Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Carex stricta


SPECIES: Carex stricta
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Coladonato, Milo 1994. Carex stricta. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: []. ABBREVIATION : CARSTR SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : CAST8 COMMON NAMES : tussock sedge TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for tussock sedge is Carex stricta Lam. (Cyperaceae) [13]. Some authorities recognize the variety C. stricta var. strictior Dewey [13,28], but Standley [24] contends that C. stricta presents no evidence of any discontinuities that would enable recognition of intraspecific taxa. Tussock sedge hybridizes with many other Carex species [4]. LIFE FORM : Graminoid FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Carex stricta
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Tussock sedge occurs from Newfoundland south to the Carolinas and Tennessee and from Manitoba south to eastern Oklahoma and Texas [12,14,19,20]. ECOSYSTEMS :    FRES10  White - red - jack pine    FRES11  Spruce - fir    FRES12  Longleaf - slash pine    FRES13  Loblolly - shortleaf pine    FRES14  Oak - pine    FRES15  Oak - hickory    FRES17  Elm - ash - cottonwood    FRES18  Maple - beech - birch    FRES19  Aspen - birch    FRES38  Plains grasslands    FRES39  Prairie    FRES41  Wet grasslands STATES :      AR  CT  DE  IL  IN  IA  KS  KY  ME  MD      MA  MI  MN  MO  NE  NH  NJ  NY  NC  ND      OH  OK  PA  RI  SC  SD  TN  TX  VT  VA      WV  WI  WY  MB  NB  NF  NS  ON  PE  PQ BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS :    10  Wyoming Basin    14  Great Plains    16  Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS :    K064  Grama - needlegrass - wheatgrass    K067  Wheatgrass - bluestem - needlegrass    K073  Northern cordgrass prairie    K074  Bluestem prairie    K079  Palmetto prairie    K081  Oak savanna    K082  Mosaic of K074 and K100    K084  Cross Timbers    K093  Great Lakes spruce - fir forest    K095  Great Lakes pine forest    K096  Northeastern spruce - fir forest    K098  Northern floodplain forest    K099  Maple - basswood forest    K100  Oak - hickory forest    K101  Elm - ash forest    K102  Beech - maple forest    K103  Mixed mesophytic forest    K106  Northern hardwoods    K107  Northern hardwoods - fir forest    K108  Northern hardwoods - spruce forest    K111  Oak - hickory - pine forest    K112  Southern mixed forest SAF COVER TYPES :      1  Jack pine     14  Northern pin oak     15  Red pine     16  Aspen     17  Pin cherry     20  White pine - northern red oak - red maple     21  Eastern white pine     22  White pine - hemlock     23  Eastern hemlock     24  Hemlock - yellow birch     25  Sugar maple - beech - yellow birch     26  Sugar maple - basswood     32  Red spruce     42  Bur oak     44  Chestnut oak     46  Eastern redcedar     51  White pine - chestnut oak     52  White oak - black oak - northern red oak     53  White oak     55  Northern red oak     62  Silver maple - American elm     64  Sassafras - persimmon     70  Longleaf pine     81  Loblolly pine     82  Loblolly pine - hardwood    110  Black oak SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Tussock sedge is a moist-site species [19].  It is often dominant in meadows in New England and the upper Midwest [7,22].  Tussock sedge also occurs in moist forest communities [23,31]. Common associates of tussock sedge include blueberries (Vaccinium spp.), huckleberries (Gaylussacia spp.), common winterberry (Ilex verticillata) bog rush (Juncus effusus), bog Labrador tea (Ledum groenlandicum), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii var. gerardii), bluejoint reedgrass (Calamagrostis canadensis), and other sedges (Carex spp.)  [3,7,15,17].


SPECIES: Carex stricta
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : NO-ENTRY PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Tussock sedge established well in constructed wetland in Massachusetts. It became dominant 1 to 2 years after construction [32]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Shrub invasion is altering sedge meadows in Wisconsin that contain tussock sedge.  Invaded areas were consistently wetter than uninvaded sedge meadows [29].


SPECIES: Carex stricta
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Tussock sedge is a rhizomatous sedge reaching a height of about 3 feet (1 m) [16].  The long narrow leaves are 0.25 inches (0.6 cm) wide and about 2.5 feet (75 cm) long [19].  The wirelike rhizomes are usually found in the top 6 inches (15 cm) of the soil and are variable in length [5].  The fruit is an achene [14]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM :       Hemicryptophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Tussock sedge regenerates primarily through rhizomes.  Two types of rhizomes are distinguished.  Long rhizomes branch and produce distant plants.  Short rhizomes produce culms just offset from the parent [5]. Propagation:  Propagation tests for tussock sedge in Wisconsin showed variable results.  Seeds collected and planted within 2 weeks in 1988 were compared with seeds collected in 1987 and held in cold storage for 1 year.  Germination rates for seeds collected and planted in 1988 were 70 to 95 percent; 1-year-old seeds showed less than 15 percent germination.  These results indicated that seeds should be planted while still fresh, preferably within a week or two following harvest [1]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Tussock sedge is found in bogs, wet meadows, floodplains, swales, marshes, and wet woodlands. It is found in areas where the soil is at or just above the water level [5,12]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Tussock sedge is shade intolerant hydro-successional species in the sedge meadow community [5,17,26].  The sedge community is preceded by an emergent marsh community of reeds (Phragmites spp.) and/or cattails (Typha spp.)  where the water is above the soil.  The sedge community is followed by a shrub community of willows (Salix spp.), dogwoods (Cornus spp.), and/or alders (Alnus spp.) as drier conditions are produced [5]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Depending on site, tussock sedge flowers from late May to mid-June.  The fruit ripens in August [8,17].


SPECIES: Carex stricta
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : The rhizomes of tussock sedge make it resistant to fires that burn little of the soil organic layer.  Fire is important to the maintenance of the sedge meadow community where tussock sedge grows [5,6].  It is a natural feature of this environment and prevents the encroachment of shrubs and trees.  The wet habitat usually protects the roots and rhizomes from fire.  During severe droughts or when the meadows have been partially or completely drained, however, fire has serious effects. Underlying peat beds may ignite and smolder for long periods of time Such fires can destroy roots of most plants.  By lowering the meadow surface and reducing plant cover, such fires may also convert a sedge meadow to an emergent marsh community [5,10]. Tussock sedge probably colonizes burned areas by seeds and rhizomes. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY :    Rhizomatous herb, rhizome in soil


SPECIES: Carex stricta
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Fires that occur when meadows are moist or wet probably top-kill tussock sedge.  The rhizomes are probably killed by severe fires that remove most of the soil organic layer [5]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Tussock sedge is typically an increaser following fire.  In a study on the effects of burning on sedge meadows in Wisconsin, tussock sedge was found to occur at higher numbers on burned areas than on unburned areas [29].  A spring fire was set in 1973 in Ontario to study the short-term response of the shrub and herb layers.  Tussock sedge had already emerged at the time of the fire.  Percent cover of tussock sedge was similar in control and burned plots that summer.  Later-emerging associated species, however, showed more vigorous postfire growth; the initially lower cover of tussock sedge may have been due to fire damage to early spring growth.  At postfire month 15, tussock sedge cover was significantly (p=0.05) greater on burned plots than on unburned plots [23]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Carex stricta
FIRE CASE STUDY CITATION : Coladonato, Milo, compiler. 1994. Effect of prescribed burning on tussock sedge in quaking aspen woodlands in southern Ontario. In: Carex stricta. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: []. REFERENCES : James, T. D. W.; Smith, D. W. 1977. Short-term effects of surface fire on the biomass and nutrient standing crop of Populus tremuloides in southern Ontario. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 7: 666-679. [33]. Smith, D. W.; James, T. D. W. 1978. Changes in the shrub and herb layers of vegetation after prescribed burning in Populus tremuloides woodland in southern Ontario. Canadian Journal of Botany. 56: 1792-1797. [23]. Smith, D. W.; James, T. D. 1978. Characteristics of prescribed burns and resultant short-term environmental changes in Populus tremuloides woodland in southern Ontario. Canadian Journal of Botany. 56: 1782-1791. [31]. SEASON/SEVERITY CLASSIFICATION : Spring/Low STUDY LOCATION : The study was conducted at the Mullin Tract in West Luther Township, Wellington County, Ontario. PREFIRE VEGETATIVE COMMUNITY : The prefire vegetation was dominated by an open stand of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) (164 stems/ha, average d.b.h. 14 cm) with red-osier dogwood (Cornus sericea) in the shrub layer.  The herb layer was codominated by tussock sedge (Carex stricta) and bluejoint reedgrass (Calamagrostis canadensis). TARGET SPECIES PHENOLOGICAL STATE : No specific information was given on the phenological state of tussock sedge but it was probably in a preflowering condition during these spring fires.  SITE DESCRIPTION : The site is at an elevation of 1,221 feet (470 m).  Mean total precipitation is 35.4 inches per year (885 mm/yr), the average length of the growing season is 116 days, and the July mean daily temperature is 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 deg C).  The study was located on poorly drained, organic muck soils approximately 1 foot (3 m) in depth.  The area had generally low relief but consisted of a mosaic of hummocks and hollows, the latter filled with standing water in the early spring. FIRE DESCRIPTION : Burn              Wind      Relative    Ambient    Dead fuel     Reaction   plot   Date       speed     humidity      temp     combusted     intensity                  (m/min)      (%)       (deg C)     (g/sq m)   (kw/sq m/min)                                                      1      5/8/72     91.7        56         14         674.7           509 2      5/8/72     87.4        58         15         750.4           375 3      4/24/73    43.5        72         13         756.2           569 4      4/24/73    68.7        43         15         651.1           489 Standard deviations are reported for wind speed, fuel combustion, and reaction intensity data [2]. Fuel moisture content was "generally high" on the treatment plots in both 1972 and 1973 and evidently tended to reduce fire intensity.  The pattern of burning in both years was heterogeneous.  This was related to the uneven microtopography and patchy distribution of fuel prior to the fires.  Areas dominated by tussock sedge had large amounts of surface litter and standing dead material and consequently were the most thoroughly burned. FIRE EFFECTS ON TARGET SPECIES : Short-term postfire response of tussock sedge after light prescribed surface fire in trembling aspen woodlands were as follows:                Percent abundance   Percent frequency Burned 4/73          43.5                87.5 Burned 5/72          70.0                96.0 Control              54.0                83.5 Abundance of burned and control populations was not significantly different (p=0.05) at postfire year 1.  Growth of the burned population may have been affected by scorch or by increased competition from bluejoint reedgrass.  Tussock sedge was substantially more abundant in the plots measured 15 months following fire. FIRE MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Carex stricta
REFERENCES :  1.  Apfeelbaum, S. I.; Leach, M.; Baller, R. 1989. Report propagation        results for Carex spp., other wetland species (Wisconsin). Restoration        and Management Notes. 7(1): 38-39.  [8064]  2.  Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals,        reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's        associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO:        U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p.        [434]  3.  Bray, William L. 1920. The history of forest development on an undrained        sand plain in the Adirondacks. Syracuse, NY: New York State College of        Forestry. 47 p.  [21340]  4.  Cayouette, J.; Catling, P. M. 1992. Hybridization in the genus Carex        with special reference to North America. Botanical Review. 58(4):        351-440.  [20465]  5.  Curtis, John T. 1959. The vegetation of Wisconsin. Madison, WI: The        University of Wisconsin Press. 657 p.  [7116]  6.  Davis, Anthony M. 1979. Wetland succession, fire and the pollen record:        a Midwestern example. American Midland Naturalist. 102(1): 86-94.        [7311]  7.  Dunlop, D. A. 1987. Community classification of the vascular vegetation        of a New Hampshire peatland. Rhodora. 89(860): 415-440.  [20275]  8.  Eckardt, Nancy A.; Biesboer, David D. 1988. Ecological aspects of        nitrogen fixation (acetylene reduction) associated with plants of a        Minnesota wetland community. Canadian Journal of Botany. 66: 1359-1363.        [14893]  9.  Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and        Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p.  [905] 10.  Frolik, A. L. 1941. Vegetation on the peat lands of Dane County,        Wisconsin. Ecological Monographs. 11(1): 117-140.  [16805] 11.  Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others].        1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range        ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p.  [998] 12.  Godfrey, Robert K.; Wooten, Jean W. 1981. Aquatic and wetland plants of        southeastern United States: Dicotyledons. Athens, GA: The University of        Georgia Press. 933 p.  [16907] 13.  Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of        northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New        York Botanical Garden. 910 p.  [20329] 14.  Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains.        Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p.  [1603] 15.  Hotchkiss, Neil; Stewart, Robert E. 1947. Vegetation of the Patuxent        Research Refuge, Maryland. American Midland Naturalist. 38(1): 1-75.        [22000] 16.  Knobel, Edward; Faust, Mildred E. 1980. Field guide to the grasses,        sedges and rushes of the United States. 2d rev. ed. New York: Dover        Publications, Inc. 83 p.  [14744] 17.  Kudish, Michael. 1992. Adirondack upland flora: an ecological        perspective. Saranac, NY: The Chauncy Press. 320 p.  [19377] 18.  Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation        of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York:        American Geographical Society. 77 p.  [1384] 19.  Magee, Dennis W. 1981. Freshwater wetlands: A guide to common indicator        plants of the Northeast. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.        245 p.  [14824] 20.  Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of        the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of        North Carolina Press. 1183 p.  [7606] 21.  Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant        geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p.  [2843] 22.  Reuter, D. Dayton. 1986. Effects of prescribed burning, cutting and        torching on shrubs in a sedge meadow wetland. In: Koonce, Andrea L., ed.        Prescribed burning in the Midwest: state-of-the-art: Proceedings of a        symposium; 1986 March 3-6; Stevens Point, WI. Stevens Point, WI:        University of Wisconsin, College of Natural Resources, Fire Science        Center: 108-115.  [16278] 23.  Smith, D. W.; James, T. D. W. 1978. Changes in the shrub and herb layers        of vegetation after prescribed burning in Populus tremuloides woodland        in southern Ontario. Canadian Journal of Botany. 56: 1792-1797.  [16400] 24.  Standley, Lisa A. 1989. Taxonomic revision of the Carex stricta        (Cyperaceae) complex in eastern North America. Canadian Journal of        Botany. 67: 1-14.  [22093] 25.  Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern        Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire        Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. 7 p.  [20090] 26.  Tiner, Ralph W. 1991. The concept of a hydrophyte for wetland        identification. Bioscience. 41(4): 236-247.  [16878] 27.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982.        National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names.        SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p.  [11573] 28.  Voss, Edward G. 1972. Michigan flora. Part I. Gymnosperms and monocots.        Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI:        University of Michigan Herbarium. 488 p.  [11471] 29.  Warners, David P. 1987. Effects of burning on sedge meadow studied        (Wisconsin). Restoration & Management Notes. 5(2): 90-91.  [3821] 30.  Marshall, William H.; Buell, Murray F. 1955. A study of the occurrence        of amphibians in relation to a bog succession, Itasca State Park,        Minnesota. Ecology. 36(3): 381-387.  [16690] 31.  Smith, D. W.; James, T. D. 1978. Characteristics of prescribed burns &        resultant short-term environmental changes in Populus tremuloides        woodland in southern Ontario. Canadian Journal of Botany. 56: 1782-1791.        [15114] 32.  Jarman, Nancy M.; Dobberteen, Ross A.; Windmiller, Bryan; Lelito, Paul.        1991. Evaluation of created freshwater wetlands in Massachusetts.        Restoration & Management Notes. 9(1): 26-29.  [15414] 33.  James, T. D. W.; Smith, D. W. 1977. Short-term effects of surface fire        on the biomass and nutrient standing crop of Populus tremuloides in        southern Ontario. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 7: 666-679.        [6933]

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