Login | Datasets | Logout

View Community Concepts - Detail

Sporobolus heterolepis - Schizachyrium scoparium - (Carex scirpoidea) / (Juniperus horizontalis) Herbaceous Vegetation | Midwestern Ecology Working Group...
  click to update datacart
Name: Sporobolus heterolepis - Schizachyrium scoparium - (Carex scirpoidea) / (Juniperus horizontalis) Herbaceous Vegetation
Reference: Midwestern Ecology Working Group...
Description: The little bluestem alvar grassland type is found primarily in the upper Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, in northern Michigan and in Ontario. These grasslands occur on very shallow, patchy soils (usually less than 20 cm deep, average is about 6 cm deep) on flat limestone and dolostone outcrops (pavements). Soils are loams high in organic matter. This community often has a characteristic soil moisture regime of alternating wet and dry periods; they can have wet, saturated soils in spring and fall, combined with summer drought in most years (except unusually wet years). In large patches over 50 acres (20 ha) this grassland often occurs as a small-scale matrix, with smaller patches of other alvar communities occurring within the larger patch of little bluestem alvar grassland, forming a landscape mosaic. The most commonly associated alvar communities are creeping juniper - shrubby cinquefoil alvar pavement, tufted hairgrass wet alvar grassland, alvar nonvascular pavement, and white cedar - jack pine / shrubby cinquefoil alvar savanna. The vegetation is dominated by grasses and sedges, which usually have at least 50% cover. Characteristic species of the grassland are <i>Sporobolus heterolepis, Schizachyrium scoparium, Juniperus horizontalis, Carex scirpoidea, Deschampsia caespitosa, Packera paupercula (= Senecio pauperculus)</i>, and <i>Carex crawei</i>. There is usually less than 10% cover of shrubs over 0.5 m tall; however there may be as much as 50% cover of dwarf-shrubs (under 0.5 m tall) especially <i>Juniperus horizontalis</i>. This dwarf-shrub is shorter than the dominant grasses, and usually is found under the canopy of grasses, so the physiognomic type is here considered a grassland (in spite of relatively high cover of dwarf-shrubs). Less than 50% of the ground surface is exposed bedrock (including bedrock covered with nonvascular plants: lichens, mosses, algae). 
Accession Code: VB.CC.36805.CEGL005234
Plot-observations of this Community Concept: 0
      Party Perspective according to: NatureServe (organization)
Perspective from: 17-Nov-2014 to: 01-May-2019
  • status: accepted
  • This Community's Level: association
  • This Community's Children: [none]
Names:   Common: Little Bluestem Alvar Grassland
  Translated: Prairie Dropseed - Little Bluestem - (Northern Single-spike Sedge) / (Creeping Juniper) Herbaceous Vegetation
  Scientific: Sporobolus heterolepis - Schizachyrium scoparium - (Carex scirpoidea) / (Juniperus horizontalis) Herbaceous Vegetation
  Code: CEGL005234
  UID: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.685724 NatureServe ExplorerNatureServe Explorer logo