Invalid Unit Specified
Association Detail Report: CEGL006481
Eupatorium serotinum - Polygonum (lapathifolium, punctatum, pensylvanicum) Riverbar Wet Meadow

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
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Translated Name:Late-flowering Thoroughwort - (Curlytop Knotweed, Dotted Smartweed, Pennsylvania Smartweed) Riverbar Wet Meadow
Colloquial Name:Piedmont-Central Appalachian Scour Bar Wet Meadow
This association is known only from the Potomac River in the Piedmont and mountain provinces of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. Well-documented occurrences are concentrated in high-gradient reaches of the Potomac, particularly near the fall-line (Potomac Gorge) and at Harpers Ferry. The type occurs on sandy riverbanks and depositional bars, as well as in sand deposits on bedrock floodplains and boulder bars. These habitats experience high rates of sediment erosion and turnover during even moderate floods and are inundated for 3-12% of the year, but are generally exposed for most of the growing season. Vegetation may be sparse during years of more continuous high water during the growing season. In normal growing seasons, the type is a dense growth of tall (1-2 m), predominantly annual herbs. Some weedy, fast-growing perennials are also characteristic. Artemisia annua, Amaranthus spinosus, Datura stramonium, Eupatorium serotinum, Polygonum lapathifolium, Polygonum pensylvanicum, Polygonum punctatum, and Verbena urticifolia are relatively constant and generally contribute most of the cover. Additional, less constant or abundant species include Chenopodium ambrosioides, Conoclinium coelestinum (= Eupatorium coelestinum), Hibiscus laevis, Mollugo verticillata, Perilla frutescens, Polygonum caespitosum var. longisetum, Solanum carolinense, Solanum ptychanthum, Teucrium canadense, Urtica dioica ssp. dioica, Verbena hastata, and Verbesina alternifolia. Herbaceous vines may also be numerous, with Calystegia sepium, Cynanchum laeve, and Cuscuta gronovii most frequent. Scattered individuals of shrubby to full-sized flood-tolerant trees (e.g., Platanus occidentalis, Acer saccharinum) may be present.
No Data Available
Classification is supported by analysis of data from 19 plots sampled throughout the known range. Currently, the type is classified as natural that, like most floodplain communities in the Mid-Atlantic region, has been altered to a considerable degree by post-settlement disturbances. However, approximately 30% of this community's characteristic species are weedy exotics, and further study is needed to determine whether this vegetation should be considered a natural or modified type.
Synonomy: = Datura stramonium - Eupatorium serotinum - Polygonum (punctatum, lapathifolium, pensylvanicum) Herbaceous Vegetation (Lea 2003)
= Eupatorium serotinum - Cynanchum laeve - Polygonum (pensylvanicum, punctatum, lapathifolium) Herbaceous Vegetation (Fleming and Patterson 2003)
= Eupatorium serotinum - Polygonum (lapathifolium, punctatum, pensylvanicum) Herbaceous Vegetation (Fleming and Taverna 2006)
= Eupatorium serotinum - Polygonum (lapathifolium, punctatum, pensylvanicum) Herbaceous Vegetation (Fleming 2007)
= Polygonum (punctatum, lapathifolium, pensylvanicum) - Verbena urticifolia / Ampelamus albidus Herbaceous Vegetation (Lea 2000)

Related Type Name:

Short Citation:
  • Eastern Ecology Working Group n.d.
  • Fleming 2007
  • Fleming and Patterson 2003
  • Fleming and Patterson 2011a
  • Fleming and Taverna 2006
  • Fleming et al. 2001
  • Fleming et al. 2004
  • Harrison 2004
  • Harrison 2011
  • Lea 2000
  • Lea 2003
  • Lea 2004
  • Walton et al. 2001
States/Provinces:DC, MD, VA, WV
Nations:US
Range:This association is known only from the Potomac River in the Piedmont and mountain provinces of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. Well-documented occurrences are concentrated in high-gradient reaches of this river, particularly near the fall-line (Potomac Gorge) and at Harpers Ferry.
US Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name:
Division Name:
Province Name:Central Appalachian Broadleaf Forest - Coniferous Forest - Meadow Province
Province Code:M221   Occurrence Status:Confident or certain
Section Name:Blue Ridge Mountains Section
Section Code:M221D     Occurrence Status:Confident or certain
No Data Available
Vegetation may be sparse during years of more continuous high water during the growing season. In normal growing seasons, the type is a dense growth of tall (1-2 m) predominantly annual herbs. Some weedy, fast-growing perennials are also characteristic. These include Amaranthus spinosus, Artemisia annua, Datura stramonium, Eupatorium serotinum, Polygonum lapathifolium, Polygonum pensylvanicum, Polygonum punctatum, Teucrium canadense, Verbesina alternifolia, and Verbena urticifolia, which are relatively constant and generally contribute most of the cover. Additional, less constant or abundant species include Chenopodium ambrosioides, Conoclinium coelestinum (= Eupatorium coelestinum), Hibiscus laevis, Mollugo verticillata, Perilla frutescens, Polygonum caespitosum var. longisetum, Solanum carolinense, Solanum ptychanthum, Teucrium canadense, Urtica dioica ssp. dioica, Verbena hastata, and Verbesina alternifolia. Herbaceous vines may also be numerous, with Calystegia sepium, Cynanchum laeve, and Cuscuta gronovii most frequent. Scattered individuals of shrubby to full-sized flood-tolerant trees (e.g., Platanus occidentalis, Acer saccharinum) may be present.
The type occurs on sandy riverbanks and depositional bars, as well as in sand deposits on bedrock floodplains and boulder bars. These habitats experience high rates of sediment erosion and turnover during even moderate floods and are inundated for 3-12% of the year (Lea 2000), but are generally exposed for most of the growing season.
Moderate
In habitats occupied by this community, sediment deposition is apparently frequent enough and sediment turnover extensive enough during even relatively small floods that most established perennial species are quickly buried or scoured away. These conditions favor the prevalence of annual herbs and rapidly growing perennials, both of which probably produce extensive seedbanks. It is uncertain whether this association is fully natural, as approximately 30% of its characteristic species are not indigenous to the region. While it is likely that this vegetation has been altered in both composition and distribution by anthropogenic watershed changes increasing the frequency and level of floods on the Potomac (favoring annual species and exotics), it also seems reasonable to presume that some similar form of low, frequently flooded depositional bar originally occurred along higher gradient stretches of the very powerful Potomac River. For now, the type is classified as a natural type that, like most floodplain communities, has been altered to a considerable degree by post-settlement disturbances. Multi-year research would be needed to elucidate competitive dynamics of this community type and to fully evaluate its conservation value.
Authors:
C. Lea and G.P. Fleming      Version Date: 01Jun2007


References:
  • Eastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boston, MA.
  • Fleming, G. P. 2007. Ecological communities of the Potomac Gorge in Virginia: Composition, floristics, and environmental dynamics. Natural Heritage Technical Report 07-12. Unpublished report submitted to the National Park Service. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 341 pp. plus appendices.
  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2003. Preliminary vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks. Regional (VA-WVA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2003. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.
  • 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., and K. Taverna. 2006. Vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks, western region. Regional (VA-WVA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2006. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.
  • 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.
  • Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, K. D. Patterson, and K. M. McCoy. 2004. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Natural Heritage Technical Report 04-01. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/dnh/ncintro.htm]
  • 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.
  • Lea, C. 2000. Plant communities of the Potomac Gorge and their relationship to fluvial factors. M.S. thesis, George Mason University. Fairfax, VA. 219 pp.
  • Lea, C. 2003. Vegetation types in the National Capital Region Parks. Draft for review by NatureServe, Virginia Natural Heritage, West Virginia Natural Heritage, Maryland Natural Heritage, and National Park Service. March 2003. 140 pp.
  • Lea, C. 2004. Draft vegetation types in National Capital Region Parks. Edited by S.C. Gawler and J. Teague. Working draft for review by NatureServe, Virginia Natural Heritage, West Virginia Natural Heritage, Maryland Natural Heritage, and National Park Service. July 2004. 157 pp.
  • Walton, D. P., P. P. Coulling, J. Weber, A. Belden, Jr., and A. C. Chazal. 2001. A plant community classification and natural heritage inventory of the Pamunkey River floodplain. Unpublished report submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Natural Heritage Technical Report 01-19. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 200 pp. plus appendices.


USNVC Credits: Detailed Description of the National Vegetation Classification Types

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Author(s). publicationYear. Description Title [last revised revisionDate]. United States National Vegetation Classification. Federal Geographic Data Committee, Washington, D.C.

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About this document
This document contains type descriptions at the Association level of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification. These descriptions were primarily written by NatureServe ecologists in collaboration with Federal Geographic Data Committee Vegetation Subcommittee and a wide variety of state, federal and private partners as a part of the implementation of the National Vegetation Classification. Formation descriptions were written by the Hierarchy Revisions Working Group. The descriptions are based on consultation with natural resource professionals, published literature, and other vegetation classification systems. The Ecological Society of America's Panel on Vegetation Classification is responsible for managing the review and formal adoption of these types into the National Vegetation Classification. Partners involved in the implementation of the USNVC include:

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  • Department of Commerce (DOC)
  • Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Department of the Interior (USDI)
  • Forest Service (FS) - Chair
  • National Agriculture Statistical Service (NASS)
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Disclaimer:
Given the dynamic nature of the standard, it is possible a type description is incomplete or in revision at the time of download; therefore, users of the data should track the date of access and read the revisions section of the USNVC.org website to understand the current status of the classification. While USNVC data have undergone substantial review prior to posting, it is possible that some errors or inaccuracies have remained undetected.

For information on the process used to develop these descriptions see:

Faber-Langendoen, D., T. Keeler-Wolf, D. Meidinger, D. Tart, B. Hoagland, C. Josse, G. Navarro, S. Ponomarenko, J.-P. Saucier, A. Weakley, P. Comer. 2014. EcoVeg: A new approach to vegetation description and classification. Ecological Monographs 84:533-561 (erratum 85:473).

Franklin, S., D. Faber-Langendoen, M. Jennings, T. Keeler-Wolf, O. Loucks, A. McKerrow, R.K. Peet, and D. Roberts. 2012. Building the United States National Vegetation Classification. Annali di Botanica 2: 1-9.

Jennings, M. D., D. Faber-Langendoen, O. L. Louckes, R. K. Peet, and D. Roberts. 2009. Standards for associations and alliances of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification. Ecological Monographs 79(2):173-199.

FGDC [Federal Geographic Data Committee]. 2008. Vegetation Classification Standard, FGDC-STD-005, Version 2. Washington, DC., USA. [http://www.fgdc.gov/standards/projects/FGDC-standards-projects/vegetation/NVCS_V2_FINAL_2008-02.pdf]

For additional information contact:

  • Implementation of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification Standard - Alexa McKerrow (amckerrow@usgs.gov)
  • NatureServe's Development of NVC Type Descriptions - Don Faber-Langendoen (don_faber- langendoen@natureserve.org)
  • Ecological Society of America's Review of the Type Descriptions Scott.Franklin@unco.edu
  • Federal Geographic Data Committee - Vegetation Subcommittee's Activities - Marianne Burke (mburke@fs.fed.us)