Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Common Rush - Purple Loosestrife - Reed Canarygrass Eastern North American Ruderal Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland Macrogroup
Colloquial Name: Eastern-Southeastern North American Ruderal Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Hierarchy Level: Macrogroup
Type Concept: This macrogroup includes disturbed marshes and wet meadows in the eastern and southeastern United States and southeastern Canada, which are dominated by native ruderal or exotic species. This macrogroup is composed of herbaceous- or shrub-dominated, temporarily, irregularly, seasonally or semipermanently flooded wetlands. Sites often have a history of significant disturbance such as heavy pasturing, agricultural or urban stormwater runoff, or alteration in hydrologic regimes. Along with the wide range in flooding regimes, there can be a wide variety of dominant species, some of which can form near monocultures. Some common herbaceous dominants include Juncus effusus, Lythrum salicaria, Phalaris arundinacea, exotic Phragmites australis (chloroplast haplotype M), Polygonum cuspidatum, Scirpus cyperinus, and Typha spp. Typical shrubs include Ligustrum sinense, Lonicera maackii, and in southern coastal areas Tamarix spp.
Diagnostic Characteristics: These are herbaceous or shrub wetlands that are characterized by ruderal conditions or dominance by exotic plant species. Examples would include wetlands dominated by exotic graminoids, such as Arthraxon hispidus, Arundo donax, Microstegium vimineum, Pennisetum purpureum, Phalaris arundinacea, and exotic Phragmites australis (chloroplast haplotype M) (Saltonstall 2002). Also included here are herbaceous or shrub wetlands which may have been artificially impounded or severely disturbed by vehicles or equipment, and are vegetated with exotic or ruderal native plants. The key distinction between this macrogroup and other herbaceous wetlands in the same region is the dominance by ruderal or exotic species and very often a significant disturbance to the natural ecological dynamics of the site.
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: These herbaceous wetlands are characterized by ruderal conditions or dominance by exotic plant species.
Similar NVC Types:
M067 Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Plain Wet Prairie & Marsh, note: includes natural warm temperate herbaceous and shrub wetlands.
M071 Great Plains Marsh, Wet Meadow, Shrubland & Playa, note: includes natural Great Plains herbaceous and shrub wetlands.
M069 Eastern North American Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland, note: includes natural cool temperate herbaceous and shrub wetlands.
Physiognomy and Structure: These are herbaceous wetlands that are characterized by graminoid or forb vegetation but are variable in physiognomy. The vegetation can include shrubs as well. Sites can have relatively sparse and low (0.5 m) to very dense and tall (2-3 m) vegetation.
Floristics: This macrogroup can have a wide variety of dominant and associated herbaceous forb, graminoid, or shrub species depending on geography, disturbance history, local seed sources, hydrology, and other factors. Andropogon glomeratus, Calamagrostis canadensis, Juncus effusus, Leersia oryzoides, Scirpus cyperinus, Typha angustifolia, and Typha latifolia are typical native graminoid species which are found in ruderal wet meadows and marshes. This macrogroup also includes wetlands dominated by the exotic grasses Arthraxon hispidus, Arundo donax, Microstegium vimineum, Pennisetum purpureum, Phalaris arundinacea, and exotic Phragmites australis (chloroplast haplotype M) (Saltonstall 2002). In the cool-temperate climatic zone, other species commonly present to abundant include Butomus umbellatus, Hesperis matronalis, Iris pseudacorus, Lythrum salicaria, Lysimachia nummularia, Myosotis scorpioides, and Polygonum cuspidatum. Exotic shrub-dominated wetland vegetation is also included here, such as vegetation dominated by Ligustrum sinense, Lonicera maackii, and Tamarix spp. This does not include tall shrubs such as Triadica sebifera. Also, there is ruderal vegetation dominated by annual plants in open-canopy flood zones which are exposed and even dry during the summer. This includes drawdown zones of reservoirs and other wetland habitats.
Dynamics: These wetlands are subject to natural disturbances, such as flooding or hurricanes in coastal areas. Hydrologic variation, such as increased flooding or drying, can have a great impact on these sites. The variation may be the result of natural causes or caused by human activities. Many sites have been subjected to anthropogenic disturbance or are dominated by invasive exotic plants.
Environmental Description: Examples of this macrogroup occur in temperate zone wetlands in basins, along lakeshores, pondshores, in floodplains or on depositional bars along rivers or streams. These sites can have natural or altered flooding regimes, including the edges of impoundments. They are flooded for at least some portion of the growing season, such as temporarily, irregularly (inundated only during spring and storm tides), seasonally or semi-permanently flooded (Cowardin et al. 1979). Flooding can range from short, shallow flooding that dries out during the growing season to semi-permanent flooding where surface water is present year-round most years. Generally the vegetation is on hydric soils, except for temporarily flooded sites and impounded sites. Sites have often been disturbed, either from natural processes, such as flooding, or anthropogenic actions. Due to their aggressive nature, some of the dominant plant species in this macrogroup do not require disturbance before invading an area, though perhaps spreading from disturbed areas adjacent to the site.
Geographic Range: This macrogroup is widespread across the eastern and southeastern United States and southeastern Canada.
Nations: CA, MX, US
States/Provinces: AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NB, NC, NH, NJ, NS, NY, OH, ON, PA, PE, QC, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV
|US Forest Service Ecoregions (2007)|
Southeastern Mixed Forest Province
Confident or certain
White Mountains Section
Confident or certain
Confidence Level: Moderate
Confidence Level Comments:
Synonomy: >< Gulf Coast Fresh Marsh SRM 807 (Shiflet 1994)
> Palustrine Emergent Wetlands (Cowardin et al. 1979)
Concept Author(s): Faber-Langendoen et al. (2014)
Author of Description: C. Nordman and C. Lea
Acknowledgements: Jim Drake of NatureServe made many contributions to our understanding of this marsh vegetation.
Version Date: 05Jun2015
- Cowardin, L. M., V. Carter, F. C. Golet, and E. T. LaRoe. 1979. Classification of wetlands and deepwater habitats of the United States. FWS/OBS-79/31. USDI Fish & Wildlife Service, Office of Biological Services, Washington, DC. 103 pp.
- 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]
- Saltonstall, K. 2002. Cryptic invasion by a non-native genotype of the common reed, Phragmites australis, into North America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 99:2445-2449.
- Shiflet, T. N., editor. 1994. Rangeland cover types of the United States. Society for Range Management. Denver, CO. 152 pp.