Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): James W. Bartolome; Don C. Erman; Charles F. Schwara
    Date: 1990
    Source: Res. Paper PSW-RP-198. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 11 p
    Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)
    Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (3.0 MB)


    Minerotrophic peatlands or fens in California's Sierra Nevada are small wet meadows surrounded by mixed conifer forest. The dynamics of vegetation change at the meadow edge and the ages and development of fens were investigated, in the Sagehen Creek Basin near Truckee, California, through the use of radiocarbon dating of peat, pollen studies, examination of processes of peat development and accumulation, stand age analysis of trees around peatlands, and evaluation of tree-ring variation. These approaches were used to evaluate both short- and long-term changes. Fens varied in age from more than 8000 years to less than 1000 years old. Results suggest that overall fen development proceeds rapidly, with peat buildup dependent upon adequate moisture supply. During fen development trees repeatedly invade and retreat from the fen edges. The timing of invasions appears unrelated to events such as human disturbance and climatic change. Instead, changes are most likely to result from alterations in groundwater supply in interaction with tree establishment, longevity, and water uptake. Little evidence was found that accepted successional models which emphasize predictable and gradual vegetational development apply to fens in the Sagehen Basin.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Bartolome, James W.; Erman, Don C.; Schwara, Charles F. 1990. Stability and change in minerotrophic peatlands, Sierra Nevada of California and Nevada. Res. Paper PSW-RP-198. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 11 p


    Google Scholar


    wet meadow, fen, plant succession, pine invasion, Pinus contorta, lodgepole pine, edge stability, fen persistence, radiocarbon age

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page