Invalid Unit Specified
D047 Temperate Intertidal Shore Division

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Type Concept Sentence: This vegetation consists of intertidal and shallow subtidal macroalgae communities in shallow brackish or saltwater coastal waters in the world's temperate to subpolar areas.
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Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Temperate Intertidal Shore Division
Colloquial Name: Temperate Intertidal Shore
Hierarchy Level: Division
Type Concept: This vegetation consists of intertidal and shallow subtidal macroalgae communities in shallow brackish or saltwater coastal waters and associated intertidal shores in the world's temperate to subpolar areas. Representative taxa include Agardhiella spp., Alaria spp., Ascophyllum nodosum, Bryopsis spp., Ceramium spp., Chaetomorpha spp., Champia spp., Chondrus crispus, Cladophora spp., Codium fragile, Colpomenia sinuosa, Desmarestia spp., Ectocarpus spp., Enteromorpha spp., Fucus spp., Gracilaria spp., Hildenbrandtia prototypus, Hypnea spp., Laminaria spp., Nitella spp., Phyllitis fascia, Polysiphonia spp., Porphyra laciniata, Rhizoclonium riparium, Spyridia spp., Ulva lactuca, and Vaucheria spp. Postelsia palmiformis is characteristic of the North American Pacific Coast. Some submerged vascular plants may occur, including Phyllospadix spp. on rocky coasts. Habitats include subtidal and tidal flats of mud or gravel and rocky shoreline pools, outcrops, and reefs. These habitats are either permanently submerged or exposed and inundated daily and sometimes twice daily.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Vegetation is dominated by macroalgae taxa that are adapted to brackish or saltwater and occurs in benthic or intertidal littoral habitats in temperate to subpolar regions.
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: Some seagrass communities occur that are more typical of rocky, high-energy intertidal zones (particularly Phyllospadix spp.) and ultimately might be considered a component of rocky shores because of shared vascular/nonvascular species and shared ecological settings.

The distinction between 5.A.2 Benthic Macroalgae Saltwater Vegetation Formation (F053) (of which this division is a member) and 5.A.1 Floating & Suspended Macroalgae Saltwater Vegetation Formation (F052) needs better clarification. Macroalgae of soft-bottomed intertidal or shallow subtidal substrates within 5.A.2 are primarily drifting or floating, and giant kelp rafts assigned to 5.A.1 are often anchored. A better distinction than benthic versus free-floating might be based on water depth.
Similar NVC Types:
D064 Temperate Seagrass Aquatic Vegetation, note: "is characterized by the dominance or importance of submerged vascular plant species, though macroalgae may also occur."
Physiognomy and Structure: Vegetation is comprised primarily of thalli of benthic macroalgae. These vary from predominantly anchored and sessile (on rocky shores) to predominantly drifting or floating in the water column (in soft-bottomed habitats).
Floristics: Representative taxa include Agardhiella spp., Alaria spp., Ascophyllum nodosum, Bryopsis spp., Ceramium spp., Chaetomorpha spp., Champia spp., Chondrus crispus, Cladophora spp., Codium fragile, Colpomenia sinuosa, Desmarestia spp., Ectocarpus spp., Enteromorpha spp., Fucus spp., Gracilaria spp., Hildenbrandtia prototypus, Hypnea spp., Laminaria spp., Nitella spp., Phyllitis fascia, Polysiphonia spp., Porphyra laciniata, Rhizoclonium riparium, Spyridia spp., Ulva lactuca, and Vaucheria spp. Postelsia palmiformis is characteristic of the North American Pacific Coast. Some submerged vascular plants may occur, including Phyllospadix spp. on rocky coasts.
Dynamics: Density and species composition vary with disturbance from currents, with seasonal water temperature change, and with water column nutrient concentrations.
Environmental Description: This vegetation occurs in shallow brackish or saltwater coastal waters and associated intertidal shores. The habitat is generally narrow on rocky coasts and more extensive in sandy or silty-bottomed settings, including coastal lagoons, estuaries, and river deltas. Stands may be permanently inundated in water up to several meters deep or repeatedly inundated and exposed to air in daily cycles, where they occur in intertidal zones. Macroalgae generally tolerate lower light conditions than do seagrasses and it likely occurs at greater depths and/or under more turbid conditions than do seagrasses.

Climate: The climate varies from temperate to subpolar.
Soils/substrate: Substrate may consist of bedrock, sand, gravel, or mud.
Biogeography: The concept is intended to serve worldwide, in temperate, boreal, and subpolar regions.
Geographic Range: In North America, this vegetation, as currently defined, ranges from Arctic regions south on the Pacific Coast to Baja California, Mexico, on the Atlantic Coast to North Carolina. The range extends to temperate and boreal intertidal and subtidal regions around the globe. South of those areas, a tropical analogue (presently undescribed) occurs (as with seagrasses).
Nations: CA, MX, US
States/Provinces: AK, BC, CA, CT, LB, MA, ME, MXBC, NB, NC, NF, NH, NJ, NS, NU, NY, ON, OR, PE, QC, RI, VA, WA
US Forest Service Ecoregions (2007)
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Plot Analysis Summary:
Confidence Level: Low
Confidence Level Comments:
Grank: GNR
Greasons:
Name:Database Code:Classification Code:
Class 5 Aquatic Vegetation C05 5
Subclass 5.A Saltwater Aquatic Vegetation S09 5.A
Formation 5.A.2 Benthic Macroalgae Saltwater Vegetation F053 5.A.2
Division 5.A.2.Wb Temperate Intertidal Shore D047 5.A.2.Wb
Macrogroup M104 Temperate Atlantic Intertidal Shore M104 5.A.2.Wb.1
Macrogroup M106 Temperate Pacific Seaweed Intertidal Vegetation M106 5.A.2.Wb.2
Concept Lineage:
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Synonomy:
Concept Author(s): Faber-Langendoen et al. (2015)
Author of Description: C. Lea
Acknowledgements:
Version Date: 28Oct2015
References:
  • 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. 2010-2019a. Divisions, Macrogroups and Groups for the Revised U.S. National Vegetation Classification. NatureServe, Arlington, VA. plus appendices. [in preparation]