The species is native to Holarctic fens and can be found in Canada and the northern part of the United States, and most of Europe, including Britain, north to 71° N, and W. Asia, in wet peaty places with a high water table.
This Carex article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.
Swollen beaked sedge occurs from Alaska east through Canada to the Atlantic coastal provinces [48,66,133] and south to Washington, Montana, Minnesota, Ilinois, and Michigan [41,50,75,108,153]. Nekola  reports rare occurrence in Iowa.
Northwest Territory sedge occurs from Alaska east through Canada to the Atlantic coastal provinces [48,50,133] and south through the western United States to California, Arizona, and New Mexico [41,50,62,134,157,158]. It also occurs south of Canada in the lake states and northeastern United States to Ilinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and Tennessee [41,50,75,135]. This is the range previously described for swollen beaked sedge [31,33,38,61,63,65,66,69,73,77,90,101,141,159], prior to the recognition of Northwest Territory sedge as a distinct species.
Flora of North America provides distributional maps of swollen beaked sedge and Northwest Territory sedge.
A grasslike perennial , beaked sedge is strongly rhizomatous [1,42,133] and colonial , sometimes forming a dense sod [31,50,68,78]. Creeping rhizomes are long, slender or stout, and deep-seated [31,50,62,65,66,73,93,101,157,158], ranging from 0.4 inches to 8 feet (1 cm to 2.5 m) long . Rhizomes generally lack roots, but roots occasionally do grow from the preceding year's rhizomes . In greenhouse experiments, beaked sedge adjusted its rooting depth to groundwater depth (maintained at 4, 19, and 35 cm) .
Beaked sedge culms grow singly or a few together from rhizomes [31,61,65,68,73,78,93,159]. These thick culms grow 12 to 55 inches (30-140 cm) tall [25,31,61,62,65,66,68,73,78,93,141,157,158,159]. Slender to stout stems are obliquely ascending, 19 to 47 inches (50-120 cm) tall [42,50,133]. Thick and stiff, beaked sedge leaves are 1 to 12 mm wide [31,50,61,65,66,93,101,133,141,159].
The beaked sedge inflorescence is 6 to 18 inches (15-45 cm) tall and composed of several elongate spikes (typically 4-10), erect or nearly erect [65,159]. The 2 to 4 upper spikes are staminate and 0.4 to 2.4 inches (1-6 cm) long, and the lower 2 to 5 spikes are pistillate, 1 to 1.5 cm long, and densely flowered [31,61,65,66,141,159]. Beaked sedge perigynia are 4 to 10 mm long and horizontal or spreading at maturity [31,42,61,62,66,101,133,141,153,159].
Swollen beaked sedge and Northwest Territory sedge can be differentiated by some morphological characteristics. Swollen beaked sedge has narrow, involute, glaucous leaves with stomata on the upper surface, while Northwest Territory sedge leaves are broad, flat, and green on both sides with stomata below [42,50,83]. Northwest Territory sedge has different leaf anatomy and a different leaf shape in cross-section. Plants from the western and northern portions of the range often have perigynia strongly tinged with purple, though that coloration can also occur elsewhere, albeit rarely .
Stand structure: Beaked sedge is infrequent and local in large portions of its range, often forming large colonies . It may grow in nearly pure stands [25,52,68,116,161], covering broad valley bottoms , riparian areas [116,161], and wetlands . It can form dense mats when growing on saturated sites [58,155], often precluding the establishment of competing grasses and forbs . Beaked sedge can form a loose floating mat in oligotrophic lakes .
Sites where beaked sedge commonly occurs include shrub heaths, open and wooded fens, wet meadows, bogs, peatlands, prairie potholes, seeps, wetlands, and riparian areas [1,2,21,27,43,44,49,51,68,69,71,84,93,96,100,104,131,133,137,144,146,153,158]. Beaked sedge stands typically colonize wet meadows and seeps with subsurface flow and are often associated with active or abandoned beaver complexes [52,103]. Beaked sedge is tolerant of seasonal flooding, shallow water table depths, and anaerobic soil conditions [39,91,144]. In the Northeast, Northwest Territory sedge may dominate areas in open sphagnum peatlands  or where an existing sphagnum mat has been disturbed . Stands dominated by Northwest Territory sedge are common and characteristic of peatlands throughout the Rocky Mountains that have seasonal standing water up to 15 inches (40 cm) deep [26,30,122].
Site moisture: Beaked sedge grows on sites with high soil moisture, typically with the water table at or above the soil surface during the growing season [11,20,50,56,58,78,89,102,112,116,124,138]. A study of Saskatchewan peatlands found that beaked sedge attained its greatest frequency on sites where the water level was 0.4 to 7.5 inches (1-19 cm) above the soil surface . Though beaked sedge often occupies sites inundated with a few inches of standing or slowly flowing water [52,132], it may also establish on somewhat drier sites lacking surface water for part of the year . The beaked sedge habitat type in Montana occurs both in standing water and on sites that become relatively dry late in the growing season [56,58]. Depth to water table ranges from 0 to 39 inches (100 cm) during the summer [25,36,132,162].
On some beaked sedge sites, water tables are often above the surface year-long and rarely drop below the rooting zone [8,18,20,34,35,68,87,107,127,128]. These sites may have still pools or slow-moving water up to 18 inches (45 cm) deep [68,159] constantly recharged by flows from upstream . Where overland flow is present, beaked sedge may form hummocks or tussocks that develop over time as individual clusters of sod resist the gradual erosion and downcutting of numerous associated micro-channels . Stagnant water from flooding in the lower Fraser River Valley, British Columbia in summer 1948 top-killed beaked sedge, but new growth from rhizomes began soon after flood waters receded .
Soils: Beaked sedge occurs on a range of soil types, with textures from silt loams or silty clays to loamy sands [52,56,58,91,98,124,127,128,162]. Mature stands develop organic horizons up to 3.5 feet (1 m) deep [52,68,68,98,102,162], often as a result of low temperatures at high elevations and a generally anaerobic surface soil environment slowing decomposition [35,102]. Soil organic matter content commonly reaches 20% [124,127,128]. High water tables facilitate oxidation/reduction reactions that produce mottled or gleyed soil characteristics . Beaked sedge typically occurs on acidic soils with thin, poorly decomposed organic surface layers [19,102,127,138]. The pH of sites supporting beaked sedge typically ranges from <5.0 [3,33,96,124] to 7.0 [36,56,58,71]. Rocky Mountain peatland sites often have pH as low as 3.75 . Beaked sedge also grows on alkaline sites with higher pH and calcium levels [2,144]. Beaked sedge is moderately tolerant of salinity [144,156].
Elevation: The elevational distribution of beaked sedge ranges from lowlands [31,56,58,141] to high elevations [56,58,78] in the mountains of western North America. It is common at middle elevations but extends to near timberline , frequently occurring in or dominating alpine and subalpine wet meadows . The following table, though not exhaustive, presents information on the elevational range of beaked sedge in various parts of its range.Elevational range of beaked sedge by state State Elevation Arizona 7,500 to 9,500 feet (2,286-2,896 m)  California 3,400 to 7,120 feet (1,036-2,170 m) [62,128] Colorado 5,000 to 12,500 feet (1,524-3,810 m) [29,61,88,134] Idaho 6,000 to 9,800 feet (1,830-2,987 m) [152,162] Minnesota up to 1,000 feet (305 m)  Montana 2,320 to 7,800 feet (707-2,377 m) [52,58,58] Nevada 5,800 to 8,520 feet (1,768-2,597 m)  New Mexico up to 10,000 feet (3,048 m) [23,24] New York 1,486 to 1,640 feet (453-500 m)  Oregon up to 10,000 feet (3,048 m)  Utah 6,000 to 10,500 feet (1,830-3,200 m) [152,159] Washington 2,380 to 10,000 feet (725-3,048 m) [20,82,140] West Virginia 3,400 to 4,600 feet (1,036-1,402 m)  Wyoming 5,000 to 11,000 feet (1,524-3,353 m) [26,29,46,65,155]
In western North America, beaked sedge occurs as a dominant herbaceous component of
riparian communities; subarctic, boreal, and north-temperate wetlands;
and wet subalpine meadows [1,9,23,24,36,41,65,116,122,128].
Common and potentially codominant sedge species include Nebraska sedge (C. nebrascensis),
leafy tussock sedge (C. aquatilis), smallwinged sedge (C. microptera),
wheat sedge (C. atherodes), woollyfruit sedge (C. lasiocarpa),
mountain sedge (C. scopulorum), analogue sedge (C. simulata), and
blister sedge (C. vesicaria) [1,20,21,23,24,102,103,118,119,122,123,128,131,138,144].
Other herbaceous associates include bluejoint reedgrass (Calamagrostis canadensis),
tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa), spotted water hemlock (Cicuta
maculata), fowl mannagrass (Glyceria striata), creeping bentgrass
(Agrostis stolonifera), Baltic rush (Juncus balticus), and
Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) [1,21,100,102,103,119,128,144].
Beaked sedge is also common in willow (Salix spp.) and shrub fens [30,36].
A study of fen vegetation in Rocky Mountain National Park found that beaked sedge had a low
presence in treed fen areas but comprises 5% to 25% of cover in herbacous fen
East of the Rocky Mountain region, common associates of beaked sedge include
floating sphagnum mats (Spagnum spp.), woollyfruit sedge, leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne
calyculata), sheathed cottonsedge (Eriophorum vaginatum), and white
beaksedge (Rhynchospora alba) in fens ; leatherleaf, sheep
laurel (Kalmia angustifolia), highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum),
and sweetgale (Myrica gale) in peatlands ; northern reedgrass
(Calamagrostis stricta), leafy tussock sedge, and American mannagrass
(G. grandis) in marshes [97,109]; and leafy tussock sedge,
tussock sedge (Carex stricta), and hairy sedge (C. lacustris)
in sedge meadows of the Midwest [111,146].
Beaked sedge forms nearly monospecific stands in some areas, comprising >90%
of standing vegetation [1,25,46,102,116]. Stands dominated by
Northwest Territory sedge are common and characteristic of peatlands throughout
the Rocky Mountains, where it may account for 95% of cover . The site conditions
where beaked sedge is prevalent (seasonal flooding, shallow water table depths,
and anaerobic soil conditions) may often prohibit the establishment of other species,
reducing community diversity .
Vegetation classifications describing plant communities where beaked
sedge is a dominant species follow. Note that plant community names may not
reflect the currently accepted taxonomy and geographic distribution.
Fire adaptations: Beaked sedge sprouts from rhizomes [10,151], so it is likely to be able to sprout after top-kill by fire. However, peat soils like those common in beaked sedge communities can be flammable when dry, and heat from severe fires may penetrate the soil, destroying beaked sedge rhizomes . There are reports of beaked sedge seeds in the soil seed bank up to 18 inches deep , so it may establish from on-site seed after fire.
FIRE REGIMES: Little research is available regarding FIRE REGIMES specific to beaked sedge. Fire regime and fire occurrence in mountain meadows or fens, where beaked sedge is often common or dominant, are in part the product of fire in surrounding forest vegetation, as is the vegetation composition of these areas over time . Lower elevation meadows are likely more often impacted by forest fires than are higher elevation meadows, perhaps due to lighter fuel loads, greater fuel moisture, and more moderate burning conditions. Little is known about fires in meadows at high elevations; a low-severity fire across a meadow generally affects vegetative composition only slightly, but changes in herbaceous vegetation could result after a severe fire . Meadows are not likely to burn when the herbage is grazed or in years of normal precipitation; however, they may burn when herbage is tall and dry or during droughts. A fire crossing a meadow with high soil moisture usually consumes only current growth and some mulch. Under very dry conditions, ground fires may occur that damage the meadow considerably [34,125], consuming the organic matter forming the bulk of many of these soils . During periods of prolonged drought, plant communities dominated or co-dominated by beaked sedge may become susceptible to fire. During drought, green-up of the previous year's growth is reduced, resulting in an abundance of dry material that forms a continuous layer of matted surface fuel. Where these fuel conditions exist, they can contribute to greater fire severity .
Information about fire ecology in high-elevation meadows comes primarily from studies in the Sierra Nevada. Fires may play an important role in the evolution and maintenance of wet, sedge-dominated meadows of the Sierra Nevada, influencing the forest-meadow boundary  and reducing woody species invasion [20,125,160]. Natural fires are estimated to occur in mountain meadows at intervals of several hundred years .
The following table provides fire regime information that may be relevant to beaked sedge. Find further fire regime information for the plant communities in which these species may occur by entering the species' names in the FEIS home page under "Find FIRE REGIMES".Fire regime information on vegetation communities in which beaked sedge may occur. For each community, fire regime characteristics are taken from the LANDFIRE Rapid Assessment Vegetation Models . These vegetation models were developed by local experts using available literature, local data, and/or expert opinion as documented in the .pdf file linked from each Potential Natural Vegetation Group listed below. Cells are blank where information is not available in the Rapid Assessment Vegetation Model. Pacific Northwest California Southwest Great Basin Northern Rockies Northern Great Plains Great Lakes Northeast Southern Appalachians Pacific Northwest
Prescribed fire generally promotes beaked sedge. Prescribed burning reduces litter and increases productivity of beaked sedge [35,52,56,58,81]. Burning under relatively wet conditions would probably not result in long-term vegetation changes in mountain meadows . A study of low- to moderate-severity prescribed fire in a Sierra Nevada alpine wet meadow found that, while fire resulted in increased bare ground and reduced plant litter, there was no change in plant community composition. Fire increased living sedge cover almost threefold by postfire year 1. Burning when plants are dormant and soil moisture is high enough to prevent burning of soil organic matter prevents change in meadow vegetation and allows rapid postfire recovery .
Encroachment of shrubs into wetlands is often attributed to fire exclusion or a combination of fire suppression and cattle grazing . Frequent, low-severity fire may be used to prevent woody species establishment in open meadows . Burning of open sedge-grass meadows in Wisconsin can slow woody species encroachment and is most effective when vegetation is actively growing . A study by Middleton  found that winter burning was not effective in reducing woody species in a Wisconsin sedge meadow (dominated by tussock sedge, beaked sedge present). However, winter burning may be useful in maintaining species richness in ungrazed meadow areas by stimulating germination from seed banks . In another Wisconsin sedge meadow study, prescribed fire removed plant litter, but litter returned to preburn levels within 2 years. After 7 years, burned and unburned meadow plots did not differ in live biomass, litter, or relative cover of plant life forms. Authors concluded that periodic burns do not cause a major shift in the relative dominance of sedges and grasses. However, because litter removal promotes the recruitment of shorter-lived forbs, prescribed fire can temporarily increase sedge meadow diversity. Periodic seed inputs of forbs to the wet meadow seedbank may also contribute to long-term sedge meadow diversity .
Several authors recommend excluding livestock from beaked sedge communities during the year prior to burning [35,52,56,58], perhaps to allow fuel accumulation. Residual cover burns well in spring prior to the growing season [35,52,56,58]. Beaked sedge communities can also be burned in late summer or in dry years when water tables drop below the surface . After burning, grazing should remain restricted for 2 to 3 years to avoid damage to young regrowth [35,52,56,58].
Some authors have evaluated the effectiveness of using fire to reduce beaked sedge. Though details are not presented, Uhler  describes complete control of beaked sedge by means of "root burns" when marsh soil has been dried to a depth of 3 to 6 inches. Vogl  found that prescribed fire in an open sphagnum bog or muskeg reduced average percent frequency of beaked sedge.
Beaked sedge sprouts from rhizomes [10,151]. Following a wildfire in a Sierra Nevada subalpine meadow dominated by beaked sedge, tufted hairgrass, Idaho bentgrass (Agrostis idahoensis), and Mexican rush (Juncus mexicanus), percent cover of beaked sedge was around 3% in the postfire years 1 and 2 but increased to around 12% in postfire years 3 and 4 .
A study following a severe wildfire in the North Fork of the Flathead River drainage described regrowth of beaked sedge on wet meadow sites as "dense and lush" by the 2nd postfire growing season [154,160]. Fires in sedge meadows typically burn surface litter; however, some of these meadows sustained areas with ground fires that burned organic layers to mineral soil. The wet meadows in the area have a layer of peat as thick as 12 to 18 inches (30-46 cm) overlying the mineral soil. The peat surface was generally charred but not consumed by the fire. In microsites where surface wood or woody vegetation was present, wood combustion ignited the peat, which burned to mineral soil. Most of the surface area of burned sedge meadows was revegetated in the 1st postfire year. Plant regeneration occurred primarily from existing rhizomes and roots. Where peat burned and mineral soil was exposed, rhizomes and roots were killed, slowing revegetation. By the 2nd postfire summer, beaked sedge had regrown from buried rhizomes, and it dominated the vegetation. Woody species encroachment was reduced, with many charred root crowns dead by posfire year 3 and no new woody establishment observed .Average postfire ground and vegetative cover (%) for sedge meadow sites burned by the 1988 Red Bench fire, Glacier National Park  Vegetative cover 1989
Seed banking: In a survey of Cyperaceae seed bank studies, Leck and Schutz  listed a study in Finland that found evidence of viable beaked sedge seed at soil depths of 0 to 4 inches (0-10 cm) and in northwest Germany at 4 to 18 inches (10-45 cm). Seed storage research has shown that when exposed to diurnally fluctuating temperatures, fresh beaked sedge seeds have higher germination rates than stored seeds [16,17], and 22% to 48% of seeds stored under varying conditions retain viability for 2.5 years . However, no information is available regarding longevity of beaked sedge seeds in the soil seed bank under field conditions.
Germination: Beaked sedge seeds mature in late summer and may overwinter before germination; however, wet/cold stratification is not necessary to stimulate germination [16,17,74]. It has been suggested that beaked sedge germination may require drawdown of water in saturated areas . However, laboratory research has shown that seed in saturated and moistened water regimes had 10% and 8% average germination, respectively, while alternating dry/saturated conditions had 4% average germination . For more information on seed storage and germination studies, see the Value for Rehabilitation of Disturbed Sites section of this review.
Seedling establishment/growth: A study of oxbow lakes in Alberta found that beaked sedge was more likely to dominate oxbow vegetation where water levels are stable than where the levels fluctuate . Beaked sedge shoot numbers and biomass production remain relatively constant over time on sites with small water level changes. Beaked sedge can survive in an environment with large water level fluctuations, but shoot size is influenced. High water during early summer reduces the number of shoots produced, while low water increases the number of shoots . Shoot density may be higher on seasonally flooded sites than on sites characterized by year-round surface water, indicating that stands may recede over time with prolonged inundation .
Vegetative regeneration: Beaked sedge produces both long, spreading rhizomes and short, clumping rhizomes, which result in a matted and tufted growth pattern. The pattern is initiated by a shoot emerging at the end of a long rhizome; short rhizomes then develop to produce a tuft. These tufts, or tiller clumps, are composed of many shoots and tend to alternate with open areas of the site that lack plants . A study of succession on a bare peat surface in Finland showed beaked sedge established in a heterogeneous point pattern, with many shoots occurring in a few clumps and few or none elsewhere .
A Swedish study of beaked sedge growth found that it formed indistinct tussocks consisting of dead or dying shoots; fertile and old, sterile shoots; current shoots; and new shoots. The new shoots develop either from the base of old shoots or from the tip of a horizontally growing rhizome. Fertile, old sterile, and current shoots can each form both types of new shoots. Dead shoots may still have living roots or rhizomes and establish new daughter shoots. Shoots from horizontally growing rhizomes emerged in open spots from the indistinct tussocks or within a neighboring tussock .
Beaked sedge can also spread by fragmentation. Old shoots that break off with associated roots can be transported by water and may establish on shore or in floating peat, developing new shoots from their bases .
Beaked sedge prefers open, unshaded areas .
Beaked sedge functions as a pioneer colonizer of exposed mineral substrates with continually high water tables (e.g., drained beaver ponds) and persists indefinitely [20,52,56,79,98,151,155,162]. Hansen  has described Montana riparian areas where beaked sedge communities develop as pioneers that persist to form climax communities. In Alaska, the beaked sedge community type is an early to mid-seral community that develops into peatland communities . High water tables and a vigorous rhizome network limit the establishment of other species [52,56,162]. In willow communities with beaked sedge-dominated understories, light surface disturbances may result in short-term changes in species composition, but beaked sedge usually regains complete dominance when disturbance factors are eliminated .
Beaked sedge communities are stable, but willows and other sedge species can establish if organic matter accumulates and the water table drops [102,162]. Beaked sedge may dominate marsh wetland vegetation in the Sierra Nevada, but as drier conditions develop (i.e., during drought), these communities increase in species diversity. However, beaked sedge-dominated communities are resilient, persisting through drought conditions and recovering after reflooding of the area . In Colorado, sedge moors form at the border of montane lakes or riparian areas and are often considered early successional. As the soil builds up with peat formation and the water table drops below the soil surface, willow communities or wet meadows develop and coniferous forest types may eventually develop [123,132]. In Oregon, beaked sedge riparian communities form in depressions or behind beaver dams, replacing more hydric communities (e.g., broadleaf cattail (Typha latifolia)) as siltation occurs . As siltation continues, these beaked sedge communities are likely replaced by Baltic rush communities with overstory willow. These communities may replace stands of aspen where beaver browsing and damming have eliminated aspen . Beaked sedge may in turn invade communities normally found on drier sites as a result of increasingly high water tables (e.g., newly ponded areas) [30,98,162].
With adequate time for regrowth between uses, beaked sedge is considered
moderately tolerant of grazing , though it may be replaced by other species when
heavily grazed over extended periods [1,52,155]. A Montana study of
riparian grazing found that mean shoot density of beaked sedge was 12% to 16%
higher in grazed treatments than in ungrazed treatments, and mean shoot
emergence was 20% greater in grazed treatments. Productivity, as measured by
shoot height, was similar between the treatments . A study of
Oregon moist meadows found beaked sedge was more competitive than timothy
(Phleum pratense) and tall buttercup (Ranunculus acris) on
ungrazed sites. Competitive characteristics include early and rapid growth,
a tall dense growth form, vegetative reproduction, and high litter production
(which may influence both nutrient availability and microclimate) .
Progression of Wisconsin sedge meadows (dominated by tussock sedge) to
shrub-dominated fens is likely encouraged by cattle grazing and not
strictly the outcome of succession . The saturated soils in beaked
sedge community types are likely susceptible to trampling ,
though high water tables throughout the growing season tend to limit access
by livestock and thereby reduce impacts [52,155].
A study of clearcutting in a Colorado subalpine forest presented data
for sedges (Carex spp.) in general, and on some sites sedge cover
significantly (P=0.05) increased in the 5 years after logging .
Beaked sedge is grazed by cattle, horses, moose, elk, mule deer, bison, grizzly bears, and sandhill cranes [76,102,105,131,147,162]. Due to low stature and structural diversity, beaked sedge stands may serve as foraging areas rather than nesting habitat for avian species .
Reports of seasonal use of beaked sedge vary. Some authors describe beaked sedge grazed by livestock and wildlife to some extent in early spring, but not late in the season due to the coarseness of mature leaves [61,68]. Others contend that cattle, horses, elk, bison, and mule deer use it moderately in late summer, fall, and winter [61,68,131,147,162], and others report that beaked sedge is grazed year-round by cattle .
Palatability/nutritional value: The coarse, tough phytomass of beaked sedge has high amounts of silica and is generally considered of low to moderate resource value for livestock and wildlife [61,99]. It has been reported as moderately palatable to cattle  and as excellent forage for cattle .Ratings of beaked sedge palatability by species and state . Cells are left blank when no ranking was given. State Utah Colorado Wyoming Montana North Dakota Cattle good fair fair fair good Horses good fair fair good good Sheep fair fair poor fair fair Elk good Mule deer fair Antelope poor Upland game poor Waterfowl poor good Small nongame birds fair Small mammals fair
Average nutritional values of beaked sedge appear to change little during the growing season. Samples were taken once a month for 5 months over a 4 year period. Annual data have been averaged to provide a more concise description of seasonal trends; the complete tables can be found in Beath and Hamilton's report .Nutritional analysis of beaked sedge from Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming (% dry matter)  Month sampled Moisture Ash Crude protein Ether extract Crude fiber Calcium Phosphorus June 6.12 7.49 14.82 3.35 23.78 0.39 0.28 July 6.20 7.99 12.07 3.39 26.93 0.32 0.27 August 6.84 7.97 11.03 3.31 28.0 0.34 0.25 September 5.66 8.70 9.63 3.21 28.15 0.38 0.27 October 5.30 9.13 7.54 2.73 29.13 0.36 0.23
Cover value: The dense sod formed by beaked sedge's extensive rhizome and root systems forms overhanging streambanks and provides excellent cover for fish [56,58,68,81]. Beaked sedge may also provide cover for trumpeter swan nests . Dittberner and Olson  rate beaked sedge as fair cover for upland game birds, waterfowl, and small nongame birds, and as good cover for small mammals.
Beaked sedge has a dense network of rhizomatous roots and forms a thick sod that is highly resistant to erosion [52,58] and is effective in stabilizing streambanks [52,56,58,68,81]. The closely crowded erect stalks of beaked sedge are also useful in trapping sediment in runoff and keeping it from depositing in streams [118,132]. Northwest Territory sedge is commonly used to restore riparian and wetland areas in the Intermountain Region , though establishment in disturbed wetland vegetation may require hydrologic modification (drainage improvement, road modification) to ensure shallow water tables necessary for success . Northwest Territory sedge rhizomes planted for revegetation of mined peatlands at high elevation (9,500-10,200 feet (2,900-3,100 m)) in Colorado had 65% survival after 2 years .
Beaked sedge grows on acidic mine spoils .
Fresh beaked sedge seeds have much higher germination rates than stored seeds, and though seeds mature in late summer and may overwinter before germination, initial wet/cold stratification is not necessary to stimulate germination [16,17,74], though it may increase germination . In a laboratory study of seed storage and germination, germination rates of beaked sedge were highest in fresh seeds when they were exposed to diurnally fluctuating temperatures, ranging from 28% germination at 68/59 Â°F (20/15 Â°C) to 22% germination at 77/68 Â°F (25/20 Â°C). Fresh seeds incubated under static temperatures did not germinate [16,17]. Another study found germination of Northwest Territory sedge is increased by subjecting seeds to a fluctuating temperature regime, with gradually fluctuating temperatures from 50 to 75 Â°F (10-24 Â°C) resulting in approximately 80% germination, compared to seeds kept at constant temperatures that had <20% germination.
Germination of beaked sedge varies with storage conditions. Northwest Territory sedge loses viability in dry storage; wet, cold storage conditions are recommended, as is use of seed that is <2.5 years old . The studies by Budelsky and Galatowitsch [16,17] found a gradual shift in germination response toward higher temperatures as beaked sedge seeds aged. The highest germination rates occurred after 6 and 10 months of storage with wet/cold (39 Â°F (4 Â°C)) or dry/warm (73 Â°F (23 Â°C)) conditions [16,17]. After 14 months, seeds stored in moist-cold conditions had the highest germination rates. After 2.5 years, beaked sedge seeds stored wet/cold and dry/cold maintained the highest baseline viability, while dry/warm storage was associated with the lowest viability [16,17]. Short-term wet/cold stratification did not improve germination rates of seeds in long-term (2.5 years) dry storage .Percent viability of beaked sedge seeds after 2.5 years storage under different conditions  Baseline
When the impact of water regimes was evaluated, saturated and moistened water regimes had 10% and 8% average germination, respectively, while alternating dry/saturated conditions had 4% average germination. The highest germination rate achieved by this study was 60%, achieved by subjecting fresh beaked sedge seeds to a combination of 77/68 Â°F temperature regime and saturated conditions .
According to Ford and others , studies by A. A. Reznicek at
the University of Michigan herbarium have shown that swollen beaked sedge and
Northwest Territory sedge are distinct species; Northwest Territory sedge was
previously described as a variety of swollen beaked sedge. Swollen beaked sedge
is circumpolar in distribution but generally much more common in Eurasia than in
North America. Northwest Territory sedge is also circumpolar, but generally much
more common in North America than Eurasia . The range of
Northwest Territory sedge encompasses all of the previously recognized North American
range of swollen beaked sedge, which current taxonomy substantially reduces to Alaska,
Canada, and a few northern states. Many authors assert that "beaked sedge"
or C. rostrata has been misapplied in most of the literature accounts, and
that the proper identification is Northwest Territory sedge, C. utriculata [41,83,107].
A collection by Kovalchik  identified beaked sedge in Washington
and was described as the first record for Washington and the second for the western
United States based on the conclusion of Reznicek that beaked sedge had been misapplied in
North America: "What has been called C. rostrata Stokes is actually
C. utricularia Boott."
There is little apparent difference between swollen beaked sedge and Northwest
Territory sedge, other than small morphological characteristics. The ecological and
habitat characteristics are the same. The majority of literature cited in this
review names C. rostrata as the plant studied; however, this identification
is suspect given the recent changes in accepted taxonomy and the large overlapping ranges
of these two species. Given this confusion, swollen beaked sedge and Northwest Territory
sedge are not distinguished throughout most of this review. The common name
"beaked sedge" is used when referring to species identified in the literature as
either C. rostrata or C. utriculata, because this is the most
common name used in the literature. Where information can be uniquely
attributed to Northwest Territory sedge, it is noted.
Carex rostrata hybridizes with C. oligosperma and C. saxatilis;
rare sterile intermediates with C. utriculata are likely hybrids.
Carex utriculata also forms rare sterile intermediate hybrids with
C. exsiccata, C. hystericina, C. lacustris, C. pellita,
C. rotundata, C. saxatilis, and C. vesicaria .
Based on morphological and genetic analyses, Ford and others 
recognized the following hybrids:
Carex ÃÂ paludivagans (C. rotundata ÃÂ utriculata)
Carex ÃÂ physocarpoides (C. saxatilis ÃÂ utriculata)
C. membranacea ÃÂ utriculata