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Gray Alder

The Alnus Incana Subsp. Rugosa is commonly known as European Speckled Alder, Gray Alder, Hazel Alder, Hoary Alder, Mountain Alder, Speckled Alder, as well as Tag Alder

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Growing Regions

Speckled alder is most common in the region surrounding the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway, including east-central Canada, the Maritime Provinces, and the Northeast and Lake States.  It is listed as the most prominent (in biomass) understory shrub in Michigan's Upper Peninsula [44].  In addition, speckled alder occurs sporadically throughout all the remaining Canadian provinces and south along the Appalachian Mountains to West Virginia and Maryland.  It is restricted to higher elevations at the southern limit of its range [25,27,49].  

     

General Information

The currently accepted scientific name for speckled alder is Alnus incana (L.) Moench subsp. rugosa (Du Rois) Clausen [65,66,68,69,72,73]. LIFE FORM : Tree, Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY

DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Alnus incana subsp. rugosa

Speckled alder is frequently found in riparian, bog, and nutrient-rich
swamp communities [13,17].  It often dominates the understory shrub
layer in lowland stands of balsam fir (Abies balsamea), red spruce
(Picea rubens), northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis), red maple
(Acer rubrum), jack pine (Pinus banksiana), tamarack (Larix laricina),
balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera), aspen (Populus spp.), birch (Betula
spp.), and black spruce (Picea mariana) [3,15,19,31,33,34,51,53,62].
Other associates include cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamonea), high-bush
blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), Sphagnum spp., and Carex spp. [17].

Published classification schemes that list speckled alder as a dominant
in community types (cts) or plant associations (pas) include:

   Area               Classification            Authority
       
NF                      forest cts              Damman 1964
PQ: St.Lawrence Valley  general veg. pas        Dansereau 1957


MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES: Alnus incana subsp. rugosa

Much of the information presented here is attributed to:
Van Deelen, Timothy R. 1991. Alnus incana subsp. rugosa. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available at USDA Forest Service.

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