Northern Ontario Plant Database
Northern Ontario Vegetation Type (V-type)
Summary: A mixedwood stand dominated by balsam fir, with considerable amounts of trembling aspen and/or white birch in the canopy; often characterized by uneven-aged stands and a relatively closed canopy. A variety of other conifer and hardwood species occurred in sample plots, but with less than 50% frequency. Balsam fir dominates the regeneration. This V-type, described as very variable in overstorey composition, is characterized by the dominance of balsam fir in both the canopy and regeneration layers. The shrub layer is also variable in its development. In sites with a shrub-rich understorey, balsam fir regen is accompanied by quantities of mountain maple, beaked hazel, and bush honeysuckle.
The herb layer is often species-rich, with wild sarsaparilla, rose twisted-stalk, dwarf raspberry, largeleaf aster, and naked mitrewort occurring with the characteristic boreal forest species, as well as bristly clubmoss and various ferns. The presence of kidneyleaf violet and sweet coltsfoot indicate calcareous substrates or soils. The forest floor is covered by broadleaf and conifer litter, with small patches of feathermosses.
The Balsam Fir Mixedwood (NW-V14) V-type is similar to NW-V15 and NW-V16, but NW-V15 is characterised by a canopy dominated by white spruce, while NW-V16 can be distinguished by its dominant moss cover on the forest floor, and its greater diversity of moss species.
Soil & Ecosite Types: The Balsam Fir Mixedwood The Balsam Fir Mixedwood (NW-V14) vegetation type is most commonly found on Ecosite Types ES 21 (Fir-Spruce Mixedwood, fresh, coarse loamy soil), ES 27 (Fir-Spruce Mixedwood, fresh, silty-fine loamy soil), and ES 32 (Fir-Spruce Mixedwood, moist, silty-clayey soil). It may occur on a variety of deep, fresh to moist mineral soils, including S3, S4, S10, and SS6.
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:Shrubs:balsam fir (Abies balsamea) regeneration:
tall shrubs:Dwarf Shrubs & Herbs:mountain maple (Acer spicatum)low shrubs:
dwarf shrubs:Ferns & Fern Allies:dwarf raspberry (Rubus pubescens)forbs:
Bryophytes:bristly (or interrupted) clubmoss (Lycopodium annotinum)
Schreber's feathermoss (Pleurozium schreberi)