Northern Ontario Plant Database
Northern Ontario Vegetation Type (V-type)
Summary: A conifer stand dominated by white spruce and balsam fir in the canopy, with black spruce, jack pine, and white birch as minor canopy components. Regeneration is dominated by balsam fir. The shrub layer contains several tall shrubs, including serviceberry, showy mountain ash, mountain maple, beaked hazel, and on wetter sites, speckled alder. Low shrubs are very sparse, with only prickly wild rose listed; dwarf shrubs are listed with the herbs.
The species-rich herb layer contains dwarf raspberry and all of the characteristic boreal forest species, plus wild sarsaparilla, fragrant bedstraw, rose twisted-stalk, and largeleaf aster. Several other herbs occur, but with less frequency. The presence of kidneyleaf violet and sweet coltsfoot indicate calcareous substrates or soils. The forest floor is covered by a combination of conifer and broadleaf litter, and patches of feathermoss.
Soil & Ecosite Types: The White Spruce - Balsam Fir / Shrub Rich Vegetation Type (NW-V24) is found mainly on Ecosite Type ES 17 (White Cedar, fresh-moist, coarse-fine loamy soil), though it can occur in patches within sites ES 21 (Fir-Spruce Mixedwood, fresh, coarse loamy soil), and ES 27 (Fir-Spruce Mixedwood, fresh, silty-fine loamy soil). It can be found on a variety of deep, fresh to moist, mineral soil types, but occurs most commonly on S3, S4, S6, and S10.
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 spruce (Picea glauca) regeneration:
tall shrubsDwarf Shrubs & Herbs:serviceberries (Amelanchier spp.)low shrubs
dwarf shrubsBryophytes:dwarf raspberry (Rubus pubescens)forbs
Schreber's feathermoss (Pleurozium shreberi)