Picea mariana


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Picea mariana
Species Authority: (Mill.) Britton, Sterns & Poggenb.
Common Name/s:
English Black Spruce, Bog Spruce, Swamp Spruce
Abies mariana Mill.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-03-14
Assessor/s: Farjon, A.
Reviewer/s: Thomas, P. & Stritch, L.

This spruce occurs across the North American continent in the boreal zone. Its wide distribution and large population size lead to an assessment of Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Occurs in Boreal North America: from Newfoundland and New Jersey to interior Alaska.
Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Labrador, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland I, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward I., Québec, Saskatchewan, Yukon); United States (Alaska, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Widespread and abundant.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Picea mariana occurs mostly in bogs or swamps and on permafrost sites ('muskeg'), at elevations between <150 m and 800 m a.s.l., occasionally in western mountains to 1,500 m or 1,800 m a.s.l., on a variety of acid soils, often on peat, in the south predominantly so. The climate is cold subhumid, but with a wide amplitude. Annual precipitation varies from 200 to 1,400 mm, the growing season from 25 to 160 days. Pure stands occur mostly on Sphagnum peat and on permafrost, elsewhere it is usually mixed with Picea glauca, Pinus banksiana and Abies balsamea; A. lasiocarpa and Pinus contorta in upland regions, and Populus tremuloides after fire. In the SE  of its range Picea mariana occurs in a mixed conifer-angiosperm swamp type with Chamaecyparis thyoides, Larix laricina, Abies balsamea, Populus balsamifera, Acer rubrum, Ulmus americana, Fraxinus nigra, and other broad-leaved species.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No threats have been identified for this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Black Spruce occurs in many protected areas across its range.

Bibliography [top]

Burns, R.M. and Honkala, B.H. 1990. Silvics of North America. USDA, Forest Service, Washington, DC.

Farjon, A. 2010. Conifer Database (June 2008) In Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2010 Annual Checklist (Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., eds). Reading, UK. Available at:

Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Picea mariana. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 23 April 2014.
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