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Carex utriculata - Carex lacustris - (Carex vesicaria, Carex stricta) Wet Meadow
Translated Name: Northwest Territory Sedge - Lake Sedge - (Blister Sedge, Upright Sedge) Wet Meadow
Common Name: Northern Sedge Wet Meadow
Unique Identifier: CEGL002257
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This northern tall sedge community is found in the mixed conifer - hardwood zone of the Great Lakes region and north into the boreal regions of eastern Canada. Sites are found on floodplains, shallow bays of lakes and streams, beaver meadows, ditches, and occasionally in isolated basins, or on semi-floating mats. Hydrology is seasonally to semipermanently flooded. Substrate is mineral soil or well-decomposed peat. Tall coarse-leaved sedges dominate the vegetation layer, often creating a tussocky hummock microtopography. Shrubs can cover up to 25% of the area. Pools with submergents may also be present. Dominant graminoids include a number of Carices, including Carex aquatilis, Carex lacustris, Carex lasiocarpa, Carex rostrata, Carex utriculata, Carex vesicaria, and locally Carex stricta. Other graminoids include Calamagrostis canadensis, Scirpus atrovirens, Scirpus cyperinus, and in wetter areas, Eleocharis palustris (= Eleocharis smallii) and Equisetum fluviatile. Forbs include Acorus calamus, Symphyotrichum lanceolatum var. lanceolatum (= Aster simplex), Campanula aparinoides, Eupatorium maculatum, Iris virginica var. shrevei (= Iris shrevei), Lycopus uniflorus, Poa palustris, Polygonum amphibium, Comarum palustre (= Potentilla palustris), and others. Diagnostic features include the general dominance by coarse-leaved sedges, wet, somewhat peaty soil conditions, and the mix of sub-boreal herbs with more temperate herbs.



Classification

Classification Confidence: High
Classification Comments: Expansion of the range of this type eastward to Massachusetts and West Virginia is based on the presence of Carex utriculata. Taxonomy and distribution of Carex utriculata versus Carex rostrata has been confused in the past. Gleason and Cronquist (1991), BONAP (2010), and FNA Editorial Committee (2002b) all treat Carex rostrata as circumboreal and extending southward to northern Michigan, Wisconsin and northern Minnesota (e.g., in Wisconsin Carex rostrata has been reported from extreme northern Wisconsin, on the Apostle Islands (E. Judziewicz pers. comm. 1999)). By contrast, Carex utriculata is boreal but extends south to Delaware, Indiana, Nebraska, New Mexico and California. (Carex vesicaria has a similar distribution to Carex utriculata). However, older atlases and floras in the Midwest (Voss 1972, Mohlenbrock and Ladd 1978, Ownbey and Morley 1991) only use Carex rostrata. Curtis (1959) suggested that differential species for northern sedge meadows in Wisconsin may be Symphyotrichum puniceum (= Aster puniceus), Campanula aparinoides, Glyceria canadensis, Scirpus atrovirens, and Solidago uliginosa, among others, but this list needs further study. Carex stricta is restricted to eastern North American temperate and boreal regions.

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 Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Group Laurentian-Northeastern Wet Meadow
Alliance Eastern Sedge - Bluejoint Wet Meadow

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL001803 Carex aquatilis - Carex utriculata Wet Meadow
CEGL002187 Cornus sericea - Salix (bebbiana, discolor, petiolaris) / Calamagrostis stricta Shrub Swamp
CEGL002256 Carex lacustris Wet Meadow
CEGL002258 Carex stricta - Carex spp. Wet Meadow
CEGL005091 Chamaedaphne calyculata / Carex oligosperma / Sphagnum spp. Acidic Peatland
CEGL005448 Calamagrostis canadensis - Carex spp. Laurentian & Northeast Wet Meadow
CEGL005449 Calamagrostis canadensis North-Central Wet Meadow
CEGL006302 Myrica gale - Chamaedaphne calyculata / Carex (lasiocarpa, utriculata) - Utricularia 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
Maine Mixed Tall Sedge Fen Broader   Gawler 2002
Michigan Northern Wet Meadow Broader   Chapman et al. 1989
Minnesota Sedge Meadow Type [WMn82b] Broader   Minnesota DNR 2005
Minnesota Sedge Meadow, Beaked Sedge Subtype [WMn82b3] Finer   Minnesota DNR 2005
Minnesota Sedge Meadow, Tussock Sedge Subtype [WMn82b2] Finer   Minnesota DNR 2005
North Dakota Carex rostrata - C. lacustris - (C. vesicaria) Wetland Equivalent Certain NDNHI unpubl. data
Wisconsin Northern Sedge Meadow Broader   WNHI 2011


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Carex rostrata - Rubus hispidus - Pyrus melanocarpa community
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Edens, D. L. 1973. The ecology and succession of Cranberry Glades, WV. Ph.D. dissertation, North Carolina State University, Raleigh.
Related Concept Name: Carex rostrata - Sphagnum spp. community
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Darlington, H. C. 1943. Vegetation and substrate of Cranberry Glades, West Virginia. Botanical Gazette 104:371-393.
Related Concept Name: Carex rostrata sedge-meadow community
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Robinette, S. L. 1966. Major plant communities of Cranesville Swamp, West Virginia. Arboretum Newsletter 16(1): 1-7.
Related Concept Name: Polytrichum - Carex (rostrata, stricta) hummock bog
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fortney, R. H. 1975. The vegetation of Canaan Valley, West Virginia: A taxonomic and ecological study. Ph.D. dissertation, University of West Virginia, Morgantown.
Related Concept Name: Broad-leaved Sedge Mineral Meadow Marsh Type
Relationship: F - Finer
Reference: Lee, H., W. Bakowsky, J. Riley, J. Bowles, M. Puddister, P. Uhlig, and S. McMurray. 1998. Ecological land classification for southern Ontario: First approximation and its application. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Southcentral Science Section, Science Development and Transfer Branch. SCSS Field Guide FG-02.
Related Concept Name: Broad-leaved Sedge Mineral Shallow Marsh Type
Relationship: F - Finer
Reference: Lee, H., W. Bakowsky, J. Riley, J. Bowles, M. Puddister, P. Uhlig, and S. McMurray. 1998. Ecological land classification for southern Ontario: First approximation and its application. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Southcentral Science Section, Science Development and Transfer Branch. SCSS Field Guide FG-02.
Related Concept Name: Broad-leaved Sedge Organic Meadow Marsh Type
Relationship: F - Finer
Reference: Lee, H., W. Bakowsky, J. Riley, J. Bowles, M. Puddister, P. Uhlig, and S. McMurray. 1998. Ecological land classification for southern Ontario: First approximation and its application. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Southcentral Science Section, Science Development and Transfer Branch. SCSS Field Guide FG-02.
Related Concept Name: Broad-leaved Sedge Organic Shallow Marsh Type
Relationship: F - Finer
Reference: Lee, H., W. Bakowsky, J. Riley, J. Bowles, M. Puddister, P. Uhlig, and S. McMurray. 1998. Ecological land classification for southern Ontario: First approximation and its application. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Southcentral Science Section, Science Development and Transfer Branch. SCSS Field Guide FG-02.
Related Concept Name: Calcareous Spring Marsh / Muck Fen
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: Meadow marsh: tall sedge (W12)
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Harris, A. G., S. C. McMurray, P. W. C. Uhlig, J. K. Jeglum, R. F. Foster, and G. D. Racey. 1996. Field guide to the wetland ecosystem classification for northwestern Ontario. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Northwest Science and Technology, Thunder Bay, Ontario. Field guide FG-01. 74 pp. plus appendix.
Related Concept Name: Mixed Tall Sedge Fen
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: 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.
Related Concept Name: Northern Sedge Meadow
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Curtis, J. T. 1959. The vegetation of Wisconsin: An ordination of plant communities. Reprinted in 1987. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison. 657 pp.
Related Concept Name: Sedge Meadow Northern Subtype
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Faber-Langendoen, D., editor. 2001. Plant communities of the Midwest: Classification in an ecological context. Association for Biodiversity Information, Arlington, VA. 61 pp. plus appendix (705 pp.).
Related Concept Name: Wet Meadow
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: MNNHP [Minnesota Natural Heritage Program]. 1993. Minnesota's native vegetation: A key to natural communities. Version 1.5. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program, St. Paul, MN. 110 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES201.582 Laurentian-Acadian Wet Meadow-Shrub Swamp
CES201.722 Northern Great Lakes Coastal Marsh
CES202.069 High Allegheny Wetland
CES202.694 North-Central Interior Floodplain
CES202.701 North-Central Interior Wet Meadow-Shrub Swamp
CES205.687 Eastern Great Plains Wet Meadow, Prairie and Marsh
CES303.675 Western Great Plains Open Freshwater Depression Wetland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4G5 (17Jun1999)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: ME, MI, MN, ND, SD, WI
Canadian Province Distribution: MB, ON, QCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This northern tall sedge community is found in the mixed conifer - hardwood zone of the Great Lakes and northeastern region of the United States and north into Canada, extending from Maine to Manitoba, south to Michigan.

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: Northern Great Lakes Section
Section Code: 212H Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lake Superior Section
Section Code: 212I Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Superior Uplands Section
Section Code: 212J Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Western Superior Uplands Section
Section Code: 212K Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Superior Uplands Section
Section Code: 212L Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Minnesota and Ontario Section
Section Code: 212M Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Northern Minnesota Drift and Lake Plains Section
Section Code: 212N Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Division Name: Hot Continental Division
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Continental) Province
Province Code: 222 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: North Central U.S. Driftless and Escarpment Section
Section Code: 222L Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Prairie Division
Province Name: Prairie Parkland (Temperate) Province
Province Code: 251 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Red River Valley Section
Section Code: 251A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: North Central U.S. Morainal and Till Plains Section
Section Code: 251B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Dominant graminoids include a number of Carices, including Carex aquatilis, Carex lacustris, Carex lasiocarpa, Carex utriculata, Carex vesicaria, and locally Carex stricta. Other graminoids include Calamagrostis canadensis, Carex rostrata, Scirpus atrovirens, Scirpus cyperinus, and in wetter areas, Eleocharis palustris (= Eleocharis smallii) and Equisetum fluviatile. Forbs include Acorus calamus, Symphyotrichum lanceolatum var. lanceolatum (= Aster simplex), Campanula aparinoides, Eupatorium maculatum, Iris virginica var. shrevei (= Iris shrevei), Lycopus uniflorus, Poa palustris, Polygonum amphibium, Comarum palustre (= Potentilla palustris), and others (Curtis 1959, Harris et al. 1996).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Carex aquatilis G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex lacustris G4 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Carex lasiocarpa G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex rostrata G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex stricta G4 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Carex utriculata G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex vesicaria G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 

Vegetation Structure Summary: Tall coarse-leaved sedges dominate the vegetation layer, often creating a tussocky hummock microtopography. Shrubs can cover up to 25% of the area. Pools with submergents may also be present.


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: Sites are found on floodplains, shallow bays of lakes and streams, beaver meadows, ditches, and occasionally in isolated basins, or on semi-floating mats. Hydrology is seasonally to semipermanently flooded. Substrate is mineral soil or well-decomposed peat (Curtis 1959, Harris et al. 1996).


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Stands often have a fluctuating hydrology, leading in some years to fairly deep (>1 m) flooding and in other years to little or no flooding. Beavers can also increase flooding in these stands.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): D. Faber-Langendoen
Element Description Edition Date: 21Jan2016
Element Description Author(s): D. Faber-Langendoen and E.A. Byers
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 17Jun1999

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


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