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Sesuvium portulacastrum - Atriplex spp. - Suaeda spp. Sparse Beach Vegetation
Translated Name: Shoreline Sea-purslane - Saltbush species - Sea-blite species Sparse Beach Vegetation
Common Name: Coastal Bay Shore Succulent Beach
Unique Identifier: CEGL004406
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association represents irregularly flooded beach vegetation along the Atlantic and northern Gulf of Mexico coasts. Examples tend to occur on the backside of the ends of barrier islands where they are only irregularly flooded. In contrast to Salicornia- or Distichlis-dominated areas, they apparently accumulate less salt. Its physiognomy tends to be of scattered mound-like clumps of vegetation (mostly Sesuvium portulacastrum) in a wet sand flat.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: Related vegetation in Virginia is treated in other salt flat / salt panne or upper beach / overwash associations.

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 Beach & Rocky Shore
Group South Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Beach
Alliance Southern Succulent Sand Salt Flat

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



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These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.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
Alabama Sesuvium portulacastrum - Atriplex spp. - Suaeda spp. Sparse Vegetation Equivalent Certain Schotz pers. comm.
Delaware Coastal Bay Shore/Succulent Beach Equivalent Certain Coxe 2009
Maryland Sesuvium portulacastrum - Atriplex spp. - Suaeda spp. Sparse Vegetation Equivalent Certain Harrison 2011
North Carolina Sand Flat Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012
South Carolina Salt flat (allard) Broader   Nelson 1986


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Sesuvium portulacastrum - Atriplex spp. - Suaeda spp. Sparse Vegetation
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: Upper Beach
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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.064 Central Atlantic Coastal Plain Sandy Beach
CES203.266 Florida Panhandle Beach Vegetation
CES203.301 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Sandy Beach


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3 (11Aug1997)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: AL, DE, FL, GApotentially occurs, MD, MSpotentially occurs, NC, SC
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community occurs along the Atlantic Coast and portions of the northern Gulf of Mexico, from Delaware to Mississippi, but it is not verified from all states in this potential range.

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: Atlantic Coastal Flatwoods Section
Section Code: 232C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Florida Coastal Lowlands (Western) Section
Section Code: 232D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Florida Coastal Lowlands (Eastern) Section
Section Code: 232G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Vegetation consists of widely scattered to fairly continuous mats of various succulent species, including most characteristically Sesuvium portulacastrum, Sesuvium maritimum, Atriplex patula, and Suaeda linearis. Other species which may occur are Spartina patens, Panicum amarum, Vigna luteola, Ipomoea imperati, Ipomoea sagittata, Sporobolus virginicus, and Cyperus sp.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Amaranthus pumilus G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Atriplex patula G3 Succulent forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Sesuvium portulacastrum G3 Succulent forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Suaeda linearis G3 Succulent forb Herb (field)  
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Amaranthus pumilus
  (Seabeach Amaranth)
G2 LT: Listed threatened


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This vegetation tends to occur on the back side of the ends of barrier islands; it is irregularly flooded by wind and storm tides, but does not accumulate salt like Salicornia- or Distichlis-dominated areas. It is especially prevalent on low-energy, protected shorelines.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: This community develops on low-energy shores protected from strong wave action. It is, however, occasionally flooded by wind and storm tides, and strong storms destroy the vegetation, "resetting the clock."


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Southeastern Ecology Group
Element Description Edition Date: 01Aug1997
Element Description Author(s): Southeastern Ecology Group
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 11Aug1997

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


References
  • Coxe, R. 2009. Guide to Delaware vegetation communities. Spring 2009 edition. State of Delaware, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Delaware Natural Heritage Program, Smyrna.

  • 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.

  • Nelson, J. B. 1986. The natural communities of South Carolina: Initial classification and description. South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Columbia, SC. 55 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.

  • 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.

  • Schotz, Al. Personal communication. Community Ecologist. Alabama Natural Heritage Program. Huntingdon College, Massey Hall, 1500 East Fairview Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36106-2148.

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


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