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Classification
Scientific Name: Atlantic Coastal Plain Northern Salt Pond Marsh
Unique Identifier: CES203.892

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Summary: This system occurs from New Hampshire to New York on ponds behind sandy or cobbly barrier beaches that are breached periodically by storm surges, causing seawater incursion into the pond. Salinity levels, and thus effects on vegetation, are highly variable as a result. A mixture of salt marsh, brackish marsh, and shrublands occur on the periphery of the pond. Spartina patens, Typha angustifolia, Eleocharis parvula, Eleocharis halophila, Bolboschoenus maritimus, Schoenoplectus pungens, and Hibiscus moscheutos are typical species; Spartina pectinata is a major component in marshes of Massachusetts and New York. Salt shrub vegetation characterized by Iva frutescens may occur at the upper reaches of flooding, and Ruppia maritima or Zannichellia palustris may occur in the pond.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL003921 Baccharis halimifolia - Iva frutescens / Panicum virgatum Saline Shrubland
CEGL004097 Spartina patens - Schoenoplectus pungens - Solidago sempervirens Grassland
CEGL004201 Typha angustifolia - Hibiscus moscheutos Salt Marsh
CEGL006006 Spartina patens - Distichlis spicata - (Juncus gerardii) Salt Marsh
CEGL006150 Panicum virgatum - Spartina patens - Carex silicea Salt Marsh
CEGL006167 Ruppia maritima Acadian/Virginian Zone Temperate Aquatic Vegetation
CEGL006365 Spartina patens - Agrostis stolonifera Salt Marsh
CEGL006398 Schoenoplectus pungens - Eleocharis parvula Salt Marsh
CEGL006414 Cornus amomum - Alnus serrulata Shrub Swamp



Classifiers

Land Cover Class: Herbaceous Wetland
Spatial Pattern: Small patch
Natural/Seminatural: No
Vegetated ( > 10% vascular cover):
Upland: No
Wetland: Yes
Isolated Wetland: No

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Herbaceous  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Ammospiza caudacuta
  (Saltmarsh Sparrow)
G2  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Iva frutescens G5 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Solidago sempervirens G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Agrostis stolonifera G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Distichlis spicata G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Eleocharis halophila G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Eleocharis parvula G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Schoenoplectus pungens G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Spartina patens G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Animal Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status Charact-
eristic
Exotic
Ammospiza caudacuta
  (Saltmarsh Sparrow)
G2      
Microtus pennsylvanicus
  (Meadow Vole)
G5      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: MA, NH, NY, RI
Global Range: This system occurs in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York.

Biogeographic Divisions
Division Code and Name Primary Occurrence Status
203-Gulf and Atlantic Coastal Plain C: Confident or certain

The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Ecoregions
Code Name Occurrence Status
62 North Atlantic Coast Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
65 Connecticut River Basin and Highlands Confident or certain
66 The North Woods Confident or certain

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 9274

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: No

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 14Jan2014
Element Description Author(s): L.A. Sneddon and 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
  • Anderson, G. D., and S. F. Edwards. 1986. Protecting Rhode Island's coastal salt ponds: An economic assessment of downzoning. Coastal Zone Management Journal 14:67-91.

  • Comer, P., D. Faber-Langendoen, R. Evans, S. Gawler, C. Josse, G. Kittel, S. Menard, C. Nordman, M. Pyne, M. Reid, M. Russo, K. Schulz, K. Snow, J. Teague, and R. White. 2003-present. Ecological systems of the United States: A working classification of U.S. terrestrial systems. NatureServe, Arlington, VA.

  • Crawford, R. E., and C. G. Carey. 1985. Retention of winter flounder larvae within a Rhode Island salt pond. Estuaries 8:217-227.

  • Culbert, W., and L. Raleigh. 2001. The ecology of coastal salt ponds: A pilot study at Long Point Wildlife Refuge, West Tisbury and Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard. Trustees of Reservations, Vineyard Haven, MA. [http://www.thetrustees.org/assets/documents/places-to-visit/Coastal-Salt-Pond-Case-Study.pdf]

  • 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.

  • Faber-Langendoen, D., C. Hedge, M. Kost, S. Thomas, L. Smart, R. Smyth, J. Drake, and S. Menard. 2011. Assessment of wetland ecosystem condition across landscape regions: A multi-metric approach. NatureServe, Arlington VA. plus appendices.

  • MNHESP [Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program]. 2010a. Natural community fact sheet: Sandplain Grassland. Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Westborough, MA. [http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dfg/nhesp/natural-communities-facts/sandplain-grassland-factsheet.pdf]

  • MNHESP [Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program]. 2010b. Natural community fact sheet: Sandplain Heathlands. Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Westborough, MA. [http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dfg/nhesp/natural-communities-facts/sandplain-heathland-commun.pdf]

  • NYNHP [New York Natural Heritage Program]. 2013l. Online conservation guide for Coastal Salt Pond. New York Natural Heritage Program, Albany, NY. [http://www.acris.nynhp.org/guide.php?id=9863] (accessed October 30, 2013).

  • Nichols, W. F., G. E. Moore, N. P. Ritter, and C. R. Peter. 2013. A globally rare coastal salt pond marsh system at Odiorne Point State Park, Rye, New Hampshire. Rhodora 115:1-27.

  • 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. 2011. Classification of the natural communities of Massachusetts. Version 1.4. Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Westborough, MA. [http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/natural-heritage/natural-communities/classification-of-natural-communities.html]

  • Thorne-Miller, B., M. M. Harlin, G. B. Thursby, M. M. Brady-Campbell, and B. A. Dworetsky. 1983. Variations in the distribution and biomass of submerged macrophytes in five coastal lagoons in Rhode Island, USA. Botanica Marina 26:231-242.


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