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Taxodium distichum / Carex hyalinolepis Tidal Woodland
Translated Name: Bald-cypress / Shoreline Sedge Tidal Woodland
Common Name: Bald-cypress / Shoreline Sedge Tidal Woodland
Unique Identifier: CEGL004654
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This community occurs in narrow bands along the fringes of wind-tidal marshes on the Northwest River and North Landing River in southeastern Virginia, and likely occurs in northeastern North Carolina as well. It also occurs on the Pocomoke River of Maryland, where it is influenced by lunar, rather than wind tides. Substrates are poorly decomposed to moderately decomposed, root-rich peats. These sites are frequently flooded by wind tides or lunar tides and have some standing water throughout the growing season. This community usually develops in narrow ecotones between water-fringing marshes and tidal swamp forests, but may also occur between marshes and upland forests. Taxodium distichum dominates the open to sparse canopy. Other less common tree species may include Nyssa biflora, Liquidambar styraciflua, and Acer rubrum. Fraxinus profunda and occasional Chamaecyparis thyoides also occur in Maryland examples. The sparse to moderately dense shrub layer is dominated by Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera var. cerifera), Clethra alnifolia, Rosa palustris, and Toxicodendron radicans ssp. radicans. The herbaceous layer is very well-developed and is dominated by swards of Carex hyalinolepis. Despite the dense growth of this rhizomatous sedge, the herb layer is diverse. Herbaceous species include those more typical of forested swamps, such as Saururus cernuus, Triadenum walteri, and Woodwardia areolata, and those typical of marshes, such as Eleocharis fallax, Typha angustifolia, Panicum virgatum, Leersia oryzoides, Polygonum arifolium, Polygonum punctatum, Osmunda cinnamomea, and Schoenoplectus americanus. Some species, including the dominant Carex hyalinolepis, reach their nodal abundance in the landscape in this community.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: This association was part an analysis of over 300 tidal arboreal vegetation plots from Virginia and Maryland. It was classified based on five plots from Virginia and Maryland. It most likely also occurs in North Carolina.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 1 - Forest & Woodland
Subclass 1.B - Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland
Formation 1.B.3 - Temperate Flooded & Swamp Forest
Division 1.B.3.Nb - Southeastern North American Flooded & Swamp Forest
Macrogroup Southern Coastal Plain Floodplain Forest
Group Bald-cypress - Tupelo Floodplain Forest
Alliance Southern Bald-cypress - Swamp Blackgum Tidal Swamp Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004231 Taxodium distichum / Typha angustifolia Tidal Woodland
CEGL006850 Taxodium distichum - Nyssa biflora - Fraxinus profunda / Peltandra virginica - (Bignonia capreolata) Tidal Forest



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 Taxodium distichum / Carex hyalinolepis Woodland Equivalent Certain Harrison 2011


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Taxodium distichum / Carex hyalinolepis Tidal Woodland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
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]
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Harrison, J. W., P. Stango, III, and M. C. Aguirre. 2004. Forested tidal wetland communities of Maryland's eastern shore: Identification, assessment, and monitoring. Unpublished report submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program, Annapolis. 96 pp.
Related Concept Name: Tidal Bald Cypress Forest / Woodland
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: Tidal Bald Cypress Forest and Woodland
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
CES203.240 Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Tidal Wooded Swamp
CES203.282 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Tidal Swamp


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2? (25Jun1997)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: MD, NCpotentially occurs, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association occurs on the Coastal Plain from Maryland to Virginia, with a likelihood of occurrence in 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: 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: The open canopy is dominated by Taxodium distichum, with less common associates including Nyssa biflora, Liquidambar styraciflua, Acer rubrum, and in Maryland, Fraxinus profunda and Chamaecyparis thyoides. The sparse to moderately dense shrub layer is dominated by Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera var. cerifera), Clethra alnifolia, Rosa palustris, and Toxicodendron radicans ssp. radicans. The herbaceous layer is very well-developed and is dominated by swards of Carex hyalinolepis. Despite the dense growth of this rhizomatous sedge, the herb layer is diverse. Herbaceous species include those more typical of forested swamps, such as Saururus cernuus, Triadenum walteri, and Woodwardia areolata, and those typical of marshes, such as Eleocharis fallax, Typha angustifolia, Panicum virgatum, Leersia oryzoides, Polygonum arifolium, Polygonum punctatum, Osmunda cinnamomea, and Schoenoplectus americanus. Some species, including the dominant Carex hyalinolepis, reach their nodal abundance in the landscape in this community. Carex hyalinolepis often forms dense patches reaching 80% cover, although the herbaceous layer can achieve high species diversity overall. Exotic species Lonicera japonica and Microstegium vimineum are reported from some stands (Harrison et al. 2004).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Taxodium distichum G2 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Clethra alnifolia G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Morella cerifera G2 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Toxicodendron radicans ssp. radicans G2 Liana Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Rosa palustris G2 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Hibiscus moscheutos ssp. moscheutos G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Peltandra virginica G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Polygonum punctatum G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Rumex verticillatus G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Saururus cernuus G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Triadenum walteri G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex hyalinolepis G2 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Cinna arundinacea G2 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Microstegium vimineum G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Panicum virgatum var. virgatum G2 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Lonicera japonica G2 Liana Herb (field)      
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This association occurs on the slightly elevated alluvial floodplains on the oligohaline to freshwater tidal portions of tidal rivers. It forms a narrow band that is transitional to non-tidal wetlands or to uplands. In Virginia, wind tides are the prevalent dynamic, and in Maryland the tidal regime is lunar. The substrate is relatively firm, exhibiting slight to moderate hummock-and hollow-microtopography. In Maryland examples, salinity is typically less than 0.5 ppt but may be greater with storm tide salinity pulses or with lower river flow (Harrison et al. 2004).


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: This vegetation occurs in fresh to oligohaline conditions but can receive greater salinity pulses during storm tides. Wind tides influence this vegetation in Virginia, while lunar tides form the prevalent dynamic in Maryland examples.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Harrison et al. (2004)
Element Description Edition Date: 01Jun2007
Element Description 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., 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., 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]

  • 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, Gary P. Personal communication. Ecologist, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA.

  • 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., P. Stango, III, and M. C. Aguirre. 2004. Forested tidal wetland communities of Maryland's eastern shore: Identification, assessment, and monitoring. Unpublished report submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program, Annapolis. 96 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.

  • 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.

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


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