Plant Association Information
Picea mariana/Ledum species plant association (Black spruce/Labrador tea)
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This plant association is dominated by Picea mariana with at least 25% cover, and either Ledum groenlandicum or Ledum decumbens with 20% cover (Appendix 4). Cover for Ledum species reaches over 90% in some sites. Picea mariana averages 1.5 to 6 meters in height. Associated species include Betula glandulosa, Betula nana, Vaccinium uliginosum, Vaccinium vitis-idaea, Chamaedaphne calyculata, Rubus chamaemorus, and Eriophorum vaginatum. Small amounts of Larix laricina and Betula papyrifera may be present. Moss cover ranges from 60% to 90%, and Sphagnum species commonly dominate.
This association is a common component of the boreal forest on the north side of the Alaska Range within the park. It occurs at mid to low elevations (199 to 554 meters) on level low slope (<3 degree slope) landscapes including floodplains, pleistocene outwash deposits, and ice-core hills. Permafrost is generally found within 0.5 to 0.8 meters of the soil surface. A significant layer of peat occurs on most sites and, occasionally, peat moss is found overlaying the peat. The one pH value recorded was 4.9.Associated Plant Species: Betula nana
, Chamaedaphne calyculata
, Eriophorum vaginatum
, Larix laricina
, Picea mariana
, Rhododendron groenlandicum
, Rhododendron tomentosum ssp. decumbens
, Rubus chamaemorus
, Sphagnum spp.
, Vaccinium uliginosum
, Vaccinium vitis-idaea