Northern Ontario Plant Database
Northern Ontario Vegetation Type (V-type)
Summary: A wet, lowland conifer stand dominated by black spruce in the canopy and regeneration layer. Several other conifer species are reported, but none of these occurs with more than 10-20% frequency. The shrub layer is composed of an occasional speckled alder, with often dense black spruce and fir regen, but low shrubs, mainly Labrador tea and blueberries, dominate the understorey.
The species-poor herb layer includes a few dwarf shrubs, such as creeping snowberry, twinflower, and dwarf raspberry. Herbs include bunchberry, gold thread, and wild lily-of-the-valley. The woodland horsetail is also present. The forest floor is covered by a continuous carpet of feathermosses, with peatmoss occurring in wetter areas of the stand.
Soil & Ecosite Types: The Black Spruce/Labrador Tea/Feathermoss (Sphagnum) Vegetation Type (NW-V34) occurs on moist to wet, lowland or lower slope sites, mainly on Ecosite Type ES 22 (Spruce-Pine/Feathermoss, moist, sandy-coarse loamy soil), but it may also occur along cedar swamp margins, such as ES 37 (Rich Swamp-Cedar (Other Conifer), organic soil). In the western portions of northwestern Ontario, it can be found on mineral soils (S7, S8), but it usually occurs on wet, organic soils (S12F, and S12S).
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:Shurbs:black spruce (Picea mariana) regeneration:
tall shrubs:Dwarf Shrubs & Herbs:speckled alder (Alnus incana subsp. rugosa)low shrubs:Labrador tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum)
dwarf shrubs:Ferns & Fern Allies:creeping snowberry (Gaultheria hispidula)forbs:
horsetails:Bryophytes:woodland horsetail (Equisetum sylvaticum)
Schreber's feathermoss (Pleurozium schreberi)