Invalid Unit Specified
Macrogroup Detail Report: M071
Spartina pectinata - Typha spp. - Schoenoplectus spp. Great Plains Marsh, Wet Meadow, Shrubland & Playa Macrogroup

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
This wetland macrogroup is found throughout the Great Plains in riparian and non-riparian settings, dominated by a wide variety of herb or shrub obligate or facultative wetland species.
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Translated Name:Prairie Cordgrass - Cattail species - Bulrush species Great Plains Marsh, Wet Meadow, Shrubland & Playa Macrogroup
Colloquial Name:Great Plains Marsh, Wet Meadow, Shrubland & Playa
This herbaceous- or shrub-dominated wetland is found throughout the Great Plains. Sites can be dominated by emergent wetland-obligate species or by herbaceous or shrub species tolerant of seasonal flooding in riparian and non-riparian settings. Abundant species vary widely in this wide-ranging and environmentally diverse macrogroup. Common species in wetter sites include Sagittaria spp. Schoenoplectus spp., Sparganium spp., and Typha spp. In wet meadows and wet prairies, Calamagrostis canadensis, Calamagrostis stricta, Carex spp. (including Carex atherodes, Carex pellita, Carex nebrascensis), Eleocharis palustris, Glyceria spp., Juncus spp., Lycopus americanus, Panicum virgatum, Spartina pectinata, and Triglochin maritima are common. Pascopyrum smithii often occurs on the drier edges of stands in the western parts of its range and in temporarily flooded basins in the southern Great Plains along with Panicum obtusum and Buchloe dactyloides. In more saline areas, common species can include Carex sartwellii, Carex praegracilis, Hordeum jubatum, Plantago eriopoda, and Schoenoplectus pungens. Shrubs are less common range-wide but dominate some sites. Typical species are Amorpha fruticosa, Artemisia cana ssp. cana and Artemisia tridentata (in the northwest portion of the range), Cornus drummondii, Cornus sericea, Prunus virginiana, Salix spp. (especially Salix interior), Symphoricarpos occidentalis, and the exotic Elaeagnus angustifolia. Seedlings of riparian trees, especially Populus deltoides, can be found in some stands. This macrogroup occurs in basins and along rivers and streams throughout the semi-arid to dry-temperate Great Plains. The hydrologic regime varies from sites flooded for only a few weeks each growing season to those flooded for years at a time. The water source for these sites can be snowmelt (either local or from the Rocky Mountains), rain, or groundwater. Sites with limited watersheds and little or no groundwater connection tend to be wet for short periods of time, while those with larger watersheds or more reliable water sources can be saturated or flooded for most or all of the growing season. Water varies from fresh to moderately saline. Many sites are on fine-textured, poorly drained soils either on the surface or forming an impermeable subsurface layer that prevents rapid water drainage. Some sites have coarse, often alluvial soils. Soils are nearly always mineral, but muck can accumulate on some sites, and this macrogroup includes fens where marl or peat can form.
This macrogroup has a range of hydrologic regimes in both riparian and non-riparian settings, but all sites are flooded for at least a few weeks during the growing season. Sites are dominated by herbaceous or shrub species that are tolerant of this inundation or are annual species that germinate after sites dry. These wetlands occur in a largely prairie landscape.
Criteria for separating this macrogroup (M071) from Eastern North American Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland Macrogroup (M069) need to be better defined.
Synonomy: < Prairie Potholes (Richardson 2000)

Related Type Name:

Short Citation:
  • Faber-Langendoen et al. 2017a
  • Friedman et al. 1996
  • Hoagland 2000
  • Lauver et al. 1999
  • Leibowitz and Vining 2003
  • Richardson 2000
  • Steinauer and Rolfsmeier 2000
  • Stewart and Kantrud 1971
  • Thompson and Hansen 2002
States/Provinces:AB, CO, IA, KS, MB, MN, MO, MT, ND, NE, NM, OK, SD, SK, TX, WY
Nations:CA, MX?, US
Range:This macrogroup is found throughout the Great Plains from the southern Canadian Prairie Provinces to northern Texas and from the High Plains below the Rocky Mountains to the Tallgrass Prairies in the central United States.
US Forest Service Ecoregions
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Most examples of this macrogroup are dominated by perennial herbaceous species. This includes emergent species up to 2 m tall in shallower, semipermanently flooded wetlands, and graminoids and forbs in seasonally flooded or saturated sites. Shrubs 1-3 m tall are present in some examples and can be dominant, particularly in riparian settings.
Abundant species vary widely in this wide-ranging and environmentally diverse macrogroup. Common species in wetter sites include Sagittaria spp., Schoenoplectus acutus, Schoenoplectus americanus, Schoenoplectus fluviatilis, Schoenoplectus maritimus, Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani, Sparganium spp., Typha angustifolia, Typha domingensis (in the south), and Typha latifolia. In wet meadows and wet prairies, Calamagrostis canadensis, Calamagrostis stricta, Carex spp. (including Carex atherodes, Carex pellita, Carex nebrascensis), Glyceria spp., Eleocharis palustris, Juncus spp., Lycopus americanus, Panicum virgatum, Spartina pectinata, and Triglochin maritima are common. Pascopyrum smithii often occurs on the drier edges of stands in the western parts of its range and in temporarily flooded basins in the southern Great Plains along with Panicum obtusum and Buchloe dactyloides. Fens contain species rarely found elsewhere in this macrogroup. These include Carex prairea, Dulichium arundinaceum, Lobelia kalmii, Onoclea sensibilis, and Rhynchospora capillacea. In more saline areas, common species can include Carex sartwellii, Carex praegracilis, Hordeum jubatum, Plantago eriopoda, and Schoenoplectus pungens. Shrubs are less common range-wide but dominate some sites. Typical species are Amorpha fruticosa, Artemisia cana ssp. cana and Artemisia tridentata (in the northwest portion of the range), Cornus drummondii, Cornus sericea, Prunus virginiana, Salix spp. (especially Salix interior), and Symphoricarpos occidentalis, and the exotic Elaeagnus angustifolia. Seedlings of riparian trees, especially Populus deltoides, can be found in some stands.
This macrogroup occurs in basins and along rivers and streams throughout the semi-arid to dry-temperate Great Plains. The hydrologic regime varies from sites flooded for only a few weeks each growing season to those under water for years at a time. Water depth rarely exceeds 1 m for extended periods. The water source for these sites can be snowmelt (either local or from the Rocky Mountains), rain, or groundwater. Sites with limited watersheds and little or no groundwater connection tend to be wet for short periods of time while those with larger watersheds or more reliable water sources can be saturated or flooded for most or all of the growing season. Water varies from fresh to moderately saline. Many sites are on fine-textured, poorly drained soils either on the surface or forming an impermeable subsurface layer that prevents rapid water drainage. Some sites have coarse, often alluvial soils. Soils are nearly always mineral, but muck can accumulate on some sites, and this macrogroup includes fens where marl or peat can form.
Moderate
These wetlands occur in a semi-arid to dry-temperate climate and so are very susceptible to seasonal and inter-annual changes in precipitation within their watersheds. With the high evaporation rates in the climatic zone, reductions in water input (through reduced rain, snowmelt, or groundwater discharge) are quickly translated to reductions in water levels. Many examples of this macrogroup are shaped by seasonal or temporary fluctuations in available water with plants able to take advantage of the higher water in the spring or after heavy rains and then tolerant of the relatively drier conditions between flooding events. Other sites have more consistent sources of water and have species that require near permanent flooding or saturation to flourish, but even these sites can be affected by inter-annual changes in precipitation levels. Many wetlands in the Great Plains change greatly in size and composition over a period of several years as precipitation levels rise and fall. Changes in water depth of over a meter are possible over several years (Stewart and Kantrud 1971). These multi-year changes promote floristic diversity by creating shifting environments and vegetation at any one place on the landscape. During the wetter seasonal or multi-year periods, temporary connections may be formed between otherwise discontinuous wetlands, allowing the spread of species and possibly affecting water chemistry through flushing of salts or other dissolved chemicals into or out of basins (Leibowitz and Vining 2003). Fire in adjacent uplands can spread into drier examples of this macrogroup, removing litter and reducing dense vegetation.
Authors:
J. Drake      Version Date: 15Oct2014


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. 2010-2017a. Divisions, Macrogroups and Groups for the Revised U.S. National Vegetation Classification. NatureServe, Arlington, VA. plus appendices. [in preparation]
  • Friedman, J. M., W. R. Osterkamp, and W. M. Lewis, Jr. 1996. Channel narrowing and vegetation development following a Great Plains flood. Ecology 77(7):2167-2181.
  • Hoagland, B. 2000. The vegetation of Oklahoma: A classification for landscape mapping and conservation planning. The Southwestern Naturalist 45(4):385-420.
  • Lauver, C. L., K. Kindscher, D. Faber-Langendoen, and R. Schneider. 1999. A classification of the natural vegetation of Kansas. The Southwestern Naturalist 44:421-443.
  • Leibowitz, S. G., and K. C. Vining. 2003. Temporal connectivity in a prairie pothole complex. Wetlands 23:13-25.
  • Richardson, C. J. 2000. Freshwater wetlands. Pages 448-499 in: M. G. Barbour and W. D. Billings, editors. North American terrestrial vegetation. Second edition. Cambridge University Press, New York. 434 pp.
  • Steinauer, G., and S. Rolfsmeier. 2000. Terrestrial natural communities of Nebraska. Unpublished report of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Lincoln, NE. 143 pp.
  • Stewart, R. E., and H. A. Kantrud. 1971. Classification of natural ponds and lakes in the glaciated prairie region. USDI Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife Resources, Publication 92. Washington, DC. 77 pp.
  • Thompson, W. H., and P. L. Hansen. 2002. Classification and management of riparian and wetland sites of Alberta's Grasslands Natural Region and adjacent subregions. Bitterroot Restoration, Inc., Cows and Fish, Lethbridge. 416 pp.


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 Macrogroup 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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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)