Occasional Paper No. 5  - Brooks Peninsula:

An Ice Age Refugium on Vancouver Island


Brooks Peninsula, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, exhibits physical and biological characteristics of a region which may have escaped the last glaciation. Its high peaks perch at the edge of the continental shelf, near the limit of the last ice sheet, and support rare endemic plant species.
Historically the area has received little study. A multidisciplinary research team from the Royal British Columbia Museum, government agencies, universities and the private sector collected specimens and data on the human and natural history of the peninsula.

The objectives of the expedition were to determine the age of the land surface and describe its environmental history, determine the degree to which the plant and animal populations differ from adjacent glaciated areas, and document past use of the landscape by people. This volume presents results on the bedrock and Quaternary geology and soils, vascular and non-vascular plants, cytogeography, vegetation and late Quaternary paleoecology, invertebrate and vertebrate fauna, archaeology and ethnographic history.

Each contribution discusses the significance of results with respect to the question of a glacial refugium on the peninsula.

Two concluding chapters consider the question of a refugium on the basis of the collective results and interpretations, and highlight the value of expeditions in museum research.

The following is the table of contents for the paper:
  • Chapter 1 - Brooks Peninsula Refugium Project
  • Chapter 2 - Bedrock Geology of Brooks Peninsula
  • Chapter 3 - Quaternary Geology of Brooks Peninsula
  • Chapter 4 - Soils of Brooks Peninsula
  • Chapter 5 - Vascular Plants and Phytogeography of Brooks Peninsula
  • Chapter 6 - Cytogeographic Studies on the Vascular Plants of Brooks Peninsula
  • Chapter 7 - Hepaticae and Musci of Brooks Peninsula
  • Chapter 8 - Vegetation of Brooks Peninsula
  • Chapter 9 - Late Quaternary Paleoecology of Brooks Peninsula
  • Chapter 10 - Terrestrial Arthropods of Brooks Peninsula
  • Chapter 11 - Fishes of Brooks Peninsula
  • Chapter 12 - Vertebrates of Brooks Peninsula
  • Chapter 13 - Ethnographic History of Brooks Peninsula Region
  • Chapter 14 - Archaeology of Brooks Peninsula
  • Chapter 15 - Brooks Peninsula as an Ice Age Refugium
  • Chapter 16 - Museum Expeditions and Interdisciplinary Research
The paper has been distributed to public and educational libraries in British Columbia.