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Carex aquatilis var. dives - Comarum palustre Fen
Translated Name: Sitka Sedge - Purple Marshlocks Fen
Unique Identifier: CEGL003433
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This herbaceous association occurs on flooded peat encroaching as floating mats on shores of lakes, and in low-gradient drainages where water is ponded or moving very slowly by sheet flow or percolation through the peat. It ranges from Oregon to British Columbia. The surface usually has several inches of standing water and the vegetation is typically very wet or flooded. It may occur on floating mats of peat on what was previously open water, and is a transitional vegetation type between aquatic bed vegetation and open mire or shrub swamp. Trees are rarely present and may include Pinus contorta or sapling Picea sitchensis. Shrubs are present in about half the plots at very low cover and may include Ledum glandulosum, Vaccinium uliginosum, Spiraea douglasii, Lonicera involucrata, or Salix hookeriana. The herb layer is diverse, dominated by Carex aquatilis var. dives and Comarum palustre (= Potentilla palustris), with lesser amounts of Nuphar polysepala (= Nuphar lutea ssp. polysepala), Athyrium filix-femina, Hypericum anagalloides, Carex exsiccata, Equisetum fluviatile, Oenanthe sarmentosa, and Lycopus uniflorus. Carex obnupta occurred only in trace amounts in the plots sampled, but may be more abundant in some sites. Sphagnum and other mosses are often present but not dominant.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: Kunze (1994) lists a Carex sitchensis - Potentilla palustris variant that occurs around the shore of Lake Ozette, Clallam County. She also mentions Comarum palustre (= Potentilla palustris) as a codominant along some pond margins of the Carex sitchensis community type on the western Olympic Peninsula, probably part of this association. It is not recognized from elsewhere in Washington.

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 Pacific Bog & Fen
Group North Pacific Acidic Open Bog & Fen
Alliance Sedge - Sphagnum - Beaksedge Graminoid Fen

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



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
Oregon Carex aquatilis var. dives - Carex obnupta Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Carex aquatilis var. dives - Comarum palustre
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: McCain, C., and J. A. Christy. 2005. Field guide to riparian plant communities in northwestern Oregon. Technical Paper R6-NR-ECOL-TP-01-05. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland. 357 pp.
Related Concept Name: Carex aquatilis var. dives - Comarum palustre Association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Christy, J. A. 2004. Native freshwater wetland plant associations of northwestern Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, Oregon State University, Portland, OR.
Related Concept Name: Carex sitchensis - Potentilla palustris variant
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Kunze, L. M. 1994. Preliminary classification of native, low elevation, freshwater wetland vegetation in western Washington. Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program. 120 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES204.063 North Pacific Bog and Fen
CES204.158 Alaskan Pacific Maritime Fen and Wet Meadow


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2 (21Oct2002)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: This association is estimated to have 20 occurrences in Oregon and Washington, but may extend into British Columbia. Known sites may cover up to 500 acres throughout its range. Long-term decline is estimated at 50% in Oregon and Washington. The number and condition of occurrences are probably declining or are being degraded by development. Moderate threats exist from changes in hydrology and eutrophication caused by upland development. Eutrophication and ensuing changes in vegetation at these sites may by irreversible.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: AKpotentially occurs, OR, WA
Canadian Province Distribution: BCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canadapotentially occurs, United States
Global Range: This association extends from the central coast of Oregon north to Washington, and possibly to coastal British Columbia and southeastern Alaska (Christy 2004).

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Marine Regime Mountains
Province Name: Cascade Mixed Forest - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M242 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Oregon and Washington Coast Ranges Section
Section Code: M242A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This is a transitional vegetation type between aquatic bed vegetation and open mire or shrub swamp. Trees are rarely present and may include Pinus contorta or sapling Picea sitchensis. Shrubs are present in about half the plots at very low cover and may include Ledum glandulosum, Vaccinium uliginosum, Spiraea douglasii, Lonicera involucrata, or Salix hookeriana. The herb layer is diverse, dominated by Carex aquatilis var. dives and Comarum palustre (= Potentilla palustris), with lesser amounts of Nuphar polysepala (= Nuphar lutea ssp. polysepala), Athyrium filix-femina, Hypericum anagalloides, Carex exsiccata, Equisetum fluviatile, Oenanthe sarmentosa, and Lycopus uniflorus. Carex obnupta occurred only in trace amounts in the plots sampled, but may be more abundant in some sites. Sphagnum and other mosses are often present but not dominant.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Comarum palustre G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Carex aquatilis var. dives G2 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This herbaceous association occurs on flooded peat encroaching as floating mats on shores of lakes, and in low-gradient drainages where water is ponded or moving very slowly by sheet flow or percolation through the peat. The surface usually has several inches of standing water and the vegetation is typically very wet or flooded. It may occur on floating mats of peat on what was previously open water, and is a transitional vegetation type between aquatic bed vegetation and open mire or shrub swamp.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): J.A. Christy
Element Description Edition Date: 21Oct2002
Element Description Author(s): J.A. Christy
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 21Oct2002
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): J.A. Christy

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


References
  • Christy, J. A. 2001a. Low-elevation Sphagnum wetlands in western Oregon. Report to Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10. Oregon Natural Heritage Program, Portland. 90 pp.

  • Christy, J. A. 2004. Native freshwater wetland plant associations of northwestern Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, Oregon State University, Portland, OR.

  • Christy, J. A., and L. Brophy. 2002. Vegetation of Neskowin Marsh Unit, Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Tillamook County, Oregon. Report to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center and Green Point Consulting. 26 pp.

  • Howarth, J. 1995. Gearhart Bog Preserve: Plant community mapping and background information. The Nature Conservancy, Oregon Field Office, Portland. 36 pp. plus appendices.

  • Kagan, J. S., J. A. Christy, M. P. Murray, and J. A. Titus. 2004. Classification of native vegetation of Oregon. January 2004. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, Portland. 52 pp.

  • Kunze, L. M. 1994. Preliminary classification of native, low elevation, freshwater wetland vegetation in western Washington. Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program. 120 pp.

  • McCain, C., and J. A. Christy. 2005. Field guide to riparian plant communities in northwestern Oregon. Technical Paper R6-NR-ECOL-TP-01-05. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland. 357 pp.

  • WNHP [Washington Natural Heritage Program]. No date. Unpublished data files. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Department of Natural Resources, Olympia, WA.

  • Western Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boulder, CO.


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Data last updated: March 2018