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Deschampsia cespitosa - Carex viridula Riverscour Wet Meadow
Translated Name: Tufted Hairgrass - Little Green Sedge Riverscour Wet Meadow
Unique Identifier: CEGL006969
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This New Jersey calcareous riverside seep community occurs along sections of river shoreline where winter ice-scouring, limestone outcrops, and natural seepage co-occur. The community is typically characterized by open, sparsely vegetated sections of smooth limestone outcrops that extend for variable lengths from the woodland edge to the river edge or areas of fractured ("latticed") limestone supporting denser vegetation in the crevices. Typically, sites have a north-northwest exposure and are fully exposed to late-day sun. The slope of the outcrops ranges from a gentle incline rising from the river shoreline to a 28 incline at the most steeply sloped sites. Species composition is variable and diverse, but the most frequent species are Symphyotrichum lanceolatum, Deschampsia cespitosa, Carex viridula, Lythrum salicaria, and Phalaris arundinacea. Other characteristic species include Apios americana, Apocynum cannabinum, Artemisia vulgaris, Barbarea vulgaris, Doellingeria umbellata, Eleocharis spp., Eupatorium perfoliatum, Galium boreale, Hypericum mutilum, Juncus canadensis, Juncus dudleyi, Lobelia siphilitica, Lychnis flos-cuculi, Lycopus americanus, Lysimachia ciliata, Myosotis scorpioides, Parnassia glauca, Plantago major, Poa spp., Prunella vulgaris, Ranunculus repens, Rubus odoratus, Scirpus microcarpus, Spiranthes lucida, Viola spp., and Zizia aurea. Several species of Carex are often present, including Carex granularis, Carex hystericina, Carex pellita, Carex scoparia, Carex stipata, Carex vesicaria, Carex viridula, and Carex vulpinoidea. Sparse shrubs may be present, mostly at the upslope end near the forest transition; they include Alnus incana, Platanus occidentalis, Salix spp., Ulmus rubra, Cornus amomum, Rosa palustris, and Spiraea alba.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: Community description based on report completed by Leslie Shank in 1999. All study sites were located in New Jersey along the Delaware River. This community encompasses a wide range of species assemblages. The classification of this type is based on information from a very limited area and must be treated as low confidence pending further inventory and data collection.

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 Gray Alder / Shrubby-cinquefoil Riverscour

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006284 Andropogon gerardii - Campanula rotundifolia - Solidago simplex Riverscour Sparse Vegetation



Related Concepts from Other Classifications


Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.609 Central Appalachian Stream and Riparian


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1 (20May2011)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This association is restricted to three sites along the Delaware River in New Jersey. It is confined to a unique environmental setting, where calcareous groundwater emerges among cobbles on a high-energy rivershore that maintains the open structure by flood scour. The vegetation occupies a total of 11 acres in complex with calcareous rock outcrops. This association shares a small number of species with other riverside seepage areas in the northeastern U.S., but in general there is little species overlap. It should be compared quantitatively to other riverside seep vegetation.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: NJ
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This wet meadow is found in 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: Hudson Valley Section
Section Code: 221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Species composition is variable and diverse, but the most frequent species are Deschampsia cespitosa, Andropogon gerardii, Sphenopholis intermedia, Symphyotrichum lanceolatum (= Aster lanceolatus), Carex viridula, and Phalaris arundinacea. Other characteristic species include Agrostis scabra, Apios americana, Apocynum cannabinum (= Apocynum sibiricum), Artemisia vulgaris, Barbarea vulgaris, Doellingeria umbellata, Eleocharis compressa, Eupatorium perfoliatum, Galium boreale, Hypericum mutilum, Juncus canadensis, Juncus brachycephalus, Juncus dudleyi, Lobelia siphilitica, Lychnis flos-cuculi, Lycopus americanus, Lysimachia ciliata, Myosotis scorpioides, Parnassia glauca, Plantago major, Poa spp., Prunella vulgaris, Ranunculus repens, Salix interior, Scirpus microcarpus, Spiranthes lucida, Symphyotrichum prenanthoides, Viola spp., and Zizia aurea. Several species of Carex are often present, including Carex granularis, Carex hystericina, Carex pellita (= Carex lanuginosa), Carex scoparia, Carex stipata, Carex vesicaria, Carex viridula, and Carex vulpinoidea. Scattered shrubs may be present, such as Rosa blanda, Platanus occidentalis, Ulmus rubra, Physocarpus opulifolius, Betula nigra, Acer saccharinum, Acer rubrum, Spiraea alba, Salix spp., and Alnus spp. These sites are susceptible to invasion by Lythrum salicaria and Microstegium vimineum.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Doellingeria umbellata G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Parnassia glauca G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Spiranthes lucida G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Andropogon gerardii G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex viridula G1 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Deschampsia caespitosa G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Sphenopholis intermedia G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This calcareous riverside seep community occurs along sections of river shoreline where winter ice-scouring, limestone outcrops, and natural seepage co-occur. The substrate is alluvial deposits combined with cobbled substrate in which weathered bedrock has been broken into distinct rocks of various sizes. The seeps are generated in areas where groundwater flows out and over the cobbled substrate, supporting many calciphiles and rare species. Winter ice-scour that removes tall vegetation and woody plants maintains predominantly herbaceous vegetation. The early-successional floristic assemblages include species able to regenerate from buried rootstocks or from seeds dispersed along the shoreline. Seasonal and annual variation in water levels is another important process affecting the vegetation. Typically, sites have a north-northwest exposure and are fully exposed to late-day sun. The slope of the outcrops ranges from a gentle incline rising from the river shoreline to a 28 incline at the most steeply sloped sites.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): L. Shank and J. Shreiner (1999)
Element Description Edition Date: 22Jun2006
Element Description Author(s): S.C. Gawler
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 20May2011
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. 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.

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

  • Perles, S. J., G. S. Podniesinski, E. Eastman, L. A. Sneddon, and S. C. Gawler. 2007. Classification and mapping of vegetation and fire fuel models at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2007/076. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 2 volumes.

  • Shank, L. K., and J. Shreiner. 1999. Globally threatened calcareous riverside seep and calcareous riverside outcrop communities along the New Jersey shoreline of the Delaware River: Summary of rare plant census, community sampling, and recommended monitoring protocol. Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry, Office of Natural Lands Management, Trenton, NJ. 220 pp.


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