The Upper Foothills Vegetation
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,
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.
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.