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Alnus serrulata / Calamagrostis canadensis Shrub Swamp
Translated Name: Hazel Alder / Bluejoint Shrub Swamp
Common Name: Hazel Alder Shrub Swamp
Unique Identifier: CEGL005082
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This alder swamp is found widely throughout the northeastern United States south of near-boreal regions. These shrublands are found on muck overlying mineral soils (peat deposits are not typical) of upland marsh borders, at the edges of red maple swamps, or in acidic colluvium at bases of slopes. The pH of these systems is broadly circumneutral to somewhat calcareous. The vegetation is dominated by tall shrubs, characterized and usually dominated by Alnus serrulata, sometimes in a mixture with (or rarely replaced by) Alnus incana. Associate shrubs vary somewhat with geography and include Cornus sericea, Rosa palustris, Physocarpus opulifolius, Viburnum dentatum, and Salix spp. Saplings of Acer rubrum are typical. Short shrubs include Spiraea alba var. latifolia and Lindera benzoin. Less frequent shrubs include Cephalanthus occidentalis, Decodon verticillatus, Ilex verticillata, Rhododendron viscosum, and Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis. Herbaceous associates include Calamagrostis canadensis, Osmunda regalis, Glyceria striata, Thelypteris palustris, Galium spp., Typha latifolia, Polygonum hydropiper, Bidens cernua, Galium tinctorium, Cicuta maculata, Peltandra virginica, and Carex stricta.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low - Poorly Documented
Classification Comments: This type overlaps with Alnus incana Shrub Swamp (CEGL002381) where the ranges abut in Ohio, Pennsylvania, southern New England, and southern New York. Where both alder species are present, this type is distinguished from the Alnus incana nominal type by the presence of species with a somewhat more Central Appalachian / Alleghenian affinity such as Physocarpus opulifolius, Rhododendron viscosum, Peltandra virginica, compared to CEGL002381 which is characterized by somewhat more northern species such as Nemopanthus mucronatus and Myrica gale. Where they overlap, the relative dominance of the two alder species should be expected to vary. If Alnus serrulata is present in more than token amounts, consider this type as opposed to CEGL002381.

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 Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Group Eastern North American Shrub Swamp
Alliance Lakeshore & Depression Alder - Willow Shrub Swamp

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL002381 Alnus incana Shrub Swamp
CEGL008474 Alnus serrulata Southeastern 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 Speckled alder - Willow (Alnus incana ssp. rugosa - Salix spp.) community Intersects   Metzler and Barrett 2001
Delaware Smooth Alder Swamp Equivalent Certain Coxe 2009
Massachusetts Shrub Swamp Broader   Swain and Kearsley 2001
Ohio Alder Shrub Swamp Broader   ONHD unpubl. data
Pennsylvania Circumneutral Mixed Shrub Wetland Broader   Zimmerman et al. 2012


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Acer rubrum / Triadenum walteri - Peltandra virginica - Boehmeria cylindrica Shrub Swamp
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Walton, D. P., P. P. Coulling, J. Weber, A. Belden, Jr., and A. C. Chazal. 2001. A plant community classification and natural heritage inventory of the Pamunkey River floodplain. Unpublished report submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Natural Heritage Technical Report 01-19. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 200 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Alnus incana ssp. rugosa - Salix spp. community
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Metzler, K. J., and J. P. Barrett. 2001. Vegetation classification for Connecticut. Draft 5/21/2001. Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources Center, Natural Diversity Database, Hartford.
Related Concept Name: Alder - Ninebark Wetland
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Fike, J. 1999. Terrestrial and palustrine plant communities of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Recreation, Bureau of Forestry, Harrisburg, PA. 86 pp.
Related Concept Name: Coastal Plain - Piedmont Acidic Seepage Fen
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Harrison, J. W., compiler. 2004. Classification of vegetation communities of Maryland: First iteration. A subset of the International Classification of Ecological Communities: Terrestrial Vegetation of the United States, NatureServe. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis. 243 pp.
Related Concept Name: Semipermanent Impoundment
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Fleming, Gary P. Personal communication. Ecologist, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA.
Related Concept Name: Smooth alder shrub thicket
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: CAP [Central Appalachian Forest Working Group]. 1998. Central Appalachian Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES201.582 Laurentian-Acadian Wet Meadow-Shrub Swamp
CES202.608 Central Appalachian River Floodplain


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4G5 (22Mar1999)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VA
Canadian Province Distribution: QCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This alder swamp is found widely throughout the northeastern United States, ranging from central New England south to New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia, and west to Ohio 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
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: Southern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 221E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Continental) Province
Province Code: 222 Occurrence Status: Possible
Division Name: Subtropical Division
Province Name: Southeastern Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 231 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Appalachian Piedmont Section
Section Code: 231A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 232 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Coastal Plains and Flatwoods, Lower Section
Section Code: 232B 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
Division Name: Hot Continental Regime Mountains
Province Name: Central Appalachian Broadleaf Forest - Coniferous Forest - Meadow Province
Province Code: M221 Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Northern Ridge and Valley Section
Section Code: M221A Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The vegetation is dominated by tall shrubs and characterized by Alnus serrulata, Alnus incana, Physocarpus opulifolius, Viburnum dentatum, Cornus amomum, and Salix spp. Saplings of Acer rubrum are typical. Short shrubs include Spiraea alba var. latifolia and Lindera benzoin. Other shrubs present include Cephalanthus occidentalis, Decodon verticillatus, Ilex verticillata, Rhododendron viscosum, and Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (Anderson 1996, Fike 1999). Herbaceous associates include Calamagrostis canadensis, Osmunda regalis, Glyceria striata, Thelypteris palustris, Galium spp., Typha latifolia, Polygonum hydropiper, Bidens cernua, Galium tinctorium, Cicuta maculata, Peltandra virginica, and Carex stricta.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Alnus incana G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Cornus amomum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Alnus serrulata G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Physocarpus opulifolius G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Viburnum dentatum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Peltandra virginica G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Osmunda regalis G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Calamagrostis canadensis G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: These shrublands are found on muck overlying mineral soils (peat deposits are not typical) of upland marsh borders, small upland depressions, at the edges of red maple swamps or other ponded drainages, or in colluvium at bases of slopes. The pH of these systems is broadly circumneutral to somewhat calcareous (Fike 1999).


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Many of these wetlands may have been influenced by beaver or other impoundments.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): L.A. Sneddon, mod. D. Faber-Langendoen
Element Description Edition Date: 15Jan2008
Element Description Author(s): L.A. Sneddon, D. Faber-Langendoen and S.C. Gawler
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 22Mar1999

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


References
  • Anderson, D. M. 1996. The vegetation of Ohio: Two centuries of change. Draft. Ohio Biological Survey.

  • CAP [Central Appalachian Forest Working Group]. 1998. Central Appalachian Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.

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

  • Coxe, R. 2009. Guide to Delaware vegetation communities. Spring 2009 edition. State of Delaware, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Delaware Natural Heritage Program, Smyrna.

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

  • Eichelberger, B. 2011e. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. Circumneutral Mixed Shrub Wetland Factsheet. [http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Community.aspx?=16166] (accessed February 01, 2012)

  • Fike, J. 1999. Terrestrial and palustrine plant communities of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Recreation, Bureau of Forestry, Harrisburg, PA. 86 pp.

  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2011a. Natural communities of Virginia: Ecological groups and community types. Natural Heritage Technical Report 11-07. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 34 pp.

  • Fleming, Gary P. Personal communication. Ecologist, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA.

  • Gawler, S. C., R. E. Zaremba, and B. Agius. 2005. Vegetation mapping at Minute Man National Historical Park. Draft final report. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--XXXX/XXX. National Park Service. Philadelphia, PA.

  • Harrison, J. W., compiler. 2004. Classification of vegetation communities of Maryland: First iteration. A subset of the International Classification of Ecological Communities: Terrestrial Vegetation of the United States, NatureServe. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis. 243 pp.

  • Metzler, K. J., and J. P. Barrett. 2001. Vegetation classification for Connecticut. Draft 5/21/2001. Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources Center, Natural Diversity Database, Hartford.

  • 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.

  • ONHD [Ohio Natural Heritage Database]. No date. Vegetation classification of Ohio and unpublished data. Ohio Natural Heritage Database, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Columbus.

  • Patterson, K. D. 2008a. Vegetation classification and mapping at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Virginia. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2008/125. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Patterson, K. D. 2008e. Vegetation classification and mapping at Petersburg National Battlefield, Virginia. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2008/127. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 235 pp.

  • Patterson, K. D. 2008f. Vegetation classification and mapping at Richmond National Battlefield Park, Virginia. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2008/128. National Park Service. Philadelphia, PA. 244 pp.

  • 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.

  • Swain, P. C., and J. B. Kearsley. 2001. Classification of natural communities of Massachusetts. September 2001 draft. Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Westborough, MA.

  • Taverna, K. and K. D. Patterson. 2008. Vegetation classification and mapping at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Virginia. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR-2008/126. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 277 pp.

  • Walton, D. P., P. P. Coulling, J. Weber, A. Belden, Jr., and A. C. Chazal. 2001. A plant community classification and natural heritage inventory of the Pamunkey River floodplain. Unpublished report submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Natural Heritage Technical Report 01-19. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 200 pp. plus appendices.

  • 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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