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Wetlands

Wet Meadows

Montane wet meadow, Klamath County

Montane wet meadow, Klamath County
(John A. Christy, Oregon Biodiversity Information Center

Wet meadows are a jumble of intergrading montane wetlands that occur along the hydrologic gradient between marshes, fens, and uplands. They are seasonally moist to wet, but surface water is absent except in streams and waterbodies, and many sites are dry by midsummer. Wet meadows are typically open and dominated by a diverse mix of grasses, sedges, and forbs. Patches of shrubs and trees are often present on elevated microsites or around the edges of the meadows. Fens, freshwater marshes, and lakes or ponds also are often present and intermixed with montane meadows, but the meadows are usually peripheral to wetter types and form the ecotone to dry upland forest. Limited organic matter accumulates in wet meadows because seasonal drying allows oxidation of this material. Historically, most montane wet meadows were grazed intensively by sheep, cattle, and horses, and the drier portions were often severely degraded by soil compaction, denudation, erosion, and subsequent invasion of exotic species. Many of these sites still show the effects of overgrazing 80 or more years after they were closed to livestock.

Wet Meadows Map

Wet Meadows






Habitat: Slopes, basins, or flats, mostly montane to subalpine.
Water regime: Perennially to seasonally flooded
Water chemistry: Fresh

Ecoregion*: BM = Blue Mountains, BR = Northern Basin and Range, CB = Columbia Basin, CR = Coast Range, EC = East Cascades, KM = Klamath Mountains, WC = West Cascades, WV = Willamette Valley  
  Scientific & Common Name Global & State Rank Ecoregion*
wetland type image Allium validum - Carex scopulorum Wet Meadow [Provisional]
Pacific swamp onion - mountain sedge (Crowe et al. 2004: 153, 155; Wells 2006: 152)
G3S3 BM, EC
wetland type image Agrostis pallens Grassland
Thin bentgrass (Crowe et al. 2004: 137; NS)
G1S1 BM
wetland type image Bistorta bistortoides - Ranunculus macounii Wet Meadow [Provisional]
American bistort - Macoun's buttercup (Evenden 1989: 50)
G4S4 BM, BR
wetland type image Calamagrostis canadensis Western Wet Meadow
Bluejoint reedgrass (Murray 2000: 13; Christy 2004: 73; Crowe et al. 2004: 138; Wells 2006: 146; NS)
G4S4 BM, EC, WC
wetland type image Camassia cusickii Wet Meadow
Cusick's camas (Crowe et al. 2004: 158; NS)
G2S1 BM
wetland type image Carex amplifolia Wet Meadow
Bigleaf sedge (Murray 2000: 14; Christy 2004: 79; Crowe et al. 2004: 77; Wells 2006: 137; NS)
G3S3 BM, CR, EC, WC
wetland type image Carex angustata Wet Meadow [Provisional]
Wide-fruited sedge (Christy 2004: 80; Crowe et al. 2004: 79; Wells 2006: 135)
G4S4 BM, EC
wetland type image Carex exsiccata Wet Meadow
Western inflated sedge (Murray 2000: 15; Christy 2004: 88; Odion et al. 2013: 75; McCain et al. 2014: 83; NS)
G4S3 CR, KM, WC
wetland type image Carex illota Wet Meadow
Small-headed sedge (NS)
G3S3 BM
wetland type image Carex kelloggii Wet Meadow [Provisional]
Kellogg's sedge (Murray 2000: 16; Christy 2004: 91; Crowe et al. 2004: 98; Wells 2006: 136; McCain et al. 2014: 87)
G4S3 BM, EC, WC
wetland type image Carex mendocinensis Herbaceous Vegetation [Provisional]
Mendocino sedge
G2S2 BM, BR, EC
wetland type image Carex nebrascensis Wet Meadow
Nebraska sedge (Christy 2004: 94; Crowe et al. 2004: 103, 143; Wells 2006: 150; Christy 2014: 22; NS)
G4S4 BM, BR, EC
wetland type image Carex nigricans Wet Meadow
Black alpine sedge (Christy 2004: 95; Crowe et al. 2004: 106; McCain et al. 2014: 174; NS)
G4S4 BM, BR, EC, WC
wetland type image Carex pellita Wet Meadow
Wooly sedge (Crowe et al. 2004: 109; Christy 2014: 24; NS)
G3S3 BM, BR, EC
wetland type image Carex praegracilis Wet Meadow
Clustered field sedge (Christy 2014: 26; NS)
G3S2 BM, BR
wetland type image Carex scopulorum Wet Meadow
Mountain sedge (Christy 2004: 98; Crowe et al. 2004: 112, 114; Wells 2006: 148; McCain et al. 2014: 223; NS)
G5S4 BM, BR, WC
wetland type image Carex sheldonii Wet Meadow [Provisional]
Sheldon's sedge (Crowe et al. 2004: 116; Christy 2014: 29)
G3S2 BM, BR, EC
wetland type image Carex simulata Fen
Short-beaked sedge (Christy 2004: 99; Crowe et al. 2004: 117; NS)
G4S4 BM, BR, EC, WC
wetland type image Carex stipata Wet Meadow [Provisional]
Awl-fruit sedge (Crowe et al. 2004: 119)
G3S1 BM, EC
wetland type image Danthonia californica - Festuca idahoensis Wet Meadow
California oatgrass - Idaho fescue (NS)
G1S1 BM
wetland type image Deschampsia caespitosa Wet Meadow
Tufted hairgrass (Murray 2000: 17; Christy 2004: 102; Crowe et al. 2004: 139; McCain et al. 2014: 96, 106; NS)
G4S4 BM, EC
wetland type image Deschampsia caespitosa - Carex nebrascensis Herbaceous Vegetation [Provisional]
Tufted hairgrass - Nebraska sedge
G4S3 BM, BR, EC
wetland type image Deschampsia danthonioides - Danthonia unispicata Herbaceous Vegetation [Provisional]
Annual hairgrass - onespike oatgrass
G3S2 BM
wetland type image Deschampsia cespitosa - Trifolium longipes Wet Meadow [Provisional]
Tufted hairgrass - longstalk clover (Christy 2004: 106; Crowe et al. 2004: 144; McCain et al. 2014: 101)
G4S3 BM, EC, WC
wetland type image Equisetum arvense Wet Meadow
Common horsetail (Murray 2000: 18; McCain 2004: 185; Christy 2004: 117; Crowe et al. 2004: 159; NS)
G5S5 CR, EC, WC, WV
wetland type image Equisetum telmateia Marsh [Provisional]
Giant horsetail (Murray 2000: 19)
G4S3 CR
wetland type image Erythranthe guttata - (Erythranthe spp.) Wet Meadow
Yellow monkeyflower - (monkeyflower spp.) (McCain et al. 2014: 266; NS)
G4S4 BM, BR, EC, WC
wetland type image Juncus balticus Wet Meadow
Baltic rush (Christy 2004: 109; Crowe et al. 2004: 129, 145; Wells 2006: 151; Christy 2014: 35; NS)
G5S5 BM, BR, CB, EC, KM
wetland type image Juncus balticus - Bistorta bistortoides Wet Meadow [Provisional]
Baltic rush - American bistort (Murray 2000: 21; Christy 2004: 124)
G4S4 EC, WC
wetland type image Juncus nevadensis Wet Meadow [Provisional]
Sierra rush (Christy 2004: 126; Crowe et al. 2004: 131)
G4S4 EC
wetland type image Lupinus latifolius var. subalpinus - Carex spectabilis Wet Meadow
Cascade lupine - showy sedge (Crowe et al. 2004: 119; McCain et al. 2014: 202; NS)
G4S2 BM, EC
wetland type image Mertensia paniculata - Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis Wet Meadow [Provisional]
Bluebell - northwest nettle (Cole 1982: 17)
G4S4 BM
wetland type image Micranthes odontoloma Wet Meadow
Brook saxifrage (Crowe et al. 2004: 161; NS)
G4S3 BM, EC, WC
wetland type image Poa cusickii Moist Meadow
Cusick bluegrass (Crowe et al. 2004: 149; NS)
G2S2 BM, BR, EC
wetland type image Poa secunda Moist Meadow
Sandberg bluegrass (NS)
G4S4 BR, EC
wetland type image Saussurea americana - Heracleum maximum Wet Meadow
American sawwort - cow parsnip (Murray 2001: 7; NS)
G4S1 KM
wetland type image Senecio triangularis Wet Meadow
Arrowleaf groundsel (Murray 2000: 26; Christy 2004: 143; Crowe et al. 2004: 160, 162; McCain 2004: 72,   154; Wells 2006: 154; McCain et al. 2014: 116, 219; NS)
G5S4 BM, BR, CR, EC, WC
wetland type image Veratrum californicum Wet Meadow
California false hellebore (Murray 2000: 39; Crowe et al. 2004: 164; Wells 2006: 158; McCain et al. 2014: 57; NS)
G3S3 EC, BM, BR

Authored by John A. Christy, Wetlands Ecologist, (ORBIC) Oregon Biodiversity Information Center (2012)

randomness