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Myrica gale - Chamaedaphne calyculata / Carex (lasiocarpa, utriculata) - Utricularia spp. Fen
Translated Name: Sweetgale - Leatherleaf / (Woolly-fruit Sedge, Northwest Territory Sedge) - Bladderwort species Fen
Common Name: Medium Fen
Unique Identifier: CEGL006302
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This fen vegetation is found in peatlands and peaty lakesides of the northeastern United States. It occurs in acidic waters receiving weakly minerotrophic input from surface water inflow or seepage from surrounding uplands. The substrate may be flooded at high water, and remains saturated through the growing season. pH is acidic to circumneutral, 4.8-6.8. Tall, rhizomatous sedges dominate the vegetation, with shrubs often shorter than the graminoids. Bryophyte cover is variable. Scattered shrubs of Alnus incana and Spiraea alba may protrude above the graminoid cover; shorter shrubs such as Myrica gale, Andromeda polifolia var. glaucophylla (= Andromeda glaucophylla), Vaccinium macrocarpon, and Chamaedaphne calyculata grow among the sedges. The dominant sedges are usually Carex lasiocarpa or Carex utriculata; associates include Carex oligosperma, Carex exilis, Carex vesicaria, Carex limosa, Carex canescens, Carex lacustris, Carex stricta (non-tussock form), Carex oligosperma, Rhynchospora alba, Calamagrostis canadensis, Cladium mariscoides, Eriophorum angustifolium, Eriophorum virginicum, and Dulichium arundinaceum. Forbs include Lysimachia terrestris, Triadenum virginicum, Osmunda regalis, Comarum palustre (= Potentilla palustris), Drosera intermedia, Utricularia intermedia, and Pogonia ophioglossoides. The bryophyte layer is dominated by species of Sphagnum, including Sphagnum fallax, Sphagnum papillosum, Sphagnum cuspidatum, Sphagnum fimbriatum, Sphagnum centrale, Sphagnum lescurii, and others. This fen vegetation is distinguished by the dominance of Carex lasiocarpa and the absence of any richness indicators such as Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda (= Pentaphylloides floribunda).



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 2 - Shrub & Herb Vegetation
Subclass 2.C - Shrub & Herb Wetland
Formation 2.C.2 - Temperate to Polar Bog & Fen
Division 2.C.2.Na - North American Bog & Fen
Macrogroup North American Boreal & Subboreal Alkaline Fen
Group Eastern North American Subboreal Alkaline Fen
Alliance Eastern Boreal Medium Rich Shrub Fen

This is the revised vegetation hierarchy. For more information see Classification Sources and usnvc.org.

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL002257 Carex utriculata - Carex lacustris - (Carex vesicaria, Carex stricta) Wet Meadow
CEGL006068 Myrica gale - Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda / Carex lasiocarpa - Cladium mariscoides Fen
CEGL006392 Myrica gale - Chamaedaphne calyculata / Carex exilis Acidic Peatland



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Related Subnational Community Units
These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.
In the U.S., contact the state Heritage Program for the most complete and up-to-date information at: http://www.natureserve.org/natureserve-network.
Information from programs in other jurisdictions will be posted when they are made available.
Subnation Concept Name Relationship to Standard Confidence Reference
Maine Mixed tall sedge fen Broader   Gawler 2002
Massachusetts Acidic Graminoid Fen Intersects   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Hampshire Bog rosemary - sedge fen Finer   Sperduto and Nichols 2004
New Hampshire Wire sedge - sweet gale fen Finer   Sperduto and Nichols 2004
New York Medium fen Broader   Edinger et al. 2002
Pennsylvania Sweet-gale Leatherleaf Shrub Fen Equivalent Certain Zimmerman et al. 2012
Rhode Island Acidic Level Fen Broader   Enser 1999
Vermont Intermediate Fen Broader   Thompson and Sorenson 2000


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Carex lasiocarpa / Chamaedaphne calyculata community
Relationship: I - Intersecting
Reference: Metzler, K., and J. Barrett. 2006. The vegetation of Connecticut: A preliminary classification. State Geological and Natural History Survey, Report of Investigations No. 12. Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Hartford, CT.
Related Concept Name: Carex rostrata fen
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Damman, A. W. H., and T. W. French. 1987. The ecology of peat bogs of the glaciated northeastern United States: A community profile. USDI Fish & Wildlife Service Biological Report 85(7.16). 100 pp.
Related Concept Name: Carex spp. sedge fen
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Anderson, D. S., and R. B. Davis. 1997. The vegetation and its environment in Maine peatlands. Canadian Journal of Botany 75:1785-1805.
Related Concept Name: Chamaedaphne calyculata / Carex utriculata var. rostrata community
Relationship: I - Intersecting
Reference: Metzler, K., and J. Barrett. 2006. The vegetation of Connecticut: A preliminary classification. State Geological and Natural History Survey, Report of Investigations No. 12. Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Hartford, CT.
Related Concept Name: SNE acidic basin fen
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES201.583 Eastern Boreal-Sub-boreal Acidic Basin Fen
CES202.606 North-Central Interior and Appalachian Acidic Peatland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4G5 (31Dec1997)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, PA, RI, VT
Canadian Province Distribution: QCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canada, United States

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Warm Continental Division
Province Name: Laurentian Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 212 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Aroostook Hills and Lowlands Section
Section Code: 212A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Maine-New Brunswick Foothills and Lowlands Section
Section Code: 212B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Fundy Coastal and Interior Section
Section Code: 212C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Central Maine Coastal and Embayment Section
Section Code: 212D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: St. Lawrence and Champlain Valley Section
Section Code: 212E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Glaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Hot Continental Division
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Oceanic) Province
Province Code: 221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lower New England Section
Section Code: 221A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Hudson Valley Section
Section Code: 221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Western Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 221F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Continental) Province
Province Code: 222 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Erie and Ontario Lake Plain Section
Section Code: 222I Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Warm Continental Regime Mountains
Province Name: Adirondack-New England Mixed Forest - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M212 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: White Mountain Section
Section Code: M212A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Adirondack Mountain Section
Section Code: M212D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Tug Hill Plateau Section
Section Code: M212F Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Division Name: Hot Continental Regime Mountains
Province Name: Central Appalachian Broadleaf Forest - Coniferous Forest - Meadow Province
Province Code: M221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Ridge and Valley Section
Section Code: M221A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Blue Ridge Mountains Section
Section Code: M221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Tall, rhizomatous sedges dominate the vegetation, with shrubs often shorter than the graminoids. Bryophyte cover is variable. Scattered shrubs of Alnus incana and Spiraea alba may protrude above the graminoid cover; shorter shrubs such as Myrica gale, Andromeda polifolia var. glaucophylla (= Andromeda glaucophylla), Vaccinium macrocarpon, and Chamaedaphne calyculata grow among the sedges. The dominant sedges are usually Carex lasiocarpa or Carex utriculata; associates include Carex oligosperma, Carex exilis, Carex vesicaria, Carex limosa, Carex canescens, Carex lacustris, Carex stricta (non-tussock form), Rhynchospora alba, Calamagrostis canadensis, Cladium mariscoides, Eriophorum angustifolium, Eriophorum virginicum, and Dulichium arundinaceum. Forbs include Lysimachia terrestris, Triadenum virginicum, Osmunda regalis, Comarum palustre (= Potentilla palustris), Drosera intermedia, Utricularia intermedia, and Pogonia ophioglossoides. The bryophyte layer is dominated by species of Sphagnum, including Sphagnum fallax, Sphagnum papillosum, Sphagnum cuspidatum, Sphagnum fimbriatum, Sphagnum centrale, Sphagnum lescurii, and others.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Myrica gale G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Chamaedaphne calyculata G4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Carex lasiocarpa G4 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Carex utriculata G4 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This fen vegetation is found in peatlands and peaty lakesides of the northeastern United States. It occurs in acidic waters receiving weakly minerotrophic input from surface water inflow or seepage from surrounding uplands. The substrate may be flooded at high water, and remains saturated through the growing season. pH is acidic to circumneutral, 4.8-6.8. Peat tends to be shallow.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Eastern Ecology Group
Element Description Edition Date: 28Jan2003
Element Description Author(s): S.C. Gawler
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 31Dec1997

Ecological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).


References
  • Anderson, D. S., and R. B. Davis. 1997. The vegetation and its environment in Maine peatlands. Canadian Journal of Botany 75:1785-1805.

  • CDPNQ [Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec]. No date. Unpublished data. Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec, Québec.

  • Damman, A. W. H., and T. W. French. 1987. The ecology of peat bogs of the glaciated northeastern United States: A community profile. USDI Fish & Wildlife Service Biological Report 85(7.16). 100 pp.

  • Eastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boston, MA.

  • Edinger, G. J., D. J. Evans, S. Gebauer, T. G. Howard, D. M. Hunt, and A. M. Olivero, editors. 2014a. Ecological communities of New York state. Second edition. A revised and expanded edition of Carol Reschke's ecological communities of New York state. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY.

  • Enser, R. W., and J. A. Lundgren. 2006. Natural communities of Rhode Island. A joint project of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Natural Heritage Program and The Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island. Rhode Island Natural History Survey, Kingston. 40 pp. [www.rinhs.org]

  • Fike, J. 1999. Terrestrial and palustrine plant communities of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Recreation, Bureau of Forestry, Harrisburg, PA. 86 pp.

  • Furedi, M. A. 2011d. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. Leatherleaf - Sedge Wetland Factsheet. [http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Community.aspx?=16043] (accessed February 01, 2012)

  • Gawler, S. C. 2002. Natural landscapes of Maine: A guide to vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta, ME.

  • Gawler, S. C., and A. Cutko. 2010. Natural landscapes of Maine: A classification of vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta.

  • Lubinski, S., K. Hop, and S. Gawler. 2003. Vegetation Mapping Program: Acadia National Park, Maine. Report produced by U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, and Maine Natural Areas Program in conjunction with M. Story (NPS Vegetation Mapping Coordinator) NPS, Natural Resources Information Division, Inventory and Monitoring Program, and K. Brown (USGS Vegetation Mapping Coordinator), USGS, Center for Biological Informatics and NatureServe. [http://biology.usgs.gov/npsveg/ftp/vegmapping/acad/reports/acadrpt.pdf]

  • Metzler, K., and J. Barrett. 2006. The vegetation of Connecticut: A preliminary classification. State Geological and Natural History Survey, Report of Investigations No. 12. Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Hartford, CT.

  • Olivero, A. M. 2001. Classification and mapping of New York's calcareous fen communities. New York Natural Heritage Program. Report prepared for The Nature Conservancy - Central/Western New York Chapter, Albany, NY. June 2001. 28 pp. plus appendices.

  • Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.

  • Sneddon, L. A., Zaremba, R. E., and M. Adams. 2010. Vegetation classification and mapping at Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts. Natural Resources Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2010/147. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 481 pp. [http://biology.usgs.gov/npsveg/caco/cacorpt.pdf]

  • Sperduto, D. D., W. F. Nichols, and N. Cleavitt. 2000a. Bogs and fens of New Hampshire. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Inventory, Concord, NH.

  • Sperduto, D. D., and W. F. Nichols. 2004. Natural communities of New Hampshire: A guide and classification. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord. 242 pp.

  • Swain, P. C., and J. B. Kearsley. 2014. Classification of the natural communities of Massachusetts. Version 2.0. Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Westborough, MA. [http://www.mass.gov/nhesp/http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/natural-heritage/natural-communities/classification-of-natural-communities.html]

  • Thompson, E. H., and E. R. Sorenson. 2005. Wetland, woodland, wildland: A guide to the natural communities of Vermont. The Nature Conservancy and the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. University Press of New England, Hanover, NH. 456 pp.

  • Zimmerman, E. A., T. Davis, M. A. Furedi, B. Eichelberger, J. McPherson, S. Seymour, G. Podniesinski, N. Dewar, and J. Wagner, editors. 2012. Terrestrial and palustrine plant communities of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Harrisburg. [http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Communities.aspx]


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