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Phragmites australis ssp. australis Tidal Ruderal Marsh
Translated Name: European Common Reed Tidal Ruderal Marsh
Common Name: Ruderal Tidal Common Reed Marsh
Unique Identifier: CEGL004187
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This community is a dense tall grassland indicative of disturbance. It occurs in a range of tidal wetland habitats from fresh to brackish in salinity. It is characterized by dense stands of Phragmites australis ssp. australis, an exotic taxon which tends to grow in colonies of tall, stout, leafy plants often to the exclusion of all other vascular plant species. Associated species are highly variable, depending on the community that has been invaded. Spreading in large colonies, Phragmites eventually dominates disturbed areas at coverage up to 100%. More typically, though, scattered individuals of other species may occur, such as sparse Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera) shrubs, Kosteletzkya virginica, Calystegia sepium, Boehmeria cylindrica, Typha angustifolia, Apocynum cannabinum, Rosa palustris, Polygonum sp., and Mikania scandens. Vines of Toxicodendron radicans are also frequent, but typically occur at low cover. This community has a broad geographic range, including coastal areas of the eastern and southeastern United States and Canada.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: Although Phragmites australis rhizomes have been noted in salt marsh sediments exceeding three thousand years in age (Niering and Warren 1977) and is thus a native component of salt marshes in some areas in North America, the growth of the species in its native condition was likely to have been significantly different than the dense monotypic stands that characterize this community in parts of its range today. The invasive, non-native strain has been labeled haplotype M (Saltonstall 2002). The presence of the Phragmites australis community in wetlands today generally indicates human-induced disturbance, either through direct habitat manipulation or through passive introduction of reproductive material to naturally disturbed substrates. Historically, without alteration, these sites would generally be more saline. In New England, Phragmites tends to invade behind artificial/man-made levees where regular salt input is blocked, making the sites more brackish and less saline than prior to levee construction and anthropogenic modification. In cases where Phragmites australis is a significant component of the vegetation but the vegetation retains sufficient species composition to retain its identity, the site is considered an unhealthy or degraded example of that original community. Where Phragmites australis cover is so high that native species have been excluded and the original community is no longer recognizable, the occurrence is treated as an example of Phragmites australis ssp. australis Tidal Ruderal Marsh (CEGL004187).

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.Nd - Eastern North American Temperate & Boreal Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Macrogroup Eastern-Southeastern North American Ruderal Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Group Eastern Ruderal Wet Meadow & Marsh
Alliance Ruderal Non-tidal Common Reed Marsh

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004141 Phragmites australis ssp. australis Eastern Ruderal Marsh
CEGL007891 Phragmites australis ssp. berlandieri - (Sagittaria platyphylla, Vigna luteola) Tidal Marsh



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 Phragmites australis Tidal Ruderal Herbaceous Vegetation Equivalent Certain Schotz pers. comm.
Connecticut Common reed (Phragmites australis) Tidal Herbaceous Vegetation Broader   Metzler and Barrett 2006
Delaware Reed-grass Marsh Equivalent Certain Coxe 2009
Maryland Phragmites australis Tidal Ruderal Herbaceous Vegetation Equivalent Certain Harrison 2011
Massachusetts Brackish Tidal Marsh Broader   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Jersey Phragmites australis Tidal Ruderal Herbaceous Vegetation Equivalent Certain Walz et al. 2008
New York Brackish tidal marsh Broader Certain Edinger et al. 2002
Rhode Island Brackish Marsh Broader   Enser 1999
South Carolina Tidal freshwater marsh (allard) Broader   Nelson 1986


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Phragmites australis Association
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: Phragmites australis Herbaceous Wetland
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: Phragmites australis Tidal Herbaceous Vegetation
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Bowman, P. 2000. Draft classification for Delaware. Unpublished draft. Delaware Natural Heritage Program.
Related Concept Name: Phragmites australis community
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Metzler, K. J., and J. Barrett. 1992. Connecticut community classification. Unpublished draft. Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources Center, Natural Diversity Database, Hartford.
Related Concept Name: Phragmites australis temporarily flooded grasslands
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: Phragmites australis tidal marsh association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Clancy, K. 1993b. A preliminary classification of the natural communities of Delaware. Unpublished draft. Delaware Natural Heritage Inventory, Division of Parks and Recreation, Dover. 30 pp.
Related Concept Name: Brackish Tidal 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
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: Successional / Modified Estuarine Herbaceous Vegetation
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, K. D. Patterson, and K. Taverna. 2006. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Version 2.2. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/ncTIV.shtml]

Ecological Systems Placement

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


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: GNA (22Nov1997)
Rounded Global Status: GNA - Not Applicable

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: AL, CT, DCpotentially occurs, DE, FL, GA, LA, MA, MD, ME, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, TX, VA
Canadian Province Distribution: LBpotentially occurs, NFpotentially occurs, NSpotentially occurs, PEpotentially occurs, QC
Global Distribution: Canadapotentially occurs, United States
Global Range: This community has a broad geographic range, including coastal areas of the eastern and southeastern United States and Canada.

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
Section Name: Florida Coastal Lowlands (Western) Section
Section Code: 232D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Louisiana Coast Prairies and Marshes Section
Section Code: 232E Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This community is a broadly defined reed grass marsh. It is characterized by dense stands of Phragmites australis ssp. australis, an exotic taxon which tends to grow in colonies of tall, stout, leafy plants often to the exclusion of all other vascular plant species. Associated species are highly variable, depending on the community that has been invaded. Spreading in large colonies, Phragmites eventually dominates disturbed areas at coverage up to 100%. More typically, though, scattered individuals of other species may occur, such as sparse Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera) shrubs, Kosteletzkya virginica, Calystegia sepium, Boehmeria cylindrica, Typha angustifolia, Apocynum cannabinum, Rosa palustris, Polygonum sp., and Mikania scandens. Vines of Toxicodendron radicans are also frequent but typically occur at low cover.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Phragmites australis ssp. australis GNA Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This community is a dense tall grassland indicative of disturbance. It occurs in a range of tidal wetland habitats from fresh to brackish in salinity.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Eastern Ecology Group
Element Description Edition Date: 21Oct2015
Element Description Author(s): R.E. Zaremba and M. Pyne

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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