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Podostemum ceratophyllum Aquatic Vegetation
Translated Name: Hornleaf Riverweed Aquatic Vegetation
Common Name: Rocky Bar and Shore (Riverweed Type)
Unique Identifier: CEGL004331
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This community is wide-ranging, occurring in rivers throughout the eastern and southeastern United States. It represents essentially monospecific beds of Podostemum ceratophyllum, although some algae may also be present. This submersed vegetation forms a low mat or crust attached to rocks in moderately fast- to fast-flowing water. Typical habitat for this association in the Central Appalachians and related areas includes rocky surfaces of streambeds and riverbeds in mature drainage systems where the streams have cut down to rock and the floodplain is relatively narrow, or on dams. It tends to be associated with higher pH streams which cut through diabase, limestone or calcareous shales.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low - Poorly Documented
Classification Comments: Podostemum could easily be the poster child of Piedmont rivers (B. Adams pers. comm.); it is unlikely that many aquatic plant species in the Piedmont have been hit harder. It is very sensitive to sedimentation and, accordingly, has declined greatly throughout its range and has been lost from nearly all areas it once occupied in some drainages such as the Upper Neuse Basin of North Carolina (Adams pers. comm.). This vegetation has been documented from the Sepulga River in the East Gulf Coastal Plain of Alabama, the upper Duck River at Manchester (Old Stone Fort State Park) in the Interior Low Plateau of Tennessee, the Middle Oconee River, Georgia (Nelson and Scott 1962), the Eno River and formerly many sites in the Upper Neuse River Basin in the Piedmont of North Carolina (B. Adams pers. comm.), the Savannah River, and the Mechums and South Anna rivers in Virginia (Mulholland and Lenat 1992). It is apparently rare in Arkansas, found primarily in the Arkansas River and apparently in the Ouachita River (Smith 1988b). This type may also occur in the base-rich waters of the Shenandoah River and its two forks, the James River and portions of the Roanoke River (Fleming et al. 2001). In Georgia, this type appears to be restricted to the Piedmont and is apparently absent from the northwestern part of the state (Jones and Coile 1988).

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 5 - Aquatic Vegetation
Subclass 5.B - Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation
Formation 5.B.2 - Temperate to Polar Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation
Division 5.B.2.Na - North American Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation
Macrogroup Eastern North American Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation
Group Eastern North American Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation
Alliance Eastern Hornleaf Riverweed Aquatic Vegetation

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



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
Alabama Podostemum ceratophyllum Herbaceous Vegetation Equivalent Certain Schotz pers. comm.
Connecticut Riverweed (Podostemum ceratophyllum) permanently flooded vegetation Equivalent Certain Metzler and Barrett 2006
Delaware Riverweed Rocky Bar and Shore Equivalent Certain Coxe 2009
Maryland Podostemum ceratophyllum Herbaceous Vegetation Equivalent Certain Harrison 2011
New Hampshire Riverweed River Rapid Equivalent   Sperduto 2000
New Jersey Podostemum ceratophyllum Herbaceous Vegetation Equivalent Certain Breden et al. 2001
North Carolina Rocky Bar and Shore (Riverweed Subtype) Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012
Oklahoma Podostemum ceratophyllum herbaceous association Undetermined   Hoagland 2000
South Carolina Shoal and Stream Bar Broader   Nelson 1986
Tennessee Podostemum ceratophyllum Herbaceous Vegetation Equivalent Certain TDNH unpubl. data


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Podostemum ceratophyllum Herbaceous Vegetation
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Bowman, P. 2000. Draft classification for Delaware. Unpublished draft. Delaware Natural Heritage Program.
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.
Related Concept Name: Mountain river
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Wharton, C. H. 1978. The natural environments of Georgia. Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta. 227 pp.
Related Concept Name: Open Water/Aquatic Bed Veg., Mountain Stream
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Ambrose, J. 1990a. Georgia's natural communities--A preliminary list. Unpublished document. Georgia Natural Heritage Inventory. 5 pp.
Related Concept Name: River-weed shallow shore
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: CAP [Central Appalachian Forest Working Group]. 1998. Central Appalachian Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.
Related Concept Name: Riverine Aquatic Bed
Relationship: B - Broader
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: Rocky Bar and Shore
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Schafale, M. P., and A. S. Weakley. 1990. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina. Third approximation. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh. 325 pp.
Related Concept Name: Rocky Bar and Shore (Riverweed Subtype)
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Schafale, M. 1998b. Fourth approximation guide. High mountain communities. March 1998 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Schafale, M. 2002. Fourth approximation guide. Mountain communities. November 2002 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.036 Cumberland Riverscour
CES202.323 Southern Piedmont Small Floodplain and Riparian Forest
CES202.609 Central Appalachian Stream and Riparian
CES202.703 Ozark-Ouachita Riparian
CES202.706 South-Central Interior Small Stream and Riparian


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3G5 (19Aug2002)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Although this species appears to have a fairly extensive range across the eastern United States, it is unclear whether all geographic areas supporting the species actually support stands of this association. Secondly, Podostemum may be in trouble across large parts of this range. It is very sensitive to sedimentation and watershed erosion (Mulholland and Lenat 1992). These factors may have contributed to declines of this type in the Piedmont, where it has been lost from many areas historically occupied in drainages such as the Upper Neuse (B. Adams pers. comm.). It also appears to be sensitive to nutrient enrichment which may cause this species to be outcompeted by algae.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: AL, AR, CT, DE, GA, KY, LApotentially occurs, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT
Canadian Province Distribution: QCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canadapotentially occurs, United States
Global Range: This community is wide-ranging, occurring in rivers throughout the eastern and southeastern United States.

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: Northern Cumberland Plateau Section
Section Code: 221H Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Continental) Province
Province Code: 222 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Interior Low Plateau, Highland Rim Section
Section Code: 222E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
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
Section Name: Vermont-New Hampshire Upland Section
Section Code: M212B 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
Section Name: Allegheny Mountains Section
Section Code: M221B Occurrence Status: Possible
Section Name: Cumberland Mountains Section
Section Code: M221C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Blue Ridge Mountains Section
Section Code: M221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Ozark Broadleaf Forest - Meadow Province
Province Code: M222 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Boston Mountains Section
Section Code: M222A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Subtropical Regime Mountains
Province Name: Ouachita Mixed Forest - Meadow Province
Province Code: M231 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Ouachita Mountains Section
Section Code: M231A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This vegetation is almost always a monospecific community dominated by Podostemum ceratophyllum with no other vascular plants present; some Rhodophyta (red algae) may be present.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Podostemum ceratophyllum G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Helisoma eucosmium
  (Greenfield Ramshorn Snail)
G1Q  
Somatogyrus virginicus
  (Panhandle Pebblesnail)
G2G3  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This association includes vegetation of shoals in rocky streambeds and riverbeds in mature drainage systems where the streams have cut down to rock, and the floodplain is relatively narrow; or on dams in moderately fast- to fast-flowing water. It tends to be associated with higher pH streams which cut through diabase, limestone or calcareous shales. In the Piedmont region and possibly elsewhere, the occurrence of macrophytic vegetation may be limited by unstable sediments, moderate to high gradients, and large variations in stream flow (Mulholland and Lenat 1992). Podostemum is one of the few vascular plants present in Piedmont streams and rivers.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Podostemum appears to require relatively stable streamflow to accumulate significant biomass; at high nutrient levels filamentous green algae may outcompete it (Mulholland and Lenat 1992). Dense beds of this vegetation may serve as important substratum for a variety of invertebrates and other aquatic species (Nelson and Scott 1962). At least one rare species of snail of the Piedmont drainages, Somatogyrus virginicus, appears to be very closely tied to the occurrence of good beds of Podostemum (B. Adams pers. comm.). Although it is not clear whether the snail is actually dependent on Podostemum, it could be that Podostemum is just a good habitat indicator.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): A.S. Weakley
Element Description Edition Date: 19Aug2002
Element Description Author(s): R.E. Evans
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 19Aug2002
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): R.E. Evans

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


References
  • Adams, Bill. Personal communication. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

  • Ambrose, J. 1990a. Georgia's natural communities--A preliminary list. Unpublished document. Georgia Natural Heritage Inventory. 5 pp.

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

  • Breden, T. F., Y. R. Alger, K. S. Walz, and A. G. Windisch. 2001. Classification of vegetation communities of New Jersey: Second iteration. Association for Biodiversity Information and New Jersey Natural Heritage Program, Office of Natural Lands Management, Division of Parks and Forestry, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Trenton.

  • 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.

  • Campbell, J. J. N., A. C. Risk, V. A. Andrews, B. Palmer-Ball, and J. R. MacGregor. 1990. Cooperative inventory of endangered, threatened, sensitive, and rare species, Daniel Boone National Forest, Stearns Ranger District. USDA Forest Service. 170 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.

  • 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., 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.

  • 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.

  • Hoagland, B. 2000. The vegetation of Oklahoma: A classification for landscape mapping and conservation planning. The Southwestern Naturalist 45(4):385-420.

  • Jones, S. B., Jr., and N. C. Coile. 1988. The distribution of the vascular flora of Georgia. Department of Botany, University of Georgia, Athens.

  • Kunsman, J. 1994. A survey of the aquatic vascular plants of the upper Delaware River. Unpublished report to the National Park Service. Pennsylvania Science Office of The Nature Conservancy. Middletown, PA. 322 pp.

  • 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.

  • Mulholland, P. J., and D. R. Lenat. 1992. Streams of the southeastern Piedmont, Atlantic drainage. Pages 193-231 in: C. T. Hackney, S. M. Adams, and W. H. Martin, editors. Biodiversity of the southeastern United States: Aquatic communities. John Wiley and Sons, New York.

  • Nelson, D. J., and D. C. Scott. 1962. Role of detritus in the productivity of a rock outcrop community in a Piedmont stream. Limnology and Oceanography 7:396-413.

  • Nelson, J. B. 1986. The natural communities of South Carolina: Initial classification and description. South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Columbia, SC. 55 pp.

  • Peet, R. K., T. R. Wentworth, M. P. Schafale, and A.S. Weakley. No date. Unpublished data of the North Carolina Vegetation Survey. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

  • Schafale, M. 1998b. Fourth approximation guide. High mountain communities. March 1998 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

  • Schafale, M. 2002. Fourth approximation guide. Mountain communities. November 2002 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

  • Schafale, M. P. 2012. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina, 4th Approximation. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

  • Schafale, M. P., and A. S. Weakley. 1990. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina. Third approximation. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh. 325 pp.

  • Schmalzer, P. A., and H. R. DeSelm. 1982. Vegetation, endangered and threatened plants, critical plant habitats and vascular flora of the Obed Wild and Scenic River. Unpublished report. USDI National Park Service, Obed Wild and Scenic River. 2 volumes. 369 pp.

  • Schotz, Al. Personal communication. Community Ecologist. Alabama Natural Heritage Program. Huntingdon College, Massey Hall, 1500 East Fairview Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36106-2148.

  • Smith, E. B. 1988b. An atlas and annotated list of the vascular plants of Arkansas, 2nd edition. University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

  • Southeastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Durham, NC.

  • Sperduto, D. D. 2000a. Natural communities of New Hampshire: A guide and classification. Near final unformatted draft without pictures and illustrations; includes upland classification. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Inventory, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord, NH. 127 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.

  • TDNH [Tennessee Division of Natural Heritage]. No date. Unpublished data. Tennessee Division of Natural Heritage, Nashville, TN.

  • Thomas, R. D., and C. M. Allen. 1993. Atlas of the vascular flora of Louisiana. Volume I: Ferns & fern allies, conifers, & monocotyledons. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Natural Heritage Program and The Nature Conservancy, Louisiana Field Office, Baton Rouge. 218 pp.

  • Wharton, C. H. 1978. The natural environments of Georgia. Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta. 227 pp.


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