maplecross demerchant brook nature reserve

Credit Viktoriia Spitsyna

Map provides approximate location.

MapleCross – Demerchant Brook Nature Preserve

Beaconsfield, NB

Nature Trust of New Brunswick – 2023

91 hectares

Property Description

The MapleCross Demerchant Brook Nature Preserve protects a 91-hectare span of high-priority Appalachian Hardwood Forest (AHF) in central New Brunswick, on the traditional territory of the Wabanaki people. One of the oldest, richest, and most productive ecosystems in North America, the Appalachian Hardwood Forest (AHF) is also among the most threatened forest types in New Brunswick, with less than 1 per cent of its original 500,000 acres standing today.

MapleCross Demerchant Brook Nature Preserve provides habitat for rare tree species such as basswood (Tilia americana) and at-risk butternut (Juglans cinerea), a range of wildlife including forest songbirds, fishers (Pekania pennanti), pileated woodpeckers (Dryocopus pileatus), barred owls (Strix varia), and an undergrowth composed of provincially-rare vascular plants, bryophytes, and fungi, notably maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum) and Goldie’s woodfern (Dryopteris goldieana).

This forest’s productivity stems from the AFH’s habitat-specific characteristics of well-draining calcareous soils on uplands and lowlands within the Appalachian Mountain chain. A combination of nutrient-rich and moist soil qualities, unique to the AHF, creates a perfect environment for soil bacteria and enzymes to flourish, providing the right conditions for abundant and lush understory vegetation.

Another feature supporting this preserve’s abundant biodiversity is the north-south orientation of the long ridges and valleys that make up the Appalachian’s forested mountains.  These spans provide essential corridors and natural highways for species such as moose (Alces alces), black bear (Ursus americanus), and bobcat (Lynx rufus) to migrate from either direction during alternating seasons and cycles of warming and cooling, settling in the microclimates that best suits them.

Facing the dual crises of climate change and nature loss, preserving these passageways and protecting more of the abundant and diverse habitat sheltered by spaces such as the MapleCross Demerchant Nature Preserve is more important than ever before, and the Nature Trust of New Brunswick proudly acknowledges the support and contributions of the MapleCross Fund to make this new preserve possible.

Content and property pictures courtesy of Nature Trust of New Brunswick.

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