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Spartina pectinata - Muhlenbergia richardsonis - Sporobolus heterolepis - Oligoneuron album - Euthamia graminifolia Riverscour Sparse Vegetation
Translated Name: Prairie Cordgrass - Mat Muhly - Prairie Dropseed - Prairie Goldenrod - Flat-top Goldentop Riverscour Sparse Vegetation
Common Name: River Ledge Limestone Pavement
Unique Identifier: CEGL005233
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This river ledge pavement community is found in the United States and Canada, ranging from northern Michigan, northern Wisconsin and southern Ontario to northern New York. Stands occur as small patches on limestone ledges along a river's shore; these ledges are scoured by river water and ice during periods of peak water flow. Typically, the community has an open canopy with less than 10% cover of trees or shrubs. The ground layer is dominated by grasses and sedges, or a mosaic of pavement patches and grassy patches. Cover of herbs is variable, with some areas having nearly 100% cover. Other areas have a lot of exposed rock pavement, with as little as 15% cover of herbs, and are confined to linear rock crevices. Characteristic species include Euthamia graminifolia, Muhlenbergia richardsonis, Oligoneuron album, Spartina pectinata, and Sporobolus heterolepis.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: This community type is not considered alvar because the river shoreline processes (including annual flooding and ice-scouring) seem to be more important influences of plant species composition and structure than the processes characteristic of alvar communities (such as alternating wet and dry soil moisture regimes and infrequent fire). This community also seems distinct from alvar types because of the dominance of Spartina pectinata and Muhlenbergia richardsonis, which are not found in other alvar types (Reschke et al. 1998).

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.Nd - Eastern North American Temperate & Boreal Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Macrogroup Eastern North American Riverscour Vegetation
Group Laurentian-Acadian Riverscour Vegetation
Alliance Sub-boreal Riverscour

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL002302 Bedrock - Boulder Rivershore Vegetation



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
Michigan Alvar Broader   Kost et al. 2007
New York Calcareous shoreline outcrop Undetermined   Edinger et al. 2002
Wisconsin Bedrock shore Broader   WNHI 2011


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Spartina pectinata - Muhlenbergia richardsonis - Sporobolus heterolepis - Oligoneuron album - Euthamia graminifolia Herbaceous Vegetation
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Faber-Langendoen, D., editor. 2001. Plant communities of the Midwest: Classification in an ecological context. Association for Biodiversity Information, Arlington, VA. 61 pp. plus appendix (705 pp.).

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES201.587 Laurentian-Acadian Floodplain Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1 (21May1998)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This pavement community is known from four sites, two in northern Michigan along the Escanaba River, one in Ontario along the Maitland River, and one in New York along the Black River. Type is present in Wisconsin, but is extremely rare and no good EOs are known. A few occurrences may yet be found elsewhere. Only preliminary surveys have been conducted at the Ontario and New York sites, and their sizes are unknown. The Michigan sites have a total of 45 acres (15 ha).

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: MI, NY, WI
Canadian Province Distribution: ON
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This river ledge pavement community is found in the United States and Canada, ranging from northern Michigan, northern Wisconsin and southern Ontario to northern New York.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Warm Continental Division
Province Name: Laurentian Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 212 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: St. Lawrence and Champlain Valley Section
Section Code: 212E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Great Lakes Section
Section Code: 212H Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Typically, the community has an open canopy with less than 10% cover of trees or shrubs. The ground layer is dominated by grasses and sedges, or a mosaic of pavement patches and grassy patches. Cover of herbs is variable, with some areas having nearly 100% cover, and other areas having a lot of exposed rock pavement, with as little as 15% cover of herbs, and these confined to linear rock crevices. Characteristic species include Euthamia graminifolia, Muhlenbergia richardsonis, Oligoneuron album (= Solidago ptarmicoides), Spartina pectinata, and Sporobolus heterolepis (Reschke et al. 1998).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Euthamia graminifolia G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Oligoneuron album G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Muhlenbergia richardsonis G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Spartina pectinata G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Sporobolus heterolepis G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: Stands occur as small patches on limestone ledges along river shores (Reschke et al. 1998).


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Scouring by river water and ice occur during periods of peak waterflow (Reschke et al. 1998).


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): C. Reschke et al. (1998)
Element Description Edition Date: 22Apr1999
Element Description Author(s): C. Reschke
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 21May1998

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


References
  • 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.

  • Faber-Langendoen, D., editor. 2001. Plant communities of the Midwest: Classification in an ecological context. Association for Biodiversity Information, Arlington, VA. 61 pp. plus appendix (705 pp.).

  • Kost, M. A., D. A. Albert, J. G. Cohen, B. S. Slaughter, R. K. Schillo, C. R. Weber, and K. A. Chapman. 2007. Natural communities of Michigan: Classification and description. Report No. 2007-21, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Lansing. 314 pp. [http://web4.msue.msu.edu/mnfi/reports/2007-21_Natural_Communites_of_Michigan_Classification_and_Description.pdf]

  • Midwestern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Minneapolis, MN.

  • Reschke, C., R. Reid, J. Jones, T. Feeney, and H. Potter, on behalf of the Alvar Working Group. 1998. Conserving Great Lakes Alvars. Final Technical Report of the International Alvar Conservation Initiative. The Nature Conservancy, Great Lakes Program, Chicago, IL. 119 pp. plus 4 appendices.

  • WDNR [Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources]. 2015. The ecological landscapes of Wisconsin: An assessment of ecological resources and a guide to planning sustainable management. PUB-SS-1131 2015. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison. [http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/landscapes/Book.html]


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