Northern Ontario Plant Database
Northern Ontario Vegetation Type (V-type)
Summary: A wet, open conifer stand dominated by tamarack (larch), with black spruce frequently found in the canopy and regeneration. Other conifer species occur in very small numbers and hardwoods are generally absent. The shrub layer may support occasional thickets of speckled alder, but it is generally dominated by Labrador tea, with smaller quantities of swamp red currant, prickly wild rose, and northern fly honeysuckle.
The herb layer contains several dwarf shrubs, such as dwarf raspberry, creeping snowberry, and twinflower. The characteristic boreal forest species are common, except for bluebead lily. Species typical of wet sites, such as threeleaf smilacina and woodland horsetail are also present. Sedges are described as being a significant component of this vegetation type, but no species are listed in the NW-FEC manual. The forest floor is covered by carpets of feathermoss (on drier hummocks) and peatmoss (in wet depressions), and some conifer litter.
Soil & Ecosite Types: The Tamarack (Black Spruce)/Speckled Alder /Labrador Tea Vegetation Type (NW-V23) occurs mainly on Ecosite types ES 36 (Intermediate Swamp: Black Spruce (Tamarack), organic soil), ES 37 (Rich Swamp: Cedar (Other Conifer), organic soil), and occasionally on ES 17 (White Cedar, fresh-moist, coarse-fine loamy soil). This V-type occurs mainly on wet, organic soils (S12F, S12S, SS9), but in Site Regions S3, 4S, and 5S, may be found on moist, mineral S11).
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:tamarack or larch (Larix laricina) regeneration:
tall shrubs:Dwarf Shrubs & Herbs:speckled alder (Alnus incana subsp. rugosa)low shrubs:Labrador tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum)
dwarf shrubs:Ferns & Fern Allies:dwarf raspberry (Rubus pubescens)forbs:
ferns:Bryophytes:spinulose shield fern (Dryopteris carthusiana)horsetails:
Schreber's feathermoss (Pleurozium schreberi)