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Hudsonia tomentosa / Panicum amarum var. amarulum Dwarf-shrubland
Translated Name: Woolly Beach-heather / Coastal Panicgrass Dwarf-shrubland
Common Name: Central Coast Beach-heather Dune Dwarf-shrubland
Unique Identifier: CEGL003950
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association is a maritime beach heather community of mid-Atlantic sand dunes. The unstable substrate is influenced by wind-deposited sand and supports no soil development; large patches of sparsely vegetated or unvegetated sand are common. The community is characterized by Hudsonia tomentosa occurring as discrete patches that may coalesce into a dense mat on older, more stabilized dunes. A number of other shrubs such as Morella pensylvanica (= Myrica pensylvanica), Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera), Pinus taeda saplings, and rarely Prunus maritima may occur but are low in abundance and cover. Schizachyrium littorale (= Schizachyrium scoparium ssp. littorale), Ammophila breviligulata, Aristida tuberculosa, Spartina patens, and Panicum amarum var. amarulum are common grasses of this community, and Toxicodendron radicans is a common vine. Other herbaceous associates include Lechea maritima, Cyperus grayi, Artemisia stelleriana, Chamaesyce polygonifolia, Solidago sempervirens, and Diodia teres. Small saplings of Pinus taeda may occur. This community is locally common on coastal dunes from New Jersey to northern North Carolina.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: Smaller patches of open sand supporting Hudsonia tomentosa occurring within a matrix of Pinus taeda / Hudsonia tomentosa Woodland (CEGL006052) should not be regarded as separate occurrences of Hudsonia tomentosa / Panicum amarum var. amarulum Dwarf-shrubland (CEGL003950). This association occurs in more exposed settings, usually in relatively more unstable interdunes that experience regular sand movement, while Pinus taeda / Hudsonia tomentosa Woodland (CEGL006052) occurs in more protected locations.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 2 - Shrub & Herb Vegetation
Subclass 2.B - Temperate & Boreal Grassland & Shrubland
Formation 2.B.4 - Temperate to Polar Scrub & Herb Coastal Vegetation
Division 2.B.4.Na - Eastern North American Coastal Scrub & Herb Vegetation
Macrogroup Eastern North American Coastal Dune & Grassland
Group North Atlantic Coastal Dune & Grassland
Alliance Woolly Beach-heather Dune Dwarf-shrubland

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004024 Hudsonia tomentosa Dune Dwarf-shrubland
CEGL004043 Ammophila breviligulata - Panicum amarum var. amarum Grassland
CEGL006143 Hudsonia tomentosa - Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Dwarf-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
Delaware Central Coast Beach Heather Dune Shrubland Equivalent Certain Coxe 2009
New Jersey Hudsonia tomentosa / Panicum amarum Dwarf-shrubland Equivalent Certain Breden et al. 2001
North Carolina Stable Dune Barren (Beach Heather Subtype) Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Hudsonia tomentosa - Ammophila breviligulata dune scrub association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Clancy, K. 1993a. Selected rare and historical vascular plants of Delaware. Bartonia 57:75-92.
Related Concept Name: Hudsonia tomentosa / Panicum (amarum, amarulum) Dwarf-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: Hudsonia tomentosa / Panicum amarum var. amarulum Dwarf-shrubland
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: Hudsonia dune community
Relationship: = - Equivalent
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: Hudsonia dunes
Relationship: = - Equivalent
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: Beach heather community
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Collins, B. R., and K. H. Anderson. 1994. Plant communities of New Jersey. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ. 287 pp.
Related Concept Name: Coastal dune shrubland
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: Dune crest community
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Clampitt, C. A. 1991. The upland plant communities of Seashore State Park, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Virginia Journal of Science 42:419-435.
Related Concept Name: Dunegrass - beach heather - low thicket mixture
Relationship: I - Intersecting
Reference: Martin, W. E. 1959b. The vegetation of Island Beach State Park, New Jersey. Ecological Monographs 29:1-46.
Related Concept Name: Maritime Dune Scrub
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: Maritime 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
CES203.264 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Dune and Swale


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2G3 (31Jan2007)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Although there are an estimated 75 occurrences of this association rangewide, this small-patch community occupies fewer than 3500 total acres. The range is moderately restricted (New Jersey to northern North Carolina), and the habitat requirements are also relatively restricted (large mid-Atlantic sand dunes). This association has likely declined substantially due to human development and remains threatened by continuing development of prime real estate. The rank was changed from G3 as reported in TNC (1995c) upon completion of more detailed ranking procedure.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: DE, MD, NC, NJ, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: The association is restricted to barrier beaches from New Jersey to northern North Carolina.

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: 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 community is a maritime dwarf-shrubland characterized by Hudsonia tomentosa, a species adapted to sand burial. Hudsonia tomentosa is dominant, occurring as discrete patches that may coalesce into a dense mat on older, more stabilized dunes. A number of other shrubs, such as Morella pensylvanica (= Myrica pensylvanica), Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera), Pinus taeda saplings, and Prunus maritima, may occur but in low abundance and cover. Schizachyrium littorale (= Schizachyrium scoparium ssp. littorale), Ammophila breviligulata, Aristida tuberculosa, Spartina patens, and Panicum amarum are common grasses of this community, and Toxicodendron radicans is a common vine. Other herbaceous associates include Lechea maritima, Cyperus grayi, Artemisia stelleriana, Chamaesyce polygonifolia, Solidago sempervirens, and Diodia teres.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Hudsonia tomentosa G2 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Lechea maritima G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Solidago sempervirens G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Aristida tuberculosa G2 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Panicum amarum var. amarulum G2 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Schizachyrium scoparium ssp. littorale G2 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Toxicodendron radicans G2 Liana Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This community is largely confined to maritime interdunes. Influenced by wind-deposited sand, the substrate is unstable and supports no soil development and large patches of sparsely vegetated or unvegetated sand are common.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: This association grades into Ammophila breviligulata-dominated dunes and into maritime shrub thickets.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): A. Berdine and L.A. Sneddon, mod. S.L. Neid
Element Description Edition Date: 14Nov1995
Element Description Author(s): L.A. Sneddon
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 31Jan2007
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
  • Bartgis, R. 1986. Natural community descriptions. Unpublished draft. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis.

  • Berdine, M. A. 1998. Maryland vegetation classification. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis, MD.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Brock, J. C., C. W. Wright, M. Patterson, A. Naeghandi, and L. J. Travers. 2007. EAARL bare earth topography - Assateague Island National Seashore. U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2007-1176. [http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1176/start.html]

  • Clampitt, C. A. 1991. The upland plant communities of Seashore State Park, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Virginia Journal of Science 42:419-435.

  • Clancy, K. 1993a. Selected rare and historical vascular plants of Delaware. Bartonia 57:75-92.

  • Collins, B. R., and K. H. Anderson. 1994. Plant communities of New Jersey. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ. 287 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.

  • Fleming, G. P. 2001a. Community types of Coastal Plain calcareous ravines in Virginia. Preliminary analysis and classification. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 4 pp.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Hill, S. R. 1986. An annotated checklist of the vascular flora of Assateague Island (Maryland and Virginia). Castanea 5:265-305.

  • Martin, W. E. 1959b. The vegetation of Island Beach State Park, New Jersey. Ecological Monographs 29:1-46.

  • NatureServe. 2009. Vegetation of the E.B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. International Ecological Classification Standard: Terrestrial Ecological Classifications. NatureServe Central Databases. Arlington, VA. U.S.A. Data current as of 1 December 2009.

  • 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.

  • TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. 1995c. NBS/NPS Vegetation Mapping Program: Vegetation classification of Assateague Island National Seashore. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Regional Office, Boston, MA.

  • TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. 1997a. Vegetation classification of Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Report to the NBS/NPS Vegetation Mapping Program. The Nature Conservancy. Eastern Regional Office, Boston, MA.


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