Emergent aquatic - wild rice This open community is an emergent macrophyte type, with wild rice (Zizania aquatica or Z. palustris) as the dominant species. The substrate usually consists of poorly-consolidated, semi-organic sediments. Water fertility is low to moderate, and a slow current is present. Wild rice beds have great cultural significance to native peoples, and are important wildlife habitats.
Open bog These non-forested bogs are acidic, low nutrient, northern Wisconsin peatlands dominated by Sphagnum spp. Mosses that occur in deep layers, often with pronounced hummocks and hollows. Also present are a few narrow-leaved sedge species such as (Carex oligosperma and C. pauciflora), cotton-grasses (Eriophorum spp.), and ericaceous shrubs, especially bog laurel (Kalmia polifolia), leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), and small cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccus). Plant diversity is very low but includes characteristic and distinctive specialists. Trees are absent or achieve very low cover values as this community is closely related to and intergrades with Muskeg. When this community occurs in southern Wisconsin, it is often referred to as a Bog Relict.
Sand meadow A seasonally dry, seasonally wet to inundated, open, grass-, sedge-, moss-, and forb-dominated community that develops on level sandy-peaty soils of old glacial lake beds and outwash plains. The root zone remains moist, owing to a perched water table caused by impermeable silts or clay beneath the surface sands. The community usually occurs as small patches in gaps, or on the margins of, more extensive jack pine and/or Hill’s oak-dominated communities, or along game trails through Central Sedge Poor Fens. In pre-settlement times, this community might have been maintained by periodic catastrophic fires, or perhaps by the trails and wallows associated with the pre-settlement megafauna (e.g. elk, bison). Most extant EOs occur where anthropogenic disturbances such as trail, road, and railroad maintenance activities, or maintenance of mossing “platforms”, maintain small seral openings with vegetation scraped down to bare soil. The pioneering flora is composed almost entirely of native species, including a significant subset that are rare, uncommon, or otherwise noteworthy.