Well developed Iowa fens contain three distinct vegetation zones (border zone, sedge mat zone and discharge zone). On the average, the above ground standing crop of these zones is 425, 197 and 528 g/m2 respectively. Species growing on these fens show three basic distributional patterns: (1) they grow in the border and discharge zones; (2) they grow primarily in the sedge mat zone or (3) they grow in all three zones. Individual plants of species growing in the border and/or discharge zone are on the average 1.6 to 2.7 times taller and weigh 1.8 to 5.4 times more than when they grow on the sedge mat zone. Species with primarily bimodal or ubiquitous distributions show the greatest decline in height and weight when found in the discharge zone. The three Iowa fen zones are a result of differences in environmental conditions, plus competitive displacement of the dominant sedge mat species from the border and discharge zones.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1976 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Van Der Valk, A. G.
"Zonation, Competitive Displacement and Standing Crop of Northwest Iowa Fen Communities,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 83(2), 51-54.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol83/iss2/4