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Schoenoplectus acutus Marsh
Translated Name: Hardstem Bulrush Marsh
Common Name: Hardstem Bulrush Marsh
Unique Identifier: CEGL001840
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association is a common emergent herbaceous wetland found mostly in the interior western U.S. ranging from the Puget Sound of Washington to Montana south to California, Nevada and Utah. Stands occur along low-gradient, meandering, usually perennial streams, river floodplain basins, and around the margins of ponds and shallow lakes especially in backwater areas. Some sites are flooded most of the year with about 1 m of fresh to somewhat saline or alkaline water. Other sites, however, dry up enough in late summer to where the water table drops below the ground surface, though the soils are still partially saturated. Soils are generally deep, organic, alkaline, poorly drained and fine-textured, but range in soil textures from sand to clay to organic muck. The soils may be normal or saline. Vegetation is characterized by a dense tall herbaceous vegetation layer 1-3 m tall that is dominated by Schoenoplectus acutus (= Scirpus acutus), often occurring as a near monoculture. Associated species include low cover of Mentha arvensis, Polygonum amphibium, Sagittaria latifolia, and species of Carex, Eleocharis, Rumex, and Typha. Early in the growing season or at permanently flooded sites, aquatic species such as Potamogeton spp. and Lemna minor may be present to abundant. Stands of this association contain no tree or shrub layer, but a few sites have been invaded by the introduced shrub Tamarix spp.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: This association appears to be somewhat variable in flood regime. It is flooded less time than some of the other Schoenoplectus acutus associations in this semipermanently flooded alliance with some stands included in this association occurring in a seasonally flooded hydrologic regime. However, stands described by Kunze (1994) from western Washington were permanently flooded with shallow water (about 1 m deep). Additional research is needed to determine if the different hydrological regimes indicate a need to split out new associations.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 2 - Shrub & Herb Vegetation
Subclass 2.C - Shrub & Herb Wetland
Formation 2.C.4 - Temperate to Polar Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Division 2.C.4.Nb - Western North American Temperate & Boreal Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Macrogroup Arid West Interior Freshwater Marsh
Group Arid West Interior Freshwater Marsh
Alliance Western Emergent Bulrush Marsh

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL002030 Schoenoplectus acutus - Typha latifolia - (Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani) Sandhills Marsh
CEGL002225 Schoenoplectus acutus - (Schoenoplectus fluviatilis) Freshwater Marsh
CEGL002229 Typha spp. - Schoenoplectus acutus - Mixed Herbs Midwest Marsh
CEGL002623 Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani Temperate Marsh



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
Idaho Scirpus acutus Community Equivalent Certain IDCDC 2005
Montana Scirpus acutus Herbaceous Vegetation Equivalent Certain MTNHP 2002
Oregon Scirpus acutus Community Equivalent Certain Kagan et al. 2004


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Schoenoplectus acutus Association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Christy, J. A. 2004. Native freshwater wetland plant associations of northwestern Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, Oregon State University, Portland, OR.
Relationship: F - Finer
Reference: Sproul, F., T. Keeler-Wolf, P. Gordon-Reedy, J. Dunn, A. Klein, and K. Harper. 2011. Vegetation classification manual for western San Diego County. AECOM, California Department of Fish and Game, San Diego Area Governments.
Related Concept Name: Schoenoplectus acutus
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: McCain, C., and J. A. Christy. 2005. Field guide to riparian plant communities in northwestern Oregon. Technical Paper R6-NR-ECOL-TP-01-05. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland. 357 pp.
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Sawyer, J. O., T. Keeler-Wolf, and J. Evens. 2009. A manual of California vegetation. Second edition. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento CA. 1300 pp.
Related Concept Name: Schoenoplectus acutus Association
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Buck-Diaz, J., S. Batiuk, and J. M. Evens. 2012. Vegetation alliances and associations of the Great Valley ecoregion, California. California Native Society, Sacramento, CA. [http://cnps.org/cnps/vegetation/pdf/great_valley_eco-vegclass2012.pdf]
Related Concept Name: Schoenoplectus acutus association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Crawford, R. C. 2003. Riparian vegetation classification of the Columbia Basin, Washington. Natural Heritage Report 2003-03. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Olympia. 98 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Schoenoplectus acutus var. acutus Association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Crowe, E. A., B. L. Kovalchik, and M. J. Kerr. 2004. Riparian and wetland vegetation of central and eastern Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, Institute for Natural Resources, Oregon State University, Portland. 473 pp. [http://oregonstate.edu/ornhic/ publications.html]
Related Concept Name: Scirpus acutus
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Bourgeron, P. S., and L. D. Engelking, editors. 1994. A preliminary vegetation classification of the western United States. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Western Heritage Task Force, Boulder, CO. 175 pp. plus appendix.
Related Concept Name: Scirpus acutus Community Type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Dethier, M. N. 1990. A marine and estuarine habitat classification system for Washington State. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Department of Natural Resources, Olympia, WA. 56 pp.
Related Concept Name: Scirpus acutus Dominance Type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Evans, S. 1989a. Riparian survey of Washington's Columbia Basin. Unpublished report prepared for The Nature Conservancy Washington Natural Heritage Program, Olympia, Washington.
Related Concept Name: Scirpus acutus Habitat Type
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Hansen, P. L., R. D. Pfister, K. Boggs, B. J. Cook, J. Joy, and D. K. Hinckley. 1995. Classification and management of Montana's riparian and wetland sites. Miscellaneous Publication No. 54. Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, School of Forestry, University of Montana. 646 pp. plus posters.
Related Concept Name: Scirpus acutus community type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Kunze, L. M. 1994. Preliminary classification of native, low elevation, freshwater wetland vegetation in western Washington. Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program. 120 pp.
Related Concept Name: Scirpus pungens Plant Association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Bundy, R. M., J. V. Baumgartner, M. S. Reid, P. S. Bourgeron, H. C. Humphries, and B. L. Donohue. 1996. Ecological classification of wetland plant associations in the Lahontan Valley, Nevada. Prepared for Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge and USDI Fish & Wildlife Service. 53 pp. not including inventories, tables and graphs.
Related Concept Name: Hardstem Bulrush Herbaceous Vegetation (Schoenoplectus acutus var. acutus)
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Christy, J. A., J. S. Kagan, and A. M. Wiedemann. 1998. Plant associations of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area - Siuslaw National Forest, Oregon. Technical Paper R6-NR-ECOL-TP-09-98. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, OR. 196 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES200.877 Temperate Pacific Freshwater Emergent Marsh
CES204.062 North Pacific Coastal Interdunal Wetland
CES300.729 North American Arid West Emergent Marsh
CES304.058 Northern Columbia Plateau Basalt Pothole Pond
CES304.059 Inter-Mountain Basins Interdunal Swale Wetland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G5 (01Feb1996)
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association is a common emergent wetland found mostly in the interior western U.S. from Washington to Montana south to California, Nevada and Utah.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Marine Division
Province Name: Pacific Lowland Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 242 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Willamette Valley and Puget Trough Section
Section Code: 242A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Mediterranean Division
Province Name: California Dry Steppe Province
Province Code: 262 Occurrence Status: Possible
Section Name: Great Valley Section
Section Code: 262A Occurrence Status: Possible
Domain Name: Dry Domain
Division Name: Temperate Steppe Division
Province Name: Great Plains-Palouse Dry Steppe Province
Province Code: 331 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Temperate Desert Division
Province Name: Intermountain Semi-Desert and Desert Province
Province Code: 341 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Uinta Basin Section
Section Code: 341C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lahontan Basin Section
Section Code: 341E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Intermountain Semi-Desert Province
Province Code: 342 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Bighorn Basin Section
Section Code: 342A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northwestern Basin and Range Section
Section Code: 342B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Owyhee Uplands Section
Section Code: 342C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Snake River Basalts Section
Section Code: 342D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Central Basin and Hills Section
Section Code: 342F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: High Lava Plains Section
Section Code: 342H Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Columbia Basin Section
Section Code: 342I Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Marine Regime Mountains
Province Name: Cascade Mixed Forest - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M242 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Oregon and Washington Coast Ranges Section
Section Code: M242A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Western Cascades Section
Section Code: M242B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Eastern Cascades Section
Section Code: M242C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Mediterranean Regime Mountains
Province Name: Sierran Steppe - Mixed Forest - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M261 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Domain Name: Dry Domain
Division Name: Temperate Steppe Regime Mountains
Province Name: Southern Rocky Mountain Steppe - Open Woodland - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M331 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Yellowstone Highlands Section
Section Code: M331A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Overthrust Mountains Section
Section Code: M331D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Uinta Mountains Section
Section Code: M331E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Parks and Ranges Section
Section Code: M331F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Middle Rocky Mountain Steppe - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M332 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Blue Mountains Section
Section Code: M332G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Northern Rocky Mountain Forest - Steppe - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M333 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Okanogan Highlands Section
Section Code: M333A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Flathead Valley Section
Section Code: M333B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Rockies Section
Section Code: M333C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Bitterroot Mountains Section
Section Code: M333D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This wetland association is characterized by a dense tall herbaceous vegetation layer 1-3 m tall that is dominated by Schoenoplectus acutus (= Scirpus acutus), often occurring as a near monoculture. Associated species include low cover of Mentha arvensis, Hordeum jubatum, Asclepias speciosa, Polygonum amphibium, Sagittaria latifolia, and species of Carex, Eleocharis, Rumex, and Typha. Early in the growing season or at the more permanently flooded sites, aquatic species such as Potamogeton spp. and Lemna minor may be present to abundant. Stands of this association contain no tree or shrub layer, but a few sites have been invaded by the introduced shrub Tamarix spp.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Schoenoplectus acutus G5 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 

Vegetation Structure Summary: Graminoids are 1-3 m tall.

Vegetation Structure
Stratum Growth Form
Height of Stratum (m)
Cover
Class
%
Min
Cover %
Max
Cover %
Herb (field) Flowering forb
0.5 - 1 m
 
0
20
Herb (field) Graminoid
2 - 5 m
 
60
90


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This association is a common emergent herbaceous wetland found mostly in the interior western U.S. Elevations range from near sea level to 2030 m. Stands occur along low-gradient, meandering, usually perennial streams, river floodplain basins, in overflow channels and around the margins of ponds and shallow lakes especially in backwater areas. Some sites are flooded most of the year with about 1 m of fresh to somewhat saline or alkaline water. Other sites, however, dry up enough in late summer to where the water table drops below the ground surface, though the soils are still partially saturated. Soils are generally deep, organic, alkaline, poorly drained and fine-textured, but range in soil textures from sand to clay to organic muck. The soils may be normal or saline.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): K.A. Schulz
Element Description Edition Date: 07Sep2005
Element Description Author(s): K.A. Schulz and J. Coles
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 01Feb1996

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


References
  • Bourgeron, P. S., and L. D. Engelking, editors. 1994. A preliminary vegetation classification of the western United States. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Western Heritage Task Force, Boulder, CO. 175 pp. plus appendix.

  • Buck-Diaz, J., S. Batiuk, and J. M. Evens. 2012. Vegetation alliances and associations of the Great Valley ecoregion, California. California Native Society, Sacramento, CA. [http://cnps.org/cnps/vegetation/pdf/great_valley_eco-vegclass2012.pdf]

  • Bundy, R. M., J. V. Baumgartner, M. S. Reid, P. S. Bourgeron, H. C. Humphries, and B. L. Donohue. 1996. Ecological classification of wetland plant associations in the Lahontan Valley, Nevada. Prepared for Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge and USDI Fish & Wildlife Service. 53 pp. not including inventories, tables and graphs.

  • Christy, J. A. 2004. Native freshwater wetland plant associations of northwestern Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, Oregon State University, Portland, OR.

  • Christy, J. A., J. S. Kagan, and A. M. Wiedemann. 1998. Plant associations of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area - Siuslaw National Forest, Oregon. Technical Paper R6-NR-ECOL-TP-09-98. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, OR. 196 pp.

  • Christy, J. A., and L. C. Cornelius. 1980. Katherine Ordway Sycan Marsh Preserve: Preliminary classification of plant communities. The Nature Conservancy, Oregon Field Office, Portland.

  • Coles, J., D. Cogan, D. Salas, A. Wight, G. Wakefield, J. Von Loh, and A. Evenden. 2008a. Vegetation classification and mapping project report, Dinosaur National Monument. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NCPN/NRTR-2008/112. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 814 pp.

  • Crawford, R. C. 2003. Riparian vegetation classification of the Columbia Basin, Washington. Natural Heritage Report 2003-03. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Olympia. 98 pp. plus appendices.

  • Crowe, E. A., B. L. Kovalchik, and M. J. Kerr. 2004. Riparian and wetland vegetation of central and eastern Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, Institute for Natural Resources, Oregon State University, Portland. 473 pp. [http://oregonstate.edu/ornhic/ publications.html]

  • Dethier, M. N. 1990. A marine and estuarine habitat classification system for Washington State. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Department of Natural Resources, Olympia, WA. 56 pp.

  • Driscoll, R. S., D. L. Merkel, D. L. Radloff, D. E. Snyder, and J. S. Hagihara. 1984. An ecological land classification framework for the United States. Miscellaneous Publication No. 1439. USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC. 56 pp.

  • Erixson, J., D. Cogan, and J. Von Loh. 2011b. Vegetation inventory project report: Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area. Natural Resource Report NPS/UCBN/NRR--2011/434 National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO.

  • Evans, S. 1989a. Riparian survey of Washington's Columbia Basin. Unpublished report prepared for The Nature Conservancy Washington Natural Heritage Program, Olympia, Washington.

  • Evans, S. 1989b. Provisional riparian and aquatic wetland plant communities on the Columbia Plateau. Unpublished report prepared under Contract No. C0089098, with Washington State Department of Ecology. 52 pp.

  • Griffiths, D. 1902. Forage conditions in the northern border of the Great Basin. USDA Bureau of Plant Industry Bulletin 15.

  • Hansen, P. L., R. D. Pfister, K. Boggs, B. J. Cook, J. Joy, and D. K. Hinckley. 1995. Classification and management of Montana's riparian and wetland sites. Miscellaneous Publication No. 54. Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, School of Forestry, University of Montana. 646 pp. plus posters.

  • Hansen, P., K. Boggs, and R. Pfister. 1991. Classification and management of riparian and wetland sites in Montana. Unpublished draft version prepared for Montana Riparian Association, Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, School of Forestry, University of Montana, Missoula. 478 pp.

  • IDCDC [Idaho Conservation Data Center]. 2005. Wetland and riparian plant associations in Idaho. Idaho Conservation Data Center, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Boise. [http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/tech/CDC/ecology/wetland_riparian_assoc.cfm] (accessed 14 June 2005).

  • Jankovsky-Jones, M., S. K. Rust, and R. K. Moseley. 1999. Riparian reference areas in Idaho: A catalog of plant associations and conservation sites. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-20. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Ogden, UT. 141 pp.

  • Jefferson, C. A. 1975. Plant communities and succession in Oregon coastal salt marshes. Ph.D. dissertation, Oregon State University, Corvallis. 192 pp.

  • Kagan, J. S., J. A. Christy, M. P. Murray, and J. A. Titus. 2000-2004. Classification of native vegetation of Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Program, Portland. 63 pp.

  • Kierstead, J., and T. Pogson. 1976. A summer flora of the Alvord Basin. Appendix 1. Pages 1-1 to 1-54 in: K. Roberts, editor. A preliminary ecological survey of the Alvord Basin. Final Technical Report. NSF-SOS (76-08175). Eastern Oregon State College. 15 pp. plus 6 appendices.

  • Kunze, L. M. 1994. Preliminary classification of native, low elevation, freshwater wetland vegetation in western Washington. Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program. 120 pp.

  • MTNHP [Montana Natural Heritage Program]. 2002b. List of ecological communities for Montana. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Montana State Library, Helena, MT.

  • Macdonald, K. B. 1977. Plant and animal communities of Pacific North American salt marshes. Pages 167-191 in: V. J. Chapman, editor. Ecosystems of the world. 1. Wet coastal ecosystems. Elsevier Scientific Publications Company, New York.

  • McCain, C., and J. A. Christy. 2005. Field guide to riparian plant communities in northwestern Oregon. Technical Paper R6-NR-ECOL-TP-01-05. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland. 357 pp.

  • Moseley, R. K. 1998. Riparian and wetland community inventory of 14 reference areas in southwestern Idaho. Technical Bulletin 98-5. USDI Bureau of Land Management, Boise State Office, Boise, ID. 52 pp.

  • Padgett, W. G., A. P. Youngblood, and A. H. Winward. 1989. Riparian community type classification of Utah and southeastern Idaho. Research Paper R4-ECOL-89-0. USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT.

  • Salas, D. E., J. Stevens, K. Schulz, M. Artmann, B. Friesen, S. Blauer, E. W. Schweiger, and A. Valdez. 2010b. Vegetation classification and mapping project report: Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Natural Resource Report NPS/ROMN/NRR--2010/179. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO.

  • Sawyer, J. O., T. Keeler-Wolf, and J. Evens. 2009. A manual of California vegetation. Second edition. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento CA. 1300 pp.

  • Sawyer, J. O., and T. Keeler-Wolf. 1995. A manual of California vegetation. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento. 471 pp.

  • Sproul, F., T. Keeler-Wolf, P. Gordon-Reedy, J. Dunn, A. Klein, and K. Harper. 2011. Vegetation classification manual for western San Diego County. AECOM, California Department of Fish and Game, San Diego Area Governments.

  • Thomas, D. W. 1980. Study of the intertidal vegetation of the Columbia River estuary, July-September 1980. Columbia River Estuary Study Task Force, Astoria, OR. 22 pp.

  • Von Loh, J., D. Cogan, K. Schulz, D. Crawford, T. Meyer, J. Pennell, and M. Pucherelli. 2002. USGS-USFWS Vegetation Mapping Program, Ouray National Wildlife Refuge, Utah. USDI Bureau of Reclamation, Remote Sensing and GIS Group, Technical Memorandum 8260-02-03. Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO. 225 pp.

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