Northern Ontario Plant Database
Northern Ontario Vegetation Type (V-type)
Summary: A mixedwood stand dominated by balsam fir and/or white spruce, and white birch in the canopy. Black spruce and trembling aspen also occur frequently. The regeneration layer is dominated by balsam fir. The shrub layer is diverse, with low shrubs, such as bush honeysuckle and velvetleaf blueberry, occurring more frequently. The most common tall shrubs are showy mountain ash and mountain maple.
A wide variety of dwarf shrubs occur in the herb layer, including twinflower, dwarf raspberry, and creeping snowberry. The characteristic boreal forest species are all present, as well as wild sarsaparilla, rose twisted-stalk, goldthread, and bristly clubmoss. The presence of kidneyleaf violet indicates calcareous substrates or soils. The forest floor is covered by extensive carpets of feathermoss, with smaller patches of broadleaf and conifer litter.
This V-type is similar to the White Spruce Mixedwood type (NW-V15), but the latter is characterised by a white spruce-dominated canopy. Also, NW-V16 can be distinguished by its dominant feathermoss cover and greater diversity of moss species on the forest floor. Another similar stand type is the White Spruce-Balsam Fir/Feathermoss (NW-25), which can be differentiated by its low hardwood content.
Soil & Ecosite Types: The Balsam Fir Mixedwood type (NW-V16) vegetation type occurs mainly on Ecosite Types ES 21 (Fir-Spruce Mixedwood, fresh, coarse loamy soil) and ES 27 (Fir-Spruce Mixedwood, fresh, silty-fine loamy soil). It may be found on a wide range of soil types, but occurs primarily on fresh to moist, upland mineral soils (including S3, S4, 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:showy mountain ash (Sorbus decora)low shrubs:
dwarf shrubs:Ferns & Fern Allies:twinflower (Linnaea borealis)forbs:
clubmosses:Bryophytes:bristly (or interrupted) clubmoss Lycopodium annotinum)
Schreber's feathermoss (Pleurozium schreberi)