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Andropogon gerardii - Campanula rotundifolia - Solidago simplex Riverscour Sparse Vegetation
Translated Name: Big Bluestem - Bluebell Bellflower - Sticky Goldenrod Riverscour Sparse Vegetation
Common Name: Northern Riverscour Rock Outcrop
Unique Identifier: CEGL006284
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This riverside rock outcrop community of the northeastern U.S. occurs on open flood-scoured bedrock exposures of major rivers, typically along river narrows. Emergent seepage is absent. Typically a gradient from dry acidic conditions higher on the bank to moist, fairly enriched conditions lower down may exist at any one site. This community is prone to flooding in the upper regions and deposition in the topographically lower areas. It is also prone to severe drought periods that may stress or kill some vegetation. Within the community, the species are distributed patchily, probably due to microsite conditions. The variability in species composition has not been measured, but it shows substantial variation from site to site and from year to year. Vegetation is typically sparse and occurs in the cracks and crevices of the bedrock. Typical vegetation is a mixture of riparian species, xeric-loving crevice plants, and calciphiles. Characteristic species include Andropogon gerardii, Schizachyrium scoparium, Campanula rotundifolia, Solidago simplex, Toxicodendron radicans, Ionactis linariifolius, Sisyrinchium montanum, Packera paupercula, and Prunus pumila. Other associates include Anemone virginiana var. alba, Symphyotrichum lateriflorum, Carex crawei, Carex crawfordii, Potentilla arguta, Campanula rotundifolia, Arabis lyrata, Aquilegia canadensis, Cornus amomum, Euthamia graminifolia, Juncus debilis, and Eupatorium perfoliatum, among others. Astragalus robbinsii var. jesupii occurs in limited areas along the upper Connecticut River. These sites are susceptible to invasion by Lythrum salicaria and Melilotus officinalis. This association is more temperate than the related Campanula rotundifolia - Packera paupercula - (Aquilegia canadensis) Riverscour Sparse Vegetation (CEGL006532), which occurs on near-boreal rivers and lacks prairie elements such as Andropogon gerardii.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: This community may occur in conjunction with seep communities. However, emergent seepage is absent as are the corresponding seepage and wetland plants found in riverside seeps. Sedges are notably lacking. This community differs from rock outcrop/rocky summit communities by the paucity of lichen and woody species intolerant of flooding and the presence of flood-tolerant species on lower, somewhat enriched reaches of the community, where regular erosion and deposition of silty sediments occur.

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 North American Riverscour Vegetation
Group Northeastern Riverscour Barrens & Prairie
Alliance Big Bluestem - Tall Thimbleweed Riverscour

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006491 (Hypericum prolificum, Eubotrys racemosa) / Schizachyrium scoparium - Solidago simplex var. racemosa - Ionactis linariifolius Riverscour Sparse Vegetation
CEGL006532 Campanula rotundifolia - Packera paupercula - (Aquilegia canadensis) Riverscour Sparse Vegetation
CEGL006969 Deschampsia cespitosa - Carex viridula Riverscour 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
Maine Bluebell - balsam ragwort shoreline outcrop Intersects   Gawler 2002
Massachusetts Riverside Rock Outcrop Community Equivalent   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Hampshire Acidic riverbank outcrop Broader   Sperduto 2000
New York Shoreline Outcrop Broader Certain Edinger et al. 2002
Pennsylvania Riverside ice scour community Intersects   Fike 1999
Vermont Acidic Riverside Outcrop Broader   Thompson and Sorenson 2000


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Andropogon gerardii - Campanula rotundifolia community
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: SNE Riverside Outcrop 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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES201.587 Laurentian-Acadian Floodplain Forest
CES202.609 Central Appalachian Stream and Riparian


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2 (17Nov1997)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: There are probably fewer than 20 occurrences of this community rangewide. Individual occurrences tend to be small, so there are probably fewer than 500 acres rangewide. Currently five occurrences are documented in New Hampshire, with a total acreage of less than 20 acres. Similar vegetation is reported from Vermont, Maine, and New York, but these still need confirmation. This community is restricted to calcareous or basic bedrock outcrops along ice-scoured upper reaches of major rivers such as the Connecticut River in New Hampshire and Vermont, the Kennebec River in Maine, the Hudson River in New York, and the Delaware River in New Jersey.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, VT
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community is reported from Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York. It may also occur in Massachusetts.

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: Central Maine Coastal and Embayment Section
Section Code: 212D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Glaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212F 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: 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
Division Name: Warm Continental Regime Mountains
Province Name: Adirondack-New England Mixed Forest - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M212 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Vermont-New Hampshire Upland Section
Section Code: M212B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Green, Taconic, Berkshire Mountain Section
Section Code: M212C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This community is essentially a rock outcrop with a bit of soil development in the lower reaches. Within the community, the species are distributed patchily, probably due to microsite conditions. The variability in species composition has not been measured but shows substantial variation both spatially and temporally. Vegetation is typically sparse and occurs in the cracks and crevices of the bedrock. Typical vegetation is a mixture of riparian species, xeric-loving crevice plants, and calciphiles. Characteristic species include Andropogon gerardii, Schizachyrium scoparium, Campanula rotundifolia, Solidago simplex, Toxicodendron radicans, Ionactis linariifolius, Sisyrinchium montanum, Packera paupercula (= Senecio pauperculus), and Prunus pumila. Other associates include Anemone virginiana var. alba (= Anemone virginiana var. riparia), Symphyotrichum lateriflorum, Carex crawei, Carex crawfordii, Potentilla arguta, Campanula rotundifolia, Arabis lyrata, Aquilegia canadensis, Cornus amomum, Euthamia graminifolia, Juncus debilis, and Eupatorium perfoliatum, among others. Astragalus robbinsii var. jesupii occurs in limited areas along the upper Connecticut River. These sites are susceptible to invasion by Lythrum salicaria and Melilotus officinalis (= Melilotus alba).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Prunus pumila G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Allium schoenoprasum var. sibiricum G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Astragalus robbinsii var. jesupii G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Campanula rotundifolia G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Ionactis linariifolius G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Packera paupercula G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Solidago simplex G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Andropogon gerardii G2 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Schizachyrium scoparium G2 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Toxicodendron radicans G2 Liana Herb (field)    
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Astragalus robbinsii var. jesupii
  (Jesup's Milkvetch)
G5T1 LE: Listed endangered


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This sparse vegetation occurs on open flood-scoured bedrock exposures of major rivers, typically along river narrows. Emergent seepage is absent. Typically a gradient from dry acidic conditions higher on the bank to moist, fairly enriched conditions lower down may exist at any one site. This community is prone to flooding in the upper regions and deposition in the topographically lower areas. It is also prone to severe drought periods that may stress or kill some vegetation.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Winter ice-scour that removes tall vegetation and woody plants maintains predominantly herbaceous vegetation. The early-successional floristic assemblages include species able to regenerate from buried rootstocks or from seeds dispersed along the shoreline. Seasonal and annual variation in water levels is also an important process affecting the vegetation.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Eastern Ecology Group
Element Description Edition Date: 24Aug2006
Element Description Author(s): M. Anderson, S.L. Neid, S.C. Gawler and E. Largay
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 22Jun2006
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): C. Reschke, mod. S.C. Gawler

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


References
  • 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.

  • Eastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boston, MA.

  • 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.

  • Gawler, S. C. 2002. Natural landscapes of Maine: A guide to vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta, ME.

  • Gawler, S. C., and A. Cutko. 2010. Natural landscapes of Maine: A classification of vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta.

  • Grossman, D. H., K. Lemon Goodin, and C. L. Reuss, editors. 1994. Rare plant communities of the conterminous United States: An initial survey. The Nature Conservancy. Arlington, VA. 620 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.

  • 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.

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

  • Sechler, F. C., G. J. Edinger, T. G. Howard, J. J. Schmid, E. Eastman, E. Largay, L. A. Sneddon, C. Lea, and J. Von Loh. 2014. Vegetation classification and mapping at Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites, New York. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NETN/NRTR--2014/873, National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 392 pp.

  • Shank, L. K., and J. Shreiner. 1999. Globally threatened calcareous riverside seep and calcareous riverside outcrop communities along the New Jersey shoreline of the Delaware River: Summary of rare plant census, community sampling, and recommended monitoring protocol. Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry, Office of Natural Lands Management, Trenton, NJ. 220 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]

  • 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.

  • Zimmerman, E. A. 2011u. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. Floodplain Scour Community Factsheet. [http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Community.aspx?=16011[ (accessed February 14, 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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