Red Maple, Acer rubrum, Wetland Composition and Structure in Nova Scotia

Robert Cameron


Red Maple (Acer rubrum) wetlands occur when Red Maple dominated forest occupies imperfectly drained to saturated soils. Plots were established in 28 Red Maple wetlands in Nova Scotia to document structure and plant composition. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) was used to assess vegetation differences by wetland type (floodplain, depression, slope) and geographic region (inland vs. coastal and western vs. eastern shore). Seventy-eight species of vascular plants and 35 species of non-vascular plants were found in plots. Two species of rare vascular plants and four rare Sphagnum species were found in plots or within the wetlands. Sphagnum species richness was very high. Red Maple wetlands are structurally complex, often having five distinct vertical layers. NMDS species composition analyses suggest little difference between wetland types and geographic regions. Given the diversity of vascular and non-vascular plants and the structural complexity of Red Maple wetlands in Nova Scotia, these wetlands make a significant contribution to the biodiversity and heterogeneity of the landscape.


Red Maple; Acer rubrum; Sphagnum; wetland; composition; structure; Nova Scotia

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