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Carex echinata - Solidago uliginosa / Sphagnum spp. Seepage Meadow
Translated Name: Star Sedge - Bog Goldenrod / Peatmoss species Seepage Meadow
Common Name: Central Appalachian-High Allegheny Seepage Bog
Unique Identifier: CEGL008534
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This community is known from the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia and West Virginia. Stands occupy flat to gently sloping areas (0-5) on terraces and toeslopes, and in open wetland mosaics along high-elevation (>1070 m [3500 feet]) headwater streams. Habitats typically have pronounced hummock-and-hollow microtopography. Groundwater discharge may be barely perceptible, or may appear as flowing seeps and braided streamlets. A thin but continuous cover of Sphagnum mosses is present on hummocks underlain by coarse gravel, mineral soil, clay, or bedrock with very low pH (about 3.7) and base status. This community type is predominantly herbaceous but contains patches of low shrubs and stunted trees, particularly Picea rubens, Vaccinium myrtilloides, Vaccinium angustifolium, Kalmia latifolia, Menziesia pilosa, and Acer rubrum, on larger hummocks. Herbaceous composition is somewhat variable, but dominants usually include Carex echinata and/or Solidago uliginosa. Other common herbs include Eriophorum virginicum, Juncus effusus, Drosera rotundifolia var. rotundifolia, Sparganium erectum ssp. stoloniferum, Carex trisperma, Doellingeria umbellata (= Aster umbellatus), Osmunda cinnamomea, Carex gynandra, Epilobium leptophyllum, Galium tinctorium, Viola cucullata, Scirpus cyperinus, Juncus subcaudatus, Juncus brevicaudatus, Rubus hispidus, Spiranthes cernua, Lycopus uniflorus, Lycopodium clavatum, and Platanthera clavellata. Additional, less frequent herbaceous associates are Carex baileyi, Carex intumescens, Carex leptalea, Dryopteris cristata, Gentiana clausa, Isoetes valida (= Isoetes caroliniana), Linum striatum, Pycnanthemum muticum, and Rhynchospora capitellata. In West Virginia, dominant bryophyte species are Sphagnum magellanicum, Sphagnum rubellum, Sphagnum fallax, and Sphagnum papillosum.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: Four plots (4 occurrences) represent this type in West Virginia, where it was classified as part of a 2004-2006 study of high-elevation wetlands in West Virginia's Allegheny Mountains region. The type clusters consistently and ordinates in a close group in the Sphagnum-rich portion of species space. Additional inventory, data collection, and analysis are needed to clarify this type's geographic range and increase the robustness of its classification. The Virginia examples (e.g., Solidago uliginosa, Sparganium erectum ssp. stoloniferum) do not contain Eriophorum virginicum. This type has a higher seepage component than the similar, but more boggy types: Carex canescens - Eriophorum virginicum / Sphagnum spp. Fen (CEGL006549) and Eriophorum virginicum - (Carex folliculata) / Sphagnum spp. - Polytrichum spp. Fen (CEGL006570).

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 2 - Shrub & Herb Vegetation
Subclass 2.C - Shrub & Herb Wetland
Formation 2.C.4 - Temperate to Polar Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Division 2.C.4.Nd - Eastern North American Temperate & Boreal Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Macrogroup Eastern North American Cool Temperate Seep
Group North-Central & Northeastern Seep
Alliance Allegheny Mountain Herbaceous Seep

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006549 Carex canescens - Eriophorum virginicum / Sphagnum spp. Fen
CEGL006570 Eriophorum virginicum - (Carex folliculata) / Sphagnum spp. - Polytrichum spp. Fen



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
West Virginia Carex echinata ssp. echinata / Sphagnum spp. fen Equivalent Certain Byers et al. 2007


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Carex echinata - Solidago uliginosa - Sparganium erectum ssp. stoloniferum - Epilobium leptophyllum Herbaceous Vegetation
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and P. P. Coulling. 2001. Ecological communities of the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Preliminary classification and description of vegetation types. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 317 pp.
Related Concept Name: Picea rubens / Vaccinium angustifolium - Epilobium leptophyllum Association: Carex echinata - Carex trisperma Subassociation
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and W. H. Moorhead, III. 1996. Ecological land units of the Laurel Fork Area, Highland County, Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 96-08. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 114 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Appalachian Bog
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, D. P. Walton, K. M. McCoy, and M. R. Parrish. 2001. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. First approximation. Natural Heritage Technical Report 01-1. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 76 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.069 High Allegheny Wetland
CES202.300 Southern and Central Appalachian Bog and Fen
CES202.456 North-Central and Northeastern Seep


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2? (02Oct2001)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: This type is limited to a few very small patches (<0.25 hectare) in Virginia. It has a limited distribution within West Virginia, where it occurs at higher elevations of the Allegheny Mountains, with a narrow environmental specificity (very slow seepage areas adjacent to open peatlands).

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: VA, WV
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community is definitely known from the Allegheny Mountains of Highland County, Virginia, and is also documented in adjacent West Virginia. Occurrences over a broader geographic range are possible.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
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: Allegheny Mountains Section
Section Code: M221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This community type is predominantly herbaceous but contains patches of low shrubs and stunted trees, particularly Picea rubens, Vaccinium myrtilloides, Vaccinium angustifolium, Kalmia latifolia, Menziesia pilosa, and Acer rubrum, on larger hummocks. Herbaceous composition is somewhat variable, but dominants usually include Carex echinata and/or Solidago uliginosa. Other common herbs include Eriophorum virginicum, Juncus effusus, Drosera rotundifolia var. rotundifolia, Sparganium erectum ssp. stoloniferum, Carex trisperma, Doellingeria umbellata (= Aster umbellatus), Osmunda cinnamomea, Carex gynandra, Epilobium leptophyllum, Galium tinctorium, Viola cucullata, Scirpus cyperinus, Juncus subcaudatus, Juncus brevicaudatus, Rubus hispidus, Spiranthes cernua, Lycopus uniflorus, Lycopodium clavatum, and Platanthera clavellata. Additional, less frequent herbaceous associates are Carex baileyi, Carex intumescens, Carex leptalea, Dryopteris cristata, Gentiana clausa, Isoetes valida (= Isoetes caroliniana), Linum striatum, Pycnanthemum muticum, and Rhynchospora capitellata. In West Virginia, dominant bryophyte species are Sphagnum magellanicum, Sphagnum rubellum, Sphagnum fallax, and Sphagnum papillosum. Mean species richness of all vascular plants and any nonvascular plants with cover >1% is 21 taxa per 400 square meters for 4 plots in West Virginia (Byers et al. 2007). Epilobium leptophyllum, Juncus brevicaudatus, Solidago uliginosa, and Sparganium erectum ssp. stoloniferum are state-rare plants associated with the type.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Vaccinium angustifolium G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Doellingeria umbellata G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Epilobium leptophyllum G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Galium tinctorium G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Solidago uliginosa G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Sparganium erectum ssp. stoloniferum G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex echinata G2 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Juncus brevicaudatus G2 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: Stands occupy flat to gently sloping areas (0-5) on terraces and toeslopes, and in open wetland mosaics along high-elevation (>1070 m [3500 feet]) headwater streams. Habitats typically have pronounced hummock-and-hollow microtopography. Groundwater discharge may be barely perceptible, or may appear as flowing seeps and braided streamlets. A thin but continuous cover of Sphagnum mosses is present on hummocks underlain by coarse gravel, mineral soil, clay, or bedrock with very low pH (ca. 3.7) and base status.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): K.D. Patterson and G.P. Fleming, mod. G. Fleming and P. Coulling
Element Description Edition Date: 30Apr2007
Element Description Author(s): G.P. Fleming, P. Coulling, E.A. Byers
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 30Apr2007
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): G. Fleming, mod. E.A. Byers

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


References
  • Allard, H. A., and E. C. Leonard. 1952. The Canaan and the Stony River valleys of West Virginia, their former magnificent spruce forests, their vegetation and floristics today. Castanea 17:1-60.

  • Byers, E. A., J. P. Vanderhorst, and B. P. Streets. 2007. Classification and conservation assessment of high elevation wetland communities in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia. West Virginia Natural Heritage Program, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Elkins.

  • Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, D. P. Walton, K. M. McCoy, and M. R. Parrish. 2001. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. First approximation. Natural Heritage Technical Report 01-1. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 76 pp.

  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2011a. Natural communities of Virginia: Ecological groups and community types. Natural Heritage Technical Report 11-07. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 34 pp.

  • Fleming, G. P., and P. P. Coulling. 2001. Ecological communities of the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Preliminary classification and description of vegetation types. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 317 pp.

  • Fleming, G. P., and W. H. Moorhead, III. 1996. Ecological land units of the Laurel Fork Area, Highland County, Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 96-08. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 114 pp. plus appendices.


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