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The Upper Foothills Vegetation

White Spruce TreeThe upland forests of the Upper Foothills Subregion are nearly all coniferous and dominated by White Spruce, Black Spruce, Lodgepole Pine, and, occasionally, Subalpine Fir. Some introgressive hybridization between White Spruce and Engelmann Spruce and between subalpine fir and Balsam Fir occurs in portions of the subregion. Lodgepole Pine forests occupy extensive portions of the subregion on upland sites. Understory species typically include False Azalea, Buffaloberry, Prickly Rose, Labrador Tea, Bunchberry, Twinflower, Fireweed, Bog Cranberry, and the feathermosses. Eventually, due to the natural process of  succession, White Spruce and Black Spruce likely will replace Lodgepole Pine in these communities if the region does not experience a fire.

Cranberry Plant The understory of upland spruce forests in this subregion is very similar to that of the Lodgepole Pine forests with older stands on mesic sites often having a well-developed mossoped moss layer dominated by feathermosses.

Black Spruce dominates on wet sites with Organic and Gleysolic soils. Typical understory species include Labrador Tea, Dwarf Birch, Bracted Honeysuckle, horsetails, Bishop's Cap, Twinflower, peat mosses, and brown mosses.


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