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Wetland Mixedwood Vegetation

Black Spruce tree forestThe vegetation of the Wetlands Mixedwood Subregion appears quite similar to that of the Central Mixedwood Subregion, although little is known about much of it.  Generally the landscape in this Subregion contains a greater proportion of wetlands, both peatlands and willow-sedge complexes on mineral soil, and more upland Black Spruce forest than the Central Mixedwood.  This perhaps reflects the more rigourous, cooler climate with a lower moisture deficit.  The differences are subtle and need further examination.

Drier tills and glaciofluvial deposits typically have Brunisolic soils with pine forests, Lodgepole Pine in the west and Jack Pine in the east.  Mesic till sites are limited in area but contain typical Aspen-White Spruce mixedwood forest with Gray Luvisols similar to those of the Central Mixedwood Subregion but apparently with fewer understory species.

Lodgepole pineMoist upland sites on tills and glaciolacustrine deposits generally have Black Spruce or mixed Black and White Spruce closed forests with a well-developed moss layer dominated by feathermosses.

Mature White Spruce-Balsam Poplar forests, similar to those along the lower Peace and Athabasca rivers, occur along the lower Hay River on fluvial terraces.

Labrador TeaPeatlands are common and extensive throughout the Wetland Mixedwood Subregion.  Peatland complexes typically contain both nutrient-poor, acidic bog portions, dominated by Black Spruce, Labrador Tea, and peatmosses as well as more nutrient rich fens containing Tamarack, dwarf birches, and brown mosses.  Patterned peatlands occur in several areas and permafrost frequently covers these peatlands.

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