NatureServe Explorer logo.An Online Encyclopedia of Life
Search
Ecological Association Comprehensive Report: Record 1 of 1 selected.
See All Search Results    View Glossary
<< Previous | Next >>

Muhlenbergia filipes - Spartina patens - Rhynchospora colorata Marsh
Translated Name: Gulf Hairawn Muhly - Saltmeadow Cordgrass - Star-rush Whitetop Marsh
Common Name: Southern Atlantic Interdune Swale
Unique Identifier: CEGL004051
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association represents moist interdune flats codominated by some combination of Muhlenbergia filipes (= Muhlenbergia sericea), Spartina patens, Rhynchospora colorata (= Dichromena colorata), and Eustachys petraea. Additional graminoids may include lesser amounts of Andropogon glomeratus, Eragrostis spectabilis, Juncus megacephalus, Juncus scirpoides, Panicum virgatum, and the exotic Eremochloa ophiuroides. Forbs may include Centella erecta, Gaillardia pulchella, Heterotheca subaxillaris, Phyla nodiflora, Sisyrinchium atlanticum, and Solidago sempervirens. A sparse (0-10%) layer of emergent shrubs, including Baccharis halimifolia, Juniperus virginiana var. silicicola (= Juniperus silicicola), Morella cerifera, Sideroxylon tenax, Smilax auriculata, and Smilax bona-nox, may also be present. In Florida this community occurs in narrow bands or swales alternating with higher ridges. These often fill with standing water after rains. In North Carolina and Georgia, it may occupy broader grassy flats between the outer dunes and the salt marsh on the inland side of barrier islands, as well as narrow dune swales. Succession to woody vegetation is indicated by increasing cover of Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera) or Salix caroliniana.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: This association (CEGL0004051) may be better placed in 2.C.4 Temperate to Polar Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland Formation (F013), 2.C.4.Ne Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland Division (D322), Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Plain Wet Prairie & Marsh Macrogroup (M067), Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Interdunal Marsh & Prairie Group (G777) (J. Teague/M. Pyne 9-14).

Nomenclatural notes on Muhlenbergia (C. Nordman/M. Pyne 10-07): NatureServe Ecology varies from Kartesz (1999) on the nomenclature of three related southeastern Muhlenbergia taxa. The names in Kartesz (1999) for these plants are Muhlenbergia capillaris (Lam.) Trin. var. capillaris; Muhlenbergia capillaris (Lam.) Trin. var. filipes (M.A. Curtis) Chapman ex Beal; and Muhlenbergia capillaris (Lam.) Trin. var. trichopodes (Ell.) Vasey. We have chosen to treat all three of these at the specific level, as (respectively) Muhlenbergia capillaris Lam.; Muhlenbergia filipes M.A. Curtis; and Muhlenbergia expansa (Poir.) Trin. A more recent innovation, which we will adopt at some point, is the recent recognition that Muhlenbergia sericea (Michx.) P.M. Peterson is the correct name (based on nomenclatural priority) for the plant formerly known as Muhlenbergia filipes M.A. Curtis (= Muhlenbergia capillaris var. filipes) (Gustafson and Peterson 2007). In Florida Eustachys petraea is seldom found in dune swales associated with Muhlenbergia filipes (A. Johnson pers. comm.?).


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 Interdunal Marsh & Prairie
Alliance Low Dune Coastal Marsh

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL007716 Panicum hemitomon - (Cladium mariscus ssp. jamaicense, Muhlenbergia filipes) Marsh



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
Florida Coastal Interdunal Swale Broader   FNAI 1997
North Carolina Maritime Wet Grassland (Southern Hairgrass Subtype) Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Muhlenbergia Swale
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Johnson, A. F. 1997. Rates of vegetation succession on a coastal dune system in northwest Florida. Journal of Coastal Research 13:373-384.
Related Concept Name: Maritime Wet Grassland
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: Maritime Wet Grassland (Southern Hairgrass Subtype)
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Schafale, M. 2000. Fourth approximation guide. Coastal Plain. January 2000 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.273 Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Dune and Maritime Grassland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2 (07Jan2000)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: The range of this association is limited to the southeastern U.S., and it is restricted to coastal habitats. It is threatened by coastal development.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: FL, GA, NC, SC
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: In Florida this community is found on prograding barrier islands around the state from Amelia Island (Nassau County) to Cape Canaveral (Brevard County) on the Atlantic Coast, from Dog Island (Gulf County) to Shell Island (Bay County) on the panhandle Gulf Coast, and from Caladesi Island (Pinellas County) to Sanibel Island (Lee County) on the southwest Gulf Coast (FNAI database 1999). Muhlenbergia filipes has not been reported from coastal swales on Santa Rosa Island, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties, Florida (Johnson et al. 1992a), or from South Padre Island, Texas (Lonard and Judd 1980). In North Carolina, it is abundant in numerous swales in the prograding area near Cape Hatteras, is extensive on flats on Ocracoke Island, and is present on a number of complex barrier islands. It is also known from South Carolina, and Cumberland Island, Georgia.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Subtropical Division
Province Name: Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 232 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Atlantic Coastal Flatwoods Section
Section Code: 232C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Vegetation is a sparse to very dense (20-100% cover), generally species-rich herbaceous layer (typically 0.5-1 m tall). It is dominated by the native grasses Muhlenbergia filipes (= Muhlenbergia sericea), Spartina patens, and Eustachys petraea (state-vulnerable), with Rhynchospora colorata (= Dichromena colorata). Additional graminoids may include lesser amounts of Andropogon glomeratus, Eragrostis spectabilis, Juncus megacephalus, Juncus scirpoides, Panicum virgatum, and the exotic Eremochloa ophiuroides. Forbs may include Centella erecta, Gaillardia pulchella, Heterotheca subaxillaris, Phyla nodiflora, Sisyrinchium atlanticum, and Solidago sempervirens. A sparse (0-10%) layer of emergent shrubs, including Baccharis halimifolia, Juniperus virginiana var. silicicola (= Juniperus silicicola), Morella cerifera, Sideroxylon tenax, Smilax auriculata, and Smilax bona-nox, may also be present. This community also supports additional species, including Chamaesyce bombensis, Iva imbricata, Mitreola petiolata, Opuntia pusilla, Phyla lanceolata, Physalis walteri, Scleria verticillata, and Spiranthes vernalis. In Florida, species associates of Muhlenbergia filipes include Eragrostis spp., Andropogon virginicus, Andropogon glomeratus, Fuirena scirpoidea, and Juncus scirpoides. In addition, Cladium mariscus ssp. jamaicense (= Cladium jamaicense) or Schoenoplectus pungens may occupy the deeper portions of the swales. Schizachyrium littorale or Uniola paniculata may be present in small amounts, often associated with small mounds of sand within the swale. Some examples in North Carolina may also lack Eustachys petraea (M. Schafale pers. comm.), and on Cumberland Island in southeastern Georgia, it is infrequent in this community. There may actually be 12 different dominants.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Sideroxylon tenax G2 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Eremochloa ophiuroides G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Eustachys petraea G2 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Muhlenbergia capillaris var. filipes G2 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Rhynchospora colorata G2 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Spartina patens G2 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Sideroxylon tenax
  (Tough Bumelia)
G3?  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This association represents moist interdune swales or flats dominated (or codominated) by Muhlenbergia filipes (= Muhlenbergia sericea) occurring on sandy or sandy loam soils on barrier islands or coastal strands along the Atlantic coast from North Carolina south to Florida. These sites are subject to saturation or shallow flooding by seasonal high water tables, and potentially to seawater overwash during major storms, but not to typical tidewater influence.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: A study of succession at Crooked Island in Bay County, Florida, indicates that Muhlenbergia filipes occupies a late-successional herbaceous stage between pioneer colonizers (Fimbristylis spp., Eragrostis spp.) and woody vegetation (Johnson 1997, Table 2). In the panhandle of Florida, if a swale starts to fill in with blowing sand (after the surrounding dunes are disturbed), Spartina patens hangs on longer and can tolerate more burial than Muhlenbergia filipes (A. Johnson pers. comm. 2014).


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): A.S. Weakley
Element Description Edition Date: 15Oct2014
Element Description Author(s): R.E. Evans, C.W. Nordman, M.J. Russo and M. Pyne
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 07Jan2000
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): A.F. Johnson

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


References
  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 1990. Guide to the natural communities of Florida. Florida Natural Areas Inventory and Florida Department of Natural Resources, Tallahassee. 111 pp.

  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 1992b. Natural community classification. Unpublished document. The Nature Conservancy, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee. 16 pp.

  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 2010a. Guide to the natural communities of Florida: 2010 edition. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee, FL.

  • Hillestad, H. O., J. R. Bozeman, A. S. Johnson, C. W. Berisford, and J. I. Richardson. 1975. The ecology of the Cumberland Island National Seashore, Camden County, Georgia. Technical Report Series No. 75-5. Georgia Marine Sciences Center, Skidway Island, GA.

  • Johnson, A. F. 1997. Rates of vegetation succession on a coastal dune system in northwest Florida. Journal of Coastal Research 13:373-384.

  • Johnson, A. F., J. W. Muller, and K. A. Bettinger. 1992a. An assessment of Florida's remaining coastal upland natural communities: Panhandle. The Nature Conservancy, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee. 12 pp. plus appendices.

  • Johnson, Ann F. Personal communication. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee.

  • Lonard, R. I., and F. W. Judd. 1980. Phytogeography of South Padre Island, Texas. Southwestern Naturalist 25:313-322.

  • Schafale, M. 2000. Fourth approximation guide. Coastal Plain. January 2000 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

  • Schafale, M. 2003b. Fourth approximation guide. Coastal Plain communities. March 2003 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.

  • Schafale, Mike P. Personal communication. Ecologist, North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

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


Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of November 2016.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2017 NatureServe, 4600 N. Fairfax Dr., 7th Floor, Arlington Virginia 22203, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2017. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.

Copyright 2017
NatureServe
Version 7.1 (2 February 2009)
Data last updated: November 2016