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Baccharis halimifolia - Iva frutescens / Panicum virgatum Saline Shrubland
Translated Name: Groundsel-tree - Jesuit's-bark / Switchgrass Saline Shrubland
Common Name: Irregularly Flooded Eastern Tidal Salt Shrub
Unique Identifier: CEGL003921
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This maritime shrubland of the eastern states occurs in association with salt marshes, occurring along the upper edges of the marsh, at the transition to uplands. Iva frutescens is the most characteristic and dominant shrub species, and Baccharis halimifolia is a common associate. Other associated shrubs include Morella pensylvanica (= Myrica pensylvanica) in the northern portion of the range, while Borrichia frutescens, Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera), and Juniperus virginiana var. silicicola are frequent associates in the southern part of the range. Spartina patens is a characteristic and usually abundant grass; other common herbaceous associates include Panicum virgatum, Distichlis spicata, Hibiscus moscheutos, Toxicodendron radicans, Teucrium canadense, Festuca rubra, Limonium carolinianum, Atriplex prostrata, Sabatia stellaris, Solidago sempervirens, Sabatia dodecandra, and in the north Hierochloe odorata and Juncus gerardii, and in the south Setaria parviflora. This community often forms an abrupt transition from salt marsh to upland reflecting the relatively higher elevation and less frequent tidal flooding. Shrub cover in this situation tends to be fairly dense, and herbs are sparsely distributed. Storm-induced disturbance causes periodic die-back of the shrubs restricting the extent of their spread.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: This association (CEGL003921) can be differentiated from the similar salt shrub association Iva frutescens / Spartina patens Saline Shrubland (CEGL006848) by the relatively higher cover and frequency of Baccharis halimifolia, generally higher species diversity often characterized by the presence of Panicum virgatum, and the relatively higher elevation and more infrequent tidal flooding duration of CEGL003921. As shrub cover decreases, the community often grades into high salt marsh associations such as Panicum virgatum - Spartina patens - Carex silicea Salt Marsh (CEGL006150) or Spartina patens-dominated high marsh associations. Southern analogs of this salt marsh-upland border shrubland include Baccharis halimifolia - Iva frutescens - Morella cerifera - (Ilex vomitoria) Saline Shrubland (CEGL003920) along the southern Atlantic Coast from the Carolinas to Florida west to Louisiana and Iva frutescens ssp. frutescens - Baccharis halimifolia / Spartina spartinae Saline Shrubland (CEGL004616) along the Texas Gulf Coast. This community is differentiated from Morella cerifera / Spartina patens Wet Shrubland (CEGL003839) by the presence of Iva frutescens and by the influence of tidal flooding.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 2 - Shrub & Herb Vegetation
Subclass 2.C - Shrub & Herb Wetland
Formation 2.C.5 - Salt Marsh
Division 2.C.5.Nb - North American Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Salt Marsh
Macrogroup North American Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Salt Marsh
Group Atlantic & Gulf Coastal High Salt Marsh
Alliance Jesuit's-bark Tidal Shrub Salt Marsh

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL003920 Baccharis halimifolia - Iva frutescens - Morella cerifera - (Ilex vomitoria) Saline Shrubland
CEGL004616 Iva frutescens ssp. frutescens - Baccharis halimifolia / Spartina spartinae Saline Shrubland
CEGL006150 Panicum virgatum - Spartina patens - Carex silicea Salt Marsh
CEGL006611 Eleocharis rostellata - Spartina patens Salt Marsh
CEGL006847 Iva frutescens / Spartina cynosuroides Tidal Shrubland
CEGL006848 Iva frutescens / Spartina patens Saline Shrubland



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 Northern marshelder / Switchgrass (Iva frutescens / Panicum virgatum) community Broader Certain Metzler and Barrett 2001
Delaware Irregularly Flooded Eastern Tidal Salt Shrub Equivalent Certain Coxe 2009
Massachusetts Salt Marsh Broader   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New York Salt shrub Broader Certain Edinger et al. 2002
North Carolina Salt Shrub (High Subtype) Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012
Rhode Island Salt Shrub Broader Certain Enser 1999


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Baccharis halimifolia - Iva frutescens / Panicum virgatum Herbaceous Vegetation
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Harrison, J. W., and P. Stango, III. 2003. Shrubland tidal wetland communities of Maryland's Eastern Shore: Identification, assessment and monitoring. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis. 118 pp.
Related Concept Name: Baccharis halimifolia - Iva frutescens / Spartina patens 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.
Related Concept Name: Baccharis halimifolia - Iva frutescens ssp. oraria / Spartina patens Shrubland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Bartgis, R. 1986. Natural community descriptions. Unpublished draft. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis.
Related Concept Name: Baccharis halimifolia - Iva frutescens Shrubland
Relationship: B - Broader
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: Iva frutescens - Baccharis halimifolia / Spartina patens - Distichlis spicata Tidal Shrubland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Coulling, P. P. 2002. A preliminary classification of tidal marsh, shrub swamp, and hardwood swamp vegetation and assorted non-tidal, chiefly non-maritime, herbaceous wetland communities of the Virginia Coastal Plain. October 2002. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. Natural Heritage Technical Report 02-18. 30 pp.
Related Concept Name: Iva frutescens - Baccharis halimifolia / Spartina patens - Panicum virgatum Tidal Shrubland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: VDNH [Virginia Division of Natural Heritage]. 2003. The natural communities of Virginia: Hierarchical classification of community types. Unpublished document, working list of November 2003. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Ecology Group, Richmond.
Related Concept Name: Iva frutescens / Panicum virgatum 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: Iva frutescens-Baccharis halimifolia
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Good, R. E. 1965. Salt marsh vegetation, Cape May, New Jersey. Bulletin of the New Jersey Academy of Science 10:1-11.
Related Concept Name: Iva frutescens and Baccharis halimifolia
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Klemas, V., F. C. Daiber, D. S. Bartlett, O. W. Crichton, and A. O. Fornes. 1973. Coastal vegetation of Delaware. University of Delaware, College of Marine Studies. 27 pp.
Related Concept Name: Estuarine scrub-shrub wetland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Tiner, R. W., Jr. 1985a. Wetlands of Delaware. Cooperative publication of USDI Fish & Wildlife Service, National Wetlands Inventory, Newton Corner, MA, and Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Dover, DE. 77 pp.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Tiner, R. W., Jr. 1985b. Wetlands of New Jersey. USDI Fish & Wildlife Service, National Wetlands Inventory, Newton Corner, MA. 117 pp.
Related Concept Name: Salt Marsh
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.
Related Concept Name: Salt Marsh Complex, marsh-upland border
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Breden, T. F. 1989. A preliminary natural community classification for New Jersey. Pages 157-191 in: E. F. Karlin, editor. New Jersey's rare and endangered plants and animals. Institute for Environmental Studies, Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ. 280 pp.
Related Concept Name: Salt Scrub
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
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: Salt Shrub
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: Salt Shrub (High Subtype)
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Schafale, M. 2000. Fourth approximation guide. Coastal Plain. January 2000 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.
Related Concept Name: Salt bush - salt meadow marsh
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Daiber, F. C., L. L. Thornton, K. A. Bolster, T. G. Campbell, O. W. Crichton, G. L. Esposito, D. R. Jones, and J. M. Tyrawski. 1976. An atlas of Delaware's wetlands and estuarine resources. College of Marine Studies, University of Delaware, Newark. 528 pp.
Related Concept Name: Salt marsh and upper border
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Barry, J. F. 1980. Natural vegetation of South Carolina. University of South Carolina Press, Columbia. 214 pp.
Related Concept Name: Salt marsh community
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Hill, S. R. 1986. An annotated checklist of the vascular flora of Assateague Island (Maryland and Virginia). Castanea 5:265-305.
Related Concept Name: Salt shrub
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Reschke, C. 1990. Ecological communities of New York State. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Latham, NY. 96 pp.
Related Concept Name: Saltbush zone
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Boule, M. E. 1979. The vegetation of Fisherman Island, Virginia. Castanea 44:98-108.
Related Concept Name: Shrub succession community
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Higgins, E. A. T., R. D. Rappleye, and R. G. Brown. 1971. The flora and ecology of Assateague Island. University of Maryland Experiment Station Bulletin A-172. 70 pp.
Related Concept Name: Swamp thicket
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Klotz, L. H. 1986. The vascular flora of Wallops Island and Wallops Mainland, Virginia. Castanea 51:306-326.
Related Concept Name: Tidal Mesohaline Shrubland
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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.260 Atlantic Coastal Plain Embayed Region Tidal Salt and Brackish Marsh
CES203.270 Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Salt and Brackish Tidal Marsh
CES203.519 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Tidal Salt Marsh
CES203.892 Atlantic Coastal Plain Northern Salt Pond Marsh


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G5 (01Dec1997)
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, DE, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, RI, SC, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association ranges from Massachusetts to South Carolina.

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
Section Name: Lower New England Section
Section Code: 221A 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
Section Name: Atlantic Coastal Flatwoods Section
Section Code: 232C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This tidal shrubland is dominated by Iva frutescens and Baccharis halimifolia. Other associated shrubs include Morella pensylvanica (= Myrica pensylvanica) in the northern portion of the range, while Borrichia frutescens, Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera), and Juniperus virginiana var. silicicola are frequent associates in the southern part of the range. Panicum virgatum is a characteristic and usually abundant grass; other common herbaceous associates include Distichlis spicata, Hibiscus moscheutos, Toxicodendron radicans, Teucrium canadense, Festuca rubra, Limonium carolinianum, and in the south Setaria parviflora. This community often forms an abrupt transition from salt marsh to upland reflecting the relatively higher elevation and less frequent tidal flooding. Shrub cover in this situation tends to be fairly dense, and herbs are sparsely distributed.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Iva frutescens G5 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Baccharis halimifolia G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Panicum virgatum G5 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This maritime and estuarine shrubland of the northeastern seaboard states occurs in association with salt marshes. It forms an ecotone between high salt marsh and adjacent upland vegetation. This shrubland occurs above mean high tide but can be flooded by storm tides. Substrate is organic peat over glacial till, sand, or sandy loam.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: This association occurs above mean high tide but can be flooded by storm tides. Heavy salt spray and tidal flooding from severe storms can cause die-back in the shrub layer. Seaward, this association grades into high salt marsh dominated by herbaceous vegetation. Landward, shrub cover becomes more dense.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): L.A. Sneddon
Element Description Edition Date: 06Sep2013
Element Description 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
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