Site Accessibility Information Access Key 1 to Skip to Top Navigation Access Key 2 to Skip to the Three One One link Access Key 3 to Skip to City of Winnipeg Main Menu Access Key 4 to Skip to Left Navigation Menu Access Key 5 to Skip to Content area Access Key 6 to Skip to Right Sidebar content area Access Key 7 to Skip to Footer Links
City of Winnipeg
|  Link to the City of Winnipeg French websiteFrançais  |
COVID-19: City of Winnipeg response and latest updates on City facilities and services COVID-19 : Mesures prises par la Ville de Winnipeg et dernières nouvelles sur les installations et services municipaux
Parks and Open Space

Riverbottom Forest

Riverbottom forests grow along the edges of rivers and streams. They depend on the spring floods to deposit silt and replenish the soil with nutrients. In return, their roots stabilize stream and riverbanks, helping to reduce erosion. Riverbottom forests are very diverse habitats with a large number of plant species. This makes them attractive to many different wildlife species as they provide a variety of food and shelter, and are close to water. Habitats located along waterways are also called riparian habitats: riverbottom forest is one type of riparian habitat.

Riverbottom Forest

Riverbottom forests can generally be divided into three sections: the channel shelf or riverbank, the floodplain, and the terrace.

The riverbank is the gently sloping area right next to the edge of a river, stream or creek. This area of the riverbottom forest is dominated by trees such as willow and cottonwood. Few shrub species dominate in the riverbank area because of yearly flooding and damage from spring ice breakup. Instead, this part of the forest has more grasses and annual wildflowers.

Above the riverbank is the relatively flat floodplain. This part of the forest is usually dominated by trees such as green ash, basswood, American elm, and Manitoba maple. The greatest variety of species is usually found on the floodplain. Here the plant community is dominated by flood-tolerant perennial species. Common shrub species include: American hazelnut, beaked hazelnut, downy arrowwood, and chokecherry. Many flowers and grasses, as well as woody and non-woody vines also exist in the floodplain.

The terrace lies above the floodplain, on the highest elevation within the riverbottom forest, farthest from the river. As this area is not flooded as often, this part of the forest is dominated by plants which prefer a drier habitat such as bur oak. Many of the plants found in the floodplain may also grow on the terrace.

Although these three sections of riverbottom forest have distinct characteristics, it is usually difficult to tell where the boundaries are between them. Dutch Elm Disease has killed many of the American elm trees causing a shift in the dominant tree species from elm to green ash.

Last update: March 5, 2020
Contact the Public Works Department
General Office Hours
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday to Friday
1155 Pacific Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 3P1

Phone, Fax, Email: 311

Was this information helpful?

How can we make it better?

Any personal information included in your comments is collected by the City of Winnipeg under the authority of section 36(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for the purpose of improving our website and will not be used or disclosed for any other purposes, except as authorized by law. Contact the Corporate Access and Privacy Officer by mail (City Clerk’s Department, Susan A. Thompson Building, 510 Main Street, Winnipeg MB, R3B 1B9) or by telephone (311) if you have any questions about the collection of this information.

Ces renseignements sont-ils utiles?

Quelles améliorations pourrions-nous faire?

Les renseignements personnels qui sont inclus dans vos commentaires sont recueillis par la Ville de Winnipeg en conformité avec l’alinéa 36(1)b) de la Loi sur l’accès à l’information et la protection de la vie privée dans le but d’améliorer notre site Web et ne seront ni utilisés ni divulgués pour d’autres raisons, sauf dans les cas où cela est autorisé par la loi. Communiquez avec l’agent de l’accès à l’information et de la protection de la vie privée par courrier au Bureau du greffier, immeuble Susan-A.-Thompson, 510, rue Main, Winnipeg (Manitoba) R3B 1B9, ou par téléphone (311) si vous avez des questions sur la collecte de ces renseignements.