Northern Ontario Plant Database
Northern Ontario Vegetation Type (V-type)
Summary: A conifer stand dominated by white cedar (21-40% cover), white spruce, black spruce, and balsam fir (each with 11-20% cover). The understorey is dominated by regeneration of white cedar (11-20% cover) and balsam fir (6-10% cover). White birch occurs in both the overstorey and understorey, but with less than 5% cover.
The shrub layer is moderately rich, though dominated by mountain maple (11-20% cover) and speckled alder (6-10% cover). Other species include showy mountain ash and Canada fly honeysuckle (each 2-5% cover). Lesser quantities of red osier dogwood, prickly wild rose, currants, squashberry, and serviceberry may also occur.
The herb layer is species-rich, with several species providing 2-5% cover, including dwarf raspberry, wild sarsaparilla, naked mitrewort, goldthread, violets, sedges, oak fern, and the characteristic boreal forest species. Numerous other herb and pteridophyte species provide similar cover, but on fewer than 2/3 of the sample plots, and several other species consistently provide a cover of up to 1%.
The forest floor is a patchwork of deciduous and coniferous leaf litter with scattered patches of feathermosses, including Schreber's feathermoss, stairstep moss, shaggy moss (each 11-20% cover), and plume moss (2-5% cover). In wet depressions, which are often ephemeral, clumps of peatmoss species may also be found.
Soil and Ecosite Types: The White Cedar-Spruce -Balsam Fir-Fern Vegetation Type (NE-V16) occurs on fresh to wet fine-textured or organic soil types, including fine loamy to clayey soils (S13), shallow organic soils (S15, S16), and deep organic soils (S17, S18). This vegetation type (NE-V16) occurs most commonly on ecosite types ES 13r (White Cedar-Black Spruce-Organic Soil-Species Rich) and ES 9r (White Spruce-Balsam Fir-White Cedar-Moist Soil-Species Rich), but may occur on ecosite types ES 1p (Black Sspruce-Jack Pine-Very Shallow Soil-Species Poor), ES 5f (Black Spruce-Fine Soil), ES 6f (Black Spruce-Trembling Aspen-Fine Soil), ES 7c (Trembling Aspen-White birch-Coarse Soil), ES 13p (Black Spruce-Larch-Speckled Alder-Organic Soil-Species Poor), and ES 18 (Jack Pine-White Pine-Red Pine).
tall shrubsDwarf Shrubs & Herbs:
dwarf shrubsFerns & Fern Allies:
Note: Species listed above are taken from the Vegetation type description and the Species Percentage Cover by Vegetation Type Tables (pg. D 34). Species are listed in order of most cover and abundance.Schreber's feathermoss (Pleurozium schreberi)