About The sedges of Carex subgenus Vignea
The sedge family (Cyperaceae) numbers ca. 5000 species worldwide, making it the third largest family of monocots. The genus Carex L. comprises roughly 40% of the family by species, making it one of the largest genera of angiosperms. Carex species are ecologically important members of floodplain forests, dry prairies, alpine meadows, peat lands, swamp forests, sedge meadows, and a wide range of other communities. Within Carex, subgenus Vignea has consistently been recognized as a monophyletic clade. Vignea includes an estimated 270 to 300 species worldwide and is broadly distributed across six continents. North America, with nearly 200 species, has the greatest diversity of Vignea. A secondary center of diversity, with approximately 150 species, is located in northern and temperate Asia and Europe and includes major circumpolar species complexes. Ecologically, Vignea are critical components of many wetland and riverine habitats, boreal ecosystems, floodplain forests, and sedge meadows, among others (Reznicek 1990). This LifeDesk is built to collect our growing knowledge of the diversity and phylogeny of Carex subgenus Vignea. Work presented on this site is supported in part by NSF DEB Award 0743157 to Andrew Hipp (the primary contact for this site) in collaboration with Eric Roalson (collaborating PI). Additional LifeDesk sites are planned for the other major clades of Carex and related (embedded) genera. Please email Andrew Hipp with any questions about this site.