Natural Communities of NH -- Photo Guide

Mountain holly - black spruce wooded fen  (S3)



Mountain holly - black spruce wooded fen
occurs in northern New Hampshire, where it forms border thickets around dwarf heath shrub bogs in lake-fill peatlands or occupies more extensive areas in broad peatland basins. Mountain holly, witherod, and shorter dwarf heath shrubs are the most abundant species, with variable amounts of black spruce and larch forming a scattered tree layer. It is similar to highbush blueberry - mountain holly wooded fen but typically lacks the more southern species of that community.

Peat is usually moderately well decomposed in the upper 0.5 m. Hummock-hollow topography is moderately well developed.

Characteristic Vegetation: Mountain holly (Nemopanthus mucronatus), witherod (Viburnum nudum), and shorter dwarf heath shrubs are the most abundant species, with variable amounts of black spruce (Picea mariana) and larch (Larix laricina) forming a scattered tree layer. Short heath shrubs are abundant, and include species such as sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia), rhodora (Rhododendron canadense), Labrador tea (Ledum groenlandicum), leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), and bog laurel (Kalmia polifolia). It notably lacks southern species such as highbush blueberry, male berry, black huckleberry, and Virginia chain-fern.


Good examples of this community occur at Sweat Meadows (Errol), Pontook Reservoir (Dummer), and Whitewall Mtn. (Bethlehem), and in the Ossipee Mountains (Ossipee).

Mountain holly - black spruce wooded
fens often occur as part of larger black spruce peat swamp systems, and sometimes as part of poor level fen/bog systems.

(photo coming soon)

Mountain holly - black spruce wooded fen (photo)

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