Montane-Subalpine Wet Shrubland & Wet Meadow
Western North American Montane-Subalpine Wet Shrubland & Wet Meadow
SWAP General Vegetation Type
RIPARIAN WOODLANDS and WETLANDS
Montane-Subalpine Wet Shrubland and Wet Meadow [M075] occurs in the Colorado Plateaus, Southern Rocky Mountains, and Arizona/New Mexico Mountains ecoregions and occasionally the High Plains and Tablelands and Chihuahuan Desert ecoregions. This habitat type is generally wet all season long but may dry out by the end of summer. Herbaceous wetlands are typically graminoid-dominated, but forbs may be prevalent. Dominant graminoids include bluejoint (Calamagrostis canadensis), water sedge (Carex aquatilis), Northwest Territory sedge (C. utriculata), smallwing sedge (C. microptera), and tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa). Dominant forb species are represented by white marsh marigold (Caltha leptosepala), heartleaf bittercress (Cardamine cordifolia), arrowleaf ragwort (Senecio triangularis), and creeping sibbaldia (Sibbaldia procumbens). Shrublands form open to closed canopies dominated by wetland-obligate shrubs and subshrubs such as gray alder (Alnus incana), water birch (Betula occidentalis), redosier dogwood (Cornus sericea), Bebb willow (Salix bebbiana), Booth’s willow (S. boothii), Drummond’s willow (S. drummondiana), and park willow (S.monticola). This habitat type is mostly comprised of montane to subalpine riparian communities and occurs as narrow bands lining streambanks and alluvial terraces in narrow to wide, low gradient valley bottoms and floodplains with sinuous stream channels. Herbaceous wetlands can also be found around seeps, fens, and isolated springs on hill slopes away from valley bottoms. Montane marshes that are created as a function of beaver dams and along shorelines can be quite common. This habitat is commonly associated with Rocky Mountain Montane Riparian Forest [M034].