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Classification
Scientific Name: Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Basin Peat Swamp
Unique Identifier: CES203.522
Image 21926
© Lesley Sneddon
Summary: This system comprises acidic peat swamps formed in basins of various sizes, predominantly Atlantic white-cedar swamps, occurring on the northern portion of the Atlantic Coastal Plain from Massachusetts south to Virginia. The hydrology is saturated, as evidenced by Sphagnum-dominated hummock-and-hollow microtopography. Chamaecyparis thyoides is characteristic and often dominant. Acer rubrum may also be an important species, especially after logging.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: Atlantic white-cedar swamps do occur inland of the coastal plain and are considered inland disjuncts of this type. Where Chamaecyparis is present but not dominant inland, and other coastal plain indicators are absent, North-Central Appalachian Acidic Swamp (CES202.604) is the more appropriate system.

Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES202.604 North-Central Appalachian Acidic Swamp
CES203.304 Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Nonriverine Swamp and Wet Hardwood Forest


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL006078 Chamaecyparis thyoides - Acer rubrum - Magnolia virginiana Swamp Forest
CEGL006156 Acer rubrum / Rhododendron viscosum - Clethra alnifolia Swamp Forest
CEGL006188 Chamaecyparis thyoides / Ilex glabra - Rhododendron viscosum Swamp Forest
CEGL006189 Chamaecyparis thyoides - (Tsuga canadensis, Betula alleghaniensis) / Clethra alnifolia Swamp Forest
CEGL006238 Acer rubrum - Nyssa sylvatica - Magnolia virginiana / Viburnum nudum var. nudum / Osmunda cinnamomea Swamp Forest
CEGL006317 Acer rubrum / Alnus maritima ssp. maritima Swamp Woodland
CEGL006355 Chamaecyparis thyoides / Rhododendron maximum Swamp Forest
CEGL006363 Chamaecyparis thyoides - Picea rubens / Gaylussacia baccata / Gaultheria hispidula Swamp Forest
CEGL006364 Chamaecyparis thyoides - Acer rubrum / Lycopus spp. Swamp Forest
CEGL006371 Vaccinium corymbosum - Rhododendron viscosum - Clethra alnifolia Acidic Peatland
CEGL006396 Acer rubrum / Rhododendron maximum Swamp Forest
CEGL006467 Cladium mariscoides - Eriocaulon decangulare - Eriophorum virginicum Fen



Classifiers

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

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Forest and Woodland (Treed)  
Depressional Peaty
Isolated Wetland Partially Isolated

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Callophrys hesseli
  (Hessel's Hairstreak)
G3G4  
Gentiana autumnalis
  (Pine Barren Gentian)
G3  
Helonias bullata
  (Swamp-pink)
G3 LT: Listed threatened
Narthecium americanum
  (Bog Asphodel)
G2  
Scirpus longii
  (Long's Bulrush)
G3  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer rubrum G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Chamaecyparis thyoides G4 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Clethra alnifolia G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Rhododendron viscosum G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Vaccinium corymbosum G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Ilex glabra G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Osmunda cinnamomea G5 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Woodwardia areolata G5 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 


Animal Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status Charact-
eristic
Exotic
Callophrys hesseli
  (Hessel's Hairstreak)
G3G4      
Condylura cristata
  (Star-nosed Mole)
G5      
Hemidactylium scutatum
  (Four-toed Salamander)
G5      
Lithobates sylvaticus
  (Wood Frog)
G5      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, VA
Global Range: This system occurs on the northern portion of the Atlantic Coastal Plain from Massachusetts south to Virginia, with sporadic occurrences north to mid-coast Maine, and occasional disjunct occurrences inland; it is historic in eastern Pennsylvania.

Biogeographic Divisions
Division Code and Name Primary Occurrence Status
201-Laurentian-Acadian C: Confident or certain
202-Central Interior and Appalachian C: Confident or certain
203-Gulf and Atlantic Coastal Plain C: Confident or certain

The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Ecoregions
Code Name Occurrence Status
58 Chesapeake Bay Lowlands Confident or certain
60 High Allegheny Plateau Predicted or probable
61 Lower New England / Northern Piedmont Confident or certain
62 North Atlantic Coast Confident or certain
63 Northern Appalachian-Boreal Forest Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
60 Chesapeake Bay Confident or certain
61 Northern Appalachia Never was there
63 Finger Lakes Never was there
64 Northeastern Highlands Never was there
65 Connecticut River Basin and Highlands Confident or certain
66 The North Woods Confident or certain

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 9343

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: No

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 14Jan2014
Element Description Author(s): R. Evans, S.C. Gawler and L.A. Sneddon

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.

  • 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