North American boreal and western temperate forest vegetation

Salvador Rivas-Martínez, Daniel Sánchez-Mata & Manuel Costa

Itinera Geobotanica 12:5-316 (1999)


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Description of Plant Communities: Betulo cordifoliae-Populion tremuloidis

12. Betulo cordifoliae-Populion tremuloidis alliancia nova hoc loco

Typus nominis: Sorbo americanae-Betuletum cordifoliae Sardinero associatio nova hoc loco.

Boreal and Temperate North-Eastern North American (Canadian Boreal and Appalachian Provinces); thermo-, meso- and supraboreal, hemiboreal; upper supra- and orotemperate; humid to hyperhumid; natural or anthropogenic secondary deciduous micro- and mesoforests, seral from the climactical coniferous forests belonging to Gaultherio procumbentis-Piceion glaucae or Piceion rubentis alliances and growing on podzols and mucky, gleyic or mesotrophic organic soils.

Bioclimatic diagnosis: Ic 21-35, Io 6.0-22.0, Tp 380-1000, Tps 280-600, Tmin < -3, m < -8. [Boco, Bosc, Teco-Tbo, Mbo, Sbo, Hbo, Uste, Ote-Hum, Hhu].

We distinguish in the alliance Betulo cordifoliae-Populion tremuloidis three associations, two of them are Continental Temperate (12a. Sorbo americanae-Betuletum cordifoliae: upper orotemperate, hyperhumid; 12b. Populetum tremuloidis: hemiboreal and upper supratemperate, humid and lower hyperhumid with frequent deciduous trees in addition of Populus tremuloides and Populus balsamifera subsp. balsamifera such as Betula cordifolia, Betula alleghanienis and Betula populifolia), and the third association is strictly Subcontinental and Continental Boreal: 12c. Aralio hispidae-Populetum tremuloidis.

Characteristic species: Acer spicatum, Aster acuminatus, Athyrium filix-femina var. angustum, Betula alleghaniensis xpapyrifera, Betula xcaerulea (B. populifolia x papyrifera), Betula cordifolia, Betula populifolia, Carex trisperma var. trisperma, Dryopteris clintoniana, Nemopanthus mucronatus, Solidago canadensis var. canadensis, Sorbus americana, Sorbus decora, Spiraea betulifolia var. corymbosa, Trillium undulatum, Viola blanda var. palustriformis, Zigadenus glaberrimus.

12a. Sorbo americanae-Betuletum cordifoliaeSardinero associatio nova hoc loco

Continental Temperate (subcontinental); upper orotemperate; hyperhumid; secondary deciduous micro- and mesoforests of Betula cordifolia (heartleaf birch) and Sorbus americana (American mountain-ash) with seral relationships with the Appalachian climactical coniferous forest association Piceo rubentis-Abietetum balsameae, andgrowing on dystric or gleyic podzols in the high mountains of the North Appalachian Subsector.

Bioclimatic diagnosis: Ic 23-28, Io 12-22, Tp 380-600, Tps 280-400, Tmin < -9, m < -14.[Teco-Uote-Hhu].

Table 59 gives eight relevés from Mt. Washington (New-Hampshire), achieved by Dr. S. Sardinero, barely after our joint studies in the area. In addition of the usually dominant deciduous and small trees such as Betula cordifolia and Sorbus americana, Acer pensylvanicum, Acer saccharum, Acer spicatum and Betula alleghaniensis are also some common trees in the forest community. Among the small and young coniferous trees growing in the undercanopy it could be mentioned Abies balsamea and Picea rubens, which with the natural succesion lead the territorial climax (Piceo rubentis-Abietetum balsameae). In the understory the commonest characteristic species are: Aralia nudicaulis, Aster acuminatus, Dryopteris campyloptera, Maianthemum canadense, Oxalis montana and Trientalis borealis.

Table 59
12a. Sorbo americanae-Betuletum cordifoliae

(Betulo cordifoliae-Populion tremuloidis, Betulo-Populetalia tremuloidis)

Altitude (1=10 m) 110 80 100 90 120 93 125 74 99
Number of species 12 14 14 14 14 16 16 20 15
Ordinal number 1* 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Trees:
Betula cordifolia 4 4 5 3 4 3 4 5 V
Sorbus americana 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 2 V
Abies balsamea (S2) 2 2 2 1 2 2 1 2 V
Acer spicatum 2 1 2 3 2 2 + 2 V
Betula alleghaniensis (S2) . 1 2 2 . 2 . 1 IV
Picea rubens (S2) . 2 + + . . + 1 IV
Acer pensylvanicum . . . 1 . 1 . + III
Characteristic species:
Dryopteris campyloptera 3 2 3 3 3 3 2 2 V
Aster acuminatus 1 1 2 1 2 . 2 1 V
Trientalis borealis 1 1 1 1 . 1 + 1 V
Oxalis montana 2 2 2 2 . 1 . . IV
Maianthemum canadense 1 . 1 1 . 3 . 1 IV
Aralia nudicaulis . . 1 + . + + 1 IV
Cornus canadensis 1 . . . . 2 2 . III
Clintonia borealis . . . . 1 2 2 . III
Companion species:
Viburnum lantanoides 1 . + 1 2 2 1 2 V
Sambucus canadensis + + + . . 1 . + IV
Prunus serotina . 1 . . + . 1 + III
Dennstaedtia punctilobula . + . . 2 . 1 . III

Other species. Trees: Acer saccharum + in 8. Characteristic species: Trillium undulatum + in 2 and 5. Phegopteris connectilis 1 in 5. Lycopodium annotinum 2 in 6. Amelanchier bartramiana 2 in 7. Sambucus pubens +, Viola selkirkii + in 8. Companion species: Carex arctata 1 in 5 and 7. Fragaria virginiana 1 in 5. Brachyelytrum erectum 1, Cornus alternifolia + in 8.

Localities: 1. New Hampshire: Presidential Range-White Mountains, Mt. Washington, John Sherburne Ski Trail. 44º18'N-71º18'W. 40%, 200 m2. holotypus ass. (reg. Sardinero 1995). 2. New Hampshire: Presidential Range-White Mountains, Mt. Washington, Boott Spur Trail. 44º16'N-71º17'W. 200 m2 (reg. Sardinero 1995). 3. New Hampshire: Presidential Range-White Mountains, Mt. Washington, John Sherburne Ski Trail. 44º18'N-71º17'W. 40%, 200 m2 (reg. Sardinero 1995). 4. New Hampshire: Presidential Range-White Mountains, Mt. Washington, John Sherburne Ski Trail. 44º18'N-71º17'W. 40%, 100 m2 (reg. Sardinero 1995). 5. New Hampshire: Presidential Range-White Mountains, Mt. Washington, Lion Head Trail. 44º18'N-71º18'W. 44º18'N-71º18'W. 200 m2 (reg. Sardinero 1995). 6. New Hampshire: Presidential Range-White Mountains, Mt. Washington, John Sherburne Ski Trail. 44º18'N-71º17'W. 40%, 100 m2 (reg. Sardinero 1995). 7. New Hampshire: Presidential Range-White Mountains, Mt. Washington, Lion Head Trail. 44º18'N-71º18'W. 200 m2 (reg. Sardinero 1995). 8. New Hampshire: Presidential Range-White Mountains, Mt. Washington, Old Jackson Road. 44º16'N-71º16'W. 200 m2 (reg. Sardinero 1995). 9. Synthesized table.

Type relevé (holotypus): Table 59, relevé n. 1. Sardinero reg. 1995, made by Dr. S. Sardinero. Site: New Hampshire: Coos Co. Presidential Range. White Mountains. Mt. Washington, John Sherburne Ski Trail. 44º18'N-71º18'W. 1110 m, 40%, 200 m2. Physiognomy and habitat: Heartleaf birch (Betula cordifolia) and American mountain-ash (Sorbus americana) mesoforest. Estimated bioclimatic factors: Continental Temperate, subcontinental (Ic ~ 25), upper orotemperate (Tp ~ 500), upper hyperhumid (Io ~ 19), Positive Summer Temperature Tps ~ 350. Biogeographic location: North American Atlantic Region, Appalachian Province, Appalachian Sector. Floristic combination: Linnaeo-Piceetea characteristic species, trees: 2 Abies balsamea (S2), 4 Betula cordifolia, 3 Sorbus americana. Others: 2 Acer spicatum, 1 Aster acuminatus, 1 Cornus canadensis, 3 Dryopteris campyloptera, 1 Maianthemum canadense, 2 Oxalis montana, 1 Trientalis borealis. Companion species: + Sambucus canadensis, 1 Viburnum lantanoides.

12b. Populetum tremuloidis Dansereau ex Grandtner 1960

[Populetum tremuloidis Dansereau ex Grandtner in Contr. Fonds Rech. Forest. Univ. Laval 7: 42, tb. 6, lectotypus: relevé 1. 1960, Populetum tremuloidis Dansereau in Contr. Inst. Bot. Univ. Montreal 75: 113. 1959 (art. 7)]

Continental Temperate (subcontinental, eucontinental); hemiboreal and upper supratemperate; humid to lower hyperhumid; natural or anthropogenic secondary deciduous micro- or mesoforests of Populus tremuloides (usually as dominant tree in the community), with some deciduous trees such as Betula populifolia, Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera, Betula cordifolia, Betula alleghaniensis, Acer rubrum, Acer spicatum, etc. with seral relationships with the climactical coniferous and deciduous forests of the Piceo rubentis-Abietetum balsameae and Aceretum sacchari associations; spreading mostly into Temperate Laurentian Subsector territories (Appalachian Sector) and growing on cambic, gleyic, ferric and haplic podzols.

Bioclimatic diagnosis: Ic 23-32, Io 6.0-15.0, Tp 600-1000, Tps 400-600, Tmin < -3, m < -8. [Teco-Ste, Hbo, Ote-Hum, Lhhu].

The association Populetum tremuloidis was proposed by Dansereau (1959) without relevés. Grandtner (1960) in his phytosociological publication about the vegetation of "La forêt de Beauséjour", near Québec, gave a table (table 6) with several relevés. Consequently he validated the association name with the authority of Dansereau.

Type relevé (lectotypus hoc loco): Grandtner in Contr. Fonds Rech. Forest. Univ. Laval 7, tb. 6, relevé 2. 1960, sub Populetum tremuloidis a Cladonia. Site: Québec. Comté de Lévis, Fôret de Beauséjour. 46°38'N-71°15'W. 100 m2, podzol humo-ferrugineux. Estimated bioclimatic factors: Continental Temperate, eucontinental (Ic ~ 32), hemiboreal (Tp ~ 840), lower humid (Io ~ 7.0), Positive Summer Temperature Tps ~ 520. Biogeographic location: North American Atlantic Region, Appalachian Province, Appalachian Sector, Temperate Laurentian Subsector. Floristic combination: Linnaeo-Piceetea characteristic species, trees: + Acer rubrum, 1 Betula populifolia, 4 Populus tremuloides. Others: 2 Aralia hispida, 1 Aster acuminatus, 1 Cornus canadensis, 1 Fragaria virginiana [subsp. virginiana], + Hieracium scabrum,1 Lycopodium clavatum, 1 Maianthemum canadense, 2 Prunus pensylvanica, 1 Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum, 1 Rubus idaeus var. [subsp.] strigosus, + Vaccinium myrtilloides. Companion species: 1 Cladonia sp., 2 Epilobium angustifolium, 4 Polytrichum juniperinum, 2 Polytrichum ohioense, + Salix sp.

12c. Aralio hispidae-Populetum tremuloidis associatio nova hoc loco

Subcontinental and Continental Boreal (eucontinental); thermo-, meso- and supraboreal; humid and hyperhumid; secondary deciduous micro- and mesoforests of Populus tremuloides and Betula cordifolia in the Newfounlandian and Eastern Canadian Boreal Sector territories. These secondary forests have seral relationships with some coniferous climactical forest associations from thermoboreal and also meso- and supraboreal areas (Abietetum balsameae and Kalmio angustifoliae-Piceetum marianae associations) and grow on dystric, haplic, ferric, gleyic and gelic podzols and regosols.

Bioclimatic diagnosis: Ic 21-35, Io 6.0-18.0, Tp 380-800, Tps 280-500, Tmin < -5, m < -9. [Boco-Tbo, Mbo, Sbo-Hum, LHhu].

Table 60 gives five relevés from Boreal areas of Québec, belonging to thermo- and lower mesoboreal territories of the Hudson Bay Basin and Boreal Laurentian Subsectors. In the relevés are absent gray birch (Betula populifolia) and also red spruce young trees (Picea rubens) or the white and yellow hybrid birch (Betula alleghaniensis x papyrifera) in the understory. These temperate tree species permit us to distinguish the Boreal quacking aspen woodland association Aralio-Populetum tremuloidis from the Continental Temperate association (Populetum tremuloidis).

Type relevé (holotypus hoc loco): Table 60. , relevé n. 5. Rivas-Martínez reg. 1995b: 39. 10.06.95, made with Drs. J.A. Molina and Sardinero. Site: Québec: 10 km N from Lebel-sur-Quevillon,rivière Bell. 49°05'N-76°51'W. E, 5%, 25 m, 60 cm, 500 m2. Estimated bioclimatic factors: Subcontinental Boreal (Ic ~ 24), lower mesoboreal ( Tp ~ 650), lower hyperhumid (Io ~ 13.0), Positive Summer Temperature Tps ~ 420. Biogeographic location: North American Boreal Region, Canadian Boreal Province, Eastern Canadian Boreal Sector, Boreal Laurentian Subsector. Floristic combination: Linnaeo-Piceetea characteristic species, trees: 1 Abies balsamea (S2), 2 Acer spicatum, 3 Betula cordifolia, + Picea glauca var. glauca (S2), 4 Populus tremuloides, 1 Sorbus americana. Others: 1 Amelanchier sanguinea, 1 Aralia hispida, 2 Calamagrostis purpurascens, + Clintonia uniflora, + Cornus canadensis, + Kalmia angustifolia, 1 Maianthemum canadense, 1 Prunus pensylvanica, 1 Sambucus racemosa subsp. pubens var. arborescens, + Vaccinium angustifolium. Companion species: 2 Epilobium angustifolium.

Table 60
12c. Aralio hispidae-Populetum tremuloidis

(Betulo cordifoliae-Populion tremuloidis, Betulo-Populetalia tremuloidis)

Altitude (1=10 m) 28 27 28 35 30 30
Number of species 12 13 13 16 17 14
Ordinal number 1 2 3 4 5* 6
Trees:
Populus tremuloides 4 5 4 4 4 V
Betula cordifolia 1 2 2 2 3 V
Abies balsamea (S2) . + . + 1 III
Populus balsamifera 1 2 . . . II
Sorbus decora 1 + . . . II
Sorbus americana . . + . 1 II
Picea glauca (S2) . . . + + II
Characteristic species:
Calamagrostis purpurascens 4 3 2 1 2 V
Vaccinium angustifolium + 1 2 3 + V
Aralia hispida + 1 + + 1 V
Kalmia angustifolia + . 1 + + IV
Salix discolor 1 + . + . III
Maianthemum canadense . . 1 + 1 III
Rosa sayi 2 2 . . . II
Alnus rugosa . + 1 . . II
Prunus pensylvanica . . 2 . 1 II
Cornus canadensis . . + . + II
Companion species:
Epilobium angustifolium . . 1 + 2 III
Equisetum arvense 1 . . 3 . II

Other species. Trees: Picea glauca x mariana (S2) + in 2. Pinus banksiana + in 4. Acer spicatum 2 in 5. Characteristic species: Thalictrum pubescens 1 in 1. Ribes glandulosum 1 in 3. Sambucus arborescens 1, Amelanchier sanguinea 1, Clintonia uniflora + in 5 . Companion species: Potentilla pensylvanica 2 in 2. Cladina rangiferina 4, Pleurozium schreberi + in 5.

Localities: 1. Québec: Lebel-sur-Quevillon, rivière Bell. 49º00'N-76º52'W. S, 10%, 20 m, 40 cm, 200 m2. (reg. 1995b: 37). 2. Québec: Quevillon, rivière Bell. 49º00'N-76º51'W. S, 10%, 25 m, 45 cm, 200 m2. (reg. 1995b: 32). 3. Québec: Reserve faunique Ashvapmshuuan, Lac Aigremont. 48º48'N-72º52'W. S, 10%, 15 m, 20 cm, 200 m2. (reg. 1995b: 7). 4. Québec: 15 Km N from Sennerterre. 48º23'N-77º20'W. N, 10%, 20 m, 40 cm, 400 m2. (reg. 1995b: 29 bis). 5. Québec: 10 Km N from Lebel-sur-Quevillon, rivière Bell. 49º05'N-76º52'W. E, 5%, 25 m, 60 cm, 500 m2, holotypus ass. (reg. 1995b: 39). 6. Synthesized table.