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Carex scabrata - Viola cucullata / Plagiomnium ciliare Seepage Meadow
Translated Name: Eastern Rough Sedge - Marsh Blue Violet / Wavy-leaf Moss Seepage Meadow
Common Name: Eastern Rough Sedge / Wavy-leaf Moss Sloping Forested Seep
Unique Identifier: CEGL006597
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This linear, sloping forested seep occurs on saturated, temporarily flooded, and semipermanently flooded soils in headwater basins of the Allegheny Mountains region of West Virginia, at elevations between 780 and 1300 m. It occupies gently to steeply sloping drainages (1.5-20) in upland forest, typically occurring as small, discontinuous patches that repeat across a mountainside. It is fed primarily by seepage and springs from the adjacent upland forest. Microtopography is characterized by a complex of tip-up mounds, buttressed roots, and downed wood over large and small rocks. Bedrock is typically shale or sometimes sandstone. Soils are moderately to poorly drained and stony, with variable texture ranging from muck to silt loam to sandy loam. The canopy is open and dominated by Betula alleghaniensis var. alleghaniensis with an herbaceous layer dominated by Carex scabrata, Viola cucullata, and the characteristic bryophyte Plagiomnium ciliare. The canopy often includes low cover by Acer saccharum var. saccharum, Picea rubens, and Fagus grandifolia. Most trees are not rooted in the seep, but rather overhang and shade the seep from the edges. The subcanopy and shrub layers are sparse. The herbaceous layer is dominated by Carex scabrata, Viola cucullata, Laportea canadensis, Tiarella cordifolia, and Glyceria melicaria. Other herbaceous species with high constancy include Dryopteris intermedia, Saxifraga micranthidifolia, Cardamine diphylla, Chrysosplenium americanum, Poa alsodes, Symphyotrichum prenanthoides, Packera aurea, Thelypteris noveboracensis, Cardamine pensylvanica, Arisaema triphyllum, Monarda didyma, and Oxalis montana. Nonvascular plants are dominated by Plagiomnium ciliare with lesser amounts of Brachythecium rivulare, Thuidium delicatulum, and Rhizomnium appalachianum. The indicator species that help to distinguish this community from others within the forested seep physiognomy in West Virginia are Carex scabrata, Laportea canadensis, Tiarella cordifolia, Acer saccharum var. saccharum, Brachythecium rivulare, Cardamine diphylla, Carex leptonervia, and Plagiomnium ciliare. Mean species richness of all vascular plants and any nonvascular plants with cover >1% is 32 taxa per 400 square meters, with about 15% of the diversity in the bryophyte layer.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: Seven plots represent this type, which was classified as part of a 2004-2006 study of high-elevation wetlands in West Virginia's Allegheny Mountains region (Byers et al. 2007). The type clusters and ordinates well and has been sampled throughout its range in West Virginia. Similar vegetation is very likely in the High Allegheny region of Virginia, but may be better interpreted there as an inclusion in a small stream alluvial forest.

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 North-Central & Northeastern Seep
Alliance Eastern Rough Sedge - Golden-saxifrage Seep

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006193 Chrysosplenium americanum Seepage 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
West Virginia Betula alleghaniensis var. alleghaniensis / Carex scabrata - Viola cucullata canadensis / Plagiomnium ciliare sloping linear forest seep Equivalent Certain Byers et al. 2007


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Betula alleghaniensis var. alleghaniensis / Carex scabrata - Viola cucullata canadensis / Plagiomnium ciliare sloping linear forest seep
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: 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.
Related Concept Name: Montane Woodland Seep
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, K. D. Patterson, and K. Taverna. 2006. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Version 2.2. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/ncTIV.shtml]

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.028 Central and Southern Appalachian Spruce-Fir Forest
CES202.456 North-Central and Northeastern Seep
CES202.593 Appalachian (Hemlock)-Northern Hardwood Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3 (03Apr2007)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This community is restricted in known distribution to very small patches along steeply sloping drainage tracks within intact northern hardwoods or Picea rubens forest, above 780 m in the Allegheny Mountains region of West Virginia; however, it may occur in surrounding states. Only nine occurrences are known, but several dozen more probably exist in West Virginia.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: VA, WV
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community is known from the Allegheny Mountains region of West Virginia, at elevations between 780 and 1300 m.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
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


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This linear forested seep occurs in the Allegheny Mountains region of West Virginia. It is characterized by an open canopy of Betula alleghaniensis var. alleghaniensis with an herbaceous layer dominated by Carex scabrata, Viola cucullata, and the characteristic bryophyte Plagiomnium ciliare. The canopy often includes low cover by Acer saccharum var. saccharum, Picea rubens, and Fagus grandifolia. Mean canopy cover is 40%. Most trees are not rooted in the seep, but rather overhang and shade the seep from the edges. Trees that are rooted within the seep tend to grow on moss-covered hummocks with buttressed roots. The subcanopy and shrub layers are sparse, totaling about 8% cover, and with a composition similar to that of the canopy. The herbaceous layer averages 60% cover and is dominated by Carex scabrata, Viola cucullata, Laportea canadensis, Tiarella cordifolia, and Glyceria melicaria. Other herbaceous species with high constancy include Dryopteris intermedia, Saxifraga micranthidifolia, Cardamine diphylla, Chrysosplenium americanum, Poa alsodes, Symphyotrichum prenanthoides, Packera aurea, Thelypteris noveboracensis, Cardamine pensylvanica, Arisaema triphyllum, Monarda didyma, and Oxalis montana. Nonvascular plants average 25% cover and are dominated by Plagiomnium ciliare with lesser amounts of Brachythecium rivulare, Thuidium delicatulum, and Rhizomnium appalachianum. The indicator species that help to distinguish this community from others within the forested seep physiognomy in West Virginia are Carex scabrata, Laportea canadensis, Tiarella cordifolia, Acer saccharum var. saccharum, Brachythecium rivulare, Cardamine diphylla, Carex leptonervia, and Plagiomnium ciliare. Mean species richness of all vascular plants and any nonvascular plants with cover >1% is 32 taxa per 400 square meters, with about 15% of the diversity in the bryophyte layer (Byers et al. 2007).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Betula alleghaniensis var. alleghaniensis G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Viola cucullata G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Carex scabrata G3 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Plagiomnium ciliare G3 Moss Nonvascular  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This linear, sloping forested seep occurs on saturated, temporarily flooded, and semipermanently flooded soils in headwater basins of the Allegheny Mountains region of West Virginia, at elevations between 780 and 1300 m. It occupies gently to steeply sloping drainages (1.5-20) in upland forest, typically occurring as small, discontinuous patches that repeat across a mountainside. Microtopography is characterized by a complex of tip-up mounds, buttressed roots, and downed wood over large and small rocks. Bedrock is typically shale or sometimes sandstone. Soils are moderately to poorly drained and stony, with variable texture ranging from muck to silt loam to sandy loam. Hydric soil indicators include histic epipedon, 2 cm muck, sandy mucky mineral, loamy gleyed matrix, and depleted matrix. Soil pH averages 4.8, but pore water pH is significantly higher, ranging from 5.8-7.0, with an average of 6.6 (n=4). Electrical conductivity of the pore water is low, averaging 48 micromhos/cm (n=4). Soil chemistry is characterized by high B, Ca, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Na, P, S, Zn; moderate K and exchangeable nitrogen; and low Al, organic matter, and total exchange capacity (n=4). The unvegetated surface is predominantly litter, with an average of 10% rocks, 6% downed wood and 5% standing or flowing water (Byers et al. 2007).


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: This is a small-patch, sloping forested seep community. It is fed primarily by seepage and springs from the adjacent upland forest. Nutrient cycling occurs from the decay of fallen trees, litter, and herbaceous vegetation.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): E.A. Byers et al. (2007)
Element Description Edition Date: 03Apr2007
Element Description Author(s): E.A. Byers
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 03Apr2007
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): 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.

  • Eastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boston, MA.

  • Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, K. D. Patterson, and K. Taverna. 2006. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Version 2.2. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/ncTIV.shtml]

  • 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.


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