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Ledum glandulosum / Carex obnupta / Sphagnum spp. Fen
Translated Name: Western Labrador-tea / Slough Sedge / Peatmoss species Fen
Unique Identifier: CEGL003434
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: Distinguished from similar associations farther north by the dominance of Ledum glandulosum instead of Ledum groenlandicum, this vegetation occurs only between the Columbia River and northern California. This early-seral association occurs in open mire complexes in poorly drained basins, valleys, and on floating lake mats. Circular or elliptical hummocks 1-3 feet taller than the surrounding mire surface form islands of ombrotrophic vegetation in otherwise minerotrophic mire fed by springs, runoff, or lakewater. Mature trees are absent, but reproducing Thuja plicata and Pinus contorta var. contorta occur in about half the plots and are slow-growing and stunted, most dying before maturity. The shrub layer is dominated by Ledum glandulosum with up to 60% cover. Kalmia microphylla or Vaccinium uliginosum are occasional. Two distinct variants occur with either Sphagnum palustre or Sphagnum fuscum dominant in the moss layer. The herb layer in the Sphagnum palustre variant typically contains 15-25 species and is characterized by Vaccinium oxycoccos, Drosera rotundifolia, Lysichiton americanus, Eriophorum chamissonis, Trientalis europaea ssp. arctica, Carex echinata ssp. phyllomanica, and Carex leptalea. The herb layer in the Sphagnum fuscum variant is conspicuously dwarfed and species-poor (10 or fewer) because of high acidity and low nutrient status. Hollows between hummocks in both variants are generally wet, species-poor, and consist almost entirely of lawns of Sphagnum angustifolium, Sphagnum pacificum, or bare muddy bottoms if trailed by elk and deer.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: This association is treated here as one type with two variants (Sphagnum palustre or Sphagnum fuscum) instead of two separate associations as described in Christy (2001a). Carex obnupta, while present with a constancy of less than 80% and an average cover of less than 50%, is a diagnostic component of low-elevation Sphagnum mires and for this reason is included in the association name. It may occur with cover up to 45%.

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 Labrador-tea Shrub Bog & Acidic Fen

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL003435 Ledum glandulosum / Darlingtonia californica / Sphagnum 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
Oregon Carex obnupta / Sphagnum Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Ledum glandulosum / Carex obnupta / Sphagnum 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: Ledum groenlandicum - Gaultheria shallon / Sphagnum spp. variant
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
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


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2 (21Oct2002)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: An estimated 75% of historic sites have been lost to agricultural development and succession. There are 13 known occurrences, of which 3 are currently protected. The area occupied by these mires diminishes rapidly to the south, and most are less than 5 acres in size. No real management is occurring at protected sites, and outside land use continues to influence them. Succession is probably the greatest threat; due to the way the coastal landscape is managed, new bogs are not being created any longer. They are fragile, but probably recoverable if managed properly.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CApotentially occurs, OR
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association is restricted to the coast of Oregon between the Columbia River and northern California. Historically, it was reported as far south as San Francisco Bay and Fort Bragg, but has disappeared from many historic localities.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Mediterranean Division
Province Name: California Coastal Steppe, Mixed Forest, and Redwood Forest Province
Province Code: 263 Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Northern California Coast Section
Section Code: 263A Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
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 Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Ledum glandulosum G2 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Sphagnum fuscum G2 Moss Nonvascular  
 
 
Sphagnum palustre G2 Moss Nonvascular  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y


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.

  • Hansen, H. P. 1941a. Paleoecology of two peat deposits on the Oregon coast. Oregon State Monographs Studies in Botany 3:1-31.

  • Hansen, H. P. 1941b. Paleoecology of a peat deposit in west central Oregon. American Journal of Botany 28:206-212.

  • Hansen, H. P. 1943. Paleoecology of two sand dune bogs on the southern Oregon coast. American Journal of Botany 30:335-340.

  • Hansen, H. P. 1944. Further pollen studies of a peat bog on the Pacific coast of Oregon and Washington. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 71:627-636.

  • 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.

  • Rigg, G. B. 1933. Notes on a sphagnum bog at Fort Bragg, California. Science 77:535-536.

  • Wade, L. K. 1965. Vegetation and history of the sphagnum bogs of the Tofino area, Vancouver Island. M.S. thesis, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. 125 pp.

  • 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 2019