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 >>

Morella cerifera - Rosa palustris / Thelypteris palustris var. pubescens Tidal Shrubland
Translated Name: Wax-myrtle - Swamp Rose / Eastern Marsh Fern Tidal Shrubland
Common Name: Wind-Tidal Wax-myrtle - Rose Thicket
Unique Identifier: CEGL004656
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This shrub community occurs in ecotonal sites between tidal marshes and tidal swamps in fresh to oligohaline portions of coastal rivers and embayments. It occupies soupy peats. It is a natural community, but likely has a long-term and complicated successional relationship with other (primarily marsh) communities in the landscape in which it occurs, related to hydrology and fire. Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera var. cerifera) and Rosa palustris are the characteristic dominant species, each attaining 10-25% cover. Also constant but attaining slightly less cover are species such as Acer rubrum and Toxicodendron radicans ssp. radicans. Other woody species include Persea palustris, Magnolia virginiana, Salix caroliniana, Vaccinium formosum, Smilax walteri, and saplings of Fraxinus profunda, Nyssa biflora, Acer rubrum, Pinus taeda, Taxodium distichum, and Liquidambar styraciflua. Herbaceous composition is diverse and varied, with many species 'recruited' from adjacent marshes and swamps. Thelypteris palustris var. pubescens is highly characteristic and appears to reach its nodal distribution in this landscape in this community. Other important species can include Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis, Leersia oryzoides, Hibiscus moscheutos ssp. moscheutos, Polygonum arifolium, and Mikania scandens. Murdannia keisak is an aggressive alien weed.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate

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 Wax-myrtle - Swamp Rose Tidal Freshwater Shrubland

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004789 Morella cerifera - Toxicodendron radicans / Spartina bakeri Tidal 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
Maryland Morella cerifera - Rosa palustris / Thelypteris palustris var. pubescens Shrubland Equivalent Certain Harrison 2011
North Carolina Tidal Freshwater Marsh (Shrub Subtype) Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Morella cerifera - Rosa palustris / Thelypteris palustris var. palustris Tidal Shrubland
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: Morella cerifera - Rosa palustris / Thelypteris palustris var. pubescens 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: Morella cerifera - Salix caroliniana / Thelypteris palustris var. pubescens 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.
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: Myrica cerifera - Salix caroliniana / Thelypteris palustris ssp. pubescens Tidally Flooded Shrubland
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Fleming, G. P. 1998. Virginia natural community framework, version January 30, 1998. Unpublished document. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 6 pp.
Related Concept Name: Myrica cerifera - Salix caroliniana / Thelypteris palustris var. pubescens 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: Myrica cerifera - Salix caroliniana / Thelypteris palustris var. pubescens Tidally Flooded Shrubland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and W. H. Moorhead, III. 1998. Comparative wetlands ecology study of the Great Dismal Swamp, Northwest River, and North Landing River in Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 98-9. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. Unpublished report submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 181 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Tidal Oligohaline 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.
Related Concept Name: Tidal Shrub Swamp
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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.259 Atlantic Coastal Plain Embayed Region Tidal Freshwater Marsh


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4 (03Apr2008)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: DE, MD, NC, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community occurs along the Atlantic Coast of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. Although not documented, this vegetation is also known to occur in upper tidal and inland bay regions of Delaware (W. McAvoy pers. comm. 2007).

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: 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: Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera var. cerifera) and Rosa palustris are the characteristic dominant species, each attaining 10-25% cover. Also constant but attaining slightly less cover are species such as Acer rubrum and Toxicodendron radicans ssp. radicans. Other woody species include Persea palustris, Magnolia virginiana, Salix caroliniana, Vaccinium formosum, Smilax walteri, and saplings of Fraxinus profunda, Nyssa biflora, Pinus taeda, Taxodium distichum, and Liquidambar styraciflua. Herbaceous composition is diverse and varied, with many species 'recruited' from adjacent marshes and swamps. Thelypteris palustris var. pubescens is highly characteristic and appears to reach its nodal distribution in this landscape in this community. Other important species can include Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis, Leersia oryzoides, Hibiscus moscheutos ssp. moscheutos, Polygonum arifolium, and Mikania scandens. Murdannia keisak is an aggressive alien weed.

In Maryland, these tidal oligohaline shrublands are characterized by a low (0.5-6 m tall), open (40-60% cover) to moderately dense (60-80% cover) shrub canopy dominated by Morella cerifera with Rosa palustris as a frequent associate. Morella cerifera is most constant and typically occupies 25 to 50% of the shrub stratum. In general, Rosa palustris is slightly less abundant (10-25% mean cover) than Morella cerifera; however, it can occasionally be dominant (>75% cover) in some stands. Other less frequent taxa in the shrub stratum include Acer rubrum, Viburnum recognitum, Baccharis halimifolia, and dense vine growth of Toxicodendron radicans and Mikania scandens. Stands along ecotones or in less frequently flooded situations may contain emergent individuals of Pinus taeda, Liquidambar styraciflua, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Fraxinus profunda, Nyssa biflora, and Juniperus virginiana in a scattered and very sparse (0-5% cover) overstory. Species richness in the herbaceous layer is very high and indicative of slight oligohaline conditions, species recruitment from adjacent communities, and considerable microtopographic variation. Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis is consistent and dominant in the herbaceous layer, with Thelypteris palustris var. pubescens in close association although not as abundant. Associated species include species characteristic of freshwater marshes, such as Leersia oryzoides, Polygonum punctatum, and Peltandra virginica, and species more tolerant of mesohaline conditions, such as Hibiscus moscheutos ssp. moscheutos and Carex hormathodes. Other characteristic herbs include Apios americana, Cuscuta gronovii, Sium suave, Polygonum arifolium, Ptilimnium capillaceum, Cinna arundinacea, Thalictrum pubescens (= Thalictrum polygamum), Typha latifolia, Cicuta maculata, and Boehmeria cylindrica.


Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Toxicodendron radicans ssp. radicans G4 Liana Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Salix caroliniana G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling
 
 
Morella cerifera G4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Tall shrub/sapling
 
 
Rosa palustris G4 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling
 
 
Thelypteris palustris var. pubescens G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This shrub community occurs in ecotonal sites between tidal marshes and tidal swamps. It occupies soupy peats. According to Fleming et al. (2001), this community is part of a large group of tidal shrublands which occupy tidally flooded and wind-tidally flooded areas of freshwater to oligohaline rivers and embayments. These are tidal shrublands of oligohaline conditions bordering middle to upper sections of Coastal Plain rivers and tributaries (in Maryland). Salinity typically ranges from 0.5 to 5.0 ppt; however, pulses of higher salinity may occur during periods of spring high tides and low river discharge. Salinity data collected at time of study indicate a range of 0.5 to 11.0 ppt (mean ppt = 2.6) for 30 sample plots. These tidal shrublands form linear to irregular stands along tidal channels usually positioned between adjacent tidal marshes and swamp forests. Stands of narrow floodplains most often occur along ecotones as "fringes" intergrading with adjacent tidal swamp forests. Such stands are proximate to tidal channels and subject to regular tidal flooding. Stands occupying rather expansive marshes or large estuary meanders on broader floodplains are commonly fronted or surrounded by emergent marshes forming depositional islands. Slightly elevated and distanced from tidal influence, these stands tend to be less frequently flooded (regularly, for <6 months). Stand sizes range from 2 to 20 hectares. Hummock-and-hollow microtopography is characteristic of these shrublands and contributes to higher species richness, as does species recruitment from adjacent tidal marshes and tidal swamp forests. Soils are best characterized as slightly acidic tidal muck consisting of a mixture of silt, fine sands and partially decomposed peat.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: This is a natural community but likely has a long-term and complicated successional relationship with other (primarily marsh) communities in the landscape in which it occurs, related to hydrology and fire. It appears to often be an intermediate stage in the transition of tidal swamps or pond pine woodlands to freshwater marshes in response to rising sea level. An artificial successional version that may be indistinguishable also may develop in response to fire exclusion in some freshwater marshes, perhaps as an intermediate successional stage on the way to a tidal swamp. However, in both cases succession is irregular due to periodic disturbance by penetration of brackish water during storms.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): G.P. Fleming
Element Description Edition Date: 04Feb2009
Element Description Author(s): G.P. Fleming, J. Teague, E. Largay, J. Harrison, L. Sneddon
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 03Apr2008
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
  • 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.

  • Fleming, G. P. 1998. Virginia natural community framework, version January 30, 1998. Unpublished document. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 6 pp.

  • Fleming, G. P., K. Taverna, and P. P. Coulling. 2007b. Vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks, eastern region. Regional (VA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2007. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • 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.

  • Fleming, G. P., and W. H. Moorhead, III. 1998. Comparative wetlands ecology study of the Great Dismal Swamp, Northwest River, and North Landing River in Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 98-9. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. Unpublished report submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 181 pp. plus appendices.

  • 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.

  • McAvoy, William. Personal communication. Botanist, Delaware Natural Heritage Program, Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Smyrna, DE.

  • Patterson, K. D. 2008c. Vegetation classification and mapping at Colonial National Historical Park, Virginia. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2008/129. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 369 pp.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.


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