Types of Rock in Ontario – Natural History (Lecture 1)
Biodiversity – total number of plants (flora) and animals (fauna). This is short form for
biological diversity. Total number and variety of living things (flora and fauna) in the area.
Ontario total biodiversity = >100,000 species
Reptiles and amphibians = Herptiles (50 species in Ontario), Fish = 154 species, Mammals =
81 species, and Birds = 490 species.
Invertebrates = 172 species of dragonflies & damselflies, 148 butterflies, while beetles have
thousands of species.
Why so many Species of animals in Ontario? – lots of plants, fresh water availability,
diversity of environments. Size of the province is large (> 1 million km^2), great range of
abiotic factors (temperature, range of precipitation, wind – effects erosion, soil type – some
soils retain water better then other soils), fire, rock type (rocks are made of minerals
providing nutrients that plants require – affect nutrient supply and soil chemistry).
Types of Bedrock
(a) Sedimentary Rock
The rock under any given area is called bedrock. Some bedrock is flat and layered they are
formed from sediments in water, they are called sedimentary rock. Young rocks are
between 400-500million years old. Limestone is a sedimentary rock. The rock is rich in
calcium (calcium carbonate) and is relatively soft and has a basic pH. When HCl is poured
on it – effervescence (bubbles up due to calcium content).
Some limestone is made from animals whose fossils remains are full of calcium.
Poison ivy – grows on this rock because it likes calcium (basic soil – they are calciphilic).
(b) Igneous Rock
Other rocks were formed from molten rock (magma) deep underground. They are not
layered. They are called igneous rocks (lacking calcium and lots of silica they are hard and
acidic). Granite is a common igne