Natural Communities of NH -- Photo Guide 

Montane level fen/bog  (S2)



Montane level fen/bog
is a broadly defined peatland community that occurs in small bedrock depressions in exposed montane settings. It lacks the arctic - alpine species found in high-elevation bogs (above 3,500 ft.) and many of the species with a more southern distribution that occur in lower elevation peatlands of south - central New Hampshire. Organic soils range from thin veneers over bedrock to deeper peat mats. Species composition and structure vary depending on water level, nutrient status, soil depth, microtopography, and other factors.

Characteristic Vegetation: Common shrubs can include leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), rhodora (Rhododendron canadense), mountain holly (Nemopanthus mucronatus), Labrador tea (Ledum groenlandicum), sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia), chokeberries (Photinia spp.), mountain cranberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea ssp. minus), velvet-leaf blueberry (V. myrtilloides), and creeping snowberry (Gaultheria hispidula). Characteristic herbs are cotton-grasses (Eriophorum spp.), beak-rushes (Rhynchospora spp.), three-seeded sedge (Carex trisperma), silvery sedge (C. canescens), round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), three-leaved false Solomon's seal (Maianthemum trifolium), and cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea).

Peat moss (Sphagnum spp.) is frequent. When red spruce (Picea rubens) and other tree species are present, their cover is typically sparse and restricted to peatland edges.


Good examples of this community occur on Mt. Cardigan and Mt. Monadnock.

Montane level fen/bogs often occur as inclusions within larger montane rocky ridge systems.


montane level fen/bog on Mt. Monadnock (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) 
montane level fen/bog community on Mt. Monadnock (photo by Ben Kimball) 

montane level fen/bog on Firescrew (photo by Ben Kimball)
montane level fen/bog on Firescrew (photo by Ben Kimball)

montane level fen/bog on Firescrew (photo by Ben Kimball)
montane level fen/bog on Firescrew (photo by Ben Kimball)

montane level fen/bog on Mt. Cardigan (photo by Ben Kimball)
montane level fen/bog on Cardigan (photo by Ben Kimball)

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