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Classification
Scientific Name: Southern Coastal Plain Blackwater River Floodplain Forest
Unique Identifier: CES203.493

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Summary: This ecological system occurs along certain river and stream drainages of the southern Coastal Plain of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and southwestern Georgia that are characterized by dark waters high in particulate and dissolved organic materials, and that generally lack floodplain development. In most cases these are streams that have their headwaters in sandy portions of the Outer Coastal Plain. Consequently, they carry little mineral sediment or suspended clay particles and are not turbid except after the heaviest rain events. The water is classically dark in color due to concentrations of tannins, particulates, and other materials derived from drainage through swamps or marshes. In comparison with spring-fed rivers and brownwater rivers of the region, this system tends to be much more acidic in nature and generally lacks extensive and continuous floodplains and levees. Steep banks alternating with floodplain swamps are more characteristic. This system includes mixed rivers, with a mixture of blackwater and spring-fed tributaries such as the Suwannee River. Canopy trees typical of this system are obligate to facultative wetland species such as Taxodium distichum, Nyssa aquatica, and Chamaecyparis thyoides.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: A new ecological system is needed for Florida spring-fed streams/rivers, such as the Wakulla River, Ichetucknee River, etc.

Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL002419 Nyssa aquatica Swamp Forest
CEGL002420 Taxodium distichum / Lemna minor Floodplain Forest
CEGL003638 Pinus elliottii var. elliottii / Cliftonia monophylla - Cyrilla racemiflora Swamp Woodland
CEGL003841 Taxodium distichum - Nyssa ogeche Floodplain Forest
CEGL003850 Taxodium distichum - Nyssa biflora / Sabal palmetto / Tillandsia (bartramii, usneoides) Floodplain Forest
CEGL004704 Nyssa ogeche - Magnolia virginiana / Crinum americanum Swamp Forest
CEGL007151 Chamaecyparis thyoides / Magnolia virginiana - Cliftonia monophylla / Orontium aquaticum - Sphagnum spp. Swamp Forest
CEGL007348 Quercus laurifolia / Carpinus caroliniana / Justicia ovata Riparian Forest
CEGL007392 Nyssa ogeche - (Nyssa biflora, Taxodium ascendens) Floodplain Forest
CEGL007394 Planera aquatica Floodplain Forest
CEGL007422 Taxodium distichum - Nyssa aquatica - Acer rubrum / Itea virginica Floodplain Forest
CEGL007429 Nyssa aquatica - Nyssa biflora Swamp Forest
CEGL007431 Taxodium distichum - Nyssa aquatica / Fraxinus caroliniana Floodplain Forest
CEGL007864 Nyssa biflora - Acer rubrum var. rubrum / Lyonia lucida Floodplain Forest
CEGL008463 Nyssa aquatica - Fraxinus pennsylvanica - Taxodium distichum / Sabal minor Floodplain Forest
CEGL008556 Pinus elliottii - Quercus nigra - Chamaecyparis thyoides / Cyrilla racemiflora - Vaccinium spp. Swamp Forest



Classifiers

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

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Riverine / Alluvial Blackwater

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Forest and Woodland (Treed)  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Ambystoma bishopi
  (Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander)
G2 LE: Listed endangered
Ambystoma cingulatum
  (Frosted Flatwoods Salamander)
G2 LT: Listed threatened
Andropogon arctatus
  (Pinewoods Bluestem)
G3  
Arnoglossum album
  (Bay County Indian-plantain)
G1  
Arnoglossum diversifolium
  (Variableleaf Indian-plantain)
G2  
Asclepias viridula
  (Southern Milkweed)
G2  
Baetisca becki
  (a mayfly)
G2G3  
Balduina atropurpurea
  (Purple Balduina)
G2  
Baptisia megacarpa
  (Apalachicola Wild Indigo)
G2  
Brachythecium rotaeanum
  (Rota's Feather Moss)
G3G4  
Campephilus principalis
  (Ivory-billed Woodpecker)
G1 LE: Listed endangered
Carex impressinervia
  (Impressed-nerved Sedge)
G2  
Cephalozia connivens var. bifida
  (a liverwort)
G5T1Q  
Coreopsis integrifolia
  (Ciliate-leaf Tickseed)
G1G2  
Crangonyx grandimanus
  (Florida Cave Amphipod)
G2G3  
Crangonyx hobbsi
  (Hobb's Cave Amphipod)
G2G3  
Croton elliottii
  (Elliott's Croton)
G3  
Cuphea aspera
  (Tropical Waxweed)
G2  
Cyprinella callitaenia
  (Bluestripe Shiner)
G2G3  
Dasyscias franzi
  (Shaggy Ghostsnail)
G1  
Drymarchon couperi
  (Eastern Indigo Snake)
G3Q LT: Listed threatened
Elimia boykiniana
  (Flaxen Elimia)
G2Q  
Elliptio arctata
  (Delicate Spike)
G2G3Q  
Elliptio chipolaensis
  (Chipola Slabshell)
G1 LT: Listed threatened
Elliptio purpurella
  (Inflated Spike)
G2  
Elliptoideus sloatianus
  (Purple Bankclimber)
G2 LT: Listed threatened
Eriocaulon nigrobracteatum
  (Black-bract Pipewort)
G1  
Euphorbia telephioides
  (Telephus Spurge)
G1 LT: Listed threatened
Eurybia eryngiifolia
  (Coyote-thistle Aster)
G3G4  
Eurybia spinulosa
  (Pinewoods Aster)
G1  
Eurycea wallacei
  (Georgia Blind Salamander)
G2  
Eustachys floridana
  (Two-spike Finger Grass)
G2?  
Floridobia mica
  (Ichetucknee Siltsnail)
G1  
Graptemys barbouri
  (Barbour's Map Turtle)
G2  
Gronocarus inornatus
  (Lobeless Spiny Burrowing Beetle)
G1G2  
Hamiota australis
  (Southern Sandshell)
G2G3 LT: Listed threatened
Hamiota subangulata
  (Shinyrayed Pocketbook)
G2 LE: Listed endangered
Harperocallis flava
  (Harper's Beauty)
G1 LE: Listed endangered
Hasteola robertiorum
  (Hammockherb)
G1  
Hymenocallis henryae
  (Henry's Spider-lily)
G2  
Hypericum lissophloeus
  (Smooth-barked St. John's-wort)
G2  
Islandiana sp. 2
  (Marianna Cave Sheetweb Weaver Spider)
G1  
Isoetes hyemalis
  (Winter Quillwort)
G2G3  
Isoetes junciformis
  (Rush Quillwort)
G1?Q  
Lejeunea floridana
  (a liverwort)
G2G3  
Linum macrocarpum
  (Spring Hill Flax)
G2  
Linum westii
  (West's Flax)
G1  
Lythrum curtissii
  (Curtiss' Loosestrife)
G1  
Macbridea alba
  (White Birds-in-a-nest)
G2 LT: Listed threatened
Magnolia ashei
  (Ashe's Magnolia)
G2  
Matelea floridana
  (Florida Milkvine)
G2  
Medionidus penicillatus
  (Gulf Moccasinshell)
G2 LE: Listed endangered
Mycotrupes gaigei
  (North Peninsular Mycotrupes Beetle)
G2G3  
Nyssa ursina
  (Bear Tupelo)
G2  
Obovaria choctawensis
  (Choctaw Bean)
G2G3 LE: Listed endangered
Oxypolis canbyi
  (Canby's Dropwort)
G2 LE: Listed endangered
Paronychia chartacea ssp. minima
  (Paper-like Whitlow-wort)
G3T1  
Phyllanthus liebmannianus ssp. platylepis
  (Florida Leaf-flower)
G4T2  
Pinguicula ionantha
  (Violet-flowered Butterwort)
G2 LT: Listed threatened
Pinguicula planifolia
  (Chapman's Butterwort)
G3?  
Platanthera integra
  (Yellow Fringeless Orchid)
G3G4  
Pleurobema pyriforme
  (Oval Pigtoe)
G2 LE: Listed endangered
Polygala hookeri
  (Hooker's Milkwort)
G3  
Procambarus econfinae
  (Panama City Crayfish)
G1G2 PT: Proposed threatened
Procambarus youngi
  (Florida Longbeak Crayfish)
G1G2  
Pseudemys nelsoni pop. 1
  (Florida Red-bellied Turtle, Panhandle Population)
G5T2Q  
Rhexia salicifolia
  (Panhandle Meadowbeauty)
G2  
Riccardia jugata
  (a liverwort)
G2  
Ruellia noctiflora
  (Night-flowering Wild Petunia)
G3?  
Salix floridana
  (Florida Willow)
G2  
Sarracenia leucophylla
  (Whitetop Pitcherplant)
G3  
Sarracenia rubra ssp. wherryi
  (Wherry's Sweet Pitcherplant)
G4T3  
Scutellaria floridana
  (Florida Skullcap)
G2 LT: Listed threatened
Sideroxylon thornei
  (Swamp Buckthorn)
G3  
Silene polypetala
  (Fringed Campion)
G2 LE: Listed endangered
Sphaerocarpos donnellii
  (a liverwort)
G2G3  
Sporobolus curtissii
  (Pineland Dropseed)
G3  
Sporobolus floridanus
  (Florida Dropseed)
G3  
Sporobolus teretifolius
  (Wireleaf Dropseed)
G2  
Stachydeoma graveolens
  (Mock Pennyroyal)
G2G3  
Stygobromus floridanus
  (an aquatic cave amphipod)
G1  
Thalictrum cooleyi
  (Cooley's Meadowrue)
G1 LE: Listed endangered
Tridens carolinianus
  (Carolina Fluffgrass)
G3G4  
Trillium lancifolium
  (Lanceleaf Wakerobin)
G3  
Ursus americanus floridanus
  (Florida Black Bear)
G5T2  
Xyris chapmanii
  (Chapman's Yellow-eyed-grass)
G3  
Xyris drummondii
  (Drummond's Yellow-eyed-grass)
G3  
Xyris isoetifolia
  (Quillwort Yellow-eyed-grass)
G1  
Xyris longisepala
  (Kral's Yellow-eyed-grass)
G2G3  
Xyris louisianica
  (Kral's Yellow-eyed-grass)
G3  
Zale perculta
  (Okefenokee Zale Moth)
G2  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Nyssa aquatica G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Nyssa biflora G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Chamaecyparis thyoides G4 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Taxodium distichum G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Magnolia virginiana G5 Broad-leaved evergreen tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Salix floridana G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Sideroxylon thornei G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Cliftonia monophylla G4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Cyrilla racemiflora G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Arnoglossum diversifolium G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Balduina atropurpurea G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Baptisia megacarpa G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Coreopsis integrifolia G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Croton elliottii G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Linum macrocarpum G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Lythrum curtissii G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Matelea floridana G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Oxypolis canbyi G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Rhexia salicifolia G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Ruellia noctiflora G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Sarracenia rubra ssp. wherryi T3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Silene polypetala G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Sium suave G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Stachys hyssopifolia G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Thalictrum cooleyi G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Isoetes hyemalis G2 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)      
 
 
Isoetes junciformis G1 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)      
 
 
Woodwardia areolata G5 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex impressinervia G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Eustachys floridana G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Sporobolus teretifolius G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Cephalozia connivens var. bifida T1 Liverwort/hornwort Nonvascular      
 
 
Lejeunea floridana G2 Liverwort/hornwort Nonvascular      
 
 
Riccardia jugata G2 Liverwort/hornwort Nonvascular      
 
 
Sphaerocarpos donnellii G2 Liverwort/hornwort Nonvascular      
 
 


Animal Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status Charact-
eristic
Exotic
Agkistrodon piscivorus
  (Cottonmouth)
G5      
Alligator mississippiensis
  (American Alligator)
G5 SAT: Listed threatened because of similar appearance (new)    
Ambystoma bishopi
  (Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander)
G2 LE: Listed endangered    
Ambystoma cingulatum
  (Frosted Flatwoods Salamander)
G2 LT: Listed threatened    
Ammodramus leconteii
  (LeConte's Sparrow)
G5      
Amphiuma means
  (Two-toed Amphiuma)
G5      
Baetisca becki
  (a mayfly)
G2G3      
Campephilus principalis
  (Ivory-billed Woodpecker)
G1 LE: Listed endangered    
Crangonyx grandimanus
  (Florida Cave Amphipod)
G2G3      
Crangonyx hobbsi
  (Hobb's Cave Amphipod)
G2G3      
Cyprinella callitaenia
  (Bluestripe Shiner)
G2G3      
Dasyscias franzi
  (Shaggy Ghostsnail)
G1      
Drymarchon couperi
  (Eastern Indigo Snake)
G3Q LT: Listed threatened    
Dryophytes squirellus
  (Squirrel Treefrog)
G5      
Elanoides forficatus
  (Swallow-tailed Kite)
G5      
Elimia boykiniana
  (Flaxen Elimia)
G2Q      
Elliptio arctata
  (Delicate Spike)
G2G3Q      
Elliptio chipolaensis
  (Chipola Slabshell)
G1 LT: Listed threatened    
Elliptio purpurella
  (Inflated Spike)
G2      
Elliptoideus sloatianus
  (Purple Bankclimber)
G2 LT: Listed threatened    
Eurycea wallacei
  (Georgia Blind Salamander)
G2      
Floridobia mica
  (Ichetucknee Siltsnail)
G1      
Graptemys barbouri
  (Barbour's Map Turtle)
G2      
Gronocarus inornatus
  (Lobeless Spiny Burrowing Beetle)
G1G2      
Hamiota australis
  (Southern Sandshell)
G2G3 LT: Listed threatened    
Hamiota subangulata
  (Shinyrayed Pocketbook)
G2 LE: Listed endangered    
Helmitheros vermivorum
  (Worm-eating Warbler)
G5      
Ictinia mississippiensis
  (Mississippi Kite)
G5      
Islandiana sp. 2
  (Marianna Cave Sheetweb Weaver Spider)
G1      
Lithobates sphenocephalus
  (Southern Leopard Frog)
G5      
Medionidus penicillatus
  (Gulf Moccasinshell)
G2 LE: Listed endangered    
Mycotrupes gaigei
  (North Peninsular Mycotrupes Beetle)
G2G3      
Myotis austroriparius
  (Southeastern Myotis)
G4      
Nerodia erythrogaster
  (Plain-bellied Watersnake)
G5      
Nerodia fasciata
  (Southern Watersnake)
G5      
Obovaria choctawensis
  (Choctaw Bean)
G2G3 LE: Listed endangered    
Pleurobema pyriforme
  (Oval Pigtoe)
G2 LE: Listed endangered    
Procambarus econfinae
  (Panama City Crayfish)
G1G2 PT: Proposed threatened    
Procambarus youngi
  (Florida Longbeak Crayfish)
G1G2      
Pseudemys nelsoni pop. 1
  (Florida Red-bellied Turtle, Panhandle Population)
G5T2Q      
Setophaga citrina
  (Hooded Warbler)
G5      
Siren intermedia
  (Lesser Siren)
G5      
Stygobromus floridanus
  (an aquatic cave amphipod)
G1      
Thamnophis sauritus
  (Eastern Ribbonsnake)
G5      
Ursus americanus floridanus
  (Florida Black Bear)
G5T2      
Zale perculta
  (Okefenokee Zale Moth)
G2      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: AL, FL, GA, MS
Global Range: This system is found in the East Gulf Coastal Plain of Alabama, Mississippi, southwestern Georgia, Florida, and adjacent portions of central Florida.

Biogeographic Divisions
Division Code and Name Primary Occurrence Status
203-Gulf and Atlantic Coastal Plain C: Confident or certain

The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Ecoregions
Code Name Occurrence Status
53 East Gulf Coastal Plain Confident or certain
55 Florida Peninsula Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
46 Northern Gulf Plains Confident or certain
55 Southeastern Coastal Plain Confident or certain
56 Floridian Coastal Plain Confident or certain

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 9340

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: No

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 14Jan2014
Element Description Author(s): R. Evans, A. Schotz, M. Pyne

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.

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

  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 2010a. Guide to the natural communities of Florida: 2010 edition. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee, FL. 228 pp.

  • Harris, L. D. 1989. The faunal significance of fragmentation in southeastern bottomland forests. Pages 126-134 in: D. D. Hook and R. Lea, editors. Proceedings of the symposium: The forested wetlands of the southern United States. General Technical Report SE-50. USDA Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, Asheville, NC. 168 pp.

  • Landfire [Landfire National Vegetation Dynamics Database]. 2007a. Landfire National Vegetation Dynamics Models. Landfire Project, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Department of Interior. (January - last update) [http://www.LANDFIRE.gov/index.php] (accessed 8 February 2007).

  • Putnam, J. A. 1951. Management of bottomland hardwoods. Occasional Paper No. 116. USDA Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station, New Orleans, LA.

  • Schuster, R. M. 1974. The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America east of the Hundredth Meridian. Volume III. Columbia University, New York.

  • Sharitz, R. R., and W. J. Mitsch. 1993. Southern floodplain forests. Pages 311-372 in: W. H. Martin, S. G. Boyce, and A. C. Echternacht, editors. Biodiversity of the southeastern United States: Lowland terrestrial communities. John Wiley and Sons, New York.

  • Smock, L. A., and E. Gilinsky. 1992. Coastal Plain blackwater streams. Pages 271-313 in: C. T. Hackney, S. M. Adams, and W. H. Martin, editors. Biodiversity of the southeastern United States: Aquatic communities. John Wiley and Sons, New York.

  • Todd, M. J., R. R. Lowrance, P. Goovaerts, G. Vellidis, and C. M. Pringle. 2010. Geostatistical modeling of the spatial distribution of sediment oxygen demand within a coastal plain blackwater watershed. Geoderma 159(1-2):53-62.

  • Wharton, C. H., W. M. Kitchens, E. C. Pendleton, and T. W. Sipe. 1982. The ecology of bottomland hardwood swamps of the Southeast: A community profile. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Biological Services. FWS/OBS-81/37. Washington, DC.


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