Northern Ontario Plant Database
Northern Ontario Vegetation Type (V-type)
Summary: A wet, lowland conifer stand dominated by black spruce. Tamarack plays a minor role in the open canopy. Regeneration is mainly black spruce. The shrub layer is dominated by Labrador tea and contains a variety of other low, ericaceous shrubs, including blueberries, bog laurel, and leatherleaf. The presence of typical bog shrubs is characteristic of these stands, which are found along the margins of peatbogs and in wet depressions.
The herb layer is relatively poor, with creeping snowberry, small cranberry, threeleaf smilacina, woodland horsetail, and three-fruited sedge, with the sedge often occurring in abundance. The wet, forest floor is covered by a continuous carpet of peatmoss, with slightly drier hummocks occupied by feathermoss carpets with some gray reindeer lichen.
Soil & Ecosite Types: The Black Spruce/Ericaceous Shrub/Sphagnum Vegetation Type (NW-V37) occurs primarily on Ecosite Types ES 34 (Treed Bog: Black Spruce/Sphagnum, organic soil) and ES 35 (Poor Swamp: Black Spruce, organic soil), and occasionally on ES 12 (Black Spruce-Jack Pine, very shallow soil). This vegetation type can be found 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 occasionally 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:
low shrubs:Dwarf Shrubs & Herbs:Labrador tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum)
dwarf shrubs:Ferns & Fern Allies:creeping snowberry (Gaultheria hispidula)forbs:
horsetails:Bryophytes:woodland horsetail (Equisetum sylvaticum)
Lichens:Schreber's feathermoss (Pleurozium schreberi)
gray reindeer lichen (Cladina rangiferina)