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Cephalanthus occidentalis / Polygonum hydropiperoides - Panicum verrucosum Shrub Swamp
Translated Name: Common Buttonbush / Swamp Smartweed - Warty Panicgrass Shrub Swamp
Common Name: Coastal Plain Buttonbush Pond
Unique Identifier: CEGL006242
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This pond community is known from the Coastal Plain of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia (and possibly other states). Examples include seasonally flooded shrublands that occur in relatively small basins that draw down entirely during dry years, exposing some bare substrate by the end of the growing season. The substrate is a shallow organic layer overlying silt loam or clay loam. Cephalanthus occidentalis is the dominant shrub, but Decodon verticillatus may also be present. Characteristic herbs are Panicum verrucosum, Dulichium arundinaceum, Polygonum hydropiperoides, Torreyochloa pallida, Rhexia virginica, Polygonum amphibium, Juncus repens, and Panicum hemitomon. Other associates may include Bidens frondosa, Scirpus cyperinus, Proserpinaca palustris, Triadenum virginicum, Dichanthelium spretum (= Panicum spretum), Scleria reticularis, and Fimbristylis autumnalis. Species composition of this community tends to be variable among occurrences.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: Excellent Coastal Plain examples of this community are found at the Grafton Ponds complex in York County, Virginia (Rawinski 1997).

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.Ne - Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Macrogroup Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Plain Wet Prairie & Marsh
Group Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Plain Shrub Swamp
Alliance Coastal Plain Buttonbush Shrub Swamp

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL003746 (Cephalanthus occidentalis) / Dulichium arundinaceum - (Polygonum hydropiperoides, Glyceria acutiflora, Proserpinaca palustris) Marsh
CEGL004075 Cephalanthus occidentalis - (Leucothoe racemosa) / Carex joorii 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These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.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
Delaware Buttonbush Coastal Plain Pond Equivalent Certain Coxe 2009
Maryland Cephalanthus occidentalis / Polygonum hydropiperoides - Panicum verrucosum Shrubland Equivalent Certain Harrison 2011


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Cephalanthus occidentalis / Panicum verrucosum - Dichanthelium spretum - Rhexia virginica - Fimbristylis autumnalis Shrubland
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Clancy, K. 1996. Natural communities of Delaware. Unpublished review draft. Delaware Natural Heritage Program, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Delaware Division of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Smyrna, DE. 52 pp.
Related Concept Name: Cephalanthus occidentalis / Polygonum hydropiperoides - Panicum verrucosum Shrubland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
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.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Walz, K. S., S. Stanford, N. L. Adamson, L. Kelly, K. Anderson, K. Laidig, and J. Bonnell. 2006b. Coastal Plain intermittent pondshore communities of New Jersey. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry, Office of Natural Lands Management, Natural Heritage Program, Trenton, NJ. 50 pp.
Related Concept Name: Cephalanthus occidentalis / Polygonum hydropiperoides - Torreyochloa pallida - Panicum verrucosum Shrubland
Relationship: F - Finer
Reference: Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, D. P. Walton, K. M. McCoy, and M. R. Parrish. 2001. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. First approximation. Natural Heritage Technical Report 01-1. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 76 pp.
Related Concept Name: Cephalanthus occidentalis / Torreyochloa pallida - Decodon verticillatus Association
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rawinski, T. J. 1997. Vegetation ecology of the Grafton Ponds, York County, Virginia, with notes on waterfowl use. Natural Heritage Technical Report 97-10. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 42 pp. plus appendix.
Related Concept Name: Cephalanthus occidentalis / Torreyochloa pallida - Panicum verrucosum Shrubland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2003. Preliminary vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks. Regional (VA-WVA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2003. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.
Related Concept Name: Panicum (verrucosum, spretum) - Rhexia virginica - Fimbristylis autumnalis / Cephalanthus occidentalis Herbaceous Vegetation
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Bartgis, R. 1986. Natural community descriptions. Unpublished draft. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis.
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Berdine, M. A., and A. M. A. Gould. 1999. Identification and protection of reference wetland natural communities in Maryland: Delmarva Bay Wetlands. The Biodiversity Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Division. 87 pp.
Related Concept Name: Coastal Plain Depression Wetland
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, K. D. Patterson, and K. Taverna. 2006. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Version 2.2. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/ncTIV.shtml]

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.518 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Pond


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3? (18Feb2010)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Although there may be 100-200 occurrences of this community, the acreage is very small, probably fewer than 2000 acres rangewide. The community is threatened by groundwater alteration, timber harvests, and by agricultural runoff.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: DE, MApotentially occurs, MD, NJ, RIpotentially occurs, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: The known range of this community includes the central Atlantic Coastal Plain of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, with an uncertain northward extension to Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

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
Division Name: Subtropical Division
Province Name: Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 232 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain Section
Section Code: 232A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Coastal Plains and Flatwoods, Lower Section
Section Code: 232B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Physiognomy of stands varies from sparse to rather dense shrublands dominated by Cephalanthus occidentalis. Decodon verticillatus may also be present or even codominant. Characteristic herbs include Dulichium arundinaceum, Polygonum hydropiperoides, Torreyochloa pallida, Rhexia virginica, and Panicum hemitomon. More irregular herbaceous associates of the compositionally variable stands include Bidens frondosa, Scirpus cyperinus, Proserpinaca palustris, Triadenum virginicum, Dichanthelium spretum, Scleria reticularis, Fimbristylis autumnalis, Carex lurida, Woodwardia virginica, Onoclea sensibilis, Arisaema triphyllum, and Dichanthelium dichotomum (= Panicum dichotomum). The most frequent and characteristic herbaceous species in 16 ponds of the Grafton Ponds complex in York County, Virginia, are Panicum verrucosum, Dulichium arundinaceum, Juncus repens, Polygonum hydropiperoides, Eragrostis hypnoides, Cyperus erythrorhizos, Proserpinaca palustris, Torreyochloa pallida, Scirpus cyperinus, Rhynchospora corniculata, Utricularia radiata, Utricularia gibba (= Utricularia biflora), Triadenum virginicum, Rhexia virginica, and Fimbristylis autumnalis. Less frequent, but locally abundant species include Hottonia inflata and Ludwigia sphaerocarpa.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Cephalanthus occidentalis G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Decodon verticillatus G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Helenium virginicum G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Persicaria hydropiperoides G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Dulichium arundinaceum G3 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Eleocharis melanocarpa G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Eleocharis palustris G3 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Fimbristylis perpusilla G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Glyceria acutiflora G3 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Panicum verrucosum G3 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Schoenoplectus torreyi G3 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Scirpus ancistrochaetus G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Nuphar lutea ssp. advena G3 Aquatic herb Floating aquatic    
 
 
Utricularia gibba G3 Aquatic herb Floating aquatic    
 
 
Potamogeton pulcher G3 Aquatic herb Submerged aquatic    
 
 
Proserpinaca palustris G3 Aquatic herb Submerged aquatic    
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Fimbristylis perpusilla
  (Harper's Fimbry)
G2  
Helenium virginicum
  (Virginia Sneezeweed)
G3 LT: Listed threatened
Scirpus ancistrochaetus
  (Northeastern Bulrush)
G3 LE: Listed endangered


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: Habitats are relatively small basin wetlands that draw down entirely during dry years, exposing some bare substrate by the end of the growing season. Soils typically have a shallow organic layer overlying silt loam or clay loam. Most of the Coastal Plain ponds are believed to be sinkhole features that formed through dissolution of underlying carbonate-rich shell marl deposits. The marl deposits are too deep to influence soil or water chemistry of the ponds, which are strongly acidic in most examples.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): G. Fleming and P. Coulling, mod. G. Fleming
Element Description Edition Date: 18Feb2010
Element Description Author(s): G. Fleming and P. Coulling
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 18Feb2010
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
  • Bartgis, R. 1986. Natural community descriptions. Unpublished draft. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis.

  • Berdine, M. A., and A. M. A. Gould. 1999. Identification and protection of reference wetland natural communities in Maryland: Delmarva Bay Wetlands. The Biodiversity Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Division. 87 pp.

  • Bowman, P. 2000. Draft classification for Delaware. Unpublished draft. Delaware Natural Heritage Program.

  • Buhlmann, K. A., J. C. Mitchell, and L. R. Smith. 1999. Descriptive ecology of the Shenandoah Valley sinkhole pond system in Virginia. Banisteria 13:23-51.

  • Clancy, K. 1996. Natural communities of Delaware. Unpublished review draft. Delaware Natural Heritage Program, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Delaware Division of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Smyrna, DE. 52 pp.

  • 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.

  • Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, D. P. Walton, K. M. McCoy, and M. R. Parrish. 2001. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. First approximation. Natural Heritage Technical Report 01-1. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 76 pp.

  • Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, K. D. Patterson, and K. Taverna. 2006. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Version 2.2. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/ncTIV.shtml]

  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2003. Preliminary vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks. Regional (VA-WVA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2003. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • 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, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2011b. Analysis of Coastal Plain / Outer Piedmont bottomlands and non-alluvial wetlands in Virginia, 400 plots. In-house analysis, January 2011. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • Fleming, G. P., and P. P. Coulling. 2001. Ecological communities of the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Preliminary classification and description of vegetation types. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 317 pp.

  • Harrison, J. W. 2011. The natural communities of Maryland: 2011 working list of ecological community groups and community types. Unpublished report. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Service, Natural Heritage Program, Annapolis. 33 pp.

  • 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.

  • McAvoy, W., and K. Clancy. 1994. Community classification and mapping criteria for Category I interdunal swales and coastal plain pond wetlands in Delaware. Final Report submitted to the Division of Water Resources in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. 47 pp.

  • Rawinski, T. J. 1997. Vegetation ecology of the Grafton Ponds, York County, Virginia, with notes on waterfowl use. Natural Heritage Technical Report 97-10. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 42 pp. plus appendix.

  • Sneddon, L. A. 1994. Descriptions of coastal plain pondshore proposed community elements. Unpublished. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.

  • Tyndall, R. W., K. A. McCarthy, J. C. Ludwig, and A. Rome. 1990. Vegetation of six Carolina bays in Maryland. Castanea 55:1-21.

  • Walz, K. S., S. Stanford, N. L. Adamson, L. Kelly, K. Anderson, K. Laidig, and J. Bonnell. 2006b. Coastal Plain intermittent pondshore communities of New Jersey. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry, Office of Natural Lands Management, Natural Heritage Program, Trenton, NJ. 50 pp.


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