Abstract for CNVC00282


Picea mariana / Rhododendron groenlandicum – Kalmia angustifolia / Sphagnum spp.

Black Spruce / Common Labrador Tea – Sheep Laurel / Peat Mosses
Épinette noire / Thé du Labrador – Kalmia à feuilles étroites / Sphaignes

CNVC00282 is a boreal wetland coniferous forest Association that ranges from Manitoba to Quebec. It has a moderately closed canopy of black spruce (Picea mariana). The understory is species poor, with a preponderance of ericaceous species. The shrub layer is dense, comprising regenerating black spruce and abundant common Labrador tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum), as well as velvet-leaved blueberry (Vaccinium myrtilloides), early lowbush blueberry (V. angustifolium), and in the eastern portion of the range, sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia). The herb layer is sparse; only creeping snowberry (Gaultheria hispidula), three-leaved false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum trifolium) and sedges (Carex spp.) are common. The moss layer is continuous and dominated by peat mosses (Sphagnum spp.), but red-stemmed feathermoss (Pleurozium schreberi) and reindeer lichens (Cladina spp.) are common on dry microsites (e.g., peat hummocks). CNVC00282 occurs on wet, acidic, nutrient-poor sites in a region with a boreal climate that grades from subhumid continental in the west, to very humid and more maritime-influenced in the east. Substrates are usually organic soils formed from slowly decomposing Sphagnum and other mosses. Although fire can occasionally occur, this is typically a stable condition that is maintained by a persistently high water table and poor nutrient conditions; local hydrology is the main driver of vegetation dynamics. Two subassociations are distinguished, typic and Pinus banksiana.