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Scientific Name: North-Central Interior and Appalachian Rich Swamp
Unique Identifier: CES202.605

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Summary: These forested wetlands are scattered throughout the north-central Midwest (south of the Laurentian region), the north-central Appalachians and southern New England at low to mid elevations. They are found in basins where higher pH and/or nutrient levels are associated with a rich flora. Species include Acer rubrum, Fraxinus nigra, as well as calciphilic herbs. Conifers include Larix laricina, but typically not Thuja occidentalis, which is characteristic of more northern wetland systems. There may be shrubby or herbaceous openings within the primarily wooded cover. The substrate is primarily mineral soil, but there may be some peat development.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: This system occurs south of the Laurentian-Acadian region, and these circumneutral or enriched swamps are often rather distinctive and discrete elements of the landscape. They are related to Laurentian-Acadian Alkaline Conifer-Hardwood Swamp (CES201.575) but have more temperate elements and generally lack Thuja occidentalis. More alkaline shrub/herb fens are treated as part of North-Central Interior Shrub-Graminoid Alkaline Fen (CES202.702).

Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES201.575 Laurentian-Acadian Alkaline Conifer-Hardwood Swamp
CES202.298 Piedmont Seepage Wetland
CES202.702 North-Central Interior Shrub-Graminoid Alkaline Fen

Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL005038 Acer (rubrum, saccharinum) - Fraxinus spp. - Ulmus americana Swamp Forest
CEGL005232 Larix laricina - Acer rubrum / (Rhamnus alnifolia, Vaccinium corymbosum) Swamp Forest
CEGL006009 Acer rubrum - Fraxinus nigra - (Larix laricina) / Rhamnus alnifolia Swamp Forest
CEGL006502 Acer rubrum - Fraxinus nigra - (Tsuga canadensis) / Tiarella cordifolia Swamp Forest
CEGL007441 Fraxinus nigra - Acer rubrum / Rhamnus alnifolia / Carex leptalea Swamp Forest
CEGL008416 Acer rubrum - Fraxinus nigra - Betula alleghaniensis / Veratrum viride - Carex bromoides Seep Forest


Land Cover Class: Woody 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
Broad-Leaved Deciduous Tree  
Mesotrophic Water  
Saturated Soil  

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Forest and Woodland (Treed)  
Extensive Wet Flat  
Mineral: W/ A-Horizon >10 cm  
Intermittent Flooding  
Moderate (100-500 yrs) Persistence  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Clonophis kirtlandii
  (Kirtland's Snake)
Euphyes dukesi
  (Dukes' Skipper)
Poa paludigena
  (Bog Bluegrass)

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Acer rubrum G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
Fraxinus nigra G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
Larix laricina G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
Tsuga canadensis G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
Rhamnus alnifolia G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
Micranthes pensylvanica G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
Tiarella cordifolia G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
Veratrum viride G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    

Animal Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status Charact-
Ambystoma maculatum
  (Spotted Salamander)
Clonophis kirtlandii
  (Kirtland's Snake)
Condylura cristata
  (Star-nosed Mole)
Euphyes dukesi
  (Dukes' Skipper)
Hemidactylium scutatum
  (Four-toed Salamander)
Lithobates clamitans
  (Green Frog)
Notophthalmus viridescens
  (Eastern Newt)
Pseudacris crucifer
  (Spring Peeper)

Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: CT, DEpotentially occurs, IL, IN, MA, MD, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT, WI
Nation: Canada
Canadian Province Distribution: ON
Global Range: This system is found from central New England to the southern Great Lakes and south-central Minnesota south to northern Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. It is not known to extend south into the Southern Blue Ridge.

Biogeographic Divisions
Division Code and Name Primary Occurrence Status
202-Central Interior and Appalachian C: Confident or certain

The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Ecoregions
Code Name Occurrence Status
45 North Central Tillplain Confident or certain
46 Prairie-Forest Border Confident or certain
48 Great Lakes Confident or certain
49 Western Allegheny Plateau Predicted or probable
59 Central Appalachian Forest Confident or certain
60 High Allegheny Plateau Possible
61 Lower New England / Northern Piedmont Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
41 Northern Lake Country Confident or certain
49 Central Till Plains Confident or certain
50 Central Great Lakes Uplands Confident or certain
51 Great Lakes Plains Confident or certain
52 Eastern Till Plains Confident or certain
53 Appalachia Confident or certain
57 Southern Appalachia Never was there
59 Northeastern Piedmont Never was there
60 Chesapeake Bay Never was there
61 Northern Appalachia Confident or certain
62 Allegheny Plateau Confident or certain
63 Finger Lakes Confident or certain
64 Northeastern Highlands Confident or certain
65 Connecticut River Basin and Highlands Confident or certain

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 9306

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: No

Element Description Edition Date: 14Jan2014
Element Description Author(s): S.C. Gawler and J. Drake

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

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  • 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.

  • Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.

  • 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.

  • Herms, D. A., W. Klooster, K. S. Knight, K. J. K. Gandhi, C. P. Herms, A. Smith, D. McCullough, and J. Cardina. 2010. Ash regeneration in the wake of emerald ash borer: Will it restore ash or sustain the outbreak? Pages 17-18 in: D. Lance, J. Buck, D. Binion, R. Reardon, and V. Mastro, editors. Emerald ash borer research and technology development meeting. FHTET-2010-01. USDA Forest Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

  • Kost, M. A., D. A. Albert, J. G. Cohen, B. S. Slaughter, R. K. Schillo, C. R. Weber, and K. A. Chapman. 2007. Natural communities of Michigan: Classification and description. Report No. 2007-21, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Lansing. 314 pp. []

  • ONHD [Ohio Natural Heritage Database]. No date. Vegetation classification of Ohio and unpublished data. Ohio Natural Heritage Database, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Columbus.

  • 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.

  • WDNR [Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources]. 2015. The ecological landscapes of Wisconsin: An assessment of ecological resources and a guide to planning sustainable management. PUB-SS-1131 2015. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison. []

  • Ward, K., M. Ostry, R. Venette, B. Palik, M. Hansen, and M. Hatfield. 2006. Assessment of black ash (Fraxinus nigra) decline in Minnesota. Pages 115-120 in: Proceedings of the Eighth Annual Forest Inventory and Analysis Symposium. 2006 October 16-19. Monterey, CA. General Technical Report WO-79. USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC. 408 pp.

  • 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. []

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Data last updated: March 2019