Northern Ontario Plant Database
Northern Ontario Vegetation Type (V-type)
Summary: A hardwood or mixedwood stand dominated by white birch in the canopy, though balsam fir is most common in the regeneration. In 30-40% of sample plots, conifer species such as balsam fir, spruces, and jack pine were also present. The shrub layer contains a mixture of tall and low shrubs, with mountain maple and showy mountain ash occurring most frequently. The low shrub layer includes bush honeysuckle and blueberries.
The herb layer is more diverse than the shrub layer, and includes all of the characteristic boreal forest species, as well as bluebead lily, wild sarsaparilla, rose twisted-stalk, and largeleaf aster. The forest floor is covered with broadleaf litter and scattered feathermoss patches.
Soil & Ecosite Types: The White Birch Hardwood & Mixedwood Vegetation Type (NW-V4) occurs in Site Regions 3S, 4S, and 3W. It is found most commonly in the eastern portion of Site Region 3W, near Lake Superior in the Marathon/White River area, where balsam fir may be more common than white birch in both the canopy and regeneration layers. These stands therefore appear similar to trembling aspen dominated stands with balsam fir as an associate species (NW-V6, NW-V7, NW-V8, and NW-V9).
In Site Regions 3S and 4S, NW-V4 stands with jack pine and black spruce as canopy associates resemble the Trembling Aspen-Black Spruce-Jack Pine/Low Shrub type (NW-V10). This V-Type occurs on Ecosite Types ES 16 (Hardwood-Fir-Spruce Mixedwood, sandy soil), ES 19 (Hardwood-Fir-Spruce Mixedwood, fresh, sandy-coarse loamy soil), ES 28 (Hardwood-Fir-Spruce Mixedwood, fresh, silty soil), and ES 29 (Hardwood-Fir-Spruce Mixedwood, fresh, fine loamy-clayey soil). This vegetation type typically occurs on deep to moderately deep, fresh to moist, coarse-textured, acidic (non- calcareous) mineral soils (S1, S2, S3), though occasional sites may have very shallow soils (SS6).
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 birch (Betula papyrifera) regeneration:
tall shrubs:Dwarf Shrubs & Herbs:mountain maple (Acer spicatum)low shrubs:
dwarf shrubs:Ferns & Fern Allies:twinflower (Linnaea borealis)forbs:bluebead lily (Clintonia borealis)
clubmosses:Bryophytes:bristly (or interrupted) clubmoss Lycopodium annotinum)
Schreber's feathermoss (Pleurozium schreberi)