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Peltandra virginica - Schoenoplectus (pungens, tabernaemontani) Tidal Marsh
Translated Name: Arrow-arum - (Common Threesquare, Softstem Bulrush) Vegetation
Unique Identifier: CEGL006578
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This sparsely to densely vegetated herbaceous community occurs in low intertidal portions of marshes along tidal rivers and large tributaries in Virginia. It occupies both narrow zones along channel edges in chiefly freshwater regimes and in local subsidence areas in the interior of small to large marshes under freshwater to oligohaline conditions. Peltandra virginica is a constant and typically dominant or codominant constituent. Most stands also contain Schoenoplectus pungens or Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani. Other common associates include Polygonum punctatum, Zizania aquatica, Leersia oryzoides, Pontederia cordata, and in freshwater habitats Eleocharis quadrangulata. Stature of prevailing vegetation is generally <1 m, but emergent stems of Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani or Zizania aquatica may reach 2 m.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low - Poorly Documented
Classification Comments: This community exhibits considerable variation in composition and structure, largely as functions of prevailing salinity and hydroperiod. Schoenoplectus pungens Tidal Salt Marsh (CEGL004188) forms similarly narrow patches and occupies similar habitats along channel margins, as do freshwater variants of this association, but is typically much less diverse and is restricted to gravelly or otherwise coarse-textured substrates on shorelines frequently subject to ice-scour. Peltandra virginica - Pontederia cordata Tidal Marsh (CEGL004706) occurs in similarly low landscape positions, often adjacent to open water, but generally lacks emergent graminoids (Schoenoplectus spp., Eleocharis quadrangulata) as important associates, and patches are not characteristically linear. This type is documented by more than 20 vegetation plots from the James, Mattaponi, Pamunkey, Potomac, Rappahannock and York river drainages in Virginia.

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.Ne - Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Macrogroup Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Fresh-Oligohaline Tidal Marsh
Group Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Fresh-Oligohaline Tidal Marsh
Alliance Mixed Forb Oligohaline Tidal Marsh

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004188 Schoenoplectus pungens Tidal Salt Marsh
CEGL004706 Peltandra virginica - Pontederia cordata Tidal Marsh



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Eleocharis quadrangulata - Pontederia cordata - Schoenoplectus (pungens, tabernaemontani)
Relationship: F - Finer
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: Peltandra virginica - Echinochloa walteri - Schoenoplectus (pungens, tabernaemontani)
Relationship: F - Finer
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: High-Energy Tidal Shore
Relationship: B - Broader
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]

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.516 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Fresh and Oligohaline Tidal Marsh


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: GNR (02Jun2007)
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association has been documented from several tidal river systems in Virginia. Its potential occurrence outside Virginia has not been evaluated.

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: Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain Section
Section Code: 232A 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: Composition, species richness, stem density and vegetation cover differ between freshwater and oligohaline variants. Peltandra virginica is a constant and generally dominant or codominant species in all stands. Where this vegetation forms narrow bands under freshwater conditions, Schoenoplectus pungens or Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani typically attains high cover and density. Eleocharis quadrangulata and Pontederia cordata are codominant; common associates include Leersia oryzoides, Polygonum punctatum, Polygonum arifolium, Zizania aquatica, Bidens laevis, Asclepias incarnata, Amaranthus cannabinus, Impatiens capensis, Nuphar advena (= Nuphar lutea ssp. advena), Dulichium arundinaceum, Sagittaria latifolia, Galium obtusum, and the exotic Murdannia keisak. In rare instances Schoenoplectus fluviatilis or Schoenoplectus americanus may share dominance. Oligohaline variants are typically less diverse and more sparsely vegetated, although Schoenoplectus pungens or Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani may attain high cover. Characteristic associates include Polygonum punctatum, Zizania aquatica, Echinochloa walteri, Hibiscus moscheutos, Leersia oryzoides, Pluchea odorata, Amaranthus cannabinus, Rumex verticillatus, and Pontederia cordata.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Murdannia keisak GNR Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Peltandra virginica GNR Flowering forb Herb (field)
 
 
Schoenoplectus pungens GNR Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani GNR Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This association occurs in two distinct environments. Along freshwater to slightly oligohaline stretches of tidal rivers and large tidal tributaries, it forms narrow (typically 5- to 10-m) bands in the low intertidal zone adjacent to channel margins. This community also occupies small (generally <0.3 ha) depressions or open mudflats near the mouths of tidal guts or in the interior of marshes, where subsidence has locally lowered the level of the substrate and consequently increased the duration of inundation from diurnal lunar tides. If they are not proximate to an interior channel, such subsidence zones may not drain completely during every tidal cycle, thus resulting in a different salinity regime than the surrounding higher marsh. In prevailing fresh to slightly oligohaline conditions, these patches may concentrate salt, but more typically, lenses of less saline water may persist under a strongly oligohaline to mesohaline regime. Under both sets of environmental conditions, the substrate consists of mucky clay or fine-textured silt, often with abundant organic matter.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: It is not known whether occurrences of this vegetation under oligohaline conditions in subsidence zones in the interior of marshes represent a distinct, persistent community type or a variant of the surrounding vegetation mosaic in which local subsidence has produced an ephemeral change in composition and structure. In freshwater environments this community may grade into Nuphar advena Tidal Marsh (CEGL004472) toward main channels and Peltandra virginica - Pontederia cordata Tidal Marsh (CEGL004706) landward. Narrow bands of this association (CEGL006578) often form adjacent to extensive stands of Spartina cynosuroides Salt Marsh (CEGL004195) in oligohaline environments.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): P.P. Coulling
Element Description Edition Date: 25Feb2010
Element Description Author(s): P.P. Coulling

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.

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

  • 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, 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.

  • 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.


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