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Subarctic Vegetation

Subarctic: Black Spruce ForestThe most widespread vegetation in the Subarctic subregion of Alberta is an open forest of black spruce - Labrador tea - lichen on Organic Cryosols and Organics. Typical understory species include Labrador Tea, Cloudberry, Bog Cranberry, peat mosses, and reindeer lichens. Widespread fires in this subregion have resulted in large areas of heath shrub/lichen vegetation with scattered, young Black Spruce.

Black Spruce forests on moderately well to imperfectly drained mineral soils include a Black Spruce - feathermoss type thatSubarctic: Labrador Tea typically includes Labrador Tea, Bog Cranberry, Crowberry, Woodland Horsetail, Bunchberry, and the feathermosses. A similar forest on well-drained sites has less cover of feathermosses and greater amounts of lichens.

Less common on warm, well drained till sites are mixed forests of White Spruce-Aspen or White Spruce-Paper Birch. Black Spruce-Lodgepole Pine (Jack Pine in the Birch Mountains) also occur in limited areas of warmer, drier sites.

Fens, both patterned and unpattemed, occur in this Subregion often as part of peatland complexes that contain a variety of peatlands and community types. Organic landforms include palsas and peat plateaus that are related to the occurrence of discontinuous permafrost.

Several subarctic plant species also occur in this Subregion including Hairy Butterwort, Ground Cone, Labrador Tea, Bog Bilberry, and Lousewort.


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