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Classification
Scientific Name: Acadian Sub-boreal Spruce Flat
Unique Identifier: CES201.562
Image 21915
© Andrew Cutko
Summary: These spruce-fir forests are found in the colder regions of the northern Appalachians-Acadian region, in areas of imperfectly drained soils where they often form extensive flats along valley bottoms. The nutrient-poor acidic soils are typically saturated at snowmelt but are moderately well-drained for much of the growing season and may be reasonably dry at the soil surface. The mostly closed-canopy forests have Picea rubens, Picea mariana, and Abies balsamea as the dominant trees; other conifers are often present. Bryophytes are abundant in the ground layer; other layers are typically rather sparse. Many occurrences may be jurisdictional wetlands due to seasonal saturation, but the vegetation is primarily made up of upland or facultative species. The distribution in the Laurentian-Acadian Division is mostly Canadian.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: This might be considered as a component of Acadian Low-Elevation Spruce-Fir-Hardwood Forest (CES201.565) but differs from that type sensu stricto in its hydrology (wetland vs. upland) and in that its range is somewhat more boreal. Alternatively, it shares some characteristics with Northern Appalachian-Acadian Conifer-Hardwood Acidic Swamp (CES201.574) but is more boreal in nature and appears to be typically not on consistently saturated soils. Information from Quebec and New Brunswick would be helpful in assessing its placement.

Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES201.565 Acadian Low-Elevation Spruce-Fir-Hardwood Forest
CES201.574 Northern Appalachian-Acadian Conifer-Hardwood Acidic Swamp


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL006361 Picea mariana - Picea rubens / Pleurozium schreberi Swamp Forest



Classifiers

Land Cover Class: Mixed Upland and Wetland
Spatial Pattern: Large patch
Natural/Seminatural: No
Vegetated ( > 10% vascular cover):
Upland: Yes
Wetland: Yes
Isolated Wetland: Partially Isolated

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Lowland  
Forest and Woodland (Treed)  
Toeslope/Valley Bottom  
Glaciated  
Picea (glauca, mariana, rubens) - Abies  

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Extensive Wet Flat  
Isolated Wetland Partially Isolated
Mesotrophic Soil  
Acidic Soil  
Mineral: W/ A-Horizon >10 cm  
Udic  
Very Long Disturbance Interval  
F-Landscape/Medium Intensity  
Needle-Leaved Tree  
Short (<5 yrs) Flooding Interval Short interval, Spring Flooding

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Siphlonisca aerodromia
  (Tomah Mayfly)
G2G3  
Siphlonurus barbaroides
  (Wild Primitive Minnow Mayfly)
G3  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Abies balsamea G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Larix laricina G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Picea glauca G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Picea mariana G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Picea rubens G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Thuja occidentalis G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Rubus pubescens G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Mitella nuda G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex trisperma G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Animal Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status Charact-
eristic
Exotic
Myodes gapperi
  (Southern Red-backed Vole)
G5      
Perisoreus canadensis
  (Canada Jay)
G5      
Poecile hudsonicus
  (Boreal Chickadee)
G5      
Siphlonisca aerodromia
  (Tomah Mayfly)
G2G3      
Siphlonurus barbaroides
  (Wild Primitive Minnow Mayfly)
G3      
Tamiasciurus hudsonicus
  (Red Squirrel)
G5      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: ME, NH, NY, VT
Nation: Canada
Canadian Province Distribution: NB, QC
Global Range: This system is found in the northernmost parts of New England, north and east into Canada.

Biogeographic Divisions
Division Code and Name Primary Occurrence Status
103-Boreal C: Confident or certain
201-Laurentian-Acadian C: Confident or certain

The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Ecoregions
Code Name Occurrence Status
63 Northern Appalachian-Boreal Forest Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
64 Northeastern Highlands Confident or certain
66 The North Woods Confident or certain

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 9134
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1465
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2465

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: Yes

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 29Oct2008
Element Description Author(s): S.C. Gawler

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


References
  • Comer, P., D. Faber-Langendoen, R. Evans, S. Gawler, C. Josse, G. Kittel, S. Menard, C. Nordman, M. Pyne, M. Reid, M. Russo, K. Schulz, K. Snow, J. Teague, and R. White. 2003-present. Ecological systems of the United States: A working classification of U.S. terrestrial systems. NatureServe, Arlington, VA.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.


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Data last updated: March 2019