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Ecological Sections: Sierra Nevada - (MAP)

Subsection M261Ee
Bucks Lake

This subsection is the higher part of a granitic pluton and surrounding rocks in the vicinity of Bucks Lake.  It has a temperate to cold, humid climate.  MLRAs 22c and 22d.

Lithology and Stratigraphy.   Mesozoic granitic rocks predominate in this subsection.  Also, there are Paleozoic marine sedimentary and metavolcanic rocks.  Quaternary alluvium and glacial till are present, but not extensive.

Geomorphology.   This subsection is on a gently sloping to moderately steep plateau that is bisected by the North Fork of the Feather River.  The North Fork has cut across the plateau and runs in the bottom of a very steep sided canyon, about 2000 to 4000 feet below the plateau surface.  Higher parts of the plateau and the northern edge of it were glaciated during the Pleistocene.  The elevation ranges from about 2000 feet along Feather River up to 7176 feet on Bald Eagle Hill.   Fluvial erosion and, in the Feather River canyon, mass wasting are the main geomorphic processes.

Soils.  The soils on granitic rocks are mostly Dystric, Lithic, and shallow Typic Xeropsamments and Typic and Dystric Xerochrepts.  On other kinds of rocks they are mostly Dystric Xerochrepts; Andic Xerumbrepts; Lithic Ultic and Ultic Haploxerolls; and Ultic Haploxeralfs.  The soils are well drained.  Soil temperature regimes are frigid on the plateau and mostly mesic in the canyon of the Feather River.  Soil moisture regimes are mostly xeric.

Vegetation.   The predominant natural plant communities are Mixed conifer series and White fir series.  Jeffrey pine series is common in glacially eroded, or scoured, terrain.  There is some Red fir series at higher elevations.  Huckleberry oak series occurs on very stony colluvium, or talus.  Wet areas with Sedge meadow communities and Mountain alder series or Lodgepole pine series are common, but not extensive.

    Characteristic series by lifeform include:
    Grasslands: Ashy ryegrass series, Green fescue series, Idaho fescue series, Montane meadow habitat, Nebraska sedge series, Needle-and-thread series, Rocky Mountain sedge series.
    Shrublands: Bush chinquapin series, Deerbrush series, Greenleaf manzanita series, Huckleberry oak series, , Mountain whitethorn series, Tobacco brush series, Wedgeleaf ceanothus series.
    Forests and woodlands: Douglas-fir series, Douglas-fir - Ponderosa pine series, Douglas-fir - tanoak series, Incense-cedar series, Jeffrey pine series, Lodgepine pine series, Mixed conifer series, Red fir series, Western white pine series, White fir series.
Climate.  The mean annual precipitation is about 60 to 90 inches.  Much of the precipitation is snow; it is mostly snow on the high plateau.  Mean annual temperature is about 40 to 55 F.  The mean freeze-free period is about 50 to 150 days.

Surface Water.  Runoff is rapid from most of the area.  Most of the runoff flows to the North Fork of the Feather River or its tributaries.  There are some small lakes, or ponds, in the glaciated terrain, and a large reservoir (Bucks Lake). 



ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - map/sat - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - book store
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073108-1973