Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani


SPECIES: Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Snyder, S. A. 1993. Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: []. ABBREVIATION : SCHTAB SYNONYMS : Scirpus lacustris L. subsp. creber (Fernald) T. Koyama Scirpus lacustris L. subsp. glaucus (Rchb.) Hartm. Scirpus lacustris L. subsp. validus (Vahl) T. Koyama [35] Scirpus validus Vahl [16] SCS PLANT CODE : SCTA2 COMMON NAMES : soft-stem bulrush softstem bulrush soft-stem clubrush great bulrush giant bulrush bullwhip common bulrush TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for soft-stem bulrush is Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (K.C. Gmel.) Palla (Cyperaceae) [35,36]. LIFE FORM : Graminoid FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO ENTRY


SPECIES: Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Soft-stem bulrush occurs throughout North America from central Alaska south to Mexico, east to the Maritime Provinces of Canada, and south through Florida. It does not occur through central and southern California [8]. It is native on the Hawaiian islands of Niihau, Oahu, Molokai, and Hawaii [34]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES17 Elm - ash - cottonwood FRES28 Western hardwoods FRES36 Mountain grasslands FRES37 Mountain meadows FRES39 Prairie FRES41 Wet grasslands STATES : AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY AB BC MB NB NF NT NS ON PE PQ SK YT MEXICO BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 1 Northern Pacific Border 2 Cascade Mountains 4 Sierra Mountains 5 Columbia Plateau 6 Upper Basin and Range 7 Lower Basin and Range 8 Northern Rocky Mountains 9 Middle Rocky Mountains 10 Wyoming Basin 11 Southern Rocky Mountains 12 Colorado Plateau 13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont 14 Great Plains 15 Black Hills Uplift 16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K025 Alder - ash forest K049 Tule marshes K063 Foothills prairie K072 Sea oats prairie K073 Northern cordgrass prairie K075 Nebraska Sandhills prairie K078 Southern cordgrass prairie K080 Marl - everglades K092 Everglades K098 Northern floodplain forest SAF COVER TYPES : 63 Cottonwood 235 Cottonwood - willow SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Soft-stem bulrush is a dominant in the following classification type: Landscape classification and plant successional trends in the Peace-Athabasca Delta [7] Some species associated with soft-stem bulrush are smartweed (Polygonum spp.), sedge (Carex spp.), common cattail, reed (Phragmites spp.), water hemlock (Circuta maculata), spikerush (Eleocharis calva), fowl mannagrass (Glyceria striata), tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa), beggartick (Bidens spp.), narrowlieaf burreed (Sparganium eurycarpum), common arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia), sego pondweed (Potamogeton pectinatus), and nodding waternymph (Najas flexilis) [4,6,19].


SPECIES: Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : The seeds of soft-stem bulrush are eaten by waterfowl and considered a good to excellent food source in South Dakota [3,9]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : Soft-stem bulrush provides good cover for waterfowl, especially in conjunction with common cattail (Typha latifolia) [13]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Soft-stem bulrush is used in wetland restoration and is best planted vegetatively because it can triple its biomass in one growing season [20]. It is also used to reduce pollutant loads carried by storm water runoff in urban wetlands [25]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : Roots of soft-stem bulrush can be ground into flour or eaten whole. Syrup can be extracted from them [8]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Livestock grazing in wetlands can reduce soft-stem bulrush [13]. Soft-stem bulrush will establish from the seedbank following periodic draining and reflooding of marshes [6,22]. However, prolonged draining and reflooding can reduce soft-stem bulrush stands [18]. In a Minnesota marsh, early to mid-June drawdowns favored soft-stem bulrush stands in the first 2 years. After the third-year drawdonw, bulrush began to decrease in water depths greater than 15 inches (38 cm). Eventually it was eradicated from all areas reflooded annually [18].


SPECIES: Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Soft-stem bulrush is a tall, leafless marsh plant 1.5 to 9 feet (0.5-3 m) high and 0.12 to 0.8 inches (0.3-2 cm) thick with scaly, stout, horizontal rhizomes [11]. The stems are obscurely three-sided and spongy [17]. Spikes occur near the stem tips in branched clusters [8]. The fruit is an achene [11]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Geophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Soft-stem bulrush reproduces by both rhizomes and seeds [11,17]. It reproduces well from seed stored in the seedbank [18]. Soil-stored seed can remain viable for as long as 20 years [31]. In the lab, seed viability in dry storage is more than 2 years [14]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Soft-stem bulrush grows in marshes, along lake and stream shores, and in wet meadows. It grows in fresh or brackish water [5,16,23]. Soils are usually poorly-drained [5], or continually saturated [12]. Soft-stem bulrush grows in silty or peaty soils [18]. Under greenhouse conditions soft-stem bulrush produced more aboveground biomass in silty clay soils than in clay or sand alone [1]. Belowground biomass was equal in silty clays and clays, and lower in sandy soils. Soft-stem bulrush seems to grow better in saline conditions than in fresh water, and it tolerates a wide range of salinity [32]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Soft-stem bulrush is a perennial [17] and is a dominant emergent in the northern plains and prairie states [19]. It is replaced by cattail (Typha spp.) in continuously flooded marshes following drawdown [18]. Soft-stem bulrush is found in the third sere of succession in Wisconsin marshes, preceded by submerged and floating plant stages and followed by sedge meadows, shrubs, and trees [12]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Because of the wide distribution of soft-stem bulrush, its growing seasons varies with latitude. In the northeast soft-stem bulrush flowers from July through August [23]. Flowering lasts from 5 to 6 months in wetland prairies of Nebraska [28]. Fernald [11] reported fruits generally ripening from June through September.


SPECIES: Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Soft-stem bulrush sprouts from rhizomes following fire [27]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Rhizomatous herb, rhizome in soil Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)


SPECIES: Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Fire topkills soft-stem bulrush stands [13] and reduces shoot mass of Scirpus species [27]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : The effects of fire on wetland plants after drawdowns in Utah's Great Salt Lake Marsh were studied [27]. On burned sites new shoots had a lower biomass per inch of length than shoots on unburned sites. PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Soft-stem bulrush sprouts from rhizomes following fire [27]. Fire increases protein content of Scirpus acutus, a closely related species [33]. Wetland vertebrates may select certain marsh plant species due to protein increases following fire [27]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : Prescribed fires were lit in early September following April drawdowns in the Great Salt Lake Marsh [27]. No distininction was made between S. validus and S. acutus in this study. Both were referred to as S. lacustris. Burned and unburned sites were reflooded 1 week following fire. Stands of bulrush on burned sites were similar to those on unburned sites during the first year. Bulrush began sprouting immediately following fire, growing to a height of 1.3 feet (0.4 m) before the first winter. Production did not differ between sites. Waterfowl and muskrats can reduce soft-stem bulrush through overgrazing, especially following fire [27]. FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS :


SPECIES: Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani
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A morphological comparison of Scirpus acutus and S. validus in southern Manitoba. Canadian Journal of Botany. 66(11): 2331-2337. [21916] 27. Smith, Loren M.; Kadlec, John A. 1985. Fire and herbivory in a Great Salt Lake marsh. Ecology. 66(1): 259-265. [7619] 28. Steiger, T. L. 1930. Structure of prairie vegetation. Ecology. 11(1): 170-217. [3777] 29. 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] 30. 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] 31. Wienhold, C. E.; van der Valk, A. G. 1989. The impact of duration of drainage on the seed banks of northern prairie wetlands. Canadian Journal of Botany. 67(6): 1878-1884. [13799] 32. Latham, Pamela J.; Pearlstine, Leonard G.; Kitchens, Wiley M. 1991. Spatial distributions of the softstem bulrush, Scirpus validus, across a salinity gradient. Estuaries. 14(2): 192-198. [18172] 33. Smith, Loren M.; Kadlec, John A; Fonnesbeck, Paul V. 1984. Effects of prescribed burning on nutritive quality of marsh plants in Utah. Journal of Wildlife Management. 48(1): 285-288. [8457] 34. St. John, Harold. 1973. List and summary of the flowering plants in the Hawaiian islands. Hong Kong: Cathay Press Limited. 519 p. [25354] 35. Kartesz, John T.; Meacham, Christopher A. 1999. Synthesis of the North American flora (Windows Version 1.0), [CD-ROM]. Available: North Carolina Botanical Garden. In cooperation with the Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [2001, January 16]. [38380] 36. Flora of North America Association. 2009. Flora of North America: The flora, [Online]. Flora of North America Association (Producer). 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