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Carex buxbaumii Fen
Translated Name: Buxbaum's Sedge Fen
Common Name: Buxbaum's Sedge Fen
Unique Identifier: CEGL001806
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This vegetation has been found in fens and wet meadows in the mountains of Utah, Idaho, Montana, and western Wyoming at elevations 1700-3200 m. Sites are flat and range from moderately broad valley bottoms to forest openings. Size of wetland is dependent on the presence of permanently saturated soils and it often occurs along streams and in the wettest portion of the wetland complex. Soils are mineral from alluvium with accumulations of well-decomposed organic matter throughout the upper soil horizon (20-50 cm deep). Stands have a dense perennial graminoid layer characterized by 25% or more cover of Carex buxbaumii. Carex aquatilis, Carex saxatilis and Carex utriculata are usually present and occasionally codominant. Other common species include Deschampsia cespitosa, Caltha leptosepala, Pedicularis groenlandica, and Ligusticum tenuifolium. Occasional shrubs such as Salix planifolia, Vaccinium uliginosum, and Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda may be scattered in the stand. Adjacent stands are often dominated by sedges such as Carex utriculata and Carex aquatilis. This vegetation is separated from adjacent wetlands by the dominance or codominance of Carex buxbaumii.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low

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 American Boreal & Subboreal Alkaline Fen
Group Rocky Mountain Alkaline Fen
Alliance Rocky Mountain Alkaline Sedge Graminoid Fen

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



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These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.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
Idaho Carex buxbaumii Herbaceous Vegetation Equivalent Certain IDCDC 2005
Montana Carex buxbaumii Herbaceous Vegetation Equivalent Certain MTNHP 2002


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Carex buxbaumii
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: Carex buxbaumii 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.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Crowe, E. A., B. L. Kovalchik, and M. J. Kerr. 2004. Riparian and wetland vegetation of central and eastern Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, Institute for Natural Resources, Oregon State University, Portland. 473 pp. [http://oregonstate.edu/ornhic/ publications.html]
Related Concept Name: Carex buxbaumii Community Type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Padgett, W. G., A. P. Youngblood, and A. H. Winward. 1989. Riparian community type classification of Utah and southeastern Idaho. Research Paper R4-ECOL-89-0. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES306.831 Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Fen


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3 (03Jan2000)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This naturally rare wetland vegetation is found in mountains of Utah, Idaho, Montana, and western Wyoming. Although it occurs over relatively wide range, stands are uncommon. Stands typically occur on valley bottoms were the water table is at or near the surface. Soil have a surface organic layer and are saturated seasonally. Habitats are similar to those of the more common Carex aquatilis wetland. These wetlands are threatened by presence of invasive non-native plants, and human activity which results in alterations of natural wetland processes, such as diversions, pumping ground water, roads, and clear cutting. Soils are usually too wet for livestock, but alteration of hydrology causing dewatering may result in increased cattle use and invasion of introduces forage species from pastures.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CO, ID, MT, OR, UT, WY
Canadian Province Distribution: ABpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canadapotentially occurs, United States
Global Range: This wetland is found in mountains of Utah, Idaho, Montana, western Wyoming, and possibly western Alberta. Occurrences have a relatively broad range, but are uncommon. Carex buxbaumii is a circumboreal species, and this association possibly occurs in other western states and further north in Canada.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Dry Domain
Division Name: Temperate Desert Division
Province Name: Intermountain Semi-Desert Province
Province Code: 342 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Snake River Basalts Section
Section Code: 342D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Temperate Steppe Regime Mountains
Province Name: Southern Rocky Mountain Steppe - Open Woodland - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M331 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Yellowstone Highlands Section
Section Code: M331A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Overthrust Mountains Section
Section Code: M331D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Middle Rocky Mountain Steppe - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M332 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Idaho Batholith Section
Section Code: M332A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Beaverhead Mountains Section
Section Code: M332E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Challis Volcanics Section
Section Code: M332F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Northern Rocky Mountain Forest - Steppe - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M333 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Okanogan Highlands Section
Section Code: M333A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Flathead Valley Section
Section Code: M333B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Rockies Section
Section Code: M333C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Bitterroot Mountains Section
Section Code: M333D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Stands have a dense perennial graminoid layer characterized by 25% or more cover of Carex buxbaumii. Carex aquatilis, Carex saxatilis, and Carex utriculata are usually present and occasionally codominant. Other common species include Deschampsia cespitosa, Caltha leptosepala, Pedicularis groenlandica, and Ligusticum tenuifolium. Occasional shrubs, such as Salix planifolia (= Salix phylicifolia), Salix drummondiana, Vaccinium uliginosum (= Vaccinium occidentale), and Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda (= Pentaphylloides floribunda), may be scattered in the stand. Adjacent areas are often dominated by sedges such as Carex utriculata and Carex aquatilis. This vegetation is separated from adjacent wetlands by the dominance or codominance of Carex buxbaumii.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Carex buxbaumii G3 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Carex utriculata G3 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This vegetation has been found in fens and wet meadows in the mountains of Utah, Idaho, Montana, and western Wyoming at elevations of 1046-3200 m (3430-10,500 feet). Sites are flat and range from moderately broad valley bottoms to forest openings. Size of wetland is dependent on the presence of permanently saturated soils, and it often occurs along streams and in the wettest portion of the wetland complex. Soils are mineral from alluvium with accumulations of well-decomposed organic matter throughout the upper soil horizon (20-50 cm deep).


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): K.A. Schulz
Element Description Edition Date: 03Feb2004
Element Description Author(s): K.A. Schulz
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 03Jan2000
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): K.A. Schulz

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


References
  • ANHIC [Alberta Natural Heritage Information Centre]. 2018. Community database files. Alberta Natural Heritage Information Centre, Parks and Protected Areas Division, Alberta Community Development, Edmonton.

  • Bourgeron, P. S., and L. D. Engelking, editors. 1994. A preliminary vegetation classification of the western United States. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Western Heritage Task Force, Boulder, CO. 175 pp. plus appendix.

  • CNHP [Colorado Natural Heritage Program]. 2006-2017. Tracked natural plant communities. Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins. [https://cnhp.colostate.edu/ourdata/trackinglist/plant_communities/]

  • Christy, J. A. 2004. Native freshwater wetland plant associations of northwestern Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, Oregon State University, Portland, OR.

  • Cogan, D., K. Varga, and G. Kittel. 2005. USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program: Grand Teton National Park and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. Final Project Report 2002-2005 Vegetation Mapping Project. Technical Memorandum 8260-06-02. USDI Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, CO. 87 pp. plus Appendixes A-F.

  • Crowe, E. A., B. L. Kovalchik, and M. J. Kerr. 2004. Riparian and wetland vegetation of central and eastern Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, Institute for Natural Resources, Oregon State University, Portland. 473 pp. [http://oregonstate.edu/ornhic/ publications.html]

  • Hansen, P. L., S. W. Chadde, and R. D. Pfister. 1988b. Riparian dominance types of Montana. University of Montana Miscellaneous Publication 49. Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, Missoula. 411 pp.

  • Hop, K., M. Reid, J. Dieck, S. Lubinski, and S. Cooper. 2007. U.S. Geological Survey-National Park Service Vegetation Mapping Program: Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, La Crosse, WI. 131 pp. plus Appendices A-L.

  • IDCDC [Idaho Conservation Data Center]. 2005. Wetland and riparian plant associations in Idaho. Idaho Conservation Data Center, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Boise. [http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/tech/CDC/ecology/wetland_riparian_assoc.cfm] (accessed 14 June 2005).

  • 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.

  • MTNHP [Montana Natural Heritage Program]. 2002b. List of ecological communities for Montana. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Montana State Library, Helena, MT.

  • Mattson, D. J. 1984. Classification and environmental relationships of wetland vegetation in central Yellowstone National Park. Unpublished thesis, University of Idaho, Moscow. 409 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.

  • Moseley, R. K., R. J. Bursik, F. W. Rabe, and L. D. Cazier. 1994. Peatlands of the Sawtooth Valley, Custer, and Blaine counties, Idaho. Sawtooth NF/TNC/IdCDC Idaho Department of Fish & Game Cooperative Cost Share Project. SNF Purchase Order #40-0267-3-0233. 64 pp.

  • Moseley, R. K., R. J. Bursik, and M. Manusco. 1991. Floristic inventory of wetlands in Fremont and Teton counties, Idaho. Unpublished report on file IDCDC Department of Fish & Game, Boise, ID. 60 pp.

  • Padgett, W. G., A. P. Youngblood, and A. H. Winward. 1989. Riparian community type classification of Utah and southeastern Idaho. Research Paper R4-ECOL-89-0. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT.

  • Pierce, J. R. 1986. Wetland community types of west-central Montana. Unpublished draft report prepared for the USDA Forest Service, Region One, Missoula, MT. 57 pp.

  • Pierce, J. R., and Johnson. 1986. Livestock grazing and riparian/stream ecosystems. Pages 39-45 in: Proceedings, Forum - Grazing and riparian/stream ecosystems. Trout Unlimited, Inc., Vienna, VA.

  • Reid, M. S., S. V. Cooper, and G. Kittel. 2004. Vegetation classification of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Final report for USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, International Peace Park Mapping Project. NatureServe, Arlington VA.

  • Titus, J. H., M. Kerr, E. Crowe, and B. Kovalchik. 1998. Riparian zones of eastern Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Program, Portland.

  • Titus, J. H., and J. A. Christy. 1996a. Vegetation of Big Marsh, Deschutes National Forest, Oregon. Report to Deschutes National Forest. Oregon Natural Heritage Program, The Nature Conservancy, Portland.

  • Tuhy, J. S. 1981. Stream bottom community classification for the Sawtooth Valley, Idaho. Unpublished thesis, University of Idaho, Moscow. 230 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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