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Classification
Scientific Name: Laurentian-Acadian Floodplain Forest
Unique Identifier: CES201.587

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Summary: This system encompasses north-temperate floodplains in the northeastern and north-central U.S. and adjacent Canada at the northern end of the range of silver maple. They occur along medium to large rivers where topography and process have resulted in the development of a complex of upland and wetland temperate alluvial vegetation on generally flat topography. This complex includes floodplain forests, with Acer saccharinum characteristic, as well as herbaceous sloughs and shrub wetlands. In areas subject to more scour, sparse non-wetland vegetation may develop on sandbars or exposed rock. Most areas are underwater each spring; microtopography determines how long the various habitats are inundated. Associated trees include Acer rubrum and Carpinus caroliniana, the latter frequent but never abundant. On terraces or in more calcareous areas, Acer saccharum or Quercus rubra may be locally prominent, with Betula alleghaniensis and Fraxinus spp. Salix nigra is characteristic of the levees adjacent to the channel. Common shrubs include Cornus amomum and Viburnum spp. The herb layer in the forested portions often features abundant spring ephemerals, giving way to a fern-dominated understory in many areas by mid-summer. Non-forested wetlands associated with these systems include shrub-dominated and graminoid-herbaceous vegetation.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: These floodplains are similar to those to the south in the Central Interior, North-Central Interior Floodplain (CES202.694) and Appalachian Division, Central Appalachian River Floodplain (CES202.608) in having Acer saccharinum as a characteristic species; however, they are generally more depauperate and lack certain tree species that characterize central Appalachian floodplains such as Platanus occidentalis, Betula nigra, and Quercus palustris. This system can include areas of scour along sandbars or rivershore rock outcrops as well as the more typical floodplain vegetation.

Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES202.608 Central Appalachian River Floodplain
CES202.694 North-Central Interior Floodplain


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL002302 Bedrock - Boulder Rivershore Vegetation
CEGL002304 Igneous - Metamorphic Cobble - Gravel River Shore Sparse Vegetation
CEGL002314 River Mudflats Sparse Vegetation
CEGL002586 Acer saccharinum - Fraxinus pennsylvanica - Ulmus americana Floodplain Forest
CEGL005233 Spartina pectinata - Muhlenbergia richardsonis - Sporobolus heterolepis - Oligoneuron album - Euthamia graminifolia Riverscour Sparse Vegetation
CEGL006062 Alnus incana - Cornus (amomum, sericea) / Clematis virginiana Shrub Swamp
CEGL006069 Cephalanthus occidentalis - Decodon verticillatus Shrub Swamp
CEGL006114 Acer saccharum - Fraxinus spp. - Tilia americana / Matteuccia struthiopteris - Ageratina altissima Floodplain Forest
CEGL006147 Acer saccharinum - (Populus deltoides) / Matteuccia struthiopteris - Laportea canadensis Floodplain Forest
CEGL006176 Acer saccharinum / Onoclea sensibilis - Boehmeria cylindrica Floodplain Forest
CEGL006232 Hudsonia tomentosa - Paronychia argyrocoma Riverscour Dwarf-shrubland
CEGL006284 Andropogon gerardii - Campanula rotundifolia - Solidago simplex Riverscour Sparse Vegetation
CEGL006437 Prunus pumila var. depressa / Deschampsia cespitosa Riverscour Wet Meadow
CEGL006501 Acer rubrum - Abies balsamea / Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides Floodplain Forest
CEGL006503 Acer rubrum - Prunus serotina / Cornus amomum Floodplain Forest
CEGL006504 Acer saccharum / Ostrya virginiana / Brachyelytrum erectum Floodplain Forest
CEGL006519 Calamagrostis canadensis - Scirpus spp. - Dulichium arundinaceum Wet Meadow
CEGL006531 Vaccinium spp. / Danthonia spicata - Solidago puberula Riverscour Sparse Vegetation
CEGL006630 Acer (rubrum, saccharinum) - Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Ilex verticillata / Osmunda regalis Floodplain Forest



Classifiers

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

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Forest and Woodland (Treed)  
Shrubland (Shrub-dominated)  
Woody-Herbaceous  
Herbaceous  
Riverine / Alluvial  
Flood Scouring  
Short (<5 yrs) Flooding Interval Short interval, Spring Flooding

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Lowland  
Toeslope/Valley Bottom  
Glaciated  
Eutrophic Soil  
Mesotrophic Soil  
Circumneutral Soil  
Acidic Soil  
Deep Soil  
Mineral: W/ A-Horizon >10 cm  
Silt Soil Texture  
Udic  
Unconsolidated  
Very Short Disturbance Interval  
Broad-Leaved Deciduous Tree  
Broad-Leaved Shrub  
Graminoid  
Mesotrophic Water  
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)
G2  
Grus americana
  (Whooping Crane)
G1 LE, XN: Listed endangered, nonessential experimental population
Mimulus glabratus var. michiganensis
  (Michigan Monkeyflower)
G5T1 LE: Listed endangered
Myotis sodalis
  (Indiana Myotis)
G2 LE: Listed endangered
Ophiogomphus smithi
  (Sioux Snaketail)
G2G3  
Papaipema sp. 2 nr. pterisii
  (Ostrich Fern Borer Moth)
G3G4  
Somatochlora hineana
  (Hine's Emerald)
G2G3 LE: Listed endangered

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer saccharinum G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Ulmus americana G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Carpinus caroliniana G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Allium tricoccum G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Boehmeria cylindrica G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Mimulus glabratus var. michiganensis T1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Matteuccia struthiopteris G5 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Onoclea sensibilis G5 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Clematis virginiana G5 Liana 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      
Clonophis kirtlandii
  (Kirtland's Snake)
G2      
Dryobates villosus
  (Hairy Woodpecker)
G5      
Grus americana
  (Whooping Crane)
G1 LE, XN: Listed endangered, nonessential experimental population    
Lithobates pipiens
  (Northern Leopard Frog)
G5      
Myotis sodalis
  (Indiana Myotis)
G2 LE: Listed endangered    
Ophiogomphus smithi
  (Sioux Snaketail)
G2G3      
Papaipema sp. 2 nr. pterisii
  (Ostrich Fern Borer Moth)
G3G4      
Poecile atricapillus
  (Black-capped Chickadee)
G5      
Sitta carolinensis
  (White-breasted Nuthatch)
G5      
Somatochlora hineana
  (Hine's Emerald)
G2G3 LE: Listed endangered    
Strix varia
  (Barred Owl)
G5      
Vison vison
  (American Mink)
G5      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: MApotentially occurs, ME, MI, MN, NH, NY, VT, WI
Nation: Canada
Canadian Province Distribution: NB
Global Range: Central and northern New England and adjacent Canada west to the Great Lakes.

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 Confident or certain
48 Great Lakes Confident or certain
61 Lower New England / Northern Piedmont Confident or certain
63 Northern Appalachian-Boreal Forest Confident or certain
64 St. Lawrence-Champlain Valley Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
41 Northern Lake Country Confident or certain
50 Central Great Lakes Uplands Confident or certain
51 Great Lakes Plains Confident or certain
63 Finger Lakes Confident or certain
64 Northeastern Highlands Confident or certain
65 Connecticut River Basin and Highlands Confident or certain
66 The North Woods Confident or certain

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 9328

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: No

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 05Jun2008
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.

  • 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. [http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/landscapes/Book.html]


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