Northern Ontario Plant Database
Northern Ontario Vegetation Type (V-type)
Summary: A wet, lowland conifer stand dominated by black spruce, with tamarack as a minor component. The trees are generally stunted and widely spaced, typical of bog habitats with limited nutrient uptake. The shrub layer is dominated by Labrador tea and other ericaceous shrubs, with leatherleaf and bog laurel more abundant than the blueberries.
The very poor herb layer is dominated by species that can survive in very wet environments, including threeleaf smilacina, three-fruited sedge, and small cranberry. Hummocks will support creeping snowberry. The forest floor is a continuous carpet of peatmoss interrupted by wet hollows with open water and hummocks formed by the brown bog peatmoss, which support patches of Schreber's feathermoss and a few other moss species.
Soil & Ecosite Types: The Black Spruce / Leatherleaf / Sphagnum Vegetation Type (NW-V38) occurs primarily on Ecosite Types ES 34 (Treed Bog: Black Spruce/Sphagnum, organic soil) and ES 35 (Poor Swamp: Black Spruce, organic soil), and rarely on ES 12 (Black Spruce-Jack Pine, very shallow soil). This vegetation type can be found on poorly drained, lowland sites transitional to open bogs, primarily with organic soils (S12S, S12F, S11, SS9). Rarely, this site type may occur on shallow (SS1, SS2) or mineral (S7, S8) in the western portions of northwestern Ontario.
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:Bryophytes:small cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccus)forbs:
Lichens:Schreber's feathermoss (Pleurozium schreberi)
gray reindeer lichen (Cladina rangiferina)