Plants and Animals

Carex media Sedge

species photo
Dennis A. Albert

Key Characteristics

Loosely clumped sedge of rocky shores in western Lake Superior; leaves narrow (3-5 mm); terminal spikelet at least partially pistillate; pistillate spikelets crowded, sessile, and erect.

Status and Rank

US Status:
State Status: T - Threatened (legally protected)
Global Rank: G5T5
State Rank: S2S3 - Rank is uncertain, ranging from imperiled to vulnerable

Occurrences

CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Keweenaw182014

Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.

Habitat

Found on alkaline bedrock beaches along the Lake Superior shoreline, especially on Copper Harbor conglomerate bedrock.

For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

Balsam fir, white spruce, harebell, ticklegrass, yarrow, bearberry, marsh bellflower, pale Indian paintbrush, hair grass, spike-rush, butterwort, ninebark, silverweed, dwarf Canadian primrose, wild rose, and downy oat-grass.

Management Recommendations

Primarily requires protection of the shoreline habitat and perpetuation of natural disturbance (winter ice, storms, wind) and hydrological regimes. This community occupies a stressed, potentially unstable environment; many of the species found in this community do not tolerate later stages of succession and require management that prevents woody plant encroachment. Likely sensitive to excessive recreational use, such as foot traffic. Protect from impacts due to excessive development.

Survey Methods

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.

  • Meander search

    • Survey Period: From third week of June to third week of July

References

Survey References

  • Elzinga, C.L., D.W. Salzer, and J.W. Willoughby. 1998. Measuring and Monitoring Plant Populations. The Nature Conservancy and Bureau of Land Management, Denver. BLM Technical Reference 1730-1. 477pp.
  • Goff, G.F., G.A. Dawson, and J.J. Rochow. 1982. Site examination for Threatened and Endangered plant species. Environmental Management 6(4): 307-316
  • Nelson, J.R. 1984. Rare Plant Field Survey Guidelines. In: J.P. Smith and R. York. Inventory of rare and endangered vascular plants of California. 3rd Ed. California Native Plant Society, Berkeley. 174pp.
  • Nelson, J.R. 1986. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques For Impact Assessment. Natural Areas Journal 5(3):18-30.
  • Nelson, J.R. 1987. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques for Impact Assessment. In: Conservation and management of rare and endangered plants. Ed. T.S. Elias. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento. 8pp.

Technical References

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2002. Flora of North America, North of Mexico. Volume 23: Magnoliaphyta: Commelinidae (in part): Cyperaceae. Oxford University Press, New York. 608pp.
  • Gleason, H. A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second edition. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 910pp.
  • Gray, A. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany; eighth ed. Van Nostrand Reinghold, New York. 1632pp.
  • Holmgren, N.H. 1998. Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the vascular plants of Northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 937pp.
  • Voss, E. G. 1972. Michigan Flora. Part I. Gymnosperms and Monocots. Bulletin of the Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. 488pp.