Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Black spruce and the heath family shrubs are characteristic only of acid peats such as those associated with sphagnum moss mats, whereas tamarack can grow in calcareous peats as well, such as those of northern white cedar swamps.
VEGETATION: This coniferous bog is dominated by tamarack (Larix laricina), black spruce (Picea mariana), leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), tussock cottongrass (Eriophorum vaginatum) and a carpet of sphagnum moss (Sphagnum magellanicum). Other species present include small cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos), bog rosemary (Andromeda glaucophylla), bog laurel (Kalmia polifolia), bog sedge (Carex oligosperma), tawny cottongrass (Eriophorum virginicum), sphagnum mosses (Sphagnum spp.) and wool grass (Scirpus cyperinus). This photograph was taken in October when the tamarack had turned golden yellow and was about to shed its needles.
SOILS: Fibric peat (Histosols), acid. Landscape position is a kettle bog located in rolling, glacial till.
HYDROLOGY: Primarily direct precipitation (rainfall and snowmelt). Peat soils are typically saturated to the surface throughout the growing season.
LOCATION: Washburn County, Wisconsin.
Black Spruce (Picea mariana (Miller) BSP)
Tamarack (Larix laricina (DuRoi) K. Koch)
Swamp Birch (Betula pumila L.)