The White Lake Fen
The White Lake Fen, which is a special type of wetland, has been designated an Area of Natural and Scientific
Interest and a Provincially Significant Wetland. This fen is home to the rare Bogbean Buckmoth which is and Endangered Species
found in one other location in Canada. For more information on the Bogbean Buckmoth, please click on the photo below of
Below are exerps from referenced web documents on the White Lake Fen which include literature references and lists
of some of the plant and animal life found there. Click on the highlighted words for links to press releases [1
to the White Lake Fen and a listing of all of the plants of Lanark County, Ontario.
A recent article by P.A. Keddy entitledGreen Gems: "A conservation priority list for Lanark County" lists the White Lake wetlands as one of those gems worthy of preservation.
White Lake Fen
The White Lake fen is a small wetland on the shore of White Lake in Lanark County, Ontario in Canada.
It has been designated both an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest and a Provincially Significant Wetland; it is also
listed as a Special Place in Lanark County. Fens are a relatively rare wetland habitat in the region of Lanark
County; they can occur on either marble or limestone bedrock. White lake has a granite dome along its north shore, while it spreads
over marble bedrock to the south. A number of calcareous fens have developed along the south shore. The largest of these has developed
in a long narrow arm of the lake, where it stretches for nearly two kilometers and covers 90 ha.
This fen has large ares of sedge
mat dominated by Wooly Sedge (Carex lasiocarpa). Two of the unusual plants there are the orchids Pogonia ophioglossoides (see
photo at lower left) and Calopogon tuberosus. There are also many species of ericaceous shrubs including Labrador
Tea (Ledum groenlandicum), Kalmia angustifolia, and Andromeda glaucophylla. The presence of evergreen shrubs indicates
the low nutrient levels in the wetland. In drier locations nearer the shore, there are wet conifer forersts with trees including
White Cedar and Black Spruce. Fens connected to open water, like this fen, have been found to differ in subtle ways from more isolated
This fen is also one of the few Canadian locations for the Bogbean Buckmoth a species of silk moth that
feeds on another typical fen plant, Bogbean (Menyanthes trifoliata)(see photo at lower right).
- Keddy, P.A. 2008.
Earth, Water, Fire: An Ecological Profile of Lanark County. General Store Publishing House, Renfrew, Ontario. 73 p. p. 55.
J.M. 1984. White Lake Fen. Trail and Landscape 18(3):134-141.
- Reddoch, J. and Reddoch, A. (1997). The Orchids in the Ottawa District.
Canadian Field-Naturalist, 111, 1–185. Appendix 2.
- Reddoch, J.M. 1984. White Lake Fen. Trail and Landscape 18(3):134-141.
- Keddy, P.A.
2010. Wetland Ecology: Principles and Conservation (2nd edition). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. 497 p.
- Godwin, K. S.,
Shallenberger, J., Leopold, D. J., and Bedford, B. L. (2002). Linking landscape properties to local hydrogeologic gradients and plant
species occurrence in New York fens: a hydrogeologic setting (HGS) framework. Wetlands, 22, 722–37.
(Endangered Species Declaration: Bogbean Buckmoth)
Pogonia grows in the fen at White Lake
Bogbean in flower
Click on the text below for a description of field visits to the White Lake Fen by two local naturalist societies. Plant and
animal species observed during these visits are listed. Also listed is a report on the White Lake Fen authored by Joyce Reddock.