Abstract for CNVC00217


Picea mariana – Abies balsamea / Rhododendron groenlandicum / Pleurozium schreberi

Black Spruce – Balsam Fir / Common Labrador Tea / Red-stemmed Feathermoss
Épinette noire – Sapin baumier / Thé du Labrador / Pleurozie dorée

CNVC00217 is a boreal coniferous forest Association that ranges from Manitoba to Quebec. The canopy is moderately closed, comprising roughly equal proportions of black spruce (Picea mariana) and balsam fir (Abies balsamea). The well-developed to dense shrub layer has abundant balsam fir and black spruce regeneration in addition to common Labrador tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum). It also includes paper birch (Betula papyrifera), velvet-leaved blueberry (Vaccinium myrtilloides), early lowbush blueberry (V. angustifolium) and in the eastern part of the range, sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia). The herb layer is poorly developed with only bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) and creeping snowberry (Gaultheria hispidula) common. A well-developed to continuous mat of feathermosses, in particular red-stemmed feathermoss (Pleurozium schreberi), further characterizes this Association. CNVC00217 occurs in a region with a continental boreal climate that is subhumid in the west, becoming increasingly humid and maritime farther east. It commonly occurs on sites that are mesic and nutrient-medium. It is a late seral condition with dynamics driven mainly by fire, outbreaks of spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) and windthrow. Although black spruce and balsam fir are present in every stand, climate, disturbance type and history and site conditions affect the relative dominance of each species. Two subassociations are distinguished, typic and Kalmia angustifolia.