Natural Communities of NH -- Photo Guide

Tall graminoid meadow marsh  (S4)


(formerly tall graminoid emergent marsh)
 
Tall graminoid meadow marsh communities are dominated by tall, clonal grasses or sedges such as bluejoint, tussock sedge, wooly bulrush, and reed canary grass. These plants often form dense root mats, and may dominate individually or in combinations depending on hydrologic regime. The community often resembles a meadow and only sustains water at the ground surface for short periods of time (i.e. seasonally flooded). 

Characteristic Vegetation: Dominant species include bluejoint (Calamagrostis canadensis), tussock sedge (Carex stricta), wooly bulrush (Scirpus cyperinus), and reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea). Other species common in these marshes include mannagrasses (Glyceria spp.), rice cutgrass (Leersia oryzoides), rushes (Juncus spp.), Joe-pye-weeds (Eupatorium spp.), and sedges such as lurid sedge (Carex lurida), three-way sedge (Dulichium arundinaceum), and various spike-rushes (Eleocharis spp.). A broad diversity of other herbs is often present, but much of the cover and biomass is contributed by only a few species. 


Variants:
Four variants are described.

1. Bluejoint variant
: This common variant is dominated by bluejoint (Calamagrostis canadensis). These “meadows” are often inundated for shorter periods or do not sustain water as close to the surface for as long compared to other shallow emergent marshes.

2.
Tussock sedge variant: This variant is dominated by tussock sedge (Carex stricta).

3. Bulrush variant: These marshes are dominated by bulrushes, most commonly woolly bulrush (Scirpus cyperinus).

4.
Reed canary grass variant: Reed canary-grass (Phalaris arundinacea) is dominant in this variant.


This community is very common statewide. Good examples occur at Bear Brook State Park (Deerfield), Northwood Meadows State Park (Northwood), Pawtuckaway State Park (Nottingham), and South River (Effingham).  

Tall graminoid meadow marshes
sometimes occur as part of larger emergent marsh - shrub swamp systems


Tall graminoid meadow marsh along Berry's Brook (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)
tall graminoid meadow marsh along Berry's Brook (photo by Ben Kimball)

Tall graminoid meadow marsh along Berry's Brook (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)
tall graminoid meadow marsh along Berry's Brook (photo by Ben Kimball)

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