Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Beaksedge species - Pitcherplant species Seep Group
Colloquial Name: Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Plain Seep
Hierarchy Level: Group
Type Concept: This group includes wet, fire-maintained, herbaceous seepage vegetation in the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains, from the North Carolina sandhills, extending to northern Florida and to eastern Texas. These oligotrophic (nutrient-poor) wetlands are generally found on moderate to gentle, or almost imperceptible slopes maintained by constant seepage zones such as perched water tables. Examples are typically Rhynchospora spp.-dominated and are often species-rich. Sarracenia spp. are notable indicators. Shrubs frequently encroach in the absence of frequent fire (every 2-5 years). Due to greater topographic isolation, the most interior examples are often naturally shrubbier.
Diagnostic Characteristics: This group occurs on seepage wetlands, generally with some slope. Rhynchospora spp. and Sarracenia spp. are notable indicators.
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features: Rhynchospora spp. are usually dominant, and Sarracenia spp. are characteristic of this group.
Classification Comments: This group occurs on seepage wetlands, generally with some slope. Sarracenia spp. are notable indicators. Due to greater topographic isolation, the most interior examples are often naturally shrubbier. Floristically, this group may overlap with Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Plain Pondshore & Wet Prairie Group (G111), which occurs in depressions and on poorly drained wet flats. These two groups are separated based on hydrogeomorphic factors, and a better understanding of the floristic similarities and differences is needed. Ilex coriacea - Ilex glabra - Kalmia latifolia Hillside Seepage Shrub Bog Alliance (A3442) could be moved from Southeastern Coastal Pocosin & Shrub Bog Group (G186) here to G187; it would fit under G187 to accommodate vegetation of these sites which has not burned as frequently and is shrub-dominated. The vegetation of G186 is all shrub-dominated but (except for A3442) occurs on flats and depressions (site environmental, HGM wetland types).
Similar NVC Types:
G111 Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Plain Pondshore & Wet Prairie, note:
G557 Southeastern Ruderal Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland, note:
G777 Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Interdunal Marsh & Prairie, note:
Physiognomy and Structure: This is an herbaceous wetland group, with Rhynchospora spp. usually dominant. Other graminoid and herbaceous plants are also important. Low shrubs may be mixed in, and tall shrubs are more noticeable on these sites in the absence of frequent fire (2-5 year intervals).
Floristics: Examples are typically grass- and sedge-dominated and are often species-rich. Sarracenia spp. are notable indicators of many community types in this group. Rhynchospora spp. are dominant or codominant in many examples. The herbs are primarily species shared with wet prairies or savannas, such as Andropogon glomeratus, Aristida beyrichiana, Aristida stricta, Calamovilfa brevipilis, Ctenium aromaticum, and a variety of showy forbs and insectivorous plants. Large wetland ferns such as Osmunda cinnamomea, and Osmunda regalis also often dominate. Shrubs (e.g., Cyrilla racemiflora, Ilex coriacea, Ilex glabra, Lyonia lucida) frequently encroach in the absence of fire. Scattered tall shrubs or trees of Magnolia virginiana, Persea palustris, Pinus elliottii var. elliottii, Pinus palustris, Pinus serotina, and/or Toxicodendron vernix may be present even in well-burned examples.
Dynamics: Frequent fires are essential to control invasion by wetland shrubs, although the wettest areas may persist in an herbaceous-dominated condition without fire. However, fire may also be necessary to stimulate growth, flowering and seed production of many herbaceous species found in communities of this group. In the absence of fire, these bogs may become heavily wooded, resulting in the eventual elimination of the bog (Folkerts 1982). Increased development of woody species suppresses herbaceous species and potentially produces some drying due to the transpiration of larger volumes of water.
Environmental Description: Climate: Humid warm temperate. Soil/substrate/hydrology: This oligotrophic wetland is maintained by seepage at the zone between an overlaying, permeable sandy layer and a lower layer of relatively impermeable material such as sandstone or clay. Sites are seasonally to permanently saturated with seeping groundwater. Kindell et al. (1997) document examples for the Leefield, Albany, Pactolus, Pamlico, Rutledge, and Pansey soil series. Clewell (1981) describes these bogs as commonly occurring between bay swamps and pine flatwoods. Atmore, Myatt, Pansy, Plummer and Rains soil series are listed for these seepage wetlands in the Gulf Coast between the Tangipahoa River and the Apalachicola River (Folkerts 1982).
Geographic Range: This group occurs from east-central North Carolina to central Georgia, primarily in the Fall-line Sandhills region but occasionally occurring in the Outer Coastal Plain. It extends into the northern Gulf of Mexico region, across northern Florida, in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and extending across the Gulf Coastal Plain west of the Mississippi River where it is documented in eastern Texas, western Louisiana, and adjacent areas of southern Arkansas.
States/Provinces: AL, AR?, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TX
|US Forest Service Ecoregions (2007)|
Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Forest Province
Confident or certain
Southern Mississippi Alluvial Plain Section
Confident or certain
Omernik Ecoregions: 65:C, 65f:C, 65g:C, 65h:C, 65o:C, 75:C, 75a:C, 75f:C
Confidence Level: High
Confidence Level Comments:
Synonomy: >< Gulf Coast pitcher plant bog (Folkerts 1982)
? Herb bogs (pitcher plant bogs) (Wharton 1978)
= Seepage Slope (FNAI 2010a)
= Seepage Slope (FNAI 1990)
Concept Author(s): G.W. Folkerts (1982)
Author of Description: C.W. Nordman
Version Date: 13May2015
- Bridges, E. L., and S. L. Orzell. 1989a. Longleaf pine communities of the West Gulf Coastal Plain. Natural Areas Journal 9:246-263.
- Clewell, A. F. 1981. Natural setting and vegetation of the Florida Panhandle: An account of the environments and plant communities of northern Florida west of the Suwannee River. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Mobile, AL. 773 pp.
- Drewa, P. B., W. J. Platt, and E. B. Moser. 2002b. Community structure along elevation gradients in headwater regions of longleaf pine savannas. Plant Ecology 160(1):61-78.
- Faber-Langendoen, D., J. Drake, S. Gawler, M. Hall, C. Josse, G. Kittel, S. Menard, C. Nordman, M. Pyne, M. Reid, L. Sneddon, K. Schulz, J. Teague, M. Russo, K. Snow, and P. Comer, editors. 2010-2017a. Divisions, Macrogroups and Groups for the Revised U.S. National Vegetation Classification. NatureServe, Arlington, VA. plus appendices. [in preparation]
- FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 1990. Guide to the natural communities of Florida. Florida Natural Areas Inventory and Florida Department of Natural Resources, Tallahassee. 111 pp.
- FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 2010a. Guide to the natural communities of Florida: 2010 edition. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee, FL.
- Folkerts, G. W. 1982. The Gulf Coast pitcher plant bogs. American Scientist 70:260-267.
- Kindell, C. E., B. J. Herring, C. Nordman, J. Jensen, A. R. Schotz, and L. G. Chafin. 1997. Natural community survey of Eglin Air Force Base, 1993-1996: Final report. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee. 123 pp. plus appendix.
- Wharton, C. H. 1978. The natural environments of Georgia. Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta. 227 pp.