Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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St. Pierre and Miquelon; N.B., Nfld., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que.; Maine, Mass., Mich., Minn., N.H., N.Y., N.C., Pa., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Trees or shrubs , large, irregular, to 20 m; trunks often several, trees with narrow crowns. Bark of young trunks and branches dark reddish brown, close, in maturity reddish white to reddish tan or bronze, exfoliating in paper-thin sheets; lenticels dark, horizontally expanded. Twigs glabrous to sparsely pubescent, often covered with conspicuous, warty, resinous glands. Leaf blade narrowly ovate to ovate with 9--12 pairs of lateral veins, 6--10(--14) × 4--8 cm, base usually cordate, rarely rounded, margins coarsely or irregularly doubly serrate, apex short-acuminate, abaxially sparsely to moderately pubescent, sometimes velutinous or tomentose along major veins and in vein axils, covered with minute, resinous glands. Infructescences pendulous or nearly pendulous, cylindric, 2.5--5.5 × 0.6--1 cm, shattering with fruits in fall; scales glabrous to moderately pubescent, lobes diverging proximal to middle, central lobe elongate, obtuse, lateral lobes ascending, shorter and slightly broader than central lobe. Samaras with wings broader than body, broadest near summit, extended beyond body apically. 2 n = 28, 56.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Betula alba Linnaeus var. cordifolia (Regel) Fernald; B. papyrifera Marshall var. cordifolia (Regel) Fernald
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Ecology

Habitat

Moist, rocky slopes or rich, open forest; 800--2000m.
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering late spring.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Betula cordifolia

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: T5 - Secure

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Threats

Comments: Lack of disturbance and succession are low-level threats; Avalanches benefit this species, creating new areas for colonization (Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002).

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Wikipedia

Betula cordifolia

Betula cordifolia (Mountain Paper Birch, also known as Mountain White Birch or Eastern Paper Birch) is a birch species native to Eastern Canada and the North Eastern United States. Until recently it was considered a variety of Betula papyrifera (Paper Birch), with which it shares many characteristics, and it was classified as B. papyrifera var. cordifolia (Regel) Fern.[1]

Contents

Description[edit]

Betula cordifolia is a deciduous tree that reaches heights of about 25 m and trunk diameters of about 70 cm.[2] Mature bark is white or bronze-white, peeling in thin layers. The inner surface of the bark is copper coloured and the young bark is shiny brown with pale brown lenticels. The leaves are alternate, ovate, 6–12 cm long, and double-toothed. As the species epithet suggests, the leaf base is generally cordate (heart-shaped), however this can be misleading as it is occasionally flat or rounded. The leaves are dotted with many resin glands and the buds are ovoid and blunt. The twigs are yellow-brown to dark-brown and are dotted with resin glands and gray lenticels.[1] They lack the hairs found on Betula papyrifera.[3] The flowers are catkins, with pollen catkins 2–4 cm long and seed catkins 1–2 cm long. The seed catkins mature to about 3–5 cm long and bear winged nutlets about 2–3 mm long.[2]

Distribution[edit]

Betula cordifolia is found in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, northwestern Ontario, Northern New York State, and New England. Generally found in northern habitats or high elevations, particularly on moist ground.[1]

Distinctions from Betula papyrifera[edit]

Betula cordifolia and Betula papyrifera are very similar species, indeed they were once considered the same species. The primary methods of distinguishing the one from the other include:

  • Betula cordifolia is only found in the Eastern part of North America[1]
  • Its leaves are dotted with resin glands[1][2]
  • The leaf base is cordate (heart-shaped)[1][2][3]
  • Young shoots are not hairy.[3]
  • It is generally diploid (28 chromosomes)[1]


Since many of these characteristics vary from tree to tree, ideally several of these characteristics should be noted before making a positive identification. It has been suggested that Betula cordifolia and Betula papyrifera hybridise,[3] however this is unlikely given the more recent evidence of difference chromosome numbers. The most conclusive method of identification is from chromosome analysis.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Farrar, J. L. (1995). Trees in Canada. Markham: Fitzhenry and Whiteside Ltd. ISBN 1-55041-199-3
  2. ^ a b c d Powell, G., Beardmore, T. New Brunswick Species of Concern: A field guide. p.17–19. Retrieved from http://www.lib.unb.ca/Texts/Forest/MX212/english/english17.pdf
  3. ^ a b c d Ryan, A. G. (1978). Native Tres and Shrubs of Newfoundland and Labrador. St. John's: Parks Division, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
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Notes

Comments

Betula cordifolia has been reported from Connecticut; I have not seen specimens. 

 In recent years Betula cordifolia has usually been treated as a variety of B . papyrifera , and perhaps it should be considered an ecological race of that species. It differs from B . papyrifera in polyploid level (diploid and tetraploid in B . cordifolia versus tetraploid, pentaploid, and hexaploid in B . papyrifera ) and in vegetative characters, including the number of lateral veins of leaves and the color of bark (W. H. Brittain and W. F. Grant 1967; P. E. DeHond and C. S. Campbell 1989). In the Adirondacks, B . cordifolia and B . papyrifera occur in rather distinct ecological zones ( B . cordifolia mostly above 800 m and B . papyrifera generally below this elevation). The species does not appear to occur as far west (Iowa) as stated by M. L. Fernald (1950).

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Considered by some to be a distinct species, Betula cordifolia. LEM 2Mar95.

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