyed Humo-Ferric Podzol, Orthic Humic Podzol, and Orthic Cleysol).

Native Forest/Vegetation Types

Native forest and vegetation type is second-growth balsam fir-white birch forest. Dominant tree species are Abiebals, Betupapy, and Piceglau. Stand density is 6271 trees/ha, and basal area is 18.2 m2/ha. The ecoclimatic province of this site is boreal; dominant shrub species are Acerspic and Taxucana. Dominant moss species are Hylosple, Pleuschr and Diacmaju. Dominant herb species are Corncana, Triebore and Gaulhisp.

Principal Biome/Ecoregion

Hodridge life zone is cool temperate subalpine wet forest. Prinicpal biome is Boreal Forest, Western Newfoundland Ecoregion.



What is GLIDE?



Study Design



2005 Meeting

2003 Meeting


Image Gallery



This webpage is funded by the Soil Science Society of America.

Please contact the GLIDE headquarters (email: if you have any comments or questions.

GLIDE was a project of the International Biodiversity Observation Year 2001-2002

This material is based upon work supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 98 06437 Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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This page was last updated on February 1, 2005

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