Northern Ontario Plant Database
Northern Ontario Vegetation Type (V-type)
Summary: A wet, lowland conifer stand dominated by black spruce; other conifers occurred with only 10% frequency in sample plots, including jack pine, balsam fir, and tamarack. Like the previous vegetation type (NW-V35), the tall shrub layer is composed of speckled alder, black spruce, and balsam fir regen, and the low shrub layer is dominated by Labrador tea and blueberries.
The herb layer is slightly less diverse than in NW-V35, with creeping snowberry and small cranberry occurring with bunchberry, goldthread, threeleaf smilacina, bluebead lily, wild lily-of-the-valley, and woodland horsetail. The forest floor is covered by carpets of feathermoss and other moss species on hummocks, and peatmoss in wet depressions.
Soil & Ecosite Types: The Black Spruce/Bunchberry/Sphagnum (Feathermoss) Vegetation Type (NW-V36) occurs primarily on Ecosite Type ES 36 (Intermediate Swamp: Black Spruce (Tamarack), organic soil), but may occasionally be found on types ES 12 (Black Spruce-Jack Pine, very shallow soil), and ES 36 (Intermediate Swamp: Black Spruce (Tamarack), organic soil). This vegetation type occurs on poorly drained, lowland sites, mainly with organic soils (S12S, S12F, S11, SS9) or shallow soils (SS1, SS2), but in the western portions of northwestern Ontario, it may occur on mineral soils (S7, S8).
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: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)