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Alder swamps contribute significantly to the overall biodiversity of northern Michigan by providing habitat to a wide variety of plant and animal species including several rare species. Northern shrub thicket typically succeeds to closed-canopy swamp forest in the absence of disturbance factors that prevent tree establishment and survival or cause prolonged flooding. That being said, I am planting different types of shrubs (ninebark, nannyberry, etc) and trees (norway spruce, tamarack, alder, etc) parallel to the switch to give me a more long-term partition. The soils of northern shrub thicket are wet to moist, nutrient-rich, well-decomposed sapric peat, or occasionally mineral soil. The genus comprises about 35 species of monoecious trees and shrubs, a few reaching a large size, distributed throughout the north temperate zone with a few species extending into Central America, as well as the northern and southern Andes. Floodplain forest, Great Lakes marsh, hardwood-conifer swamp, inundated shrub swamp, northern fen, northern hardwood swamp, northern wet meadow, poor conifer swamp, rich conifer swamp, southern shrub-carr, and wooded dune and swale complex. Where alder does not form a monospecific shrub layer, associates of the tall shrub layer can include black chokeberry (Aronia prunifolia), bog birch (Betula pumila), silky dogwood (Cornus amomum), red-osier dogwood (C. sericea), winterberry (Ilex verticillata), Bebb’s willow (Salix bebbiana), pussy willow (S. discolor), sandbar willow (S. exigua), slender willow (S. petiolaris), wild-raisin (Viburnum cassinoides), and American highbush-cranberry (V. trilobum). 1997. However, northern shrub thickets have replaced many rare and declining wetland communities such as rich conifer swamp and northern fen. State Rank: S5. Northern shrub thickets are overwhelmingly dominated by tag alder (Alnus incana). 1990. Alder Trees reach heights of approximately 80 feet. (Accessed: November 29, 2020). If the roots are established, they can tolerate a little drought. Closed Now. They do love areas with moist or wet soil with good drainage if available. Canadian Journal of Forestry Research 4: 499-508. Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Report No. The different types of alder trees include tall trees with single trunks and much shorter, multi-stemmed specimens that can be grown as shrubs. Characteristic ferns and fern allies include common horsetail (Equisetum arvense), sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis), cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea), royal fern (O. regalis), and marsh fern (Thelypteris palustris). Prolonged periods without fire, an absence of beaver flooding, or the lowering of the water table allows for shrub encroachment into open wetlands and conversion to northern shrub thicket. Structure and edaphic factors of an alder swamp in northern Michigan. Michigan Natural Features Inventory, About the Natural Community Classification. Alder swamps contribute significantly to the overall biodiversity of northern Michigan by providing habitat to a wide variety of plant and animal species including several rare species. Succession to closed-canopy swamp forest is slowed by fluctuating water tables, beaver flooding, and windthrow. Alder is the common name of a genus of flowering plants, Alnus, belonging to the birch family Betulaceae. IC 4212 (Rev. Page Transparency See More. As the result of fire suppression and low beaver populations, many open wetlands have converted to shrub-dominated wetlands. Opens at 12:00 PM. Gray wolf (Canis lupus, federal/state threatened) and lynx (Lynx canadensis, state endangered) also utilize shrub thicket habitat. Au Sable River, Hartwick Pines State Park, Crawford Co. Carp River, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Ontonagon Co. On sites in which northern shrub thicket is succeeding to swamp forest, allowing succession to proceed unhindered will result in increased acreage of less common swamp communities. Northern shrub thickets are characterized by an overwhelming dominance of tag alder, which forms dense, often monotypic thickets with canopy coverage ranging between 40 and 95% and stand height typically ranging from one to three meters. Additional Information About Alder Trees. Prevalent herbs of northern shrub thickets include: marsh marigold (Caltha palustris), marsh bellflower (Campanula aparinoides), marsh cinquefoil (Comarum palustre), joe-pye-weed (Eutrochium maculatum), common boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), rough bedstraw (Galium asprellum), jewelweed (Impatiens capensis), wild blue flag (Iris versicolor), northern bugleweed (Lycopus uniflorus), wild mint (Mentha canadensis), monkey-flower (Mimulus ringens), golden ragwort (Packera aurea), common skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata), mad-dog skullcap (S. lateriflora), Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), late goldenrod (S. gigantea), rough goldenrod (S. rugosa), swamp aster (Symphyotrichum puniceum), skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus), and purple meadow rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum). Staminate aments expanding to maturity in early spring, before the leaves begin to open; filaments almost fully adnate to the perianth, the anthers appearing sessile; leaves not glutinous, both finely serrate and more coarsely dentate or obscurely lobed, the appearance being one of teeth quite varying in size and regularity; nut not winged at maturity (but so thin when immature as sometimes to be misleading). Slaughter, R.K. Schillo, C.R. It most likely used to grow even taller and older before the … However, long-term flooding as a result of beaver damming can eliminate alder as well as other woody species. Enander, and K.M. The pH ranges widely from alkaline to acidic with medium acidity being the most prevalent condition. Northern shrub thicket is a shrub-dominated wetland located north of the climatic tension zone, typically occurring along streams, but also adjacent to lakes and beaver floodings. 5 pp. Cohen, B.S. 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