Clustered Bur Reed Research Natural Area

[photo:] Clustered Bur Reed  RNA. Photo by Lucy Tyrrell, USDA Forest Service.

This RNA harbors the sole known extant occurrence of clustered bur reed (Sparganium glomeratum) in the country and represents an undisturbed example of classic bog succession. The RNA contains upland (aspen, red pine), lowland (black spruce-tamarack bog), and aquatic ecosystems (open water and open bog). The clustered bur reed (Sparganium glomeratum) is a state Endangered species, and the gray wolf (Canis lupus), also present within the RNA, is a state and federally Threatened species.

Ecological Information

Physical and Climatic Conditions

Nearest weather station, with distance and direction from RNA:
Pokegama Dam, located 12 miles (19.2 km) south-southwest of the RNA, is the closest station.
Annual precipitation (type, seasonal distribution) :
Average annual precipitation is 27.6 inches (70.1 cm), with 11.6 inches (29.5 cm) falling in summer. Average annual snowfall is 46.2 inches (117.3 cm).
Maximum and minimum temperatures:
Maximum: 99 ºF, Minimum: -49 ºF
Annual: 29.0 ºF, 52.3 ºF
January: -4.3 ºF, 18.3 ºF
July: 56.1 ºF, 81.3 ºF
The elevation of the site is approximately 1366 feet (446 m).
Geology and Soils:
The RNA is part of the Nashwauk-Warba moraine. Lowland soils are deep organic material (C51), while uplands are heavy clay loam (C41) in the west and sandy (C45) in the east.
Aquatic Features:
The site includes a small lake surrounded by a unique floating mat of bog and marsh vegetation.

Ecological Classification & Inventory

Northern Minnesota Drift and Lake Plains (212N)
St. Louis Moraines (212Nb)
Plant Communities:
SAF Cover Types (list acres) Kuchler Types (list acres):
13 Black spruce-tamarack (5.5) 85 Conifer Bog (5.5)
15 Red pine (1.5)  
16 Aspen (49.0)  
Common Shrub Species:
Bog-rosemary (Andromeda glaucophylla), leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), speckled alder (Alnus rugosa), Labrador tea (Ledum groenlandicum), red raspberry (Rubus strigosus).
Common Herbaceous Species:
Sedge (Carex oligosperma), pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea), common cat-tail (Typha latifolia), water-arum (Calla palustris), yellow water-lily (Nuphar variegata) , clustered bur reed (Sparganium glomeratum), sedge (Carex lacustris), marsh potentilla (Potentilla palustris), water-schield (Brasenia schreberi), Dulichium arundinaceum, hedge-nettle (Stachys palustris), strawberry-weed (Potentilla norvegica), long-leaved stitchwort (Stellaria longifolia).
Common Mammal Species:
Gray wolf (Canis lupus).

Related Reports and Publications

Conway, V.M. 1949. Bogs of central Minnesota. Ecol. Mono. 19: 176-206.

Sather, Nancy; Shadis, David A. 1991. Establishment Record of the Clustered Bur Reed Research Natural Area within the Chippewa National Forest. Unpublished report on file at the Northern Research Station, Rhinelander, 51 pages.

Wheeler, G.A. and P. Glaser. 1977. Terrestrial vegetation and wildlife supplement, draft environmental impact statement, Minnesota Power and Light Company's proposed unit 4, Clay Boswell Steam Electric Station. MN Pollution Control Agency, St. Paul, MN.

Last Modified: August 19, 2021