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Sagittaria subulata - Limosella australis Tidal Marsh
Translated Name: Awl-leaf Arrowhead - Welsh Mudwort Tidal Marsh
Common Name: North Atlantic Coastal Plain River Brackish Intertidal Mudflat
Unique Identifier: CEGL004473
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This brackish (salinity levels range from 0.5-18.0 ppt) tidal flat community occurs along the northeastern Atlantic coast on muddy to sandy substrates of broad, flat tidal rivershores. The flats are exposed at low tide and submerged at high tide. Vegetation is of variable cover and may be quite sparse. Characteristic plants are low-growing rosette species such as Sagittaria subulata, Sagittaria calycina var. spongiosa, Limosella australis, Lilaeopsis chinensis, Festuca filiformis, Polygonum arifolium, Polygonum hydropiperoides, Ptilimnium capillaceum, Zannichellia palustris, and Eleocharis parvula.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: Classification of this vegetation on Cape Cod is problematic, where it occurs in very small patches. Classification of this type on Cape Cod must be considered provisional until further rangewide data are collected.

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 Fresh-Oligohaline Tidal Marsh
Group Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Fresh-Oligohaline Tidal Marsh
Alliance Mixed Forb Oligohaline Tidal Marsh

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006058 Isoetes riparia Tidal Marsh
CEGL006352 Eriocaulon parkeri - Polygonum punctatum Tidal Marsh
CEGL006614 Intertidal Mudflats Sparse Vegetation



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These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.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 North Atlantic Coastal Plain River Brackish Intertidal Mudflat Equivalent Certain Coxe 2009
Maine Brackish tidal marsh Broader   Gawler 2002
Massachusetts Seagrass Community Broader   MNHESP
New Hampshire Intertidal flat Broader   Sperduto 2000
New York Brackish intertidal mudflats Broader   Edinger et al. 2002
Pennsylvania Riverbank Freshwater Tidal Marsh Broader   Zimmerman et al. 2012
Rhode Island Brackish Intertidal Mud Flat Equivalent   Enser and Lundgren 2006


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Sagittaria subulata - Zannichellia palustris community
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: 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, CT.
Related Concept Name: Southern New England/Gulf of Maine Fresh/ Brackish Subtidal Estuarine Community
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: Southern New England/Gulf of Maine Saline/ Brackish Intertidal Flat
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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES201.579 Acadian Estuary Marsh
CES203.259 Atlantic Coastal Plain Embayed Region Tidal Freshwater Marsh
CES203.260 Atlantic Coastal Plain Embayed Region Tidal Salt and Brackish Marsh
CES203.894 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Brackish Tidal Marsh


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2G4 (19Jan2006)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This vegetation occurs in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bay estuaries, ranging north to northern New England; presence in Canada is not confirmed and requires review. More information on classification and distribution is required to determine the global rank with more precision.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI
Canadian Province Distribution: LBpotentially occurs, NBpotentially occurs, NFpotentially occurs, NSpotentially occurs, PEpotentially occurs, QCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canadapotentially occurs, United States
Global Range: This association occurs along the Atlantic coast from Maine to Virginia. It may also occur in Canada.

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: Central Maine Coastal and Embayment Section
Section Code: 212D 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
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: These brackish intertidal mud flats are sparsely vegetated with low-growing, rosette-forming herbs. Characteristic plants are low-growing rosette species and others such as Sagittaria subulata, Sagittaria calycina var. spongiosa (= Sagittaria spathulata), Limosella australis (= Limosella subulata), Lilaeopsis chinensis, Festuca filiformis, Polygonum arifolium, Polygonum hydropiperoides, Ptilimnium capillaceum, Zannichellia palustris, and Eleocharis parvula.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Limosella australis G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Sagittaria montevidensis ssp. spongiosa G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Sagittaria subulata G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Festuca filiformis G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: These communities occur on gently sloping intertidal mud flats and occasionally in tidal creek channels exposed at low tide. The flats are fresh to brackish and are diurnally flooded by tides. These are best developed along broad, flat areas protected from direct wave action, occurring behind barrier beaches or along tidal rivers. Substrate is generally silty mud with high organic matter content and can have greater sand component in settings with relatively more water energy.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: These intertidal mud flats occur along broad, flat, gently sloping shores where sediments accumulate. They are regularly flooded by diurnal tides. The size of the flats depends on coastal morphology and tidal range. Tidal action determines sediment movement and texture; flats with greater wave activity will have coarser substrates. Tidal flats are utilized by a host of benthic and pelagic organisms as well as birds.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): K. Metzler and L.A. Sneddon
Element Description Edition Date: 13May2002
Element Description Author(s): S.L. Neid and L.A. Sneddon
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 19Jan2006
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
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Edinger, G. J., D. J. Evans, S. Gebauer, T. G. Howard, D. M. Hunt, and A. M. Olivero, editors. 2014a. Ecological communities of New York state. Second edition. A revised and expanded edition of Carol Reschke's ecological communities of New York state. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY.

  • Enser, R. W., and J. A. Lundgren. 2006. Natural communities of Rhode Island. A joint project of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Natural Heritage Program and The Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island. Rhode Island Natural History Survey, Kingston. 40 pp. [www.rinhs.org]

  • Gawler, S. C. 2002. Natural landscapes of Maine: A guide to vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta, ME.

  • Gawler, S. C., and A. Cutko. 2010. Natural landscapes of Maine: A classification of vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta.

  • 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., 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.

  • 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., 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, CT.

  • Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.

  • 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.

  • Rhoads, A. F., and T. A. Block. 2011c. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. Riverbank Freshwater Tidal Marsh Factsheet. Morris Arboretum. [http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Community.aspx?=30024] (accessed February 13, 2012)

  • Sneddon, L. A., Zaremba, R. E., and M. Adams. 2010. Vegetation classification and mapping at Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts. Natural Resources Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2010/147. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 481 pp. [http://biology.usgs.gov/npsveg/caco/cacorpt.pdf]

  • 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.

  • Swain, P. C., and J. B. Kearsley. 2014. Classification of the natural communities of Massachusetts. Version 2.0. Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Westborough, MA. [http://www.mass.gov/nhesp/http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/natural-heritage/natural-communities/classification-of-natural-communities.html]

  • Whitlatch, R. B. 1982. The ecology of New England tidal flats: A community profile. FWS/OBS-81/01. USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, Biological Services Program, Washington, DC. 125 pp.

  • 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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