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: Alnion rugosae

13. Alnion rugosae Damman 1964

[Alnion rugosae Damman in For. Sci. Mon. 8: 29. 1964]

Subcontinental and Continental Boreal (eucontinental), Oceanic Boreal, Continental Temperate (subcontinental, eucontinental) and Oceanic Temperate (semicontinental); thermo- to supraboreal, hemiboreal and supra- to orotemperate; humid to hyperhumid; swamp alder (Alnus incana subsp. rugosa) deciduous secondary or primary mire thicket communities with or without scattered small coniferous trees (Abies balsamea, Picea mariana, Larix laricina, etc.), spreading into North American Boreal Region (Newfoundlandian and Eastern Canadian Boreal Sectors) and the North American Atlantic Region (Appalachian and Great Lakes Sectors) and growing on stagnic podsols, eutric gleysols and fluvisols with muck or peat layer H horizons.

Bioclimatic diagnosis: Ic 18-38, Io 6.0-22.0, Tp 400-1200, Tps 280-700, Tmin < 0, m < -2. [Boco, Bosc, Booc, Teco, Teoc-Tbo, Mbo, Sbo, Hbo, Ste-Hum, Hhu].

We recognize within the bushed communities of the alliance Alnion rugosae two different associations: 13a. Alnetum rugosae (Boreal, spreading into Newfoundlandian and Eastern Canadian Boreal Sectors), 13b. Carici Alnetum rugosae (Temperate, spreading into Appalachian and Great Lakes Sectors).

Characteristic species: Alnus incana subsp. rugosa, Amelanchier bartramiana, Aster puniceus, Carex gracillima, Carex intumescens, Carex leptonervia, Chelone glabra, Dryopteris clintoniana, Galium asprellum, Impatiens capensis, Salix lucida, Thalictrum pubescens, Viburnum cassinoides, Viola cucullata.

13a. Alnetum rugosae Damman 1964

[Alnetum rugosae Damman in For. Sci. Mon. 8: 31. 1964]

Continental and Subcontinental Boreal; thermo-, meso- and supraboreal; humid andlower hyperhumid; deciduous thicket communities with stunted and scattered coniferous trees organized by Alnus incana subsp. rugosa, distributed throughout the Newfoundlandian and Eastern Canadian Boreal Sectors as wet permanent vegetation of mires or secondary thick bush communities, seral from mucky Sphagno-Piceetum marianae forest association and growing on eutryc gleysols, with a thick or thin layer of muck over the mineral soil.

Bioclimatic diagnosis: Ic 21-38, Io 6-18, Tp 400-800, Tps 280-500, Tmin < -4, m < -7. [Boco, Bosc-Tbo, Mbo, Sbo-Hum, Hhu].

Table 61 shows two relevés from Rivière Belle, in western Québec, placed in the mesoboreal humid bioclimatic belt areas of the Hudson Bay Basin Subsector (Eastern Canadian Boreal Sector) in contiguity of Kalmio-Piceetum marianae climactical forests.

Type relevé (lectotypus hoc loco): Damman in For. Sci. Mon. 8:30, tb 4, n. 849. 1964 sub Alnetum rugosae caricetosum. Site: Central Newfoundland. Roebucks Lake. 49°10'N-56°11'W. 15 feet (height of shrub layer), 90% cover shrub layer, 90% cover herb layer, 5% cover moss layer. Estimated bioclimatic factors: Subcontinental Boreal (Ic ~ 25), upper thermoboreal (Tp ~ 720), lower hyperhumid (Io ~ 13.0), Positive Summer Temperature Tps ~ 340. Biogeographic location: North American Boreal Region, Canadian Boreal Province, Newfoundlandian Sector. Floristic combination: Linnaeo-Piceetea characteristic species: 5 Alnus rugosa [Alnus incana subsp. rugosa], 2.1 [2] Aster puniceus, +.3 [+] Calamagrostis canadensis, +.2 [+] Carex brunnescens, 1.2 [1] Carex intumescens, 1.1 [1] Chelone glabra, 1.2 [1] Cinna latifolia, 2.1 [2] Impatiens capensis, 2.2 [2] Rubus pubescens, 2.2 [2] Thalictrum polygamum [T. pubescens], 2.2 [2] Viola incognita [V. blanda var. palustriformis]. Companion species: +.2 [+] Agrostis sp., +.2 [+] Bromus dudleyi [B. canadensis], 1.2 [1] Carex debilis, 1.2 [1] Carex projecta, +.2 [+] Carex stipata, +.1 [+] Iris versicolor, 1.2 [1] Poa pratensis, 1.2 [1] Polytrichum commune, 1 Rubus idaeus, + Sanguisorba canadensis. [Between brackets the Braun-Blanquet estimated indexes].

Remarks: The lectotype selected by Peinado, Aguirre & Cruz in Plant Ecology 137: 190. 1998 in Damman"s publication (in For. Sci. Mon. 8: 30, tb. 4, no. 722. 1964 sub Alnetum rugosae lycopodietosum) is confuse, because it has a high cover tree layer with Abies balsamea and Picea mariana and does not represent the typical "alder swamp" of Damman: "alder thickets with scattered balsam fir trees"(Alnetum rugosae caricetosum).

Table 61
13a. Alnetum rugosae

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

Altitude (1=10 m) 28 28 28
Number of species 13 14 13
Ordinal number 1 2 3
Characteristic species:
Alnus rugosa 4 5 2
Salix lucida 2 1 2
Aster punicens 2 1 2
Salix discolor 1 2 2
Thalictrum pubescens 1 1 2
Rosa sayi 1 + 2
Rubus pubescens 1 + 2
Calamagrostis canadensis + 1 2
Viola cucullata + 1 2
Populus balsamifera (S2) + . 1
Aralia hispida + . 1
Betula cordifolia (S2) . 1 1
Vaccinium angustifolium + . 1
Cornus canadensis . 2 1
Galium asprellum . + 1
Abies balsamea (S2) . + 1
Companion species:
Sanguisorba canadensis + + 2

Localities: 1. Québec: Lac Quevillon, rivière Bell. 49º05'N-76º51'W. W, 2%, 4 m, 15 cm, 100 m2. (reg. 1995b: 33). 2. Québec: Rapides des Ledres, rivière Bell. 49º02'N-76º50'W. NW, 5%, 5 m, 20 cm, 100 m2. (reg. 1995b: 36). 3. Synthesized table.

13b. Carici-Alnetum rugosae Grandtner 1960

[Cariceto-Alnetum rugosae Grandtner in Contr. Fonds Rech. Forest. Univ. Laval 7: 38, tb. 5. 1960, Sphagno Alnetum rugosae Grandtner in Contr. Fonds Rech. Forest. Laval 7: 36, tb. 4. 1960, lectotypus hoc. loco, l.c., relevé 4, (syntax. syn.)]

Continental Temperate (subcontinental, eucontinental); supratemperate, hemiboreal; humid, hyperhumid; deciduous thicket communities organized by Alnus incana subsp. rugosa, distributed throughout the Appalachian, Great Lakes and Central Lowlands Provinces, as wet permanent or secondary thick shrubby vegetation growing on eutric gleysols.

Bioclimatic diagnosis: Ic 18-34, Io 6.0-22.0, Tp 770-1200, Tps 400-700, Tmin < 0, m < -2. [Teco, Teoc-Hbo, Ste-Hum, Hhu].

Type relevé (lectotypus hoc loco): Grandtner in Contr. Fonds Rech. Forest. Univ. Laval 7: 38, tb. 5, relevé n. 14. 1960 sub Cariceto-Alnetum rugosae variante typique. Site: Québec. Comté de Lévis, Fôret de Beauséjour. 46°38'N-71°15'W. 100 m2. Estimated bioclimatic factors: Continental Temperate, eucontinental (Ic ~ 32), hemiboreal (Tp ~ 840), lower humid (Io ~ 7.0), Positive Summer Temperature (Ts ~ 520). Biogeographic location: North American Atlantic Region, Appalachian Province, Appalachian Sector, Temperate Laurentian Subsector. Floristic combination: Linnaeo-Piceetea characteristic species, trees: + Abies balsamea, 1 Acer rubrum. Others: 4 Alnus rugosa [Alnus incana subsp. rugosa], 1 Aster puniceus, + Chelone glabra, 3 Clematis virginiana, 3 Cornus stolonifera [C. sericea subsp. sericea], + Ribes hirtellum, + Ribes lacustre, 2 Rubus pubescens, 2 Viburnum cassinoides. Companion species: 1 Arisaema atrorubens [A. triphyllum subsp. triphyllum], + Aronia melanocarpa, + Carex rostrata, + Carex vulpinoidea, 4 Climacium dendroides, 2 Dryopteris cristata, + Dryopteris noveboracensis [Thelypteris noveboracensis], 3 Galium palustre, 3 Eupatorium maculatum, 3 Impatiens capensis, 2 Lycopus uniflorus, 1 Mnium punctatum var. elatum [Rhizomnium appalachianum], 2 Onoclea sensibilis, + Osmunda cinnamomea, 2 Scutellaria lateriflora, 1 Veratrum viride.

One relevé taken with Drs. J.A. Molina and Sardinero in White Mountains National Forest (New Hampshire, Caroll Co.) between North Conway and Intervale in Echo Lake State Park at 100 m altitude [44º03'N-71º10'W. N, 5%, 4 m, 200 m2, reg. 1995b: 67] on a great thicket of swamp alder (Alnus incana subsp. rugosa) with some emergent small trees, shows the typic floristical composition of this association in the Appalachian Sector areas: 5 Alnus incana subsp. rugosa, 2 Carex trisperma, 3 Frangula alnus, 3 Onoclea sensibilis, 3 Osmunda cinnamomea, 2 Athyrium filix-femina var. angustum, 2 Equisetum arvense var. boreale, 2 Fragaria vesca var. americana, + Abies balsamea (S2), + Betula lenta (S2), + Carya ovata (S2), 1 Picea rubens (S2), 1 Quercus rubra (S2).