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Classification
Scientific Name: Eastern Boreal Floodplain
Unique Identifier: CES103.588

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Summary: These southern boreal floodplains are found in the extreme northern portions of the eastern U.S., and believed to be more widespread in Canada. They consist of floodplains along medium-sized northern rivers, in areas not strongly influenced by ice-scour (i.e., depositional), where topography and process have resulted in a complex of upland and wetland alluvial vegetation. This complex includes floodplain forests dominated by northern trees such as Populus balsamifera and Fraxinus nigra, as well as herbaceous sloughs and shrub wetlands. (Acer saccharinum is uncommon or absent.) Most areas are underwater each spring; microtopography determines how long the various habitats are inundated. The distribution in Division 201 appears to be primarily Canadian, with incursions into northern Maine and northern Minnesota.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: Where this system transitions to Western Canadian Boreal Mixed Hardwood-Conifer Swamp and Floodplain (CES103.523) is not clear, and perhaps they should be combined. As written, this system does have some different floristics than the western boreal one.

Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL002105 Fraxinus nigra - Mixed Hardwoods - Conifers / Cornus sericea / Carex spp. Swamp Forest
CEGL002186 Cornus sericea - Salix spp. - (Rosa palustris) Shrub Swamp
CEGL002314 River Mudflats Sparse Vegetation
CEGL005448 Calamagrostis canadensis - Carex spp. Laurentian & Northeast Wet Meadow
CEGL006432 Populus balsamifera - Fraxinus nigra / Matteuccia struthiopteris Forest
CEGL006501 Acer rubrum - Abies balsamea / Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides Floodplain Forest



Classifiers

Land Cover Class: Mixed Upland and Wetland
Spatial Pattern: Linear
Natural/Seminatural: No
Vegetated ( > 10% vascular cover):
Upland: Yes
Wetland: Yes
Isolated Wetland: No

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Forest and Woodland (Treed)  
Riverine / Alluvial  
Flood Scouring  
Picea (glauca, mariana, rubens) - Abies  
Short (<5 yrs) Flooding Interval Short interval, Spring Flooding

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Lowland  
Shrubland (Shrub-dominated)  
Toeslope/Valley Bottom  
Glaciated  
Mesotrophic Soil  
Oligotrophic Soil  
Circumneutral Soil  
Acidic Soil  
Deep Soil  
Mineral: W/ A-Horizon >10 cm  
Silt Soil Texture  
Very Short Disturbance Interval  
Mesotrophic Water  
Circumneutral Water  
Acidic Water  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Glyptemys insculpta
  (Wood Turtle)
G3  
Lasionycteris noctivagans
  (Silver-haired Bat)
G3G4  
Lasiurus borealis
  (Eastern Red Bat)
G3G4  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Fraxinus nigra G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Populus balsamifera G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Ulmus americana G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Picea glauca G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Picea mariana G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Picea rubens G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Cornus sericea G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Matteuccia struthiopteris G5 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Calamagrostis canadensis G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex conoidea 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
Castor canadensis
  (American Beaver)
G5      
Catocala semirelicta
  (Semirelict Underwing Moth)
G5      
Glyptemys insculpta
  (Wood Turtle)
G3      
Lasionycteris noctivagans
  (Silver-haired Bat)
G3G4      
Lasiurus borealis
  (Eastern Red Bat)
G3G4      
Lithobates pipiens
  (Northern Leopard Frog)
G5      
Poecile atricapillus
  (Black-capped Chickadee)
G5      
Polygonia satyrus
  (Satyr Comma)
G5      
Procyon lotor
  (Raccoon)
G5      
Strix varia
  (Barred Owl)
G5      
Vison vison
  (American Mink)
G5      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: ME, MI, MN, NH, NY, VT
Nation: Canada
Canadian Province Distribution: NB, ON, QC
Global Range: This system is found primarily in eastern Canada, with distribution extending into far-northern New England and the northern Great Lakes region.

Biogeographic Divisions
Division Code and Name Primary Occurrence Status
103-Boreal C: Confident or certain
201-Laurentian-Acadian C: Confident or certain

The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Ecoregions
Code Name Occurrence Status
47 Superior Mixed Forest Predicted or probable
48 Great Lakes Confident or certain
63 Northern Appalachian-Boreal Forest Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
40 Northern Great Plains Possible
41 Northern Lake Country Predicted or probable
50 Central Great Lakes Uplands Predicted or probable
51 Great Lakes Plains Predicted or probable
63 Finger Lakes Predicted or probable
64 Northeastern Highlands Predicted or probable
66 The North Woods Confident or certain

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 9113
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1444
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2444

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: Yes

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 09Jan2003
Element Description Author(s): 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
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Gawler, S. C., and A. Cutko. 2010. Natural landscapes of Maine: A classification of vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta.

  • 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. [http://web4.msue.msu.edu/mnfi/reports/2007-21_Natural_Communites_of_Michigan_Classification_and_Description.pdf]

  • 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.


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Data last updated: March 2019