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

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
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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Translated Name:Pendantgrass Circumpolar Freshwater Marsh & Wet Meadow Division
Colloquial Name:Circumpolar Arctic & Subarctic Freshwater Marsh & Wet Meadow
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.
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.
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).
Synonomy:

Related Type Name:

Short Citation:
  • Churchill 1955
  • Clebsch 1957
  • Dachnowski-Stokes 1941
  • Faber-Langendoen et al. 2017a
  • Hanson 1953
  • Jorgenson 2000
  • Komarkova and Webber 1980
  • MacKenzie and Moran 2004
  • Nowacki et al. 2001a
  • Spetzman 1959
  • Swanson et al. 1985
  • Viereck et al. 1992
  • Webber et al. 1978
  • Worley 1980b
  • Young 1971
States/Provinces:AK
Nations:CA, US
Range:This division occurs throughout arctic and subarctic North America in both Alaska and Canada.
US Forest Service Ecoregions
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This type is characterized by emergent vegetation and is dominated by perennial grasses, sedges and forbs.
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.
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.
Low
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.
Authors:
K. Boggs and D. Faber-Langendoen      Version Date: 08Jan2016


References:
  • Churchill, E. D. 1955. Phytosociological and environmental characteristics of some plant communities in the Umiat region of Alaska. Ecology 36(4):606-627.
  • Clebsch, E. E. C. 1957. The summer season climatic and vegetational gradient between Point Barrow and Meade River, Alaska. M.S. thesis, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. 60 pp.
  • Dachnowski-Stokes, A. P. 1941. Peat resources in Alaska. Technical Bulletin 769. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC. 84 pp.
  • Faber-Langendoen, D., J. Drake, S. Gawler, M. Hall, C. Josse, G. Kittel, S. Menard, C. Nordman, M. Pyne, M. Reid, L. Sneddon, K. Schulz, J. Teague, M. Russo, K. Snow, and P. Comer, editors. 2010-2017a. Divisions, Macrogroups and Groups for the Revised U.S. National Vegetation Classification. NatureServe, Arlington, VA. plus appendices. [in preparation]
  • Hanson, H. C. 1953. Vegetation types in northwestern Alaska and comparisons with communities in other arctic regions. Ecology 34(1):111-140.
  • Jorgenson, M. T. 2000. Hierarchical organization of ecosystems at multiple scales on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska, USA. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 32:221-239.
  • Komarkova, V., and P. J. Webber. 1980. Two low arctic vegetation maps near Atkasook, Alaska. Arctic and Alpine Research 12:447-472.
  • MacKenzie, W. H., and J. R. Moran. 2004. Wetlands of British Columbia: A guide to identification. Land Management Handbook No. 52. Research Branch, British Columbia Ministry of Forests and Lands, Victoria, BC. 287 pp.
  • Nowacki, G., P. Spencer, M. Fleming, T. Brock, and T. Jorgenson. 2001a. Unified ecoregions of Alaska. Open file-report 02-297. USDI U.S. Geological Survey. 2 pp. plus map.
  • Spetzman, L. A. 1959. Vegetation of the Arctic slope of Alaska. Geological Survey Professional Paper 302-B. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC. 58 pp.
  • Swanson, J. D., M. Schuman, and P. C. Scorup. 1985. Range survey of the Seward Peninsula, Alaska. USDA Soil Conservation Service, Anchorage, AK. 77 pp. plus maps.
  • Viereck, L. A., C. T. Dyrness, A. R. Batten, and K. J. Wenzlick. 1992. The Alaska vegetation classification. General Technical Report PNW-GTR286. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR. 278 pp.
  • Webber, P. J., V. Komarkova, D. A. Walker, and E. Werbe. 1978. Vegetation mapping and response to disturbance along the Yukon River-Prudhoe Bay Haul Road. Pages 25-87 in: J. Brown, principal investigator. Ecological baseline investigations along the Yukon River-Prudhoe Bay Haul Road, Alaska. Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Cold Region Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, NH.
  • Worley, I. A. 1980b. Plant community analysis. Pages. 92-192 in: G. P. Streveler, I. A. Worley, and B. F. Molnia, editors. Lituya Bay environmental survey. U.S. National Park Service, Juneau, AK.
  • Young, S. B. 1971. The vascular flora of St. Lawrence Island with special reference to floristic zonation in the arctic regions. Contributions to Gray Herbarium 201:11-115.


USNVC Credits: Detailed Description of the National Vegetation Classification Types

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

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About this document
This document contains type descriptions at the Division 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:

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  • Forest Service (FS) - Chair
  • National Agriculture Statistical Service (NASS)
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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)