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Classification
Scientific Name: Acadian Sub-boreal Spruce Barrens
Unique Identifier: CES201.561

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Summary: These barrens occur at the southeastern periphery of the boreal forest in northeastern North America. They form on sandplains and coarse outwash that often have undulating topography. Substrate microtopography can result in wetland pockets interspersed with upland areas. North of the range of most pine (except Pinus banksiana), Picea mariana tends to be the dominant tree. Picea rubens and red/black spruce hybrids are also common in the southern part of the range. Dwarf heath shrubs are extensive and diagnostic. Lichens, especially reindeer lichens, are often abundant in the ground layer. Vegetation physiognomy can vary within sites and can range from nearly closed forest to sparse trees over a dense dwarf heath understory. Fire is an important disturbance vector.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: This system is ecologically similar to open expressions of boreal Jack pine-black spruce forests of the upper Midwest and adjacent Canada but differs in lacking Pinus banksiana and in frequently having Picea rubens or its hybrids.

Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL006421 Picea mariana - Picea rubens / Rhododendron canadense / Cladonia spp. Swamp Woodland
CEGL006426 Vaccinium (angustifolium, myrtilloides, pallidum) - Cladonia rangiferina Dwarf-shrubland



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: No

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Forest and Woodland (Treed)  
Sandplains/Glacial Outwash or Flats  
Glaciated  
Acidic Soil  
Picea (glauca, mariana, rubens) - Abies  

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Lowland  
Toeslope/Valley Bottom  
Oligotrophic Soil  
Mineral: W/ A-Horizon >10 cm  
Udic  
Unconsolidated  
Long Disturbance Interval  
F-Landscape/Medium Intensity  
Needle-Leaved Tree  
Broad-Leaved Deciduous Shrub  
Broad-Leaved Evergreen Shrub  
Acidic Water  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Ameletus browni
  (Brown's Comb Minnow Mayfly)
G3G4  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Picea glauca G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Picea mariana G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Picea rubens G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Nemopanthus mucronatus G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Rhododendron canadense G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Vaccinium angustifolium G5 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Vaccinium pallidum G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Kalmia angustifolia G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 


Animal Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status Charact-
eristic
Exotic
Ameletus browni
  (Brown's Comb Minnow Mayfly)
G3G4      
Epeorus fragilis
  (Fragile Flat-headed Mayfly)
G4      
Lepus americanus
  (Snowshoe Hare)
G5      
Myodes gapperi
  (Southern Red-backed Vole)
G5      
Poecile hudsonicus
  (Boreal Chickadee)
G5      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: ME, NH, VT
Nation: Canada
Canadian Province Distribution: NB, QC
Global Range: This system is found in far-northern New England and is more widely distributed in adjacent eastern 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
48 Great Lakes Predicted or probable
63 Northern Appalachian-Boreal Forest Confident or certain

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

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 9133
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1464
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2464

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.

  • 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.


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Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

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Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

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IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

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"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
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Data last updated: March 2019