Northern Ontario Plant Database
Northern Ontario Vegetation Type (V-type)
Summary: A black spruce-dominated stand, with black spruce providing 21-40% cover in the overstorey and 6-10% cover in the understorey. Trembling aspen, jack pine, and white birch also occur in the overstorey, but with less frequency and less cover than black spruce. Balsam fir provides equal cover in the understorey (6-10% cover).
The shrub layer is dominated by Labrador tea (6-10% cover), with lowbush and velvetleaf blueberries each providing 2-5% cover. Bristly wild rose and bush honeysuckle may provide similar cover, but occurred in fewer than 2/3 of the sample plots.
The herb layer is moderately poor; it is dominated by the characteristic boreal forest species and creeping snowberry, each providing up to 5% cover. Dwarf raspberry, goldthread, largeleaf aster, and mountain rice grass provide similar cover, but in 1/3 to 2/3 of sample plots.
The forest floor is composed of a carpet of feathermoss, including Schreber's feathermoss (> 40% cover), stairstep moss and plume moss (each 6-10% cover), interspersed with patches of mainly coniferous leaf litter. Other moss species may occur, but with less cover and frequency.
Soil and Ecosite Types: The Black Spruce-Stairstep Moss Vegetation Type (NE-V19) may occur on a variety of dry to moist non-calcareous (acidic) soil types, including dry to fresh sandy soils (S1), fresh to moist coarse loamy soils (S7), and moist fine loamy to clayey soils (S14), as well as medium calcareous loamy to silty soils (S10). This vegetation type may be found on ecosites ES5m (Black Spruce-Medium Soil) and ES6m (Trembling Aspen-Black Spruce-Balsam Fir-Medium Soil).
tall shrubsDwarf Shrubs & Herbs:
Lichens:Schreber's feathermoss (Pleurozium schreberi)
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.gray reindeer lichen (Cladina rangiferina)