Invalid Unit Specified
D320 Arctophila fulva Circumpolar Freshwater Marsh & Wet Meadow Division

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Type Concept Sentence: This division occurs as small patches throughout arctic and subarctic Alaska and Canada, typically on the margins of ponds, lakes and beaded streams.
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Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Pendantgrass Circumpolar Freshwater Marsh & Wet Meadow Division
Colloquial Name: Circumpolar Arctic & Subarctic Freshwater Marsh & Wet Meadow
Hierarchy Level: Division
Type Concept: North American Arctic marshes occur as small patches, typically on the margins of ponds, lakes and beaded streams. They are also found on large to small floodplains where various wetlands form in oxbows, wet depressions, low-lying areas, and abandoned channels. Occurrences are typically dominated by grasses and sedges, but may have high forb cover in some instances. Dominant species include Arctophila fulva, Carex aquatilis, or Eriophorum angustifolium. Additional dominants occur in the subarctic including Comarum palustre, Hippuris vulgaris, Lysimachia thyrsiflora, Carex utriculata, Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (= Scirpus validus), Typha latifolia, Menyanthes trifoliata, and Equisetum fluviatile. Soils are muck or mineral, and water is often nutrient-rich. In floodplains, permafrost is absent. North American Arctic wet meadows occur in valley bottoms, basins, low-center polygons, oxbows, wet depressions, low-lying areas, abandoned channels, watertracks and adjacent to streams. Sites are typically sedge-dominated, and species include Carex aquatilis, Eriophorum angustifolium, Carex glareosa, Carex rotundata, Carex rariflora, Carex chordorrhiza, Carex rostrata, Carex saxatilis, Carex utriculata, Eriophorum russeolum, and Eriophorum scheuchzeri. More elevated perimeters support low shrubs and tussocks. Common shrubs include Betula nana, Salix fuscescens, Salix pulchra, Ledum palustre ssp. decumbens, Andromeda polifolia, Vaccinium vitis-idaea, Vaccinium uliginosum, and Empetrum nigrum. Soils range from acidic to non-acidic, are saturated during the summer, and have an organic horizon over silt with permafrost, although on floodplains, permafrost is absent.
Diagnostic Characteristics: This type contains emergent marsh vegetation dominated by perennial grasses, sedges and forbs that experience seasonal to semipermanent flooding. Key diagnostics in marshes include Arctophila fulva, Carex aquatilis, and Eriophorum angustifolium. Diagnostics in marshes and in wet meadows include Carex glareosa, Carex rotundata, Carex rariflora, Carex chordorrhiza, Carex rostrata, Carex saxatilis, Carex utriculata, Eriophorum russeolum, and Eriophorum scheuchzeri.
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: Clarify the overlap with rich fens (Western North American Boreal Alkaline Fen Group (G361)). Carex aquatilis types on peat soils may be distinguished from Carex aquatilis types on mucky, mineral soils. There may be many Canadian types that are not described here (M. Raynolds pers. comm. 2012).
Similar NVC Types:
D031 Western North American Temperate & Boreal Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland, note: Boreal wetlands are placed here.
D025 North American Boreal Grassland & Shrubland, note:
D323 Eastern North American Temperate & Boreal Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland, note: Boreal wetlands are placed here.
Physiognomy and Structure: This type is characterized by emergent vegetation and is dominated by perennial grasses, sedges and forbs.
Floristics: In the North American Arctic, marshes are dominated primarily by Arctophila fulva, Carex aquatilis, or Eriophorum angustifolium. Additional dominants occur in the subarctic, including Comarum palustre, Hippuris vulgaris, Lysimachia thyrsiflora, Carex utriculata, Menyanthes trifoliata, and Equisetum fluviatile (Jorgenson 1999). North American Arctic wet meadows are typically dominated by sedge species, which can include Carex aquatilis, Carex glareosa, Carex rostrata, Carex rotundata, Carex rariflora, Carex chordorrhiza, Carex saxatilis, Carex utriculata, Dupontia fisheri, Eriophorum angustifolium, Eriophorum russeolum, and Eriophorum scheuchzeri. More elevated, better-drained sites within these wetlands support low shrubs and tussocks. Characteristic mosses include Scorpidium scorpioides, Limprichtia revolvens, Sarmenthypnum sarmentosum and/or Sphagnum spp.
Dynamics: This division occurs within a variety of successional processes, including thaw lakes, ice-wedge polygons, and oriented lakes. Seral stages and the rate of succession are unclear.
Environmental Description: Freshwater marshes occur as small patches throughout arctic and subarctic Alaska, typically on the margins of ponds, lakes, beaded streams, and ponds on large to small floodplains. Water is at or above the surface for most of the growing season (typically >10 cm above the surface). Freshwater wet meadows are found throughout arctic and subarctic Alaska, in valley bottoms, basins, low-center polygons, oxbows, wet depressions, low-lying areas, abandoned channels, sideslope watertracks and adjacent to streams. Soils range from acidic to non-acidic, are saturated during the summer, and usually have an organic horizon over mineral soil. In the Arctic, the organic horizon may be thick enough that the active layer does not reach the mineral horizon.
Geographic Range: This division occurs throughout arctic and subarctic North America in both Alaska and Canada.
Nations: CA, US
States/Provinces: AK
US Forest Service Ecoregions (2007)
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Confidence Level: Low
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Grank: GNR
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Concept Author(s):
Author of Description: K. Boggs and D. Faber-Langendoen
Acknowledgements:
Version Date: 08Jan2016
References:
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