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Carex gynandra - Scirpus cyperinus - Eriophorum virginicum - Osmunda cinnamomea Herbaceous Seep
Translated Name: Nodding Sedge - Woolgrass - Tawny Cottongrass - Cinnamon Fern Herbaceous Seep
Common Name: Nodding Sedge Seepage Fen
Unique Identifier: CEGL007771
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association consists of patches of saturated vegetation located in areas of flat to very gently sloping topography (0-2) located near streams in the Allegheny and Cumberland mountains. This community occurs along streams, in flats away from the immediate streambed, along wetland margins, and in seepage-fed oxbow fens, at elevations of 610 to 1220 m (2000-4000 feet). It is primarily an herbaceous community, but some examples may exhibit a shrub zone. The primary herbaceous species are Carex gynandra, Carex atlantica, Juncus effusus, Osmunda cinnamomea, Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis, Doellingeria umbellata (= Aster umbellatus), Polygonum sagittatum, Eriophorum virginicum, Lygodium palmatum, Platanthera clavellata, Platanthera flava var. flava, Lycopus virginicus, Oxypolis rigidior, Chelone glabra, Carex lurida, Glyceria melicaria, Scirpus cyperinus, Carex leptalea ssp. harperi, Solidago rugosa, Galium tinctorium, Solidago uliginosa, Carex scoparia var. scoparia, Dryopteris cristata, Impatiens capensis, Carex stipata, Hypericum mutilum, and Glyceria laxa. Sphagnum spp. are common and include Sphagnum palustre. Shrubs can occur as scattered clumps or zones and include Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides, Hypericum densiflorum, Salix sericea, Ilex opaca, Kalmia latifolia, Rhododendron maximum, and Photinia pyrifolia (= Aronia arbutifolia).



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: Eight plots represent this type in West Virginia, where it was classified as part of a 2004-2006 study of wetlands in the Allegheny Mountains (Byers et al. 2007). Examples occur at Martins Fork (Harlan County, Kentucky) and Falling Water Gap, Virginia. The relationship and distinctiveness of this type relative to other associations in this alliance need additional consideration. This type apparently lacks many species characteristic of bogs of the Southern Blue Ridge and has some species rarely encountered in Blue Ridge bogs. Vegetation seen at an abandoned millpond in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area (Tennessee) may fit this concept (M. Pyne pers. comm.).

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 Central & Southern Appalachian Seep
Alliance Southern Appalachian Herbaceous Seep

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL008404 Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis Seepage Riverbed Vegetation
CEGL008438 Glyceria striata - Carex gynandra - Chelone glabra - Symphyotrichum puniceum / Sphagnum spp. Herbaceous Seep



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
Tennessee Carex gynandra - Scirpus cyperinus - Eriophorum virginicum - Osmunda cinnamomea Herbaceous Vegetation Equivalent Certain TDNH unpubl. data
West Virginia Carex gynandra - Carex atlantica / Sphagnum spp. herbaceous seep Equivalent Certain Byers et al. 2007


Other Related Concepts
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.
Related Concept Name: Cumberland Mountains alluvial open acid bog
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Yahn, Brian. Personal communication. Ecologist, Kentucky State Nature Preserve Commission, Frankfort.

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
CES202.361 Cumberland Seepage Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2 (11May2007)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: This community type is apparently restricted to the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia and the Cumberland Mountains of Kentucky, Virginia, and possibly Tennessee. Examples are small in size and the total area of occupancy is very small. Inventories from Cumberland occurrences are lacking. Many examples were impacted in the past by forest clearing and the construction of farm ponds. Examples are threatened by vegetative succession in the Cumberlands and by invasion of hybrid Typha latifolia in the Alleghenies.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: KY, TNpotentially occurs, VA, WV
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community type is restricted to the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia and the Cumberland Mountains of Kentucky, Virginia, and possibly Tennessee, at elevations of 610-1220 m.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Hot Continental Division
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Oceanic) Province
Province Code: 221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Cumberland Plateau Section
Section Code: 221H Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
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
Section Name: Cumberland Mountains Section
Section Code: M221C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The primary herbaceous species in this association are Carex gynandra, Carex atlantica, Juncus effusus, Osmunda cinnamomea, Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis, Doellingeria umbellata (= Aster umbellatus), Polygonum sagittatum, Eriophorum virginicum, Lygodium palmatum, Platanthera clavellata, Platanthera flava var. flava, Lycopus virginicus, Oxypolis rigidior, Chelone glabra, Carex lurida, Glyceria melicaria, Scirpus cyperinus, Carex leptalea ssp. harperi, Solidago rugosa, Galium tinctorium, Solidago uliginosa, Carex scoparia var. scoparia, Dryopteris cristata, Impatiens capensis, Carex stipata, Hypericum mutilum, and Glyceria laxa. Sphagnum spp. are common and include Sphagnum palustre. Shrubs can occur as scattered clumps or zones and include Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides, Hypericum densiflorum, Salix sericea, Ilex opaca, Kalmia latifolia, Rhododendron maximum, and Photinia pyrifolia (= Aronia arbutifolia). This type apparently lacks many species characteristic of bogs of the Southern Blue Ridge and has some species rarely encountered in Blue Ridge bogs. The community is susceptible to invasion by Typha latifolia, which attains dominance in some stands in West Virginia. Mean species richness of all vascular plants and any nonvascular plants with cover >1% is 30 taxa per 400 square meters for eight plots in West Virginia (Byers et al. 2007).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Osmunda cinnamomea G2 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)  
 
 
Carex gynandra G2 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Eriophorum virginicum G2 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Scirpus cyperinus G2 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This herbaceous seepage fen occurs in the Allegheny and Cumberland mountains, at elevations of 610 to 1220 m (2000-4000 feet). In the Alleghenies, the community is found on very gently sloping (1-2) margins of larger open wetlands in flat headwater basins, either on toeslopes, alluvial fans, or as fingers of enriched seepage extending into the wetland mosaic. It also occurs as a spring-fed seepage fen in old oxbows along low-gradient meandering streams. In the Cumberlands, the community occurs along streams, in flats away from the immediate streambed.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Southeastern Ecology Group
Element Description Edition Date: 11May2007
Element Description Author(s): E.A. Byers
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 01Feb2006
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): M. Pyne, 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
  • 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.

  • Pyne, Milo. Personal communication. Southeast Regional Ecologist. NatureServe, Southeast Regional Office, Durham, NC.

  • Southeastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Durham, NC.

  • TDNH [Tennessee Division of Natural Heritage]. No date. Unpublished data. Tennessee Division of Natural Heritage, Nashville, TN.

  • Walbridge, M. R. 1982. Vegetation patterning and community distribution in four high-elevation headwater wetlands in West Virginia. M.S. thesis, West Virginia University, Morgantown.

  • White, R. D., Jr. 2006. Vascular plant inventory and ecological community classification for Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. NatureServe, Durham, NC. 246 pp.

  • Yahn, Brian. Personal communication. Ecologist, Kentucky State Nature Preserve Commission, Frankfort.


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