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Ledum glandulosum / Darlingtonia californica / Sphagnum spp. Fen
Translated Name: Western Labrador-tea / California Pitcherplant / Peatmoss species Fen
Unique Identifier: CEGL003435
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This early-seral association occurs in open mire complexes on floating lake mats and on sandy soils with perched water tables. It is restricted to the central and southern coast of Oregon. 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. Vegetation is similar to Ledum glandulosum / Carex obnupta / Sphagnum spp. Fen (CEGL003434), but Darlingtonia californica dominates the herb layer with up to 20% cover, and Carex obnupta is absent. Mature trees are scarce, and reproducing Pinus contorta var. contorta, Tsuga heterophylla, Thuja plicata, and Picea sitchensis are scarce or absent. These trees are slow-growing and stunted, and most die before maturity. The shrub layer is dominated by Ledum glandulosum with 10-60% cover. Vaccinium oxycoccos and Vaccinium uliginosum may be codominant, with up to 40 and 70% cover, respectively. Lesser amounts of Spiraea douglasii and Lonicera involucrata are also present. Two distinct variants occur with either Sphagnum palustre or Sphagnum fuscum dominant in the moss layer. The herb layer in the Sphagnum palustre variant is moderately diverse (up to 16 species), including more hydrophytic species such as Comarum palustre, Carex aquatilis var. dives, and Carex cusickii. The herb layer in the Sphagnum fuscum variant is depauperate and includes only 8 species, has fewer hydrophytic species, and the vegetation is conspicuously dwarfed. These conditions are caused by high acidity and low nutrient status engendered by Sphagnum fuscum. This variant does not form until the underlying peat mat is dense, firm, and sufficiently raised above the groundwater. 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).

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
CEGL003434 Ledum glandulosum / Carex obnupta / 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 Ledum glandulosum / Darlingtonia californica / Sphagnum Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Ledum glandulosum / Darlingtonia californica / Sphagnum
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: Ledum glandulosum / Darlingtonia californica / 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.

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: This association is restricted to a 100-mile segment of the Oregon coast, where it is known from 9 sites covering about 70 acres - after a very extensive inventory. It is highly unlikely that additional stands will be discovered. Stands continue to disappear largely from successional infilling of small sites, as these are early-seral associations, and new wetlands are not being created. Despite protection of 5 of the 9 known sites, no real management is occurring to retard succession.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: OR
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association is restricted to the central and southern coast of Oregon, where it occurs from central Tillamook to northern Curry counties. Here, Darlingtonia californica is near the northern limit of its range and is confined to the immediate coast. Darlingtonia leaves the coast in central Curry County and extends inland and southeasterly to the Sierra Nevada in California. In Oregon's Klamath Mountains, Darlingtonia is a dominant species of fens occurring on ultramafic soils that lack any Sphagnum vegetation.

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
Division Name: Mediterranean Regime Mountains
Province Name: Sierran Steppe - Mixed Forest - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M261 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Klamath Mountains Section
Section Code: M261A 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
%
Vaccinium uliginosum G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Ledum glandulosum G2 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Vaccinium oxycoccos 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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