Northern Ontario Plant Database
Northern Ontario Vegetation Type (V-type)
Summary: A hardwood stand, consistently dominated by trembling aspen in the canopy, with balsam fir most common in the understorey. Other species that occurred in 1/3 to 2/3 of the sample stands include white birch (21-40% cover), and balsam fir and white spruce (6-10% cover). Species of less frequent occurrence (fewer than 1/3 of the sites), but with good cover, include white and red pine (21-40% cover), red maple (11-20% cover), and yellow birch (6-10% cover). Regeneration is predominantly balsam fir (6-10% cover), with trembling aspen, white birch and white spruce occurring in only 1/3 to 2/3 of the plots and providing less cover (2-5%).
The shrub and herb layers are considered moderately rich. Tall shrubs provide the most cover, including mountain maple (21-40% cover) and beaked hazel (11-20% cover), with showy mountain ash occurring less frequently (1/3 to 2/3 of plots) and providing only 2-5% cover. Low shrubs, most commonly bush honeysuckle, provide less cover (2-5%), while lowbush blueberry, velvetleaf blueberry, and Canada fly honeysuckle provide a similar cover, but occur in only 1/3 to 2/3 of the sample plots.
In the herb layer, largeleaf aster occurs most consistently and provides the most cover (6-10%), followed by sarsaparilla (2-5%). All of the characteristic boreal forest species are present, with bluebead lily also providing 6-10% cover; less cover is provided by bunchberry and wild lily-of-the-valley (each 2-5%), and twinflower and starflower (up to 1%). Herbs and dwarf shrubs occurring with less frequency (1/3 to 2/3 of plots) include dwarf raspberry, goldthread, violet species (each 2-5% cover), rose twisted-stalk, and sedges (each 1% cover).
The most common pteridophytes include bracken fern (6-10% cover) and ground pine (2-5% cover), with spinulose woodfern providing the same cover, but in fewer than 2/3 of the plots. The thick, deciduous leaf litter prevents the development of a heavy moss layer, with Schreber's feathermoss providing only 2-5% cover; plume moss provides similar cover, but in fewer than 2/3 of the plots. Dusky broom moss and sickle moss occur occasionally.
Soil & Ecosite Types: The Trembling Aspen-Beaked Hazel Vegetation Type (NE-V4) is found on a variety of non-calcareous (acidic) soils primarily with a dry to fresh or moist moisture regime. The most common soil type is a dry to fresh coarse loam (S5), followed by dry to fresh sandy soils (S1), fresh or fresh to moist, loamy to silty soils (S9 and S11). This vegetation type may be found on ecosite types ES 1r (White Spruce-White Birch-Very Shallow Soil-Species Rich), ES 6c (Trembling Aspen-Black Spruce-Jack Pine-Coarse Soil), ES 7f (Trembling Aspen-White Spruce-White Birch-Fine Soil), ES 7m (Trembling Aspen-White Birch-Medium Soil), ES 7c (Trembling Aspen-White Birch-Coarse Soil), ES 10 (Trembling Aspen-Black Spruce-Balsam Poplar-Moist Soil), ES15 (Red Maple), ES 16 (Yellow Birch), ES18 (Jack Pine-White Pine-Red Pine), ES 19 (White Pine-red pine-mixedwood), ES 20 (White Pine-Hardwood Mixedwood), and ES 21 (White Pine-Coniferous Mixedwood).
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)