Invalid Unit Specified
Formation Detail Report: F002
Tropical Bog & Fen Formation

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Tropical Bog & Fen is found where peat-accumulating conditions occur in the cold, wet mountain highlands and in various floodplains of the lowlands, where trees are excluded. They are dominated by sedges, heath, and moss peat.
Collapse All::Expand All
Translated Name:Tropical Bog & Fen Formation
Colloquial Name:Tropical Bog & Fen
In tropical regions of the world, peat-accumulating conditions occur in the cold, wet mountain highlands and in most of the floodplains of the lowlands, where peatlands have a fluctuating water table, with groundwater and surface water movements being common. "True" tropical bogs and fens, however, with sedge or moss peat are relatively rare. Tropical bogs occur in high, rainy regions, on flat to gently sloping, water-soaked ground with nearly impervious clay beneath peat of depths varying from <0.1 to >3 m. They are covered by a mixed vegetation of sedges and grasses, with scattered or clumped growth of dwarfed trees or shrubs.
Tropical Bog & Fen is found where peat-accumulating conditions occur in the cold, wet mountain highlands and in various floodplains of the lowlands, where trees are excluded. They are dominated by sedges, heath, and moss peat.
Vegetation Hierarchy
Name:Database Code:Classification Code:
Class 2 Shrub & Herb Vegetation C02 2
Subclass 2.C Shrub & Herb Wetland S44 2.C
Formation 2.C.1 Tropical Bog & Fen F002 2.C.1
Division 2.C.1.Oa Polynesian Bog & Fen D017 2.C.1.Oa
Tropical peat swamps, where tree cover exceeds 10%, are treated under 1.A.4. Tropical Flooded & Swamp Forest Formation (F029).
Synonomy: > Peatlands (Mitsch and Gosselink 2000) [Bogs and fens are treated together, but tropical and temperate bogs are not separated. Forested bogs are included.]
> Peatlands (Roth 2009) [Bogs and fens are treated together, but tropical and temperate bogs are not separated. Forested bogs are included.]

Related Type Name:

Short Citation:
  • Faber-Langendoen et al. 2015c
  • Mitsch and Gosselink 2000
  • Mueller-Dombois and Fosberg 1998
  • Roth 2009
States/Provinces:
Nations:US
Range:Tropical Bog & Fen is found where peat-accumulating conditions occur in the cold, wet mountain highlands and in various floodplains of the lowlands, where trees are excluded. In the United States, the type is found in Hawaii.
US Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name:
Division Name:
Province Name:
Province Code:   Occurrence Status:
Section Name:
Section Code:     Occurrence Status:
"True" tropical bogs and fens, with sedge or moss peat, are relatively rare. Tropical bogs are covered by a mixed vegetation of sedges and grasses, with scattered or clumped growth of dwarfed trees or shrubs. Given the lack of information on tropical bogs and fens worldwide, a summary is provided from Hawai`i (Mueller-Dombois and Fosberg 1998).

The vegetation of most of the Hawaiian bogs may be a continuous or discontinuous dwarf-scrub interspersed with a matrix of hummocky sedges, usually with scattered emergent shrubs 1 or 2 m tall, or rarely, a bed of Sphagnum and grass with scattered shrubs and large ferns. Peatmoss (Sphagnum spp.) occurs in only a few Hawaiian bogs. Thus, peat is from sedges and grasses, with inclusions of woody peat. Most bogs are found as openings in rainforest, often next to cloud forests (Mueller-Dombois and Fosberg 1998).
In tropical regions of the world, peat-accumulating conditions occur in the cold, wet highlands of the Andes and in the floodplains of the lowlands, where peatlands have a fluctuating water table, with groundwater and surface water movements being common, and trees are excluded. "True" tropical bogs and fens, however, with sedge or moss peat are relatively rare. Tropical bogs occur in high, rainy regions, on flat to gently sloping, water-soaked ground with nearly impervious clay beneath peat of depths varying from <0.1 to >3 m. Given the lack of information on tropical bogs and fens worldwide, a summary is provided from Hawai`i (Mueller-Dombois and Fosberg 1998).

Most Hawaiian bogs are on relatively flat ground underlain by more-or-less impervious clay in areas of high rainfall, usually exceeding 250 cm per year. They range in size from <1000 m2 to over 5 ha. Organic overlays may vary from <10 cm ("protobogs" or "clay bogs") to those with <40 cm ("semi-bogs") to those with >40 cm organic overlays ("true bogs"). The depth of the overlay is a function of age (some bogs originated over 11,000 years ago), temperature (with cooler locations having slower decomposition and greater peat depths) and anaerobic conditions (Mueller-Dombois and Fosberg 1998).

Two kinds of Hawaiian bogs can be distinguished: ombrogenous (fed by rainwater) and soligenous (fed by both rain- and groundwater). The first type can occur in areas of high rainfall, exceeding 12 m per year, so that the soil need not even be impervious for the bog to form. The second term, "soligenous bog" (or fen), is more appropriate for most Hawaiian bogs (Mueller-Dombois and Fosberg 1998).
Moderate
More information of Hawaiian bog formation and bog dynamics may be found in Mueller-Dombois and Fosberg (1998, pp. 27-29).
Authors:
D. Faber-Langendoen and C. Josse      Version Date: 17Oct2014


References:
  • Faber-Langendoen, D., T. Keeler-Wolf, D. Meidinger, C. Josse, A. Weakley, D. Tart, G. Navarro, B. Hoagland, S. Ponomarenko, J.-P. Saucier, G. Fults, and E. Helmer. 2015c. Classification and description of world formation types. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-000. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, CO.
  • Mitsch, W. J., and J. G. Gosselink. 2000. Wetlands. Third edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York. 920 pp.
  • Mueller-Dombois, D., and F. R. Fosberg. 1998. Vegetation of the tropical Pacific islands. Springer-Verlag, New York. 733 pp.
  • Roth, R. A. 2009. Freshwater aquatic biomes. Greenwood Press, Westport, CT.


USNVC Credits: Detailed Description of the National Vegetation Classification Types

Date Accessed:

To cite a description:
Author(s). publicationYear. Description Title [last revised revisionDate]. United States National Vegetation Classification. Federal Geographic Data Committee, Washington, D.C.

About spatial standards:
The United States Federal Geographic Data Committee (hereafter called the FGDC) is tasked to develop geospatial data standards that will enable sharing of spatial data among producers and users and support the growing National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), acting under the Office of Management Budget (OMB) Circular A-16 (OMB 1990, 2000) and Executive Order #12906 (Clinton 1994) as amended by Executive Order #13286 (Bush 2003). FGDC subcommittees and working groups, in consultation and cooperation with state, local, tribal, private, academic, and international communities, develop standards for the content, quality, and transferability of geospatial data. FGDC standards are developed through a structured process, integrated with one another to the extent possible, supportable by the current vendor community (but are independent of specific technologies), and publicly available.

About this document
This document contains type descriptions at the Formation level of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification. These descriptions were primarily written by NatureServe ecologists in collaboration with Federal Geographic Data Committee Vegetation Subcommittee and a wide variety of state, federal and private partners as a part of the implementation of the National Vegetation Classification. Formation descriptions were written by the Hierarchy Revisions Working Group. The descriptions are based on consultation with natural resource professionals, published literature, and other vegetation classification systems. The Ecological Society of America's Panel on Vegetation Classification is responsible for managing the review and formal adoption of these types into the National Vegetation Classification. Partners involved in the implementation of the USNVC include:

U.S. Government
  • Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Department of Commerce (DOC)
  • Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Department of the Interior (USDI)
  • Forest Service (FS) - Chair
  • National Agriculture Statistical Service (NASS)
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
  • U.S. Navy (NAVY)
  • Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
  • Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
  • National Park Service (NPS)
  • U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Non U.S. Government
  • NatureServe (NS)
  • Ecological Society of America (ESA)

Disclaimer:
Given the dynamic nature of the standard, it is possible a type description is incomplete or in revision at the time of download; therefore, users of the data should track the date of access and read the revisions section of the USNVC.org website to understand the current status of the classification. While USNVC data have undergone substantial review prior to posting, it is possible that some errors or inaccuracies have remained undetected.

For information on the process used to develop these descriptions see:

Faber-Langendoen, D., T. Keeler-Wolf, D. Meidinger, D. Tart, B. Hoagland, C. Josse, G. Navarro, S. Ponomarenko, J.-P. Saucier, A. Weakley, P. Comer. 2014. EcoVeg: A new approach to vegetation description and classification. Ecological Monographs 84:533-561 (erratum 85:473).

Franklin, S., D. Faber-Langendoen, M. Jennings, T. Keeler-Wolf, O. Loucks, A. McKerrow, R.K. Peet, and D. Roberts. 2012. Building the United States National Vegetation Classification. Annali di Botanica 2: 1-9.

Jennings, M. D., D. Faber-Langendoen, O. L. Louckes, R. K. Peet, and D. Roberts. 2009. Standards for associations and alliances of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification. Ecological Monographs 79(2):173-199.

FGDC [Federal Geographic Data Committee]. 2008. Vegetation Classification Standard, FGDC-STD-005, Version 2. Washington, DC., USA. [http://www.fgdc.gov/standards/projects/FGDC-standards-projects/vegetation/NVCS_V2_FINAL_2008-02.pdf]

For additional information contact:

  • Implementation of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification Standard - Alexa McKerrow (amckerrow@usgs.gov)
  • NatureServe's Development of NVC Type Descriptions - Don Faber-Langendoen (don_faber- langendoen@natureserve.org)
  • Ecological Society of America's Review of the Type Descriptions Scott.Franklin@unco.edu
  • Federal Geographic Data Committee - Vegetation Subcommittee's Activities - Marianne Burke (mburke@fs.fed.us)