Invalid Unit Specified
CEGL004117 Schoenoplectus pungens - Fimbristylis (castanea, caroliniana) Marsh

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Type Concept Sentence:
Collapse All::Expand All
Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Common Threesquare - (Marsh Fimbry, Carolina Fimbry) Marsh
Colloquial Name: Mid-Atlantic Interdunal Swale
Hierarchy Level: Association
Type Concept: This interdunal swale community of the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland is characterized by dense cover of Schoenoplectus pungens (= Scirpus pungens) and/or Spartina patens, with Fimbristylis castanea or Fimbristylis caroliniana. There is usually shallow standing water present in these swales in the spring, when Schoenoplectus pungens or Spartina patens is generally dominant with few other associates except species of Eleocharis. By late summer a number of other species such as Fimbristylis castanea and Sabatia stellaris contribute more substantial cover. Other herbs contribute very little to the overall vegetative cover. These associated species include Andropogon virginicus, Andropogon glomeratus, Eleocharis rostellata, Phragmites australis, Pluchea foetida, Pluchea odorata, Cyperus filicinus, Juncus scirpoides, Hydrocotyle umbellata, Eleocharis parvula, Panicum amarum, Fimbristylis autumnalis, Sabatia stellaris, Ptilimnium capillaceum, Fuirena pumila, and Juncus canadensis. Diagnostic species are Schoenoplectus pungens and Fimbristylis castanea. Related vegetation of the Atlantic Coast from North Carolina southward is accommodated under ~Fimbristylis castanea - Schoenoplectus pungens Marsh (CEGL003790)$$.
Diagnostic Characteristics: No Data Available
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: This association is similar to Juncus (dichotomus, scirpoides) - Drosera intermedia Wet Meadow (CEGL004111) in environment, but lacks Xyris spp., Pogonia spp., and Lycopodiella appressa (= Lycopodium appressum). It may represent a successional phase or be slightly more brackish. Subsequent vegetation classification and mapping of adjoining Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge noted the presence of a variant occurring in shallow interdunal ponds. This variant, referred to as the Eleocharis spp. - Schoenoplectus pungens variant, differs from the typic association in its absence of Fimbristylis spp., lower diversity, and dominance of Eleocharis albida and/or Eleocharis quadrangulata and Schoenoplectus pungens. Associated species include Panicum rigidulum, Panicum virgatum, Proserpinaca palustris, and others.
Similar NVC Types:
Juncus (dichotomus, scirpoides) - Drosera intermedia Wet Meadow, note:
Fimbristylis castanea - Schoenoplectus pungens Marsh, note: more southern type.
Spartina patens - Schoenoplectus pungens - Thelypteris palustris var. pubescens - Centella erecta Marsh, note:
Physiognomy and Structure: No Data Available
Floristics: This association is characterized by dense cover of Schoenoplectus pungens (= Scirpus pungens) or Spartina patens in association with Fimbristylis castanea or Fimbristylis caroliniana. In early spring, Schoenoplectus pungens and/or Spartina patens is usually dominant, with few other associates visible. By later summer as the water table drops, additional species emerge, including abundant Fimbristylis castanea and Sabatia stellaris. Cover and composition of associated species are variable but in aggregate include Andropogon virginicus, Andropogon glomeratus, Eleocharis rostellata, Phragmites australis, Pluchea foetida, Pluchea odorata, Cyperus filicinus, Juncus scirpoides, Hydrocotyle umbellata, Eleocharis parvula, Panicum amarum, Fimbristylis autumnalis, Sabatia stellaris, Ptilimnium capillaceum, Fuirena pumila, and Juncus canadensis.
Dynamics: No Data Available
Environmental Description: This association is characterized by seasonally wet maritime interdunal depressions, commonly known as "interdunal swales." There is usually standing water present in these swales in the spring. The Eleocharis spp. - Schoenoplectus pungens variant of this association occurs in similar habitat but tends to be flooded for a longer period of the year. Although this association occurs in swales, it occurs in association with the highest dunes on the island and so has a higher relative elevation than any other island wetlands. Average elevation of this association at Assateague Island National Seashore is 1.23 m, as calculated from lidar-derived data of Brock et al. (2007).
Geographic Range: This association is currently described from Maryland and Virginia.
Nations: US
States/Provinces: MD, VA
US Forest Service Ecoregions (1994/1995)
Domain Name:
Division Name:
Province Name: Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 232    Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Coastal Plains and Flatwoods, Lower Section
Section Code: 232B     Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Omernik Ecoregions:
Confidence Level: Moderate
Confidence Level Comments:
Grank: G1G2
Greasons: This small-patch community is limited to coastal dunes of Maryland and Virginia. There are likely fewer than 100 occurrences.
Concept Lineage:
Predecessors:
Obsolete Names:
Obsolete Parents:
Synonomy: = Fimbristylis (castanea, caroliniana) - Scirpus pungens Herbaceous Vegetation (Berdine 1998)
? Juncus scirpoides-Scirpus pungens interdunal wetland association (McAvoy and Clancy 1994) [Delaware.]
< Fresh marsh community (Hill 1986) [Assateague Island.]
< Fresh marsh community (Higgins et al. 1971) [Assateague Island.]
? Wet community of barrier flats (Travis and Godfrey 1976) [North Carolina.]
Concept Author(s): L.A. Sneddon and A. Berdine
Author of Description: L.A. Sneddon and A. Berdine
Acknowledgements:
Version Date: 06Sep2013
References:
  • Berdine, M. A. 1998. Maryland vegetation classification. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis, MD.
  • Brock, J. C., C. W. Wright, M. Patterson, A. Naeghandi, and L. J. Travers. 2007. EAARL bare earth topography - Assateague Island National Seashore. U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2007-1176. [http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1176/start.html]
  • Eastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boston, MA.
  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2011a. Natural communities of Virginia: Ecological groups and community types. Natural Heritage Technical Report 11-07. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 34 pp.
  • Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, D. P. Walton, K. M. McCoy, and M. R. Parrish. 2001. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. First approximation. Natural Heritage Technical Report 01-1. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 76 pp.
  • Harrison, J. W. 2011. The natural communities of Maryland: 2011 working list of ecological community groups and community types. Unpublished report. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Service, Natural Heritage Program, Annapolis. 33 pp.
  • Harrison, J. W., compiler. 2004. Classification of vegetation communities of Maryland: First iteration. A subset of the International Classification of Ecological Communities: Terrestrial Vegetation of the United States, NatureServe. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis. 243 pp.
  • Higgins, E. A. T., R. D. Rappleye, and R. G. Brown. 1971. The flora and ecology of Assateague Island. University of Maryland Experiment Station Bulletin A-172. 70 pp.
  • Hill, S. R. 1986. An annotated checklist of the vascular flora of Assateague Island (Maryland and Virginia). Castanea 5:265-305.
  • McAvoy, W., and K. Clancy. 1994. Community classification and mapping criteria for Category I interdunal swales and coastal plain pond wetlands in Delaware. Final Report submitted to the Division of Water Resources in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. 47 pp.
  • Peet, R. K., T. R. Wentworth, M. P. Schafale, and A.S. Weakley. No date. Unpublished data of the North Carolina Vegetation Survey. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
  • Schafale, M. 2000. Fourth approximation guide. Coastal Plain. January 2000 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.
  • Sneddon, L., M. Anderson, and K. Metzler. 1996. Community alliances and elements of the Eastern Region. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Heritage Task Force, Boston, MA. 235 pp.
  • TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. 1995c. NBS/NPS Vegetation Mapping Program: Vegetation classification of Assateague Island National Seashore. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Regional Office, Boston, MA.
  • TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. 1997a. Vegetation classification of Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Report to the NBS/NPS Vegetation Mapping Program. The Nature Conservancy. Eastern Regional Office, Boston, MA.
  • Travis, R. W., and P. J. Godfrey. 1976. Interactions of plant communities and oceanic overwash on the manipulated barrier islands of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina. Pages 777-780 in: Proceedings of the First Conference on Scientific Research in the National Parks, Volume II.