Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Rocky Mountain Pond-lily - Pacific Mosquito Fern - Western Waterweed Western North American Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation Macrogroup
Colloquial Name: Western North American Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation
Hierarchy Level: Macrogroup
Type Concept: This macrogroup consists of rooted, floating, and submerged freshwater aquatic herbaceous vegetation found throughout the temperate regions of western North America. Their occurrence tends to be small-patch or linear in spatial pattern, confined to lakes, ponds, oxbows, and slow-moving portions of rivers and streams. In large bodies of water, they are usually restricted to the littoral region where penetration of light is the limiting factor for growth. A variety of rooted or floating aquatic herbaceous species may dominate, including (but not limited to) Azolla filiculoides, Nuphar polysepala, Polygonum amphibium, Potamogeton foliosus, Potamogeton diversifolius, Potamogeton epihydrus, Potamogeton robbinsii, Ranunculus aquatilis, Ranunculus trichophyllus, and Wolffia spp. Submerged vegetation, such as Ceratophyllum demersum, Ceratophyllum echinatum, Elodea canadensis, Elodea nuttallii, Myriophyllum hippuroides, and Myriophyllum sibiricum, is often present. These communities occur in water too deep for emergent vegetation. Species composition is often dominated by cosmopolitan species but many regionally characteristic species may also occur. Characteristic western U.S. species include Azolla filiculoides, Azolla microphylla, Nuphar polysepala, Nymphaea tetragona, and Stuckenia striata.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Open water with rooted or floating herbaceous aquatic vegetation dominated by western U.S. aquatic species Azolla filiculoides, Azolla microphylla, Nuphar polysepala, Nymphaea tetragona, Stuckenia striata, and several other cosmopolitan species.
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: Many dominant species are cosmopolitan; many species are regionally characteristic. The geographic spilt between eastern and western North America may be too arbitrary, and needs further review. These are open water wetlands with floating aquatic plants, and do not include the adjacent emergent marsh (Scirpus, Schoenoplectus, Carex, Typha, etc.). Characteristic western U.S. species include Azolla filiculoides, Azolla microphylla, Nuphar polysepala, Nymphaea tetragona, and Stuckenia striata. Presumably Chara spp. also belong in this type, as well as other macrogroups within the formation.
Similar NVC Types:
M184 Temperate Pacific Seagrass Intertidal Vegetation, note: includes aquatic marine saltwater vegetation.
M401 North American Temperate Ruderal Aquatic Vegetation, note:
M108 Eastern North American Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation, note: "includes aquatic floating and rooted vegetation found in lakes in eastern North America. Eastern U.S. species: Alisma subcordatum, Azolla caroliniana (and cosmopolitan), Najas filifolia, Najas minor, Nuphar advena, Nymphaea odorata (exotic in western U.S.), Vallisneria americana; east-central U.S.: Cabomba caroliniana, Potamogeton tennesseensis; northeastern and north-central U.S. and Canada: Najas gracillima, Potamogeton bicupulatus, Potamogeton confervoides, Potamogeton hillii, Potamogeton oakesianus, Potamogeton obtusifolius, Potamogeton ogdenii, Potamogeton spirillus, Potamogeton strictifolius, and Potamogeton vaseyi."
M073 Vancouverian Lowland Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland, note: "includes emergent vegetation, but not open-water rooted, floating and submerged aquatic vegetation."
M871 Boreal Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation, note: has similar species composition but occurs in arctic and boreal climatic areas.
M888 Arid West Interior Freshwater Marsh, note:
Physiognomy and Structure: Rooted, floating, or submerged aquatic herbaceous vegetation.
Floristics: A variety of rooted, floating, or submerged aquatic herbaceous species may dominate, including western U.S. characteristic species such as Azolla filiculoides, Azolla microphylla (= Azolla mexicana), Nuphar polysepala, Nymphaea tetragona, and Stuckenia striata. Most common dominants found in western U.S. waterbodies include Azolla filiculoides, Azolla microphylla, Bacopa eisenii, Brasenia schreberi, Callitriche heterophylla, Callitriche palustris, Ceratophyllum demersum, Elodea canadensis, Fontinalis antipyretica, Hippuris vulgaris, Isoetes bolanderi, Isoetes howellii, Isoetes nuttallii, Isoetes occidentalis, Isoetes tenella (= Isoetes echinospora), Lemna minor, Ludwigia palustris, Menyanthes trifoliata, Myriophyllum hippuroides, Myriophyllum sibiricum, Nuphar polysepala, Nymphaea odorata, Polygonum amphibium, Polygonum hydropiperoides, Potamogeton diversifolius, Potamogeton foliosus, Potamogeton natans, Potamogeton richardsonii, Ranunculus aquatilis, Ranunculus lobbii, Ranunculus trichophyllus, Sagittaria latifolia, Schoenoplectus subterminalis, Sparganium angustifolium, Sparganium eurycarpum, Stuckenia filiformis, Stuckenia striata, Utricularia macrorhiza, Utricularia minor, Utricularia ochroleuca, Wolffia borealis, and Wolffia columbiana. These communities generally occur in water too deep for emergent vegetation. Floristic information compiled from Viereck et al. (1992), Holland and Keil (1995), Shephard (1995), Boggs (2000), and Boggs et al. (2008a).
Dynamics: No Data Available
Environmental Description: Climate: Temperate North America, west of the Great Plains. Soil/substrate/hydrology: Vegetation floating in freshwater is small-patch in size, confined to lakes, ponds, oxbows, and slow-moving portions of rivers and streams. In larger bodies of water, stands are usually restricted to the littoral region where penetration of light is the limiting factor for growth. Soils may be either mineral or organic, often with a mucky or mucky-mineral surface layer. Environmental information compiled from Viereck et al. (1992), Holland and Keil (1995), Shephard (1995), Boggs (2000), and Boggs et al. (2008a).
Geographic Range: This macrogroup consists of freshwater aquatic herbaceous vegetation found throughout the temperate regions of western North America, from the Rocky Mountains, including New Mexico to Alberta, west to California and southern coastal Alaska.
Nations: CA, MX?, US
States/Provinces: AB?, AK, BC, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, WA
|US Forest Service Ecoregions (2007)|
Confidence Level: Moderate
Confidence Level Comments:
Synonomy: < Freshwater Marshes: Open Water and Floating Island Zones (Mitsch and Gosselink 2000) [pp. 390-391]
< III.D.1. - Freshwater aquatic herbaceous (Viereck et al. 1992) [Alaska]
< Shallow Waters (MacKenzie and Moran 2004) [British Columbia]
Concept Author(s): G. Kittel, in Faber-Langendoen et al. (2014)
Author of Description: G. Kittel and D. Faber-Langendoen
Acknowledgements: Wetland and limnology scientists everywhere.
Version Date: 15Oct2014
- Boggs, K. 2000. Classification of community types, successional sequences and landscapes of the Copper River Delta, Alaska. General Technical Report PNW-GTR-469. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR. March 2000. 244 pp.
- Boggs, K., S. C. Klein, J. Grunblatt, G. P. Streveler, and B. Koltun. 2008a. Landcover classes and plant associations of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/KEFJ/NRTR-2008/093. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 255 pp.
- Christy, J. A. 2004. Native freshwater wetland plant associations of northwestern Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, Oregon State University, Portland, OR.
- Crowe, E. A., B. L. Kovalchik, and M. J. Kerr. 2004. Riparian and wetland vegetation of central and eastern Oregon. Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, Institute for Natural Resources, Oregon State University, Portland. 473 pp. [http://oregonstate.edu/ornhic/ publications.html]
- 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]
- Holland, V. L., and D. J. Keil. 1995. California vegetation. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, IA. 516 pp.
- Kunze, L. M. 1994. Preliminary classification of native, low elevation, freshwater wetland vegetation in western Washington. Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program. 120 pp.
- MacKenzie, W. H., and J. R. Moran. 2004. Wetlands of British Columbia: A guide to identification. Land Management Handbook No. 52. Research Branch, British Columbia Ministry of Forests and Lands, Victoria, BC. 287 pp.
- Mitsch, W. J., and J. G. Gosselink. 2000. Wetlands. Third edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York. 920 pp.
- Sawyer, J. O., T. Keeler-Wolf, and J. Evens. 2009. A manual of California vegetation. Second edition. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento CA. 1300 pp.
- Shephard, M. E. 1995. Plant community ecology and classification of the Yakutat Foreland, Alaska. R10-TP-56. USDA Forest Service, Alaska Region. 213 pp. plus appendices.
- Shiflet, T. N., editor. 1994. Rangeland cover types of the United States. Society for Range Management. Denver, CO. 152 pp.
- Viereck, L. A., C. T. Dyrness, A. R. Batten, and K. J. Wenzlick. 1992. The Alaska vegetation classification. General Technical Report PNW-GTR286. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR. 278 pp.
- Warner, B. G., and C. D. A. Rubec, editors. 1997. The Canadian wetland classification system. Second revised edition. Wetlands Research Centre, University of Waterloo, ON. 68 pp.