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Picea mariana / (Vaccinium corymbosum, Gaylussacia baccata) / Sphagnum sp. Swamp Woodland
Translated Name: Black Spruce / (Highbush Blueberry, Black Huckleberry) / Peatmoss species Swamp Woodland
Common Name: Black Spruce Swamp Woodland
Unique Identifier: CEGL006098
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This black spruce bog association represents the southern range limit of the alliance, ranging from central New England to just south of the glacial border. This vegetation generally occurs in kettlehole basins and other well-defined topographic depressions and is characterized by relatively deep peat accumulation, indicating acidic, nutrient-poor conditions. The tree canopy ranges widely in closure. The dominant tree is Picea mariana, with associates including Larix laricina and Abies balsamea. The shrubs Vaccinium corymbosum and Ilex mucronata form a patchy tall-shrub layer. The dwarf-shrub layer is well-developed and characterized by a number of heaths including Chamaedaphne calyculata, Gaylussacia baccata, Kalmia angustifolia, and Vaccinium angustifolium. Common herbs may include Carex trisperma, Rhynchospora alba, Drosera rotundifolia, Sarracenia purpurea, Eriophorum virginicum, Coptis trifolia, and Maianthemum trifolium. The well-developed bryophyte layer is dominated by Sphagnum magellanicum, Sphagnum girgensohnii, Bazzania trilobata, Aulacomnium palustre, and Pleurozium schreberi. This association is further characterized by the presence of one or more tree or shrub species of more southern distribution, including Betula populifolia, Tsuga canadensis, Pinus rigida, Alnus incana, Rhododendron viscosum, Aronia spp., or Lyonia ligustrina. Additional species that further indicate southern range affinity or the influence of slightly higher nutrient levels from adjacent uplands may be present, including Carex folliculata, Carex crinita, Carex stricta, Osmunda cinnamomea, Symplocarpus foetidus, Iris versicolor, or Calla palustris. Northern species, such as Rhododendron canadense or Eriophorum vaginatum var. spissum, are generally lacking.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: This association is similar to Picea mariana / Alnus incana / Sphagnum spp. Swamp Forest (CEGL002452).

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 1 - Forest & Woodland
Subclass 1.B - Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland
Formation 1.B.3 - Temperate Flooded & Swamp Forest
Division 1.B.3.Na - Eastern North American-Great Plains Flooded & Swamp Forest
Macrogroup Laurentian-Acadian Flooded & Swamp Forest
Group Laurentian-Acadian Acidic Swamp
Alliance Northern Appalachian Red Spruce Swamp Forest

This is the revised vegetation hierarchy. For more information see Classification Sources and usnvc.org.

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL002452 Picea mariana / Alnus incana / Sphagnum spp. Swamp Forest
CEGL005271 Picea mariana - (Larix laricina) / Ledum groenlandicum / Sphagnum spp. Swamp Forest
CEGL006082 Picea mariana / Rubus chamaemorus / Sphagnum spp. Swamp Woodland



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Related Subnational Community Units
These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.
In the U.S., contact the state Heritage Program for the most complete and up-to-date information at: http://www.natureserve.org/natureserve-network.
Information from programs in other jurisdictions will be posted when they are made available.
Subnation Concept Name Relationship to Standard Confidence Reference
Connecticut Picea mariana / Kalmia angustifolia community Finer   Metzler and Barrett 2001
Connecticut Picea mariana / Nemopanthus mucronata community Broader   Metzler and Barrett 2006
Maine Spruce - larch wooded bog Broader   Gawler 2002
Massachusetts Spruce - Tamarack Bog Equivalent   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Hampshire Black spruce swamp Equivalent   Sperduto and Nichols 2004
New Jersey Picea mariana / (Vaccinium corymbosum, Gaylussacia baccata) / Sphagnum sp. Woodland Equivalent Certain NJNHP unpubl. data
New Jersey Black spruce swamp Undetermined   Breden 1989
New York Black spruce-tamarack bog Broader   Edinger et al. 2002
Pennsylvania Black Spruce - Tamarack Palustrine Woodland Intersects   Fike 1999
Pennsylvania Black Spruce - Tamarack Peatland Forest Intersects   Fike 1999
Rhode Island Black Spruce Bog Undetermined   Enser 1999
Vermont Black Spruce Woodland Bog Broader   Thompson and Sorenson 2000


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Carex trisperma - Black spruce forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Damman, A. W. H., and T. W. French. 1987. The ecology of peat bogs of the glaciated northeastern United States: A community profile. USDI Fish & Wildlife Service Biological Report 85(7.16). 100 pp.
Related Concept Name: Black Spruce (eastern type): 12
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.
Related Concept Name: NNE Acidic Seepage Swamp
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.
Related Concept Name: Northern New England level bog
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.
Related Concept Name: Type 18: Gymnosperm wooded fen-open gymnosperm wooded fen / shrub thicket (Larix laricina - Nemopanthus mucronatus - Rhododendron canadense)
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Engstrom, B. 1998. Inventory and classification of natural communities along the Upper Saco River, New Hampshire. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Inventory, Concord, NH. 26 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Type 18: Gymnosperm wooded fen-open gymnosperm wooded fen/shrub thicket (Larix laricina/Nemopanthus mucronatus/Rhododendron canadense)
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Anderson, D. S., and R. B. Davis. 1998. The flora and vegetation of Maine peatlands. Maine Agriculture and Forest Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 170. Orono, ME. 98 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES103.581 Eastern Boreal-Sub-boreal Bog
CES202.606 North-Central Interior and Appalachian Acidic Peatland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3G5 (01Dec1997)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT
Canadian Province Distribution: NB, QCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This black spruce bog association ranges from New England to just south of the glacial border.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Warm Continental Division
Province Name: Laurentian Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 212 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Maine-New Brunswick Foothills and Lowlands Section
Section Code: 212B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Fundy Coastal and Interior Section
Section Code: 212C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Glaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Hot Continental Division
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Oceanic) Province
Province Code: 221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lower New England Section
Section Code: 221A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Hudson Valley Section
Section Code: 221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Appalachian Piedmont Section
Section Code: 221D Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Division Name: Warm Continental Regime Mountains
Province Name: Adirondack-New England Mixed Forest - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M212 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: White Mountain Section
Section Code: M212A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Green, Taconic, Berkshire Mountain Section
Section Code: M212C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Catskill Mountain Section
Section Code: M212E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The dominant tree is Picea mariana, with associates including Larix laricina and Abies balsamea. The shrubs Vaccinium corymbosum and Ilex mucronata (= Nemopanthus mucronatus) form a patchy tall-shrub layer. The dwarf-shrub layer is well-developed and characterized by a number of heaths including Chamaedaphne calyculata, Gaylussacia baccata, Kalmia angustifolia, and Vaccinium angustifolium. Common herbs may include Carex trisperma, Rhynchospora alba, Drosera rotundifolia, Sarracenia purpurea, Eriophorum virginicum, Coptis trifolia, and Maianthemum trifolium. The well-developed bryophyte layer is dominated by Sphagnum magellanicum, Sphagnum girgensohnii, Bazzania trilobata, Aulacomnium palustre, and Pleurozium schreberi. This association is further characterized by the presence of one or more tree or shrub species of more southern distribution, including Betula populifolia, Tsuga canadensis, Pinus rigida, Alnus incana, Rhododendron viscosum, Aronia spp., or Lyonia ligustrina. Additional species that further indicate southern range affinity or the influence of slightly higher nutrient levels from adjacent uplands may be present, including Carex folliculata, Carex crinita, Carex stricta, Osmunda cinnamomea, Symplocarpus foetidus, Iris versicolor, or Calla palustris. Northern species, such as Rhododendron canadense or Eriophorum vaginatum var. spissum (= Eriophorum spissum), are generally lacking.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Picea mariana G4 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This vegetation generally occurs in kettlehole basins and other well-defined topographic depressions and is characterized by relatively deep peat accumulation, indicating acidic, nutrient-poor conditions. The tree canopy ranges widely in closure.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Northern Appalachian Planning Team and L.A. Sneddon
Element Description Edition Date: 26Nov1997
Element Description Author(s): L.A. Sneddon

Ecological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).


References
  • Anderson, D. S., and R. B. Davis. 1998. The flora and vegetation of Maine peatlands. Maine Agriculture and Forest Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 170. Orono, ME. 98 pp.

  • Breden, T. F. 1989. A preliminary natural community classification for New Jersey. Pages 157-191 in: E. F. Karlin, editor. New Jersey's rare and endangered plants and animals. Institute for Environmental Studies, Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ. 280 pp.

  • Breden, T. F., Y. R. Alger, K. S. Walz, and A. G. Windisch. 2001. Classification of vegetation communities of New Jersey: Second iteration. Association for Biodiversity Information and New Jersey Natural Heritage Program, Office of Natural Lands Management, Division of Parks and Forestry, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Trenton.

  • CDPNQ [Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec]. No date. Unpublished data. Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec, Québec.

  • Damman, A. W. H., and T. W. French. 1987. The ecology of peat bogs of the glaciated northeastern United States: A community profile. USDI Fish & Wildlife Service Biological Report 85(7.16). 100 pp.

  • Davis, T. 2011c. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. Black Spruce - Tamarack Palustrine Woodland Factsheet. [http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Community.aspx?=16050] (accessed January 31, 2012)

  • Davis, T. 2011g. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. Black Spruce - Tamarack Peatland Forest Factsheet. [http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Community.aspx?=16027] (accessed February 15, 2012)

  • Eastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boston, MA.

  • Edinger, G. J., D. J. Evans, S. Gebauer, T. G. Howard, D. M. Hunt, and A. M. Olivero, editors. 2014a. Ecological communities of New York state. Second edition. A revised and expanded edition of Carol Reschke's ecological communities of New York state. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY.

  • Engstrom, B. 1998. Inventory and classification of natural communities along the Upper Saco River, New Hampshire. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Inventory, Concord, NH. 26 pp. plus appendices.

  • Enser, R. W., and J. A. Lundgren. 2006. Natural communities of Rhode Island. A joint project of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Natural Heritage Program and The Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island. Rhode Island Natural History Survey, Kingston. 40 pp. [www.rinhs.org]

  • Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.

  • Fike, J. 1999. Terrestrial and palustrine plant communities of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Recreation, Bureau of Forestry, Harrisburg, PA. 86 pp.

  • Gawler, S. C. 2002. Natural landscapes of Maine: A guide to vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta, ME.

  • Gawler, S. C., and A. Cutko. 2010. Natural landscapes of Maine: A classification of vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta.

  • Lubinski, S., K. Hop, and S. Gawler. 2003. Vegetation Mapping Program: Acadia National Park, Maine. Report produced by U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, and Maine Natural Areas Program in conjunction with M. Story (NPS Vegetation Mapping Coordinator) NPS, Natural Resources Information Division, Inventory and Monitoring Program, and K. Brown (USGS Vegetation Mapping Coordinator), USGS, Center for Biological Informatics and NatureServe. [http://biology.usgs.gov/npsveg/ftp/vegmapping/acad/reports/acadrpt.pdf]

  • Metzler, K., and J. Barrett. 2006. The vegetation of Connecticut: A preliminary classification. State Geological and Natural History Survey, Report of Investigations No. 12. Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Hartford, CT.

  • Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.

  • Reschke, C. 1990. Ecological communities of New York State. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Latham, NY. 96 pp.

  • Sperduto, D. D., and W. F. Nichols. 2004. Natural communities of New Hampshire: A guide and classification. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord. 242 pp.

  • Swain, P. C., and J. B. Kearsley. 2014. Classification of the natural communities of Massachusetts. Version 2.0. Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Westborough, MA. [http://www.mass.gov/nhesp/http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/natural-heritage/natural-communities/classification-of-natural-communities.html]

  • Thompson, E. H., and E. R. Sorenson. 2005. Wetland, woodland, wildland: A guide to the natural communities of Vermont. The Nature Conservancy and the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. University Press of New England, Hanover, NH. 456 pp.

  • Zimmerman, E. A., T. Davis, M. A. Furedi, B. Eichelberger, J. McPherson, S. Seymour, G. Podniesinski, N. Dewar, and J. Wagner, editors. 2012. Terrestrial and palustrine plant communities of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Harrisburg. [http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Communities.aspx]


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