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 >>

Ammophila breviligulata - (Schizachyrium scoparium) Grassland
Translated Name: American Beachgrass - (Little Bluestem) Grassland
Common Name: Great Lakes Beachgrass Dune
Unique Identifier: CEGL005098
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This beachgrass dune community occurs along the Great Lakes shores region of the United States and Canada on stabilized foredunes. Component plant communities vary from sparsely vegetated, active dunes to communities dominated by grasses, shrubs, and trees, depending on the degree of sand deposition, sand erosion, and distance from the lake. Depositional areas, where Great Lakes beachgrass foredunes are found, are dominated by Ammophila breviligulata (or in the eastern part of the range Ammophila champlainensis); erosional areas, such as slacks in blowouts and dune fields, by Calamovilfa longifolia; and stabilized areas by Schizachyrium scoparium. In dune fields and on the most stable dune ridges, especially around northern Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, low evergreen shrubs (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Juniperus communis, Juniperus horizontalis) occupy dune crests and also the ground layer in the savanna edge of dunes; elsewhere, deciduous shrubs are dominant, including Prunus pumila, Salix cordata and Salix myricoides. These two shrubby phases are separated from this open grassland type, but could be treated as phases of this type.



Classification

Classification Confidence: High
Classification Comments: Perhaps 25-35% of Great Lakes dune species grow in maritime dunes (e.g., Cakile edentula, Ammophila breviligulata, Hudsonia tomentosa, Lathyrus japonicus var. maritimus), but the many western species (such as Schizachyrium scoparium) set Great Lakes dunes apart (as do its endemic plants, such as Cirsium pitcheri). In Vermont (Lake Champlain) and New York (eastern Lake Ontario) the dunes apparently contain Ammophila champlainensis instead of Ammophila breviligulata. This type is linked in complexes with Juniperus horizontalis - Arctostaphylos uva-ursi - Juniperus communis Dune Dwarf-shrubland (CEGL005064) and Prunus pumila - (Ptelea trifoliata) Dune Shrubland (CEGL005075), which could be treated together as a single association, or treated as a complex open dune type. The sparsely vegetated parts of the dune are included in this association (old CEGL005161).

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 & Rocky Headland
Group Great Lakes Dune
Alliance Great Lakes Dune Grassland

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
CEGL005064 Juniperus horizontalis - Arctostaphylos uva-ursi - Juniperus communis Dune Dwarf-shrubland
CEGL005075 Prunus pumila - (Ptelea trifoliata) Dune Shrubland
CEGL005162 Cakile edentula Great Lakes Shore 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
Illinois Foredune Broader   White and Madany 1978
Indiana Primary - dune lake Broader   Homoya et al. 1988
Michigan Open Dunes Broader   Chapman et al. 1989
Minnesota Beachgrass Dune (Lake Superior) Type Equivalent   Minnesota DNR 2005
New York Great Lakes dunes Broader   Edinger et al. 2002
Vermont Sand Dune Intersects   Thompson and Sorenson 2000
Wisconsin Great lakes dune Broader   WNHI 2011


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Ammophila breviligulata - (Schizachyrium scoparium) Herbaceous Vegetation
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Faber-Langendoen, D., editor. 2001. Plant communities of the Midwest: Classification in an ecological context. Association for Biodiversity Information, Arlington, VA. 61 pp. plus appendix (705 pp.).

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES201.026 Great Lakes Dune
CES201.149 Great Lakes Sand Beach
CES201.726 Great Lakes Wooded Dune and Swale


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3G5 (03Oct1996)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: IL, IN, MI, MN, NY, VT, WI
Canadian Province Distribution: ON
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This community occurs along the Great Lakes shores of the United States and Canada on stabilized foredunes, ranging from Wisconsin to Ontario and New York in the Great Lakes, and in isolated occurrences along the shores of Lake Champlain, Vermont.

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: Northern Great Lakes Section
Section Code: 212H Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lake Superior Section
Section Code: 212I Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Superior Uplands Section
Section Code: 212J Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lake Michigan Section
Section Code: 212O Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lake Huron Section
Section Code: 212P 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: Southern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 221E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Continental) Province
Province Code: 222 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southeastern Great Lakes Section
Section Code: 222J Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southwestern Great Lakes Morainal Section
Section Code: 222K Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Component plant communities vary from sparsely vegetated, active dunes to communities dominated by grasses, shrubs, and trees, depending on the degree of sand deposition, sand erosion, and distance from the lake. Depositional areas, where Great Lakes beachgrass foredunes are found, are dominated by Ammophila breviligulata (or in the eastern part of the range Ammophila champlainensis); erosional areas, such as slacks in blowouts and dune fields, by Calamovilfa longifolia; and stabilized areas by Schizachyrium scoparium. In dune fields and on the most stable dune ridges, especially around northern Lake Michigan and Huron, low evergreen shrubs (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Juniperus communis, Juniperus horizontalis) occupy dune crests and also the ground layer in the savanna edge of dunes; elsewhere, deciduous shrubs are dominant, including Prunus pumila, Salix cordata and Salix myricoides (= Salix glaucophylloides). These two shrubby phases are separated from this open grassland type, but could be treated as phases of this type.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Cirsium pitcheri G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Ammophila breviligulata G4 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Calamovilfa longifolia G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Schizachyrium scoparium G4 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Cirsium pitcheri
  (Dune Thistle)
G2G3 LT: Listed threatened


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: Environmental processes include sand deposition, sand erosion, and stabilization. They are affected by the distance from the lake. Three sets of environmental habitats can be identified: depositional areas, erosional areas such as slacks in blowouts, and stabilized dune fields.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Dynamic tension exists at the forest edge where trees invade dune fields, often creating wind-stressed savanna, typically oak-pine in the south, pine-conifer in the north. When lake levels go down and beach and dune area increases lakeward, wind speed and sand abrasion decrease in the savanna edge, permitting forest development.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): D. Faber-Langendoen (2001)
Element Description Edition Date: 29Sep1997
Element Description Author(s): P. Comer
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 03Oct1996

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


References
  • 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.

  • Faber-Langendoen, D., editor. 2001. Plant communities of the Midwest: Classification in an ecological context. Association for Biodiversity Information, Arlington, VA. 61 pp. plus appendix (705 pp.).

  • Farrand, W. R., and D. L. Bell. 1982. Quaternary geology of northern Michigan. University of Michigan, Lansing.

  • Homoya, M. A., J. Aldrich, J. Bacone, L. Casebere, and T. Post. 1988. Indiana natural community classification. Indiana Natural Heritage Program, Indianapolis, IN. Unpublished manuscript.

  • Hop, K., S. Lubinski, J. Dieck, J. Drake, and S. Menard. 2009. National Park Service Vegetation Inventory Program: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana. USDI U.S. Geological Survey, La Crosse, WI, and NatureServe, St. Paul, MN. 312 pp.

  • Hop, K., S. Menard, J. Drake, S. Lubinski, and J. Dieck. 2010a. National Park Service Vegetation Inventory Program: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin. Natural Resource Report NPS/GLKN/NRR-2010/199. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 310 pp.

  • Hop, K., S. Menard, J. Drake, S. Lubinski, and J. Dieck. 2010c. National Park Service Vegetation Inventory Program: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan. Natural Resource Report NPS/GLKN/NRR-2010/201. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado. 358 pp.

  • Kost, M. A., D. A. Albert, J. G. Cohen, B. S. Slaughter, R. K. Schillo, C. R. Weber, and K. A. Chapman. 2007. Natural communities of Michigan: Classification and description. Report No. 2007-21, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Lansing. 314 pp. [http://web4.msue.msu.edu/mnfi/reports/2007-21_Natural_Communites_of_Michigan_Classification_and_Description.pdf]

  • Lee, H., W. Bakowsky, J. Riley, J. Bowles, M. Puddister, P. Uhlig, and S. McMurray. 1998. Ecological land classification for southern Ontario: First approximation and its application. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Southcentral Science Section, Science Development and Transfer Branch. SCSS Field Guide FG-02.

  • Midwestern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Minneapolis, MN.

  • Minnesota DNR [Minnesota Department of Natural Resources]. 2003-2005a. Field guide to the native plant communities of Minnesota. Three volumes: The Laurentian Mixed Forest Province (2003), The Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province (2005c), The Prairie Parkland and Tallgrass Aspen Parklands provinces (2005b). Ecological Land Classification Program, Minnesota County Biological Survey, and Natural Heritage and Nongame Research Program. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, St. Paul.

  • Minnesota DNR [Minnesota Department of Natural Resources]. 2003. Field guide to the native plant communities of Minnesota: The Laurentian Mixed Forest Province. Ecological Land Classification Program, Minnesota County Biological Survey, and Natural Heritage and Nongame Research Program. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, St. Paul.

  • ONHIC [Ontario Natural Heritage Information Centre]. 2018. Unpublished data. Ontario Natural Heritage Information Centre, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario, Canada.

  • Thompson, E. H., and E. R. Sorenson. 2005. Wetland, woodland, wildland: A guide to the natural communities of Vermont. The Nature Conservancy and the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. University Press of New England, Hanover, NH. 456 pp.

  • WDNR [Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources]. 2015. The ecological landscapes of Wisconsin: An assessment of ecological resources and a guide to planning sustainable management. PUB-SS-1131 2015. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison. [http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/landscapes/Book.html]

  • White, J., and M. Madany. 1978. Classification of natural communities in Illinois. Pages 311-405 in: Natural Areas Inventory technical report: Volume I, survey methods and results. Illinois Natural Areas Inventory, Urbana, IL.


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 March 2019.
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 © 2019 NatureServe, 2511 Richmond (Jefferson Davis) Highway, Suite 930, Arlington, VA 22202, 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. 2019. 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 2019
NatureServe
Version 7.1 (2 February 2009)
Data last updated: March 2019