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Rhododendron arborescens / Marshallia grandiflora - Triantha glutinosa - Platanthera flava var. herbiola Riverscour Wet Meadow
Translated Name: Smooth Azalea / Monongahela Barbara's-buttons - Sticky Bog-asphodel - Pale-green Orchid Riverscour Wet Meadow
Common Name: Barbara's-buttons Riverscour Wet Meadow
Unique Identifier: CEGL006598
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This herbaceous riverscour prairie occurs on temporarily flooded sand and cobbles in the Allegheny Mountains region of West Virginia, at elevations between 1060 and 1100 m. It is a small-patch type that occupies flat to gently sloping islands, cobble bars, and shorelines along high-gradient streams. Ice-scour and flood deposition/scour keep this community open and prevent accumulation of organic material in the substrate. Flooding can occur at any time of year. The community is characterized by a remarkable profusion of showy, flowering forbs, which share a tolerance for high-energy flooding and ice-scour. The shrub layer, kept at low stature and cover by frequent ice-scour, averages 12% cover and includes Rhododendron arborescens, Hypericum densiflorum, and Alnus incana ssp. rugosa. The herbaceous layer, averaging 60% cover, includes a large number of species with high constancy, including Marshallia grandiflora, Euthamia graminifolia var. graminifolia, Carex stricta, Eleocharis tenuis, Sanguisorba canadensis, Triantha glutinosa, Hypericum ellipticum, Solidago rugosa, Calamagrostis canadensis var. canadensis, Trautvetteria caroliniensis var. caroliniensis, Juncus dudleyi, Potentilla simplex, Houstonia serpyllifolia, Phlox maculata, Deschampsia cespitosa, Lycopus uniflorus var. uniflorus, and Platanthera flava var. herbiola. Exotic weeds washed in by the river typically include Prunella vulgaris, Anthoxanthum odoratum ssp. odoratum, and Daucus carota. Cover by nonvascular plants is insignificant. Indicator species that help to distinguish this community from others within the herbaceous physiognomy for high-elevation wetlands of the Allegheny Mountains region include Marshallia grandiflora, Juncus dudleyi, Krigia biflora var. biflora, Lysimachia quadrifolia, Phlox maculata, Platanthera flava var. herbiola, Rhododendron arborescens, Sanguisorba canadensis, Triantha glutinosa, and Trautvetteria caroliniensis var. caroliniensis. Mean species richness of vascular plants is 37 taxa per 400 m2.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: Four plots (1 occurrence) represent this type, which was classified as part of a 2004-2006 study of high-elevation wetlands in West Virginia's Allegheny Mountains region. (Byers et al. 2007).

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 Laurentian-Acadian Riverscour Vegetation
Alliance Gray Alder / Shrubby-cinquefoil Riverscour

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



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
Pennsylvania Riverside ice scour community Undetermined   Fike 1999


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Rhododendron arborescens / Marshallia grandiflora - Triantha glutinosa - Platanthera flava var. herbiola Riverscour Prairie
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Byers, E. A., J. P. Vanderhorst, and B. P. Streets. 2007. Classification and conservation assessment of high elevation wetland communities in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia. West Virginia Natural Heritage Program, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Elkins.
Related Concept Name: Rhododendron arborescens / Marshallia grandiflora - Triantha glutinosa - Platanthera flava var. herbiola Riverscour Prairie [Barbara's-buttons Ice-scour Prairie]
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Vanderhorst, J. 2017b. Wild vegetation of West Virginia: Riverscour prairies. West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program. [http://wvdnr.gov/Wildlife/Factsheets/Riverscour.shtm]

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.609 Central Appalachian Stream and Riparian


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1 (03Apr2007)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This community is restricted to very small patches on the Upper Shavers Fork of the Cheat River, at elevations between 1060 and 1100 m in the Allegheny Mountains region of West Virginia. It may occur on one other river in a similar setting in West Virginia; beyond this, additional occurrences are unlikely to be found. The type is characterized by a rare central Appalachian endemic (Marshallia grandiflora) in co-occurrence with a northern species at the southern edge of its range (Triantha glutinosa). It has a very narrow environmental specificity along high-elevation, high-gradient streams with intact ice-scour and flood hydrology.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: PApotentially occurs, WV
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community is known from the Allegheny Mountains region of West Virginia at elevations between 1060 and 1100 m. The single known occurrence is on the Upper Shavers Fork of the Cheat River. This type may possibly occur in a similar setting in the headwaters of the Gauley River.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
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: Allegheny Mountains Section
Section Code: M221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This herbaceous riverscour prairie occurs in the Allegheny Mountains region of West Virginia. The community is characterized by a remarkable profusion of showy, flowering forbs, which share a tolerance for high-energy flooding and ice-scour. The shrub layer, kept at low stature and cover by frequent ice-scour, averages 12% cover and includes Rhododendron arborescens, Hypericum densiflorum, and Alnus incana ssp. rugosa. The herbaceous layer, averaging 60% cover, includes a large number of species with high constancy, including Marshallia grandiflora, Euthamia graminifolia var. graminifolia, Carex stricta, Eleocharis tenuis, Sanguisorba canadensis, Triantha glutinosa, Hypericum ellipticum, Solidago rugosa, Calamagrostis canadensis var. canadensis, Trautvetteria caroliniensis var. caroliniensis, Juncus dudleyi, Potentilla simplex, Houstonia serpyllifolia, Phlox maculata, Deschampsia cespitosa, Lycopus uniflorus var. uniflorus, and Platanthera flava var. herbiola. Exotic weeds washed in by the river typically include Prunella vulgaris, Anthoxanthum odoratum ssp. odoratum, and Daucus carota. Cover by nonvascular plants is insignificant. Indicator species that help to distinguish this community from others within the herbaceous physiognomy for high-elevation wetlands of the Allegheny Mountains region include Marshallia grandiflora, Juncus dudleyi, Krigia biflora var. biflora, Lysimachia quadrifolia, Phlox maculata, Platanthera flava var. herbiola, Rhododendron arborescens, Sanguisorba canadensis, Triantha glutinosa, and Trautvetteria caroliniensis var. caroliniensis. Mean species richness of vascular plants is 37 taxa per 400 m2 (Byers et al. 2007).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Rhododendron arborescens G1 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Daucus carota G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Marshallia grandiflora G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Platanthera flava var. herbiola G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Prunella vulgaris G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Triantha glutinosa G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Anthoxanthum odoratum ssp. odoratum G1 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Marshallia grandiflora
  (Large-flowered Barbara's-buttons)
G3  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This herbaceous riverscour prairie occurs on temporarily flooded sand and cobbles in the Allegheny Mountains region of West Virginia, at elevations between 1060 and 1100 m. It is a small-patch type that occupies flat to gently sloping islands, cobble bars, and shorelines along high-gradient streams. Ice-scour and flood deposition/scour keep this community open and prevent accumulation of organic material in the substrate. Flooding can occur at any time of year. Shoreline locations probably receive seepage from the adjacent upland forest. Bedrock may be shale or sandstone. The unvegetated surface averages 40% large rocks, 25% small rocks, 20% sand, and 15% bare soil, with a trace amount of litter and woody debris (Byers et al. 2007).


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: This is a small-patch herbaceous riverscour community. Nutrient cycling occurs primarily from ice-scour, flood scour, and flood deposition.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): E.A. Byers et al. (2007)
Element Description Edition Date: 03Apr2007
Element Description Author(s): E.A. Byers
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 03Apr2007
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): E.A. Byers

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


References
  • Byers, E. A., J. P. Vanderhorst, and B. P. Streets. 2007. Classification and conservation assessment of high elevation wetland communities in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia. West Virginia Natural Heritage Program, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Elkins.

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

  • 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.

  • Vanderhorst, J. 2017b. Wild vegetation of West Virginia: Riverscour prairies. West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program. [http://wvdnr.gov/Wildlife/Factsheets/Riverscour.shtm]

  • WVNHP [West Virginia Natural Heritage Program]. No date. Unpublished data. West Virginia Natural Heritage Program, Elkins.

  • 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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