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Spartina cynosuroides - Panicum virgatum - Phyla lanceolata Salt Marsh
Translated Name: Big Cordgrass - Switchgrass - Lanceleaf Fogfruit Salt Marsh
Unique Identifier: CEGL007741
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association occurs adjacent to channels in wind-tidal oligohaline marshes of Virginia and North Carolina. Spartina cynosuroides is the characteristic species in these marshes dominated by tall, coarse graminoids. Species composition varies from nearly monospecific to strongly mixed with high species richness. Common associates include Eleocharis fallax, Schoenoplectus americanus, and Sagittaria lancifolia ssp. media. Locally, Cladium mariscus ssp. jamaicense, Schoenoplectus robustus (= Scirpus robustus), and Spartina alterniflora are dominant or codominant in this type. The physiognomy of this vegetation is markedly bi-stratal, supporting tall or mid-height associates such as Amaranthus cannabinus, Bidens coronata, Symphyotrichum subulatum (= Aster subulatus), Decodon verticillatus, Hibiscus moscheutos, Panicum virgatum, Rhynchospora macrostachya (= var. colpophila), Sium suave, Typha spp., and the herbaceous vine Mikania scandens. In most stands of this type, vegetation of low to mid-height marshes, e.g., Eleocharis fallax, Cyperus haspan, Pontederia cordata, Sagittaria lancifolia, Polygonum spp., etc., occurs as a lower stratum beneath the taller species. Phyla lanceolata is another short-statured plant that is apparently much more constant and abundant in these tall marshes than elsewhere. Plants that are particularly common in channel edge microhabitats are Asclepias incarnata, Cladium mariscoides, Lobelia elongata, Lythrum lineare, Stachys aspera, and Teucrium canadense. The importance of Polygonum hydropiperoides and the relative lack of Polygonum punctatum distinguish this vegetation from other wind-tidal marshes.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 2 - Shrub & Herb Vegetation
Subclass 2.C - Shrub & Herb Wetland
Formation 2.C.5 - Salt Marsh
Division 2.C.5.Nb - North American Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Salt Marsh
Macrogroup North American Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Salt Marsh
Group Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Brackish Salt Marsh
Alliance Cordgrass Brackish Tidal Marsh

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004195 Spartina cynosuroides Salt Marsh



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Spartina cynosuroides - Panicum virgatum - Phyla lanceolata Tidally Flooded Herbaceous Vegetation
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: Spartina cynosuroides - Panicum virgatum - Phyla lanceolata Tidally Flooded Herbaceous Vegetation
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: Spartina cynosuroides - Schoenoplectus americanus - Polygonum hydropiperoides Tidal Herbaceous Vegetation
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: 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.
Related Concept Name: Wind-Tidal Oligohaline Marsh
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.

Ecological Systems Placement

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


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2G3 (31Jan2001)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: This association is believed to be limited to unusual wind-tidal, oligohaline situations in the upper estuaries of the Albemarle-Pamlico estuary. Acreage is limited. Conservation status is probably relatively stable.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: NCpotentially occurs, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association is limited to wind-tidal oligohaline marshes in Virginia and perhaps 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: Atlantic Coastal Flatwoods Section
Section Code: 232C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Spartina cynosuroides is the characteristic species in these marshes dominated by tall, coarse graminoids. Species composition varies from nearly monospecific to strongly mixed with high species richness. Common associates include Eleocharis fallax, Schoenoplectus americanus, and Sagittaria lancifolia ssp. media. Locally, Cladium mariscus ssp. jamaicense, Schoenoplectus robustus (= Scirpus robustus), and Spartina alterniflora are dominant or codominant in this type. The physiognomy of this vegetation is markedly bi-stratal, supporting tall or mid-height associates such as Amaranthus cannabinus, Bidens coronata, Symphyotrichum subulatum (= Aster subulatus), Decodon verticillatus, Hibiscus moscheutos, Panicum virgatum, Rhynchospora macrostachya (= var. colpophila), Sium suave, Typha spp., and the herbaceous vine Mikania scandens. In most stands of this type, vegetation of low to mid-height marshes, e.g., Eleocharis fallax, Cyperus haspan, Pontederia cordata, Sagittaria lancifolia, Polygonum spp., etc., occurs as a lower stratum beneath the taller species. Phyla lanceolata is another short-statured plant that is apparently much more constant and abundant in these tall marshes than elsewhere. Plants that are particularly common in channel edge microhabitats are Asclepias incarnata, Cladium mariscoides, Lobelia elongata, Lythrum lineare, Stachys aspera, and Teucrium canadense. The importance of Polygonum hydropiperoides and the relative lack of Polygonum punctatum distinguish this vegetation from other wind-tidal marshes.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Persicaria hydropiperoides G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Phyla lanceolata G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Panicum virgatum G2 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Spartina cynosuroides G2 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Problema bulenta
  (Rare Skipper)
G2G3  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This association occurs in wind-tidal oligohaline marshes along channel edges, especially along levees adjacent to channel margins, in flats, and in hummock-and-hollow microtopography on smaller guts.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): G.P. Fleming
Element Description Edition Date: 01Jun2007
Element Description Author(s): G.P. Fleming and L.A. Sneddon
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 31Jan2001
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): A.S. Weakley

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. 1998. Virginia natural community framework, version January 30, 1998. Unpublished document. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 6 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., 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, 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.

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

  • VDNH [Virginia Division of Natural Heritage]. 2003. The natural communities of Virginia: Hierarchical classification of community types. Unpublished document, working list of November 2003. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Ecology Group, Richmond.


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