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Sea-level Fen

Photos: salicicola.com

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Overview

Herbaceous/graminoid peatlands that occur at the upland edges of ocean tidal marshes. The combination of upland freshwater seepage and infrequent salt or brackish overwash produces a mixed plant community of freshwater and estuarine species.

Sea-level fens occupy the interface between estuarine marshes and upland seepage slopes, and therefore have a distinct species assemblage including both estuarine and palustrine species. There are two hydrologic influences: acidic freshwater seepage from the uplands and periodic salt or brackish overwash from the adjacent marsh. Both are needed to produce the combination of species observed in sea-level fens.

Photos credit to salicicola.com (unless otherwise noted). Natural communities information extracted from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP). NHESP's Sea-level Fen natural community page.

 

SEMPBA Archives: Sea-level Fen

 

Species Name

sphagnum moss (Sphagnum spp.)

saltmarsh spike sedge (Eleocharis rostellata)

saltmarsh straw sedge (Carex hormathodes)

saltmarsh threesquare (Scirpus americanus)

New York aster (Aster novi-belgii)

twig sedge (Cladium mariscoides)

spatulate-leaved sundew (Drosera intermedia)

Canada rush (Juncus canadensis)

pondshore rush (Juncus pelocarpus)

swamp candles (Lysimachia terrestris)

common reed (Phragmites australis)

white beak sedge (Rhynchospora alba)

swamp rose (Rosa palustris)

common threesquare (Scirpus pungens)

poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)

marsh St. John's wort (Triadenum virginicum)

large cranberry (Vacciniun macrocarpon)

poison sumac (Toxicodendron vertix)

swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum)

bayberry (Morella pensylvanica)

groundsel-tree (Baccharis halimifolia)

eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)

 

sphagnum moss (Sphagnum spp.)--Sphagnum beneath Sceuschzeria palustris.
sphagnum mosss--Sphagnum beneath Sceuschzeria palustris.
sphagnum mosss--Sphagnum beneath Vaccinninum macrocarpon.
saltmarsh spike sedge (Eleocharis rostellata)

saltmarsh spike sedge (Eleocharis rostellata)

saltmarsh spike sedge (Eleocharis rostellata)

saltmarsh spike sedge (Eleocharis rostellata)

saltmarsh straw sedge (Carex hormathodes)
saltmarsh straw sedge (Carex hormathodes)
saltmarsh straw sedge (Carex hormathodes)
saltmarsh threesquare (Scirpus americanus)
saltmarsh threesquare (Scirpus americanus)
saltmarsh threesquare (Scirpus americanus)

saltmarsh threesquare (Scirpus americanus)

New York aster (Aster novi-belgii)
New York aster (Aster novi-belgii)
New York aster (Aster novi-belgii)
New York aster (Aster novi-belgii)
twig sedge (Cladium mariscoides)
twig sedge (Cladium mariscoides)
twig sedge (Cladium mariscoides)
spatulate-leaved sundews (Drosera intermedia)

spatulate-leaved sundews (Drosera intermedia)

spatulate-leaved sundews (Drosera intermedia)
Canada rush a.k.a. marsh rush (Juncus canadensis)
Canada rush a.k.a. marsh rush (Juncus canadensis)
Canada rush a.k.a. marsh rush (Juncus canadensis)
pondshore rush (Juncus pelocarpus)
pondshore rush (Juncus pelocarpus)
pondshore rush (Juncus pelocarpus)
swamp candles (Lysimachia terrestris)
swamp candles (Lysimachia terrestris)
swamp-candles (Lysimachia terrestris)
swamp candles (Lysimachia terrestris)
common reed (Phragmites australis)
common reed (Phragmites australis)
common reed (Phragmites australis)
white beak sedge (Rhynchospora alba)

white beak sedge (Rhynchospora alba)

white beak sedge (Rhynchospora alba)

swamp rose (Rosa palustris)
swamp rose (Rosa palustris)
swamp rose (Rosa palustris)
swamp rose (Rosa palustris)
common threesquare (Scirpus pungens)
common threesquare (Scirpus pungens)
common threesquare (Scirpus pungens)
common threesquare (Scirpus pungens)
poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)
poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)
poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)
marsh St. John's wort (Triadenum virginicum)
marsh St. John's wort (Triadenum virginicum)
marsh St. John's wort (Triadenum virginicum)
marsh St. John's wort (Triadenum virginicum)
large cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)
large cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)
large cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)
large cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)
poison sumac (Toxicodendron vertix)
poison sumac (Toxicodendron vertix)
poison sumac (Toxicodendron vertix)
poison sumac (Toxicodendron vertix)
swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum)
swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum)
swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum)
swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum)
bayberry (Morella pensylvanica)
bayberry (Morella pensylvanica)
bayberry (Morella pensylvanica)
bayberry (Morella pensylvanica)
groundsel-tree (Baccharis halimifolia)
groundsel-tree (Baccharis halimifolia)
groundsel-tree (Baccharis halimifolia)
groundsel-tree (Baccharis halimifolia)
eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)