Abstract for CNVC00335


Picea mariana / Kalmia angustifolia / Pleurozium schreberi – Sphagnum capillifolium

Black Spruce / Sheep Laurel / Red-stemmed Feathermoss – Small Red Peat Moss
Épinette noire / Kalmia à feuilles étroites / Pleurozie dorée – Sphaigne grêle

CNVC00335 is a boreal wetland coniferous forest Association that occurs on insular Newfoundland. It has a moderately closed canopy dominated by stunted (usually〈10m height), small-diameter (usually〈5cm DBH) black spruce (Picea mariana), usually with a minor component of balsam fir (Abies balsamea). The shrub layer is dense, sometimes with abundant black spruce, but sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia) dominates this layer and early lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) is consistently present with lower cover. The herb layer is moderately developed. Creeping snowberry (Gaultheria hispidula) and bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) are common; yellow clintonia (Clintonia borealis) can be abundant when present. The moss layer is continuous, characterized by abundant small red peat moss (Sphagnum capillifolium) and feathermosses, including red-stemmed feathermoss (Pleurozium schreberi), stairstep moss (Hylocomium splendens) and knight’s plume moss (Ptilium crista-castrensis), as well as three-leaved whipwort (Bazzania trilobata). CNVC00335 occurs on moist to wet, acidic, nutrient-poor sites throughout insular Newfoundland in a very humid maritime boreal climate. Exposure to strong and persistent winds contributes to the stunted growth form of black spruce. 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.