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Carex torta - Apocynum cannabinum - Cyperus spp. Riverbed Vegetation
Translated Name: Twisted Sedge - Indian-hemp - Flatsedge species Riverbed Vegetation
Common Name: Northeastern Temperate Cobble Scour Rivershore
Unique Identifier: CEGL006536
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This herbaceous vegetation is found from New England south through New York and Pennsylvania and occurs on large coarse substrates deposited along medium- to high-energy river channels and, less frequently, exposed lakeshores with heavy wave action. Seasonal flooding and ice-scour maintain the open nature of these communities; generally, they develop in areas of the active channel that are exposed at low water or in drought years. Vegetation can be sparse to dense depending on degree of flooding and length of exposure. Characteristic perennial species that tolerate inundation and flood scouring include Carex torta and low Salix spp. Associated species tend to vary widely from site to site, can be diverse, and may be sparse; they include Apocynum cannabinum, Verbena hastata, Symphyotrichum puniceum, Doellingeria umbellata, Solidago rugosa, Solidago canadensis, Solidago gigantea, Calamagrostis canadensis, Phalaris arundinacea, Scirpus expansus, Scirpus cyperinus, Thelypteris palustris, Scutellaria lateriflora, Agrostis stolonifera, Dichanthelium clandestinum, Eutrochium maculatum, Eupatorium perfoliatum, Elymus riparius, Cyperus strigosus and other Cyperus spp., Eleocharis spp., Lobelia cardinalis, Onoclea sensibilis, Viola spp., Clematis virginiana, Polygonum amphibium, Polygonum hydropiper, Polygonum pensylvanicum, Polygonum sagittatum, Polygonum persicaria, Polygonum punctatum, Polygonum lapathifolium, Schizachyrium scoparium, Andropogon gerardii, and occasionally Sanguisorba canadensis. Battered and stunted shrubs and trees can occur, including Salix sericea, Salix eriocephala, Cornus amomum, Betula nigra, Populus deltoides, and Platanus occidentalis. Nonvascular plants can be sparse, but where present can include Bryum spp. Invasive, exotic species can be problematic in these areas, especially Tussilago farfara, Lythrum salicaria, Polygonum cuspidatum, Polygonum persicaria, and in the southern portion of the range Microstegium vimineum.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: This type was originally developed for the Northern Appalachians but later extended south to Pennsylvania. This is a very heterogeneous type, but analysis of the Pennsylvania data failed to reveal any consistent variants. Ongoing work (as of 2005) in the National Capital Region (Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia) is generating some plot data that may help determine if a different temporarily flooded herbaceous river-scour association is needed for that region. If so, the transition area from this more northern type to the more southern type will need to be defined, and that may alter the range of this type.

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 Wet Shoreline Vegetation
Group Eastern North American Riverine Wetland Vegetation
Alliance Twisted Sedge Riverbed

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004103 Carex torta Riverbed 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
Maine Twisted sedge cobble rivershore Equivalent   Gawler and Cutko 2010
Massachusetts High-energy Riverbank Community Broader   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Hampshire Boulder - cobble river channel Finer   Sperduto and Nichols 2004
New Hampshire Cobble - sand river channel Finer   Sperduto and Nichols 2004
New Hampshire Twisted sedge low riverbank Finer   Sperduto 2000
New York Cobble shore wet meadow Intersects   Edinger et al. 2002
New York Riverside sand/gravel bar Intersects   Edinger et al. 2002
Pennsylvania Periodically Exposed Shoreline Community Intersects   Zimmerman et al. 2012
Vermont River Cobble Shore Broader   Thompson and Sorenson 2000
Vermont River Sand or Gravel Shore Broader   Thompson and Sorenson 2000


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Carex torta temporarily flooded grasslands
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: Riverine Scour Vegetation
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Perles, S., G. Podniesinski, and J. Wagner. 2004. Classification, assessment and protection of non-forested floodplain wetlands of the Susquehanna drainage. Report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, Harrisburg. 128 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.608 Central Appalachian River Floodplain
CES202.609 Central Appalachian Stream and Riparian


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4G5 (02Feb2005)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: This community is common in tributaries in the upper portions of watersheds. The rank within Pennsylvania is S3; considering its whole range, its rank should probably be changed to G5.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, PA, RIpotentially occurs, VT
Canadian Province Distribution: QCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This association is found from New England south through New York and Pennsylvania.

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: Northern Glaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
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
Section Name: Northern Appalachian Piedmont Section
Section Code: 221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 221E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Warm Continental Regime Mountains
Province Name: Adirondack-New England Mixed Forest - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M212 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Vermont-New Hampshire Upland Section
Section Code: M212B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Green, Taconic, Berkshire Mountain Section
Section Code: M212C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Catskill Mountain Section
Section Code: M212E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Hot Continental Regime Mountains
Province Name: Central Appalachian Broadleaf Forest - Coniferous Forest - Meadow Province
Province Code: M221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Ridge and Valley Section
Section Code: M221A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Vegetation can be sparse to dense depending on degree of flooding and length of exposure. Characteristic perennial species that tolerate inundation and flood scouring include Carex torta and low Salix spp. Associated species tend to vary widely from site to site, can be diverse, and may be sparse; they include Apocynum cannabinum, Verbena hastata, Symphyotrichum puniceum (= Aster puniceus), Doellingeria umbellata (= Aster umbellatus), Solidago rugosa, Solidago canadensis, Solidago gigantea, Calamagrostis canadensis, Phalaris arundinacea, Scirpus expansus, Scirpus cyperinus, Thelypteris palustris, Scutellaria lateriflora, Agrostis stolonifera, Dichanthelium clandestinum, Eutrochium maculatum (= Eupatorium maculatum), Eupatorium perfoliatum, Elymus riparius, Cyperus strigosus and other Cyperus spp., Eleocharis spp., Lobelia cardinalis, Onoclea sensibilis, Viola spp., Clematis virginiana, Polygonum amphibium, Polygonum hydropiper, Polygonum pensylvanicum, Polygonum sagittatum, Polygonum persicaria, Polygonum punctatum, Polygonum lapathifolium, Schizachyrium scoparium, Andropogon gerardii, and occasionally Sanguisorba canadensis. Battered and stunted shrubs and trees can occur, including Salix sericea, Salix eriocephala, Cornus amomum, Betula nigra, Populus deltoides, and Platanus occidentalis. Nonvascular plants can be sparse, but where present can include Bryum spp. Invasive, exotic species can be problematic in these areas, especially Tussilago farfara, Lythrum salicaria, Polygonum cuspidatum, Polygonum persicaria, and in the southern portion of the range Microstegium vimineum.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Apocynum cannabinum G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Lythrum salicaria G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Persicaria maculosa G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Polygonum cuspidatum G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Tussilago farfara G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Carex torta G4 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Microstegium vimineum G4 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This community occurs on cobble, gravel, and sand bars or banks of streams and rivers with medium to high gradients. Seasonal flooding and ice-scour maintain the open nature of these communities.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: These are highly dynamic communities with regular disturbance from flooding and ice-scour. Vegetation cover can be inversely proportional to inundation and scour.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Northern Appalachian Planning Team
Element Description Edition Date: 24Aug2006
Element Description Author(s): S.L. Neid and S.C. Gawler
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 09Jan2006
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): S.C. Gawler, mod. E. Largay

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


References
  • CDPNQ [Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec]. No date. Unpublished data. Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec, Québec.

  • 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.

  • Gawler, S. C. 2002. Natural landscapes of Maine: A guide to vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta, ME.

  • Gawler, S. C., and A. Cutko. 2010. Natural landscapes of Maine: A classification of vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta.

  • Gawler, S. C., and P. S. Bowman. 2012. Vegetation classification and mapping at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, New Hampshire. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2012/584.1. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO.

  • 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.

  • Nichols, W. F., J. M. Hoy, and D. D. Sperduto. 2001. Open riparian communities and riparian complexes in New Hampshire. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Inventory, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord, NH. 82 pp. plus appendices.

  • Perles, S., G. Podniesinski, and J. Wagner. 2004. Classification, assessment and protection of non-forested floodplain wetlands of the Susquehanna drainage. Report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, Harrisburg. 128 pp.

  • Sperduto, D. D., and W. F. Nichols. 2004. Natural communities of New Hampshire: A guide and classification. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord. 242 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]

  • Thompson, E. H., and E. R. Sorenson. 2005. Wetland, woodland, wildland: A guide to the natural communities of Vermont. The Nature Conservancy and the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. University Press of New England, Hanover, NH. 456 pp.

  • Zimmerman, E. A. 2011x. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. Periodically Exposed Shoreline Community Factsheet. [http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Community.aspx?=30014] (accessed February 14, 2012)

  • Zimmerman, E. A., T. Davis, M. A. Furedi, B. Eichelberger, J. McPherson, S. Seymour, G. Podniesinski, N. Dewar, and J. Wagner, editors. 2012. Terrestrial and palustrine plant communities of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Harrisburg. [http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Communities.aspx]


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