Abstract for CNVC00296


Picea mariana – Abies balsamea / Alnus incana

Black Spruce – Balsam Fir / Speckled Alder
Épinette noire – Sapin baumier / Aulne rugueux

CNVC00296 is a boreal coniferous forest Association that occurs in Ontario and Quebec. The canopy is usually moderately closed, comprising roughly equal proportions of black spruce (Picea mariana) and balsam fir (Abies balsamea). The dense shrub layer has abundant speckled alder (Alnus incana), with lower abundance of regenerating balsam fir and black spruce as well as the shrub species red raspberry (Rubus idaeus), common Labrador tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum), velvet-leaved blueberry (Vaccinium myrtilloides) and willows (Salix spp.). The herb layer is moderately developed and typically includes bunchberry (Cornus canadensis), twinflower (Linnaea borealis), wild lily-of-the-valley (Maianthemum canadense), northern starflower (Lysimachia borealis), yellow clintonia (Clintonia borealis), goldthread (Coptis trifolia), creeping snowberry (Gaultheria hispidula), dwarf raspberry (Rubus pubescens), sedges (Carex spp.) and violets (Viola spp.). The moss layer is moderately developed; red-stemmed feathermoss (Pleurozium schreberi) is dominant, but knight’s plume moss (Ptilium crista-castrensis) and broom mosses (Dicranum spp.) are also present, sometimes with discontinuous patches of peat mosses (Sphagnum spp.). CNVC00296 occurs in a region with a continental boreal climate that grades from subhumid in the western portion of its range to humid in the east. It is usually found on moist, nutrient-medium to rich sites. 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 and disturbance type and history affect the relative dominance of each species.