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      Biosphere Reserve Information

United States of America


  General Description   Isle Royale Biosphere Reserve and National Park is a remote island archipelago, situated in the northwestern portion of Lake Superior (Michigan). The park offers outstanding possibilities for research in a remote ecosystem where human influences are limited. In this respect, Isle Royale is world renowned for its long-term wolf (Canis lupus)/moose (Alces alces) predator/prey study.
Vegetation is mainly of boreal conifer and northern hardwood forest type. In the cooler and wetter areas near Lake Superior, balsam fir (Abies balsamea), white spruce (Picea glauca) and paper balsam (Betula papyrifera) dominate the mature forest. Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) and yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis) dominate the warmer and drier sites in the interior of the biosphere reserve. The areas waters contain the most productive native fishery and genetically diverse trout populations in Lake Superior.
Timber harvest of white pine (Pinus strobus) and sugar maple (Acer saccharum) for syrup has occurred in the past. Acid rain as well as high levels of PCBs in the lakes may have severe impacts on the natural ecosystems. An atmospheric monitoring station is situated within the national park.
  Major ecosystem type   Lake systems
  Major habitats & land cover types  
  Location   4748' to 4816'N; 8815' to 8920'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   231,399
  Core area(s)  
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +184 to +425
  Year designated   1980
  Administrative authorities   Isle Royale National Park National Park Service
  Brief description   Large mammal research
Vegetation studies
Acid precipitation
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Acidic deposition/Acid rain.
  Biodiversity   Mammals, vegetation studies/plant cover.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address   Phyllis Green
Isle Royale National Park
800 E. Lakeshore Drive
49931-1869 Houghton, Michigan
United States of America
  Telephone   (1.906) 482 0984 (mainland)
(1.906) 482 0986 (mainland information)
  Fax   (1.906) 482 8753 (mainland information)
(1.906) 487 7102 or 482 7170 (mainland business)
  Web site

Last updated: 11/03/2005

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