More info for the terms: cover
The livestock forage value for water sedge is variable, depending upon the time of year, previous grazing use, and the extent to which it is present . Water sedge is found in moist environments, allowing it to stay green late into the growing season and provide forage when other species have gone dormant . Given that water sedge is found in wet places, it is generally not grazed until late summer and fall when soils have dried . Lewis  notes that cattle and horses in Utah heavily graze water sedge on overgrazed rangelands.
Ungulates: The forage value of water sedge for ungulates varies widely. Sedge meadows (water sedge and wheat sedge) are important grazing ground for wood bison in the Mackenzie Bison Sanctuary, Northwest Territories. During June of 1986, water and wheat sedge composed over 80% of wood bison's diet. By late summer and early fall, wood bison grazed the sedges substantially less than in early summer . Water sedge is an important forage species for caribou on Alaska's arctic slope . In northwestern Alaska, Klein  observed caribou actively selecting water sedge as winter forage. Water sedge is the most important winter forage species for muskox on Victoria Island in the Canadian High Arctic. Water sedge composes from 46.2% to 47.4% of their diet during early winter, and from 38.2% to 47.9% during late winter . Water sedge is a valuable forage species for Alaskan reindeer during the summer . Trudell and White  observed reindeer of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, eating water sedge during the peak growing season (late July to mid-August). The eating rate (g/minuteÂ±s x) and biomass eaten (g/mÂ²Â±s x) of water sedge by reindeer was 2.4Â±1.3 and 25.9Â±3.2, respectively. Sedge meadows, including those dominated by C. a. var. stans in the High Arctic of the Northwest Territories, provide the main grazing grounds for muskox and caribou [59,92]. On the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, water sedge is a substantial constituent of Peary caribou and muskox diets .
Water sedge is an abundant species in sedge meadows on southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. During March through May the Columbian black-tailed deer feeds on water sedge, but it is not an integral part of its diet . The diet of free-ranging wood bison of the Slave River lowlands, Northwest Territories, is composed of less than 10% water sedge . The average standing biomass (kg/haÂ±s x) of water sedge on the Slave River lowlands of the Northwest Territories is 190Â±70 in wet habitats . LeResche and Davis  observed over 28,000 bites taken by moose on Kenai Peninsula, Alaska in the summer of 1971. Of those bites observed, approximately 4% were taken from water sedge plants .
In Montana and Washington riparian and wetland sites, water sedge provides fair food for elk, mule deer, and whitetail deer, but poor food for pronghorn [35,87,88,120].
Waterfowl: Water sedge is an important source of food for a variety of large waterfowl. In northern Alaska along the Colville River delta, water sedge is heavily grazed by greater white-fronted geese, tundra swans, and black brant during late summer . Aerial culms of water sedge provide autumn forage for lesser snow geese in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska . Water sedge is a dominant species along the edges of Teshekpuk Lake within the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska. The area supports large populations of Canada geese, black brant, white-fronted geese, and snow geese that depend upon water sedge as a food source . After snowmelt in spring and in areas with shallow standing water, lesser snow geese at Eskimo Point, Northwest Territories, pull shoots of C. a. var. stans and C. a. var. aquatilis from the ground . Monda and others  observed tundra swan in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, actively eating water sedge plants from 20 May to 15 September in 1988 and 1990.
Water sedge is grazed by lesser snow geese at La Perouse Bay, Manitoba. While the leaf tips are very high in nitrogen, it is not preferentially grazed because of its tough, tall leaves . Lesser snow geese goslings from La Perouse Bay, fed water sedge in a controlled trial, lost weight when compared to goslings feeding exclusively on commercial feed .
At Bylot Island, Northwest Territories, water sedge is an important food for lesser snow geese . The basal stems of water sedge constituted from 0.7% to 71.0% of the esophageal contents of lesser snow geese during 1989 to 1990. The leaves and rhizomes are also fed on by lesser snow geese, making up from 0.1% to 33% of their diets. The lesser snow geese were either prelaying, laying, and/or incubating during the study . In the years 1983 and 1988, Hughes and others  observed greater snow geese goslings feeding on basal stems of C. a. var. stans on Bylot Island.
Rodents/small mammals: In Montana and Washington riparian and wetland sites, water sedge provides fair food for small mammals [35,87,88,120]. Sedge meadows, including those dominated by C. a. var. stans in the High Arctic of the Northwest Territories, provide the main grazing grounds for collared lemmings and arctic hares [59,92].
Palatability/nutritional value: Water sedge is moderately palatable [116,137]. Water sedge palatability in Montana and Washington riparian and wetland sites is listed as good for cattle, domestic sheep, and horses [35,87,88,120]. Water sedge has fair energy and nutritional value [35,87,88,120].
The mean nutrient content of water sedge at the southern end of Lake St. Francis, Quebec, is presented in the table below. The nutrient content provided is averaged across the growing season. Water sedge had the lowest nutrient content of the sedges (wooly sedge, lesser panicled sedge, tussock sedge, and hairy sedge (Carex lacustris)) studied at Lake St. Francis .
Mean tissue nutrient concentration (mg/g)
Ash Ca P N K Na Mg Cu Fe Mn Zn 47.38 4.565 1.256 11.53 13.72 0.618 1.385 0.007 0.095 0.099 0.058
The mean nutritional content of water sedge at Pole Mountain, Wyoming, during early August 1944 to 1947 is presented in the table below. For further water sedge nutritional data during the growing seasons 1944 to 1947 at Pole Mountain see the review by Beath and Hamilton .
Year Ca (%) P (%) Moisture (%) Ash (%) Protein (%) Ether (%) Fiber (%) Carotene (mcg/g) 1944 0.55 0.22 5.65 7.71 12.32 3.27 29.48 169 1945 0.34 0.28 7.55 7.76 13.11 3.10 30.74 145 1946 0.46 0.39 6.88 7.26 14.39 4.83 25.86 308 1947 0.44 0.40 6.0 6.77 3.68 34.88 9.59 195
On Banks Island, the westernmost island of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, water sedge crude protein, digestibility, lignin, fiber, and energy content increase from the beginning of the growing season (mid-June) until the peak of the growing season (mid- to late July) and then begin to decline thereafter. During the summers 1993 to 1998, crude protein of water sedge ranged from 5% to 20%, mean percent digestibility ranged from approximately 15% to 37%, mean lignin content ranged from approximately 2% to 3%, mean percent fiber content ranged from approximately 30% to 40%, and energy content ranged from approximately 18 kJ/g to 20 kJ/g. The nutritional value of water sedge was highest in this study in the years when available moisture was greatest [131,132].
The nutritional value of water sedge (whole plants collected May 1971) at Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, is presented in the table below :
P (%) Ca (%) K (%) Mg (%) Na (%) Protein (%) Ether (%) Fiber (%) Ash (%) Carbohydrates (%) 0.10 0.15 0.92 0.10 0.010 5.4 2.2 31.6 3.6 53.0
Cover value: Water sedge is an excellent source of cover in riparian and wetland communities for birds and small mammals.
Water sedge provides cover for birds and small mammals at Wet Creek and Summit Creek, Idaho [46,146,147,148]. On Bylot Island, Northwest Territories, C. a. var. stans provides cover for greater snow geese from predators such as arctic fox, glaucous gull, long-tailed jaeger, parasitic jaeger, and common raven . Water sedge stands in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, provide prime habitat for nesting tundra swans . Water sedge-common cattail (Typha latifolia) stands in the Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada, provide critical nesting habitat for whooping cranes . Yellow rail build nests in water sedge stands along the shore of Lake St. Francis, Quebec .
In late July 1986, Kerbes and others  identified up to 22 lesser snow geese nests/3.7 acres in C. a. var. stans and C. a. var. aquatilis stands on the west coast of Hudson Bay near Eskimo Point, Northwest Territories.
In Montana and Washington wetland and riparian zones, water sedge provides good cover for waterfowl, small nongame birds, and small mammals [35,87,88,120]. White spruce/bog birch/water sedge communities provide cover for a variety of rodent species in Kluane National Park, Yukon Territory .
In Montana, water sedge communities are often found adjacent to waterways supporting trout. The dense sod created by water sedge hangs over streambanks, creating valuable cover and shade for fish .