Classification of Vegetation Communities of Maryland: First Iteration
A Subset of the International Classification of Ecological
Concept: Vegetation in this alliance occurs in seasonally flooded basins in which the water level generally is beneath the soil surface by the end of the growing season. Cephalanthus occidentalis is the dominant species. Herbaceous species that may be present include Carex striata, Glyceria spp., Polygonum amphibium, and Panicum verrucosum. This alliance is distributed in the Coastal Plain in Maryland and Virginia and possibly along the Atlantic north to Massachusetts, the Interior Low Plateau of Tennessee, and possibly adjoining states; it also occurs in California. This alliance includes shrub vegetation of ponds over fragipan soils in southeastern central Tennessee.
Comments: This alliance needs resolution against III.B.2.N.f Cephalanthus occidentalis Semipermanently Flooded Shrubland Alliance (A.1011), which is distributed throughout the Southeast and the Midwest. This description is based primarily upon information from California examples of the alliance. Further documentation and description of the alliance from other portions of its range are needed.
Range: This alliance is distributed in the coastal plain in Maryland and Virginia and possibly along the Atlantic north to Massachusetts, the Interior Low Plateau of Tennessee, and possibly adjoining states; it also occurs in California. This alliance includes shrub vegetation of ponds over fragipan soils in southeastern central Tennessee. In California, this alliance occurs in seasonally flooded basins throughout the inner northern and central Coast Ranges, the foothills of the Klamath, Cascade, and Sierra Nevada mountains, and in the Great Central Valley.
States/Provinces: AL? CA DE GA IL IN KY MA? MD MO MS? RI? TN VA
TNC Ecoregions: 32:P, 38:C, 39:C, 40:C, 43:P, 44:C, 50:C, 58:C, 59:C, 62:C
USFS Ecoregions: 221A:CC, 222Ab:CCC, 222Ag:CCC, 222Ah:CCC, 222An:CCC, 222Eb:CCC, 231Ga:CCC, 231Gb:CCC, 231Gc:CCC, 232Ac:CCP, 232B:CC, 234Aa:CCP, 234Ac:CCC, 234Ae:CCC, 234Af:CCP, 234Ag:CCP, 234Ah:CCP, 234Ai:CCP, 234Ak:CCP, 234Al:CCP, 234Am:CCP, 234An:CCC, 262A:CC, M221Ab:CCC, M222Aa:CCC, M222Ab:CCC, M231Aa:CCC, M231Ab:CCC, M231Ac:CCC, M231Ad:CCC, M261A:CC, M261C:CC, M261F:CC, M261G:CC, M262A:CC
Federal Lands: DOD (Arnold, Fort Benning); USFS (George Washington, Mark Twain); USFWS (Felsenthal, Pond Creek)
Synonymy: Buttonbush Scrub, in part (Holland 1986b)
References: Holland 1986b, Sawyer and Keeler-Wolf 1995, Sneddon 1994
Authors: ECS, MOD. M. SCHINDEL, MP, East Identifier: A.988
CEPHALANTHUS OCCIDENTALIS / POLYGONUM HYDROPIPEROIDES - PANICUM VERRUCOSUM SHRUBLAND
Buttonbush / Swamp Smartweed - Warty Panicgrass Shrubland
North Atlantic Coastal Plain Buttonbush / Warty Panicgrass Pond G3? (98-12-14)
Ecological Group (SCS;MCS): Northern Coastal Plain Shrub Swamps (490-18; n/a)
Concept: Pond community is known from the Coastal Plain of Delaware and Maryland (and possibly other states), with disjunct examples in the Great Valley of Virginia. Examples include seasonally flooded shrublands that occur in relatively small basins that draw down entirely during dry years, exposing some bare substrate by the end of the growing season. The substrate is a shallow organic layer overlying silt loam or clay loam. Cephalanthus occidentalis is the dominant shrub, but Decodon verticillatus may also be present. Characteristic herbs are Panicum verrucosum, Dulichium arundinaceum, Polygonum hydropiperoides, Torreyochloa pallida, Rhexia virginica, and Panicum hemitomon. Other associates may include Bidens frondosa, Scirpus cyperinus, Proserpinaca palustris, Triadenum virginicum, Dichanthelium spretum (= Panicum spretum), Scleria reticularis, and Fimbristylis autumnalis. Species composition of this community tends to be variable among occurrences.
Comments: With a geographic distribution similar to many of the region's unusual plants, Shenandoah Valley stands of this community type appear to be outliers of an association more widespread on the Coastal Plain. Excellent Coastal Plain examples of this community are found at the Grafton Ponds complex in York County (Rawinski 1997). Additional data and analysis are needed to determine whether the regional expressions in Virginia should be considered formal subtypes in the National Vegetation Classification (USNVC).
This vegetation often occurs with other community types in ponds exhibiting distinct hydrologic zonation. In these situations, it often occupies zones intermediate between the semipermanently flooded Cephalanthus occidentalis / Dulichium arundinaceum Shrubland (CEGL007854) and the more shortly seasonally flooded Quercus palustris / Panicum rigidulum var. rigidulum - Panicum verrucosum - Eleocharis acicularis Herbaceous Vegetation (CEGL007858).
Range: The known range of this community includes the central Atlantic Coastal Plain of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, with an uncertain northward extension to Rhode Island and Massachusetts. There are at least 21 disjunct occurrences of the type documented from natural pond complexes along the western foot of the Blue Ridge in Augusta and Rockingham counties, Virginia.
States/Provinces: DE:S?, MA?, MD:S?, RI?, VA:S?
TNC Ecoregions: 58:C, 59:C, 62:C
USFS Ecoregions: 221:C, 232A:CC, 232B:CC, M221Ab:CCC
Federal Lands: USFS (George Washington)
Synonymy: Cephalanthus occidentalis / Torreyochloa pallida - Decodon verticillatus Association (Rawinski 1997), Cephalanthus occidentalis / Proserpinaca palustris - Polygonum hydropiperoides community (Fleming and Van Alstine 1999), Cephalanthus occidentalis / Polygonum hydropiperoides - Glyceria acutiflora - Proserpinaca palustris Shrubland (Fleming and Coulling 2001) F. VA Srank = S1, Cephalanthus occidentalis / Polygonum hydropiperoides - Torreyochloa pallida - Panicum verrucosum Shrubland (Fleming and Coulling 2001) F. VA Srank = S1
References: Berdine and Gould 1999, Bowman 2000, Buhlmann et al. 1999, Fleming and Coulling 2001, Fleming and Van Alstine 1999, Fleming et al. 2001, McAvoy and Clancy 1994, Rawinski 1997, Sneddon 1994, Tyndall et al. 1990
Authors: G. Fleming and P. Coulling, ECS Confidence: 2 Identifier: CEGL006242
- Maryland Vegetation Classification Subset Report III. Shrublan
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