Abstract for CNVC00283


Picea mariana / Chamaedaphne calyculata – Vaccinium angustifolium / Sphagnum spp.

Black Spruce / Leatherleaf – Early Lowbush Blueberry / Peat Mosses
Épinette noire / Cassandre caliculé – Bleuet à feuilles étroites / Sphaignes

CNVC00283 is a boreal wetland coniferous woodland Association that ranges from Manitoba to Quebec. It has an open tree layer of stunted (usually〈10m height), narrow-crowned black spruce (Picea mariana). The understory is species poor, with a preponderance of ericaceous species. The dense shrub layer comprises black spruce of various ages as well as abundant common Labrador tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum) and leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata) and less abundant pale bog laurel (Kalmia polifolia), velvet-leaved blueberry (Vaccinium myrtilloides) and early lowbush blueberry (V. angustifolium). In the Quebec portion of the range, sheep laurel (K. angustifolia) is also common. Herbs and dwarf shrubs are usually sparse, but creeping snowberry (Gaultheria hispidula), three-leaved false Solomon's seal (Maianthemum trifolium) and cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus) are typically present. 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). CNVC00283 occurs on wet, acidic, nutrient-poor sites in a region with a boreal continental climate that grades from subhumid in the west to humid in the east. Substrates are usually deep (>40 cm) 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.