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Acer rubrum - Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Polygonum spp. Floodplain Forest
Translated Name: Red Maple - Green Ash / Smartweed species Floodplain Forest
Common Name: Freshwater Tidal Woodland
Unique Identifier: CEGL006165
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This freshwater tidal woodland occurs on tidal rivers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. It is found on larger rivers with gradual slopes and is flooded by diurnal tides. The substrate is very wet. The canopy is characterized by Acer rubrum, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, with Ulmus rubra and Carpinus caroliniana being frequent associates and with Chamaecyparis thyoides, Thuja occidentalis, or Quercus bicolor occurring locally in some occurrences. The shrub layer is characterized by Ilex verticillata, Alnus serrulata, Clethra alnifolia, Rhododendron viscosum, Vaccinium corymbosum, Lindera benzoin, Cornus racemosa, Cornus amomum, Cornus sericea, Cephalanthus occidentalis, and others. The herbaceous layer is a very diverse mixture of freshwater tidal marsh species and palustrine species and is characterized by Peltandra virginica, Pontederia cordata, Impatiens capensis, Leersia oryzoides, Onoclea sensibilis, Pilea pumila, Polygonum punctatum, Polygonum hydropiper, Polygonum hydropiperoides, Polygonum sagittatum, Zizania aquatica, Asclepias incarnata, and Arisaema triphyllum. This freshwater tidal swamp occurs at the upper limit of tidal influence along coastal rivers. They are best developed along larger rivers with a gradual elevation gradient such that tidal influence occurs over considerable distance. There is diurnal flooding with freshwater. Substrate is continuously wet and there is distinct hummock-and-hollow microtopography.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: This association (CEGL006165) has affinities with Fraxinus pennsylvanica - (Ulmus americana) - Pinus taeda / Morella cerifera - Juniperus virginiana var. silicicola Tidal Forest (CEGL004483) and Fraxinus profunda - Nyssa biflora - (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) / Ilex verticillata / Polygonum arifolium Tidal Forest (CEGL006287) because it is freshwater tidal, like those, but it lacks the Coastal Plain characteristic species.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 1 - Forest & Woodland
Subclass 1.B - Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland
Formation 1.B.3 - Temperate Flooded & Swamp Forest
Division 1.B.3.Na - Eastern North American-Great Plains Flooded & Swamp Forest
Macrogroup Laurentian-Acadian Flooded & Swamp Forest
Group Silver Maple - Green Ash - Black Ash Floodplain Forest
Alliance Silver Maple - Red Maple - American Elm Floodplain Forest

This is the revised vegetation hierarchy. For more information see Classification Sources and usnvc.org.

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006287 Fraxinus profunda - Nyssa biflora - (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) / Ilex verticillata / Polygonum arifolium Tidal Forest
CEGL006337 Alnus (incana ssp. rugosa, serrulata) - Cornus amomum Tidal Shrub Swamp



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Related Subnational Community Units
These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.
In the U.S., contact the state Heritage Program for the most complete and up-to-date information at: http://www.natureserve.org/natureserve-network.
Information from programs in other jurisdictions will be posted when they are made available.
Subnation Concept Name Relationship to Standard Confidence Reference
Connecticut Acer rubrum - Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Polygonum spp. community Equivalent   Metzler and Barrett 2006
Delaware Freshwater Tidal Woodland Equivalent Certain Coxe 2009
Massachusetts Fresh/Brackish Tidal Swamp Equivalent   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Jersey Acer rubrum - Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Polygonum spp. Woodland Equivalent Certain Breden et al. 2001
New Jersey Freshwater tidal swamp Undetermined   Breden 1989
New York Freshwater tidal swamp Broader   Edinger et al. 2002


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Acer rubrum - Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Polygonum spp. community
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Metzler, K., and J. Barrett. 2006. The vegetation of Connecticut: A preliminary classification. State Geological and Natural History Survey, Report of Investigations No. 12. Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Hartford, CT.
Related Concept Name: Southern New England /Gulf of Maine Fresh/ Brackish Tidal Swamp
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.282 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Tidal Swamp


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2 (03Dec1998)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: This freshwater tidal swamp community is restricted to the freshwater tidal portions of rivers in Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. Size range of individual occurrences is a few acres to 100 acres in the larger examples. The average size is likely to be 5-20 acres.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, DE, MA, NJ, NY
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association is confined to tidal rivers of Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Hot Continental Division
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Oceanic) Province
Province Code: 221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lower New England Section
Section Code: 221A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Hudson Valley Section
Section Code: 221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Subtropical Division
Province Name: Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 232 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain Section
Section Code: 232A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The canopy is characterized by Acer rubrum and Fraxinus pennsylvanica, with Ulmus rubra, Ulmus americana, Fraxinus nigra, and Carpinus caroliniana being frequent associates and with Chamaecyparis thyoides, Thuja occidentalis, or Quercus bicolor occurring locally in some occurrences. The shrub layer is characterized by Ilex verticillata, Alnus serrulata, Alnus incana, Clethra alnifolia, Rhododendron viscosum, Vaccinium corymbosum, Lindera benzoin, Cornus racemosa, Cornus amomum, Cornus sericea, Cephalanthus occidentalis, and others. The herbaceous layer is a very diverse mixture of freshwater tidal marsh species and palustrine species and is characterized by Peltandra virginica, Pontederia cordata, Impatiens capensis, Leersia oryzoides, Onoclea sensibilis, Pilea pumila, Polygonum punctatum, Polygonum hydropiper, Polygonum hydropiperoides, Polygonum sagittatum, Zizania aquatica, Asclepias incarnata, and Arisaema triphyllum, among many others.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer rubrum G2 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Fraxinus pennsylvanica G2 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Persicaria hydropiper G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Persicaria hydropiperoides G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Persicaria sagittata G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Polygonum punctatum G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This freshwater tidal swamp occurs at the upper limit of tidal influence along coastal rivers. It is best developed along larger rivers with a gradual elevation gradient such that tidal influence occurs over considerable distance. There is diurnal flooding with freshwater. Substrate is continuously wet and there is distinct hummock-and-hollow microtopography.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: This swamp receives diurnal flooding with fresh tidal waters and occurs at the upper limit of tidal flooding. The tidal swamp forest transitions to tidal shrubland or to freshwater tidal marsh associations.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): K.J. Metzler and J.P. Barrett (2006)
Element Description Edition Date: 09May2002
Element Description Author(s): S.L. Neid
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 02Dec1998
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): L.A. Sneddon

Ecological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).


References
  • Breden, T. F. 1988. A tidal swamp forest in New Jersey. Bartonia 54:146.

  • Breden, T. F. 1989. A preliminary natural community classification for New Jersey. Pages 157-191 in: E. F. Karlin, editor. New Jersey's rare and endangered plants and animals. Institute for Environmental Studies, Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ. 280 pp.

  • Breden, T. F., Y. R. Alger, K. S. Walz, and A. G. Windisch. 2001. Classification of vegetation communities of New Jersey: Second iteration. Association for Biodiversity Information and New Jersey Natural Heritage Program, Office of Natural Lands Management, Division of Parks and Forestry, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Trenton.

  • Eastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boston, MA.

  • Edinger, G. J., D. J. Evans, S. Gebauer, T. G. Howard, D. M. Hunt, and A. M. Olivero, editors. 2014a. Ecological communities of New York state. Second edition. A revised and expanded edition of Carol Reschke's ecological communities of New York state. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY.

  • Metzler, K., and J. Barrett. 2006. The vegetation of Connecticut: A preliminary classification. State Geological and Natural History Survey, Report of Investigations No. 12. Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Hartford, CT.

  • Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.

  • Reschke, C. 1990. Ecological communities of New York State. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Latham, NY. 96 pp.

  • Swain, P. C., and J. B. Kearsley. 2014. Classification of the natural communities of Massachusetts. Version 2.0. Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Westborough, MA. [http://www.mass.gov/nhesp/http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/natural-heritage/natural-communities/classification-of-natural-communities.html]


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