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Lemna spp. Eastern North American Aquatic Vegetation
Translated Name: Duckweed species Eastern North American Aquatic Vegetation
Common Name: Eastern North America Duckweed Pond
Unique Identifier: CEGL005451
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This aquatic association of floating vegetation is known to occur throughout temperate eastern North America. Lemna spp. typically dominate but may be mixed with other plant taxa floating on the water surface. Lemna-dominated aquatic vegetation occupies wetlands that are permanently, semipermanently or seasonally flooded. These small plants may float on the water's surface or become stranded and possibly rooted during drawdown periods. Water chemistry is fresh. The standing water habitat is relatively shallow, generally less than 2-4 m (6.6-13.1 feet) and occurs as ponds, lakes, ditches, stock ponds, and backwater sloughs of river and stream channels. Standing water for much or most of the growing season is characteristic. Depth of the water is of no consequence to floating plants; they occur where the wind pushes them. The composition of examples varies across this wide distributional range. Lemna taxa that may be present in eastern North America include Lemna aequinoctialis (southwest U.S. as well as southeast U.S.), Lemna minor (widespread across temperate North America), Lemna minuta (widespread across southern U.S.), Lemna obscura (eastern-southeastern U.S.), Lemna perpusilla (eastern U.S.), Lemna trisulca (widespread temperate and boreal, but not southeast U.S.), Lemna turionifera (widespread temperate and boreal, but not southeast U.S.), and Lemna valdiviana (southeast U.S., and spotty in the southwest U.S.). Other species present may include Spirodela polyrrhiza (widespread temperate U.S.), Spirodela punctata (southeastern U.S.), Azolla mexicana, Azolla filiculoides, Wolffiella lingulata (rare), Wolffiella oblonga (extreme southwest and southeast U.S.), Wolffiella gladiata (southeast coastal plain), Wolffia brasiliensis (eastern temperate U.S.), Wolffia borealis (west coast temperate and eastern temperate U.S., but not coastal plain), Wolffia globosa (eastern temperate U.S.), and Wolffia columbiana (eastern temperate U.S.), as well as Riccia spp. (aquatic liverworts). Associated rooted floating aquatics include Potamogeton spp., Sagittaria spp., or Polygonum spp. may also be present s. While these latter species are rooted submerged species, and technically not part of the strictly floating community, they do intermingle. Biomass can be abundant under eutrophic conditions.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low - Poorly Documented
Classification Comments: It is possible that a coastal plain Lemna association could be recognized based on the restricted distribution of many Lemna spp. Lemna and other characteristic wetland taxa that comprise floating, submerged and aquatic rooted associations are not well-reported in the literature, but they are known to occur in the field. Lemna and Azolla will be easy to distinguish from each other; some Lemna taxa may be less easy to distinguish from Spirodela, Wolffiella, and Wolffia.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 5 - Aquatic Vegetation
Subclass 5.B - Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation
Formation 5.B.2 - Temperate to Polar Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation
Division 5.B.2.Na - North American Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation
Macrogroup Eastern North American Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation
Group Eastern North American Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation
Alliance Duckweed Aquatic Vegetation

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL003305 Lemna minor Aquatic Vegetation
CEGL005450 Lemna spp. Western North American Aquatic Vegetation



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
New York Eutrophic Pond Broader   Edinger et al. 2002


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Interdune Pond
Relationship: F - Finer
Reference: Schafale, M. P., and A. S. Weakley. 1990. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina. Third approximation. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh. 325 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.705 South-Central Interior Large Floodplain


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G5 (11Jul2013)
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: If this community is widespread across eastern North America, it is ranked G5. Even if it is subdivided into "division-level" subunits, and it is likely to be secure.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WV
Canadian Province Distribution: ON, QC
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This aquatic association of floating vegetation is known to occur throughout temperate eastern North America.

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: Aroostook Hills and Lowlands Section
Section Code: 212A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Maine-New Brunswick Foothills and Lowlands Section
Section Code: 212B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Fundy Coastal and Interior Section
Section Code: 212C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Central Maine Coastal and Embayment Section
Section Code: 212D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: St. Lawrence and Champlain Valley Section
Section Code: 212E 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: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Great Lakes Section
Section Code: 212H Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lake Superior Section
Section Code: 212I Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Superior Uplands Section
Section Code: 212J Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Western Superior Uplands Section
Section Code: 212K Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Superior Uplands Section
Section Code: 212L Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Minnesota and Ontario Section
Section Code: 212M Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Minnesota Drift and Lake Plains Section
Section Code: 212N Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lake Michigan Section
Section Code: 212O Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lake Huron Section
Section Code: 212P 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
Section Name: Upper Atlantic Coastal Plain Section
Section Code: 221C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Appalachian Piedmont Section
Section Code: 221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 221E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Western Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 221F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Cumberland Plateau Section
Section Code: 221H Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Cumberland Mountains Section
Section Code: 221I Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Central Ridge and Valley Section
Section Code: 221J Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Continental) Province
Province Code: 222 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Ozark Highlands Section
Section Code: 222A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Upper Gulf Coastal Plain Section
Section Code: 222C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Interior Low Plateau, Shawnee Hills Section
Section Code: 222D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Interior Low Plateau, Highland Rim Section
Section Code: 222E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Interior Low Plateau, Bluegrass Section
Section Code: 222F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Central Till Plains, Oak-Hickory Section
Section Code: 222G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Central Till Plains, Beech-Maple Section
Section Code: 222H 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: Southwestern Great Lakes Morainal Section
Section Code: 222K Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: North Central U.S. Driftless and Escarpment Section
Section Code: 222L Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Minnesota and Northeast Iowa Morainal Section
Section Code: 222M Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lake Modified Till Section
Section Code: 222N Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Mohawk and Black River Valley Section
Section Code: 222O Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lake Ontario Section
Section Code: 222P Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lake Erie Section
Section Code: 222Q Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Subtropical Division
Province Name: Southeastern Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 231 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Appalachian Piedmont Section
Section Code: 231A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Coastal Plain Middle Section
Section Code: 231B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Cumberland Plateau Section
Section Code: 231C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Ridge and Valley Section
Section Code: 231D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Middle Coastal Plains, Western Section
Section Code: 231E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Eastern Gulf Prairies and Marshes Section
Section Code: 231F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Arkansas Valley Section
Section Code: 231G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
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
Section Name: Florida Coastal Lowlands (Western) Section
Section Code: 232D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Louisiana Coast Prairies and Marshes Section
Section Code: 232E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Coastal Plains and Flatwoods, Western Gulf Section
Section Code: 232F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Florida Coastal Lowlands (Eastern) Section
Section Code: 232G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Lower Mississippi Riverine Forest Province
Province Code: 234 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Mississippi Alluvial Basin Section
Section Code: 234A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Prairie Division
Province Name: Prairie Parkland (Temperate) Province
Province Code: 251 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Red River Valley Section
Section Code: 251A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: North Central U.S. Morainal and Till Plains Section
Section Code: 251B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Central Dissected Till Plains Section
Section Code: 251C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Central Till Plains Section
Section Code: 251D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Osage Plains Section
Section Code: 251E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Flint Hills Section
Section Code: 251F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Central Loess Plains Section
Section Code: 251G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Prairie Parkland (Subtropical) Province
Province Code: 255 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Cross Timbers and Prairie Section
Section Code: 255A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Blackland Prairies Section
Section Code: 255B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Oak Woods and Prairies Section
Section Code: 255C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Central Gulf Prairies and Marshes Section
Section Code: 255D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Domain Name: Humid Tropical Domain
Division Name: Savanna Division
Province Name: Everglades Province
Province Code: 411 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Everglades Section
Section Code: 411A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
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: White Mountain Section
Section Code: M212A 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
Section Name: Adirondack Mountain Section
Section Code: M212D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Catskill Mountain Section
Section Code: M212E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Tug Hill Plateau Section
Section Code: M212F 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: Cumberland Mountains Section
Section Code: M221C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Blue Ridge Mountains Section
Section Code: M221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Ozark Broadleaf Forest - Meadow Province
Province Code: M222 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Boston Mountains Section
Section Code: M222A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Subtropical Regime Mountains
Province Name: Ouachita Mixed Forest - Meadow Province
Province Code: M231 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Ouachita Mountains Section
Section Code: M231A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The composition of examples varies across the wide distributional range of this community. Lemna taxa that may be present in eastern North America include Lemna aequinoctialis (southwest and southeast U.S.), Lemna minor (widespread across temperate North America), Lemna minuta (widespread across southern U.S.), Lemna obscura (eastern-southeastern U.S.), Lemna perpusilla (eastern U.S.), Lemna trisulca (widespread temperate and boreal, but not southeast U.S.), Lemna turionifera (widespread temperate and boreal, but not southeast U.S.), and Lemna valdiviana (southeast U.S., and spotty in southwest U.S.). Other species present may include Spirodela polyrrhiza (widespread temperate U.S.), Spirodela punctata (southeastern U.S.), Azolla mexicana, Azolla filiculoides, Wolffiella lingulata (rare), Wolffiella oblonga (extreme southwest and southeast U.S.), Wolffiella gladiata (southeast coastal plain), Wolffia brasiliensis (eastern temperate U.S.), Wolffia borealis (west coast temperate and eastern temperate U.S., but not coastal plain), Wolffia globosa (eastern temperate U.S.), and Wolffia columbiana (eastern temperate U.S.).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Lemna aequinoctialis G5 Aquatic herb Floating aquatic  
 
 
Lemna minor G5 Aquatic herb Floating aquatic  
 
 
Lemna minuta G5 Aquatic herb Floating aquatic  
 
 
Lemna obscura G5 Aquatic herb Floating aquatic  
 
 
Lemna perpusilla G5 Aquatic herb Floating aquatic  
 
 
Lemna trisulca G5 Aquatic herb Floating aquatic  
 
 
Lemna turionifera G5 Aquatic herb Floating aquatic  
 
 
Lemna valdiviana G5 Aquatic herb Floating aquatic  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: Lemna-dominated aquatic vegetation occupies wetlands that are permanently flooded, semi-permanently flooded to seasonally flooded. Water chemistry is fresh. The standing water habitat is relatively shallow, generally less than 2-4 m (6.6-13.1 feet) and occurs as ponds, lakes, ditches, stock ponds, and backwater sloughs of river and stream channels. Standing water for much or most of the growing season is characteristic. Depth of the water is of no consequence to floating plants; they occur where the wind pushes them. Community composition may change hour to hour, yet the environment, only the top few centimeters of water, is homogeneous. Biomass can be abundant under eutrophic conditions.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Because the biomass of floating organisms is generally not great, they do not have an important influence on the accumulation of organic matter on the pond bottom. However, a study comparing Rocky Mountain with Illinois pond communities found that similar types in Illinois ponds have twice the number of species and biomass found in Colorado ponds (Fuller 1930).


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): D. Faber-Langendoen
Element Description Edition Date: 11Jul2013
Element Description Author(s): D. Faber-Langendoen
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 11Jul2013
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): D. Faber-Langendoen

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


References
  • Edinger, G. J., A. L. Feldmann, T. G. Howard, J. J. Schmid, F. C. Sechler, E. Eastman, E. Largay, and L. A. Sneddon. 2007. Vegetation classification and mapping of vegetation at Saratoga National Historical Park. Draft Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--XXXX/XXX. National Park Service, Northeast Region, Coastal Institute in Kingston, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI.

  • Edinger, G. J., D. J. Evans, S. Gebauer, T. G. Howard, D. M. Hunt, and A. M. Olivero, editors. 2002. Ecological communities of New York state. Second edition. A revised and expanded edition of Carol Reschke's ecological communities of New York state. (Draft for review). New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY.

  • Owns, T., project coordinator, et al. 2004. U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service Vegetation Mapping Program: Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service. 390 pp.

  • Schafale, M. P., and A. S. Weakley. 1990. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina. Third approximation. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh. 325 pp.

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

  • Windell, J. T., B. E. Willard, D. J. Cooper, S. Q. Foster, C. F. Knud-Hansen, L. P. Rink, and G. N. Kiladis. 1986. An ecological characterization of Rocky Mountain montane and subalpine wetlands. USDI Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Report 86(11). 298 pp.


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