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Phalaris arundinacea Eastern Ruderal Marsh
Translated Name: Reed Canarygrass Eastern Ruderal Marsh
Common Name: Eastern Ruderal Reed Canarygrass Marsh
Unique Identifier: CEGL006044
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association is found throughout the northeastern United States and Canada, but its distribution as a natural type is complicated elsewhere. Phalaris arundinacea is native to the United States and Canada but is now more widely distributed and abundant because of local introductions from both local and European populations. The introduced strains may be more aggressive ecotypes than native strains. Stands are found in both minerotrophic basin wetlands as well as rivershores. Phalaris arundinacea has been widely used as a forage and hay crop, especially in marshes and floodplains, and it is used for wildlife food and for shoreline and ditch stabilization. Stands are dominated by Phalaris arundinacea, a 0.5- to 2-m tall perennial grass, which tends to occur in monocultures or associated with Calamagrostis canadensis. Associates in the glaciated Northeast include Viburnum nudum, Alnus incana or Alnus serrulata, Viburnum dentatum, and Agrostis gigantea. In Central Appalachian bottomland old fields, characteristic associates include Verbesina alternifolia (which may be codominant), Solidago rugosa, Boehmeria cylindrica, and Euthamia graminifolia, along with exotic species such as Glechoma hederacea, Securigera varia, Rosa multiflora, and Elaeagnus umbellata. Midwest associates include species characteristic of wet meadows. Phalaris arundinacea can displace native species over time. Further work is required to resolve the natural versus introduced nature of this type in the Southeast before a description can be completed.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: Type has a broad distribution; in fact, it is widespread throughout temperate areas of the northern hemisphere. It is native to the United States and Canada, but is now more widely distributed and abundant because of local introductions from both local and European populations (Apfelbaum and Sams 1987). It can invade a variety of habitats, suggesting that little unites these stands apart from the dominance of Phalaris arundinacea. However, that may be the only reasonable way to describe this type. This vegetation is documented from Shady Valley TNC Preserve, Johnson County, Tennessee, where it occupies channelized streams, impoundments, and fen restoration sites. In these examples, characteristic associates include Juncus effusus, Carex lurida, Carex gynandra, and Alnus serrulata.

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 Eastern Ruderal Reed Canarygrass Marsh

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL001474 Phalaris arundinacea Western Marsh
CEGL005448 Calamagrostis canadensis - Carex spp. Laurentian & Northeast Wet Meadow
CEGL005449 Calamagrostis canadensis North-Central Wet Meadow



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
Delaware Reed Canarygrass Eastern Marsh Equivalent Certain Coxe 2009
Massachusetts Low-energy Riverbank Community Broader   Swain and Kearsley 2001
Massachusetts Shallow Emergent Marsh Intersects   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Hampshire Tall graminoid meadow marsh Broader   Sperduto 2000
New Jersey Phalaris arundinacea eastern herbaceous vegetation Equivalent Certain NJNHP unpubl. data
New York Shallow emergent marsh Broader Certain Edinger et al. 2002
Pennsylvania Reed Canary-grass Floodplain Grassland Equivalent Certain PNHP unpubl. data 2018
Vermont Shallow Emergent Marsh Broader   Thompson and Sorenson 2000
West Virginia Phalaris arundinacea Ruderal Wet Meadow Equivalent Certain WVNHP unpubl. data


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Phalaris arundinacea temporarily flooded grasslands
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Metzler, K., and J. Barrett. 2006. The vegetation of Connecticut: A preliminary classification. State Geological and Natural History Survey, Report of Investigations No. 12. Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Hartford, CT.
Related Concept Name: Bottomland old fields
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Vanderhorst, J. 2001a. Plant community classification and mapping of the Camp Dawson Collective Training Area, Preston County, West Virginia. West Virginia Natural Heritage Program, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Elkins. 101 pp.
Related Concept Name: Reed canary grass riverine grassland
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Perles, S., G. Podniesinski, and J. Wagner. 2004. Classification, assessment and protection of non-forested floodplain wetlands of the Susquehanna drainage. Report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, Harrisburg. 128 pp.
Related Concept Name: SNE low-energy riverbank community
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: Southern New England nutrient-poor streamside/lakeside 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: Southern New England nutrient-rich streamside/lakeside 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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.018 Central Interior Highlands and Appalachian Sinkhole and Depression Pond
CES202.694 North-Central Interior Floodplain


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: GNA (01Dec1997)
Rounded Global Status: GNA - Not Applicable
Reasons: Phalaris arundinacea is native to the United States and Canada but is now more widely distributed and abundant because of local introductions from both local and European populations (Apfelbaum and Sams 1987). It can invade a variety of habitats.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, DE, IA, IN, MA, MD, ME, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, TN, VA, VT, WIpotentially occurs, WV
Canadian Province Distribution: ON, QCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This association is found throughout the northeastern United States and Canada, but its distribution as a natural type is complicated elsewhere. It currently ranges from Virginia north to Vermont, east to Minnesota and south to Tennessee.

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 Glaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212G Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
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
Section Name: Hudson Valley Section
Section Code: 221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Appalachian Piedmont Section
Section Code: 221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Western Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 221F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Continental) Province
Province Code: 222 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Erie and Ontario Lake Plain Section
Section Code: 222I Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southeastern Great Lakes Section
Section Code: 222J Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: North Central U.S. Driftless and Escarpment Section
Section Code: 222L Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Hot Continental Regime Mountains
Province Name: Central Appalachian Broadleaf Forest - Coniferous Forest - Meadow Province
Province Code: M221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Ridge and Valley Section
Section Code: M221A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Allegheny Mountains Section
Section Code: M221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Blue Ridge Mountains Section
Section Code: M221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Stands are dominated by Phalaris arundinacea, a 0.5- to 2-m tall perennial grass that is native to the United States and Canada, but which has also been introduced from European strains. The introduced strains may be more aggressive ecotypes than native strains (Barnes 1999). It tends to occur in monocultures or associated with Calamagrostis canadensis or, less commonly, with a mixture of forbs equaling the graminoid cover. Associates in the glaciated Northeast include Viburnum nudum, Salix spp., Alnus incana or Alnus serrulata, Viburnum dentatum, Poa palustris, Mentha arvensis, Leersia virginica, Lythrum salicaria, and Agrostis gigantea. In Central Appalachian bottomland old fields, characteristic associates include Verbesina alternifolia (which may be codominant), Solidago rugosa, Boehmeria cylindrica, and Euthamia graminifolia, along with exotic species such as Glechoma hederacea, Securigera varia (= Coronilla varia), Rosa multiflora, and Elaeagnus umbellata. Midwest associates include species characteristic of wet meadows. Phalaris arundinacea can displace native species over time (Apfelbaum and Sams 1987, Barnes 1999, and references therein). Further work is required to resolve the natural versus introduced nature of this type in the Southeast.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Elaeagnus umbellata GNA Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Rosa multiflora GNA Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Coronilla varia GNA Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Glechoma hederacea GNA Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Phalaris arundinacea GNA Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: Stands are found in both minerotrophic basin wetlands as well as rivershores. The dominant species has been widely used as a forage and hay crop, especially in marshes and floodplains, and it is used for wildlife food and for shoreline and ditch stabilization (Barnes 1999).


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Shoreline habitats can be temporarily or seasonally flooded in spring. Phalaris arundinacea may respond well to summer drawdowns (Barnes 1999).


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): D. Faber-Langendoen
Element Description Edition Date: 04Oct2006
Element Description Author(s): D. Faber-Langendoen and S.C. Gawler
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 27Feb2007
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): E. Largay

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


References
  • Apfelbaum, S. I., and C. E. Sams. 1987. Ecology and control of reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.). Natural Areas Journal 7(2):69-74.

  • Barnes, W. J. 1999. The rapid growth of a population of reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) and its impact on some riverbottom herbs. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 126:133-138.

  • CDPNQ [Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec]. No date. Unpublished data. Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec, Québec.

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

  • Diamond, D. D., L. F. Elliott, M. D. DeBacker, K. M. James, D. L. Pursell, and A. Struckhoff. 2014. Vegetation mapping and classification of Pipestone National Monument, Minnesota: Project report. Natural Resource Report NPS/PIPE/NRR--2014/802. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 79 pp.

  • Edinger, G. J., A. L. Feldmann, T. G. Howard, J. J. Schmid, F. C. Sechler, E. Eastman, E. Largay, L. A. Sneddon, C. Lea, and J. Von Loh. 2014b. Vegetation inventory: Saratoga National Historical Park, New York. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NETN/NRTR--2014/869, National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO.

  • 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.

  • Fike, J. 1999. Terrestrial and palustrine plant communities of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Recreation, Bureau of Forestry, Harrisburg, PA. 86 pp.

  • Hop, K., J. Drake, A. Strassman, E. Hoy, J. Jakusz, S. Menard, and J. Dieck. 2013. National Park Service Vegetation Inventory Program: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/HTLN/NRT--2013/792. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 302 pp.

  • 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. Lubinski, and S. Menard. 2005. U.S. Geological Survey-National Park Service Vegetation Mapping Program, Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa. USDI U.S. Geological Survey, La Crosse, WI. 202 pp.

  • Largay, E. F., and L. A. Sneddon. 2008. Vegetation classification and mapping at Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2008/123. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 111 pp.

  • MNNHP [Minnesota Natural Heritage Program]. 1993. Minnesota's native vegetation: A key to natural communities. Version 1.5. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program, St. Paul, MN. 110 pp.

  • Metzler, K., and J. Barrett. 2006. The vegetation of Connecticut: A preliminary classification. State Geological and Natural History Survey, Report of Investigations No. 12. Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Hartford, CT.

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

  • NRCS [Natural Resources Conservation Service]. 2004a. Soil survey of Saratoga County, New York. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. 590 pp.

  • ONHD [Ohio Natural Heritage Database]. No date. Vegetation classification of Ohio and unpublished data. Ohio Natural Heritage Database, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Columbus.

  • Perles, S. J., G. S. Podniesinski, E. A. Zimmerman, E. Eastman, and L. A. Sneddon. 2006d. Vegetation classification and mapping at Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2006/079. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Perles, S. J., G. S. Podniesinski, E. Eastman, L. A. Sneddon, and S. C. Gawler. 2007. Classification and mapping of vegetation and fire fuel models at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2007/076. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 2 volumes.

  • Perles, S. J., G. S. Podniesinski, M. Furedi, B. A. Eichelberger, A. Feldmann, G. Edinger, E. Eastman, and L. A. Sneddon. 2008. Vegetation classification and mapping at Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2008/133. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 370 pp.

  • Perles, S. J., G. S. Podniesinski, W. A. Millinor, and L. A. Sneddon. 2006c. Vegetation classification and mapping at Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Park. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2006/058. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Perles, S., G. Podniesinski, and J. Wagner. 2004. Classification, assessment and protection of non-forested floodplain wetlands of the Susquehanna drainage. Report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, Harrisburg. 128 pp.

  • Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.

  • Sperduto, D. D., and W. F. Nichols. 2004. Natural communities of New Hampshire: A guide and classification. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord. 242 pp.

  • Swain, P. C., and J. B. Kearsley. 2014. Classification of the natural communities of Massachusetts. Version 2.0. Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Westborough, MA. [http://www.mass.gov/nhesp/http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/natural-heritage/natural-communities/classification-of-natural-communities.html]

  • TNC and WPC [The Nature Conservancy and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy]. 2004. Classification, assessment, and protection of non-forested floodplain wetlands of the Susquehanna drainage. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, Harrisburg, PA. 128 pp.

  • 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.

  • Vanderhorst, J. 2001a. Plant community classification and mapping of the Camp Dawson Collective Training Area, Preston County, West Virginia. West Virginia Natural Heritage Program, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Elkins. 101 pp.

  • Vanderhorst, J., and B. P. Streets. 2006. Vegetation classification and mapping of Camp Dawson Army Training Site, West Virginia: Second approximation. Natural Heritage Program, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Elkins. 83 pp.

  • Zimmerman, E. A. 2011h. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. Reed Canary-grass Floodplain Grassland Factsheet. [http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Community.aspx?=30016] (accessed February 10, 2012)

  • Zimmerman, E. A., T. Davis, M. A. Furedi, B. Eichelberger, J. McPherson, S. Seymour, G. Podniesinski, N. Dewar, and J. Wagner, editors. 2012. Terrestrial and palustrine plant communities of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Harrisburg. [http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Communities.aspx]


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