In the United States Sphagnum portoricense Hampe is a coastal plain species ranging from New York to Florida and Texas, primarily at elevations < 100 m. It extends further south into the tropics (from near sea level to 2150 m), occurring in Mexico, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Guyana and the Caribbean (Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico). A recent report of S. portoricense in China is based upon misidentified specimens. The species has a montane distribution in Puerto Rico, being most abundant in the palo colorado forests and cloud forests of the Caribbean National Forest (El Yunque). Although having strong aquatic tendencies on the coastal plain in the United States, tropical populations often occur in wet, but not inundated habitats.
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