Northern Ontario Plant Database
Northern Ontario Vegetation Type (V-type)
Summary: A mixedwood stand dominated by white cedar in the overstorey, with black spruce occurring as the next most common canopy species. Other species, occurring with less than 40% frequency in sample plots, include balsam fir, white birch, and tamarack. This type occupies small, lowland areas, while the previous cedar type is more typical of upland sites. Balsam fir and cedar dominate the regeneration and may form dense thickets with speckled alder in the shrub layer. The low shrub layer is rather sparse, with Labrador tea and red osier dogwood occurring as the most common species.
The herb layer contains several dwarf shrubs, including creeping snowberry, dwarf raspberry, and twinflower. The characteristic boreal forest species, are present, as are goldthread and naked mitrewort. The occurrence of kidneyleaf violet, often found with naked mitrewort, indicates calcareous substrates or soils. But characteristic of this cedar type are species typically restricted to wet organic sites, such as threeleaf smilacina, sedges, and woodland horsetail; sedges are reported to be more abundant in the eastern portions of northwestern Ontario. The forest floor, which is composed of slightly drier hummocks and wet depressions, supports feathermosses (on hummocks) and peatmoss species in wetter areas.
Soil & Ecosite Types: The Cedar (inc. Mixedwood) / Speckled Alder / Sphagnum Vegetation Type (NW-V22) typically occurs on Ecosite Types ES 37 (Rich Swamp: Cedar (Other Conifer), organic soil). On rich sites in the Atikokan, Fort Frances, and Dryden areas, it may also be found on ES 32 (Fir-Spruce Mixedwood, moist, silty-clayey soil). This vegetation type occurs on wet, organic soils (S12S, S12F, S11, and SS9).
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:white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) regeneration:
tall shrubs:Dwarf Shrubs & Herbs:speckled alder (Alnus incana subsp. rugosa)low shrubs:
dwarf shrubs:Ferns & Fern Allies:creeping snowberry (Gaultheria hispidula)forbs:
horsetails:Bryophytes:woodland horsetail (Equisetum sylvaticum)
Schreber's feathermoss (Pleurozium schreberi)