Patterned Fen Ecosystem

  State Rank: S3

Patterned fens are floristically similar to unpatterned fens, but are typically found on gentle slopes and feature low, parallel to anastomosing, peat ridges (strings) alternating with wet hollows or shallow pools (flarks). The strings and flarks are oriented across the major slope of the peatland and at right angles to the direction of groundwater movement. Groundwater chemistry will determine whether acidic fen communities or circumnetural fen communities predominate. The ribbing may occupy only a portion of the peatland area; other portions may support dwarf shrub or forested bog vegetation. Ribbed fens are restricted to the northwestern portion of the state.

Natural Communities Associated with Patterned Fen Ecosystem