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Classification
Scientific Name: North American Arid West Emergent Marsh
Unique Identifier: CES300.729
Classification Confidence: 1 - Strong
Image 22153
© SouthWest Regional Gap Analysis Project http://earth.gis.usu.edu/swgap
Summary: This widespread ecological system occurs throughout much of the arid and semi-arid regions of western North America, typically surrounded by savanna, shrub-steppe, steppe, or desert vegetation. Natural marshes may occur in depressions in the landscape (ponds, kettle ponds), as fringes around lakes, and along slow-flowing streams and rivers (such riparian marshes are also referred to as sloughs). Marshes are frequently or continually inundated, with water depths up to 2 m. Water levels may be stable, or may fluctuate 1 m or more over the course of the growing season. Water chemistry may include some alkaline or semi-alkaline situations, but the alkalinity is highly variable even within the same complex of wetlands. Marshes have distinctive soils that are typically mineral, but can also accumulate organic material. Soils have characteristics that result from long periods of anaerobic conditions in the soils (e.g., gleyed soils, high organic content, redoximorphic features). The vegetation is characterized by herbaceous plants that are adapted to saturated soil conditions. Common emergent and floating vegetation includes species of Scirpus and/or Schoenoplectus, Typha, Juncus, Potamogeton, Polygonum, Nuphar, and Phalaris. This system may also include areas of relatively deep water with floating-leaved plants (Lemna, Potamogeton, and Brasenia) and submerged and floating plants (Myriophyllum, Ceratophyllum, and Elodea).

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: This ecological system occurs in the arid and semi-arid regions of western North America, where semipermanently flooded habitats are found as small patches in the matrix of a relatively dry landscape. Except for stands in the semi-arid portions of the western Great Plains, emergent marsh found in the Great Plains should be classified into one of the Western Great Plains depressional wetland systems. In the Texas ecological systems map, this system includes margins of lakes and streams frequently or continuously inundated by freshwater, marshes occupying stock tanks and other man-made depressions, and other moist to wet sites other than marshes dominated by Ceratophyllum demersum, Chara spp., Cladium mariscus ssp. jamaicense, Cynodon dactylon, Echinochloa crus-galli, Eleocharis montevidensis, Juncus spp., Phalaris caroliniana, Phragmites australis, Polygonum spp., Polypogon monspeliensis, Potamogeton spp., Schoenoplectus acutus, Schoenoplectus pungens var. longispicatus, and Typha domingensis.

Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES303.666 Western Great Plains Closed Depression Wetland & Playa
CES303.669 Western Great Plains Saline Depression Wetland
CES303.675 Western Great Plains Open Freshwater Depression Wetland


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL001474 Phalaris arundinacea Western Marsh
CEGL001475 Phragmites australis Western Ruderal Wet Meadow
CEGL001476 Spartina pectinata Western Wet Meadow
CEGL001559 Calamagrostis canadensis Western Wet Meadow
CEGL001562 Carex utriculata Wet Meadow
CEGL001569 Glyceria borealis Wet Meadow
CEGL001585 Schoenoplectus americanus - Eleocharis palustris Marsh
CEGL001586 Schoenoplectus americanus - Eleocharis spp. Marsh
CEGL001587 Schoenoplectus pungens Marsh
CEGL001588 Spartina gracilis Wet Meadow
CEGL001773 Distichlis spicata - (Scirpus nevadensis) Alkaline Wet Meadow
CEGL001813 Carex nebrascensis Wet Meadow
CEGL001833 Eleocharis palustris Marsh
CEGL001838 Juncus balticus Wet Meadow
CEGL001840 Schoenoplectus acutus Marsh
CEGL001841 Schoenoplectus americanus Western Marsh
CEGL001843 Schoenoplectus maritimus Marsh
CEGL001845 Typha domingensis Western Marsh
CEGL001984 Ranunculus aquatilis - Callitriche palustris Aquatic Vegetation
CEGL001990 Sparganium angustifolium Aquatic Vegetation
CEGL001995 Triglochin maritima Fen
CEGL001999 Salicornia rubra Salt Flat
CEGL002000 Myriophyllum sibiricum Aquatic Vegetation
CEGL002001 Nuphar polysepala Aquatic Vegetation
CEGL002007 Potamogeton diversifolius Aquatic Vegetation
CEGL002008 Stuckenia filiformis Aquatic Vegetation
CEGL002010 Typha (latifolia, angustifolia) Western Marsh
CEGL002030 Schoenoplectus acutus - Typha latifolia - (Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani) Sandhills Marsh
CEGL002623 Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani Temperate Marsh
CEGL002634 Eleocharis palustris - Carex praegracilis - Berula erecta Marsh
CEGL002660 Carex praegracilis Wet Meadow
CEGL002661 Carex vesicaria Wet Meadow
CEGL002742 Potamogeton foliosus Aquatic Vegetation
CEGL002925 Potamogeton natans Aquatic Vegetation
CEGL003119 Ruppia (cirrhosa, maritima) Aquatic Vegetation
CEGL003323 Sparganium eurycarpum Aquatic Vegetation
CEGL004144 Schoenoplectus americanus - Carex spp. Marsh
CEGL004592 Schoenoplectus americanus - Flaveria chlorifolia - (Helianthus paradoxus) Marsh
CEGL005394 Equisetum x ferrissii Marsh
CEGL005450 Lemna spp. Western North American Aquatic Vegetation



Classifiers

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

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Herbaceous  
Depressional Lakeshore
Depressional Pond
Mineral: W/ A-Horizon >10 cm  
Aquatic Herb  
Graminoid  
Deep (>15 cm) Water  
Saturated Soil  

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Montane Montane
Montane Lower Montane
Lowland Foothill
Lowland Lowland
Backwater  
Drainage bottom (undifferentiated)  
Floodplain  
Marsh  
Oxbow  
Pond  
Temperate Temperate Continental
Forb  
Alga  
Clay Subsoil Texture  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Agelaius tricolor
  (Tricolored Blackbird)
G1G2  
Anaxyrus exsul
  (Black Toad)
G1  
Cyprinodon macularius
  (Desert Pupfish)
G1 LE: Listed endangered
Cyprinodon radiosus
  (Owens Pupfish)
G1 LE: Listed endangered
Cyprinodon salinus
  (Salt Creek Pupfish)
G1  
Sidalcea neomexicana ssp. thurberi
  (Rocky Mountain Checker-mallow)
G4T3T4  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Sidalcea neomexicana ssp. thurberi T3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Schoenoplectus californicus G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Typha domingensis G4 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
Agelaius tricolor
  (Tricolored Blackbird)
G1G2      
Anaxyrus exsul
  (Black Toad)
G1      
Cyprinodon macularius
  (Desert Pupfish)
G1 LE: Listed endangered    
Cyprinodon radiosus
  (Owens Pupfish)
G1 LE: Listed endangered    
Cyprinodon salinus
  (Salt Creek Pupfish)
G1      
Ondatra zibethicus
  (Common Muskrat)
G5      
Pituophis catenifer
  (Gophersnake)
G5      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, TX, UT, WA, WY
Nation: Canada
Canadian Province Distribution: AB, BC
Distribution Outside Canada and the United States: Mexico
Global Range: This system occurs throughout much of the arid and semi-arid regions of western North America, extending east peripherally into the semi-arid portions of the western Great Plains.

Biogeographic Divisions
Division Code and Name Primary Occurrence Status
301-Madrean Semidesert C: Confident or certain
302-North American Warm Desert C: Confident or certain
303-Western Great Plains C: Confident or certain
304-Inter-Mountain Basins C: Confident or certain
305-Sierra Madre C: Confident or certain
306-Rocky Mountain C: Confident or certain

The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Ecoregions
Code Name Occurrence Status
11 Great Basin Confident or certain
17 Mojave Desert Confident or certain
18 Utah High Plateaus Confident or certain
19 Colorado Plateau Confident or certain
20 Southern Rocky Mountains Confident or certain
21 Arizona-New Mexico Mountains Confident or certain
23 Sonoran Desert Confident or certain
24 Chihuahuan Desert Confident or certain
26 Northern Great Plains Steppe Possible
27 Central Shortgrass Prairie Confident or certain
28 Southern Shortgrass Prairie Confident or certain
29 Edwards Plateau Possible
30 Tamaulipan Thorn Scrub Confident or certain
6 Columbia Plateau Confident or certain
68 Okanagan Confident or certain
7 Canadian Rocky Mountains Confident or certain
8 Middle Rockies - Blue Mountains Confident or certain
9 Utah-Wyoming Rocky Mountains Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
1 Northern Cascades Confident or certain
2 Oregon Coastal Range Confident or certain
5 California Central Valley Confident or certain
6 Sierra Nevada Mountain Range Predicted or probable
7 Cascade Mountain Range Confident or certain
8 Grande Coulee Basin of the Columbia Plateau Confident or certain
9 Blue Mountain Region Confident or certain
10 Northwestern Rocky Mountains Confident or certain
12 Western Great Basin Confident or certain
13 Death Valley Basin Confident or certain
14 Sonoran Desert Confident or certain
15 Mogollon Rim Confident or certain
16 Utah High Plateaus Confident or certain
17 Eastern Great Basin Confident or certain
18 Snake River Plain Confident or certain
19 Northern Rocky Mountains Confident or certain
20 Missouri River Plateau Predicted or probable
21 Middle Rocky Mountains Confident or certain
22 Wyoming Basin Confident or certain
23 Colorado Plateau Predicted or probable
24 Navajo Plateau Predicted or probable
25 Rio Grande Basin Confident or certain
26 Chihuahuan Desert Confident or certain
27 Great Plains Tablelands Confident or certain
28 Southern Rocky Mountains Confident or certain
29 Wyoming Highlands Predicted or probable
30 Northwestern Great Plains Reported but false
31 Sandhills Possible
33 Western Great Plains Confident or certain
34 Southern Great Plains Confident or certain
35 Edwards Plateau Predicted or probable
36 Western Gulf Plains Predicted or probable

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 9222

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: No

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 14Jan2014
Element Description Author(s): G. Kittel

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


References
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