Northern Ontario Plant Database
Northern Ontario Vegetation Type (V-type)
Summary: Mainly a hardwood stand dominated by balsam poplar, with trembling aspen as the next most frequently encountered canopy species, and in some plots occurring in greater numbers. The canopy is often irregular, caused by an uneven age-class distribution. Other overstorey species that occur with 30-40% frequency include balsam fir, white birch, white spruce, and black spruce. The shrub layer is moderately rich and is dominated by low shrubs, such as prickly wild rose, swamp red currant, and red osier dogwood. The tall shrub layer is comparatively sparse and contains speckled alder, mountain maple, and serviceberry.
The herb layer is very diverse and contains, most commonly, dwarf raspberry, wild sarsaparilla, red baneberry, naked mitrewort, and often bluejoint grass. Most of the characteristic boreal forest species are also present, except for twinflower. Sites with sweet coltsfoot and kidneyleaf violet will occur on sites with calcareous soils. The forest floor is dominated by broadleaf litter with scattered patches of moss.
Soil & Ecosite Types: The Balsam Poplar Hardwood & Mixedwood Vegetation Type (NW-V1) occurs mainly on Ecosite Type ES 23 (Hardwood-Spruce Mixedwood, moist, sandy-coarse loamy soil), but may also occur on types ES 30 (Black Ash Hardwood, fresh, silty-clayey soil), ES 17 (White Cedar, fresh-moist, coarse-fine loamy soil), and ES 38 (Rich Swamp: Black Ash (Other Hardwood), organic-mineral soil). This vegetation type occurs primarily on river floodplains or bottomlands with deep, fine-textured, fresh (S6) to moist (S8, S9, and S10) mineral soils, often of lacustrine origin. Calcareous soils are common and sites with fine-textured, poorly drained soils are potentially very productive. Site Regions or Site Districts are not listed for this type.
Note: The percentage of sample plots that contained overstorey tree species is given in square brackets after each scientific name. Other species are listed in order of frequency, according to the NW-FEC manual.
overstorey:balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera) Shrubs: