Invalid Unit Specified
Macrogroup Detail Report: M069
Typha latifolia - Ageratina altissima - Juncus spp. Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland Macrogroup

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
This largely freshwater wetland macrogroup encompasses shrub swamps, marshes, wet meadows and wet prairies of temperate and boreal eastern North America, north of the southern Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains and east of the Great Plains and Yukon Territory. It is dominated by graminoids (e.g., species of the genera Calamagrostis, Carex, Echinochloa, Glyceria, Juncus, Leersia, Schoenoplectus, Scirpus, Sparganium, Typha, Zizania), forbs (e.g., species of the genera Bidens, Eupatorium, Lobelia, Polygonum, Rumex, Sagittaria), and shrubs (e.g., Alnus incana, Alnus serrulata, Cornus sericea, other Cornus spp., Salix spp., Spiraea spp., Viburnum spp.) in a widely variable composition and structure. This macrogroup also contains eastern inland saline meadows characterized by Atriplex patula, Juncus gerardii, and others.
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Translated Name:Broadleaf Cattail - White Snakeroot - Rush species Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland Macrogroup
Colloquial Name:Eastern North American Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
This largely freshwater wetland macrogroup encompasses shrub swamps, marshes, wet meadows and wet prairies of temperate and boreal eastern North America, north of the southern Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains and east of the Great Plains and Yukon Territory. It is dominated by graminoids (e.g., species of the genera Calamagrostis, Carex, Echinochloa, Glyceria, Juncus, Leersia, Schoenoplectus, Scirpus, Sparganium, Typha, Zizania), forbs (e.g., species of the genera Bidens, Eupatorium, Lobelia, Polygonum, Rumex, Sagittaria), and shrubs (e.g., species of Alnus, Cornus, Salix, Spiraea, Viburnum) in a widely variable composition and structure. This macrogroup also contains eastern inland saline meadows characterized by Atriplex patula, Juncus gerardii, and others. Freshwater marshes and shrub swamps occur in closed or open basins that are generally flat and shallow and are frequently to nearly always flooded. Water depths during high water periods range from a few centimeters to approximately 1 m. Stands assigned to this macrogroup are associated with lakes, ponds, slow-moving streams, non-forested seepages, and/or impoundments or ditches on mineral soils with or without a well-decomposed muck layer. This vegetation spans a wide range, from southeastern and south-central Canada southwest to the Great Lakes states and provinces, south to the Ozarks in Arkansas and east through the northern regions of the Gulf coast states to the southern Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee. It includes the Appalachian Mountain, Piedmont, and Interior Plateau regions, but not the Atlantic or Gulf coastal plains.
Saturated or seasonally flooded to semipermanently flooded freshwater emergent marshes, seepage wet meadows, or shrub swamps characterized by wetland herbs, e.g., species of the genera Calamagrostis, Carex, Echinochloa, Glyceria, Juncus, Leersia, Schoenoplectus, Scirpus, Sparganium, Typha, Zizania), forbs (e.g., species of the genera Bidens, Eupatorium, Lobelia, Polygonum, Rumex, Sagittaria), and wetland shrubs such as Alnus incana, Alnus serrulata, Cornus sericea, other Cornus spp., and Salix spp. The substrate is mineral soil or deep muck, but not peat.
These are widespread dominants that span the range from deep marsh to wet meadow.
This unit is geographically and hydrologically rather broad, and, ultimately, some subdivision may be warranted. Also Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Plain Wet Prairie & Marsh Macrogroup (M067) overlaps a great deal and is confusing because it is coastal, mostly, and this macrogroup (M069) is mostly non-coastal except for Northern & Mid-Atlantic Coastal Wetland Group (G752). The distinction between these two needs to be made very clear.
Synonomy: > Atlantic Freshwater Marshes (National Wetlands Working Group 1988)
> Eastern Temperate Marsh (National Wetlands Working Group 1988)
> Emergent Aquatics (Curtis 1959) [Does not include the Great Lakes shore marshes in Wisconsin.]
< Freshwater Marsh (Mitsch and Gosselink 2000)
>< Freshwater wetland (Golet and Larson 1974)
< Scrub-Shrub Wetland: Broad-lead Deciduous subclass (Cowardin et al. 1979)

Related Type Name:

Short Citation:
  • Cowardin et al. 1979
  • Curtis 1959
  • Faber-Langendoen et al. 2017a
  • Golet 1973
  • Golet and Larson 1974
  • Mitsch and Gosselink 2000
  • National Wetlands Working Group 1988
  • Wharton 1978
States/Provinces:AB, AR, CT, DE, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MB, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NB, ND, NF, NH, NJ, NS, NY, OH, ON, PA, PE, QC, RI, SD, SK, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV
Nations:CA, US
Range:This freshwater marsh macrogroup is found across temperate and boreal eastern North America, north of the southern Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains and east of the Great Plains and Yukon Territory. It stretches from eastern to central boreal Canada, from New England and New Brunswick, excluding the Atlantic Coastal Plain, west through the Great Lakes area to eastern North Dakota and northwestern Ontario, south to Missouri and east to the Southern Blue Ridge and Southern and Central Appalachians.
US Forest Service Ecoregions
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Physiognomy is widely variable among and often within sites, ranging from dense shrub swamp, to herbaceous wetland with varying but generally small amounts of shrub or tree sapling cover. Evergreens are generally absent or unimportant.
These freshwater marshes and shrub swamps are characterized by a high diversity of species. Typha spp. and Schoenoplectus spp. are common and widespread, but a wide variety may be dominant in any single stand. Dominant shrubs include Alnus incana ssp. rugosa or Alnus serrulata, Cephalanthus occidentalis, Cornus spp., or Vaccinium corymbosum. Associates include Ilex verticillata, Myrica gale, Spiraea alba, Salix spp., and Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides. Many other graminoids or broad-leaved forbs can be found in these wetlands. Some of the common ones are Calamagrostis canadensis, Carex aquatilis, Carex lacustris, Carex pellita, Carex stricta, Dulichium arundinaceum, Eleocharis palustris, Juncus spp., Leersia oryzoides, Peltandra virginica, Pontederia cordata, Sagittaria latifolia, Schoenoplectus acutus, Schoenoplectus americanus, Schoenoplectus fluviatilis, Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani, Scirpus atrovirens, Scirpus cyperinus, Sparganium spp., Spartina pectinata, Zizania aquatica, and Zizania palustris. Along the drier margins of some sites where soils are more saturated than flooded, Calla palustris, Symplocarpus foetidus, and Thelypteris palustris can sometimes be found. The invasives Lythrum salicaria and Phragmites australis are present in some sites.
The climate of these wetlands ranges from temperate to boreal in Canada and the northern United States. Hydrology ranges from saturated to seasonally flooded to semipermanently flooded. Stands occur on flat to gently sloping to undulating surfaces, in shallow to deep basins of sinkholes or other isolated depressions on uplands, or associated with water courses, lakes, or ponds. Soils are poorly drained to very poorly drained, and surface water may be present for extended periods of time, rarely becoming dry. The typical hydrology is seasonally flooded, but the hydroperiod may be of greater or lesser length, depending on the depth of the basin or depression feature and the annual rainfall. Water depth may vary greatly on a seasonal basis and may be a meter deep or more in the winter in examples with longer hydroperiods. Some examples become dry in the summer. Most examples are eutrophic with muck over mineral soil as the substrate. Where associated with lakes or ponds, wave or currents are more active, and the mineral soil may be exposed.
Moderate
The dynamics of water levels are the most important factor in this vegetation, differentiating it from both the surrounding uplands and among the various alliances and associations comprising the macrogroup. Variation in rainfall patterns and in site drainage drives variation in duration of flooding. Wave and current action is typically minor, although especially strong storms may create large waves and/or currents that break up marsh vegetation. Prolonged drought or a lowering of the water table may lead to exposure of the soil and invasion by plants less tolerant of prolonged flooding. Fire is presumably naturally rare in this vegetation. Although they would naturally be exposed to fires in the surrounding uplands, standing water and lack of continuous fuel limit fires to the edges, except perhaps in early fall. Presumably important as a dynamic process is the migration of amphibians, which concentrate here for breeding. Ecosystem dynamics may be strongly affected by the suitability of surrounding uplands for amphibian adult habitat.
Authors:
J. Drake, S.C. Gawler, L. Sneddon      Version Date: 11Jan2016


References:
  • 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.
  • Curtis, J. T. 1959. The vegetation of Wisconsin: An ordination of plant communities. Reprinted in 1987. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison. 657 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]
  • Golet, F. C. 1973. Wildlife wetland evaluations mode. In: J. S. Larson, editor. A guide to important characteristics and values of freshwater wetlands in the Northeast. Publication 31. Water Resources Research Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 91 pp.
  • Golet, F. C., and J. S. Larson. 1974. Classification of freshwater wetlands in the glaciated northeast. Resources Publication 116. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC. 56 pp.
  • Mitsch, W. J., and J. G. Gosselink. 2000. Wetlands. Third edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York. 920 pp.
  • National Wetlands Working Group. 1988. Wetlands of Canada. Ecological Land Classification Series, No. 24. Sustainable Development Branch, Environment Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, and Polyscience Publications Inc., Montreal, Quebec. 452 pp.
  • Wharton, C. H. 1978. The natural environments of Georgia. Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta. 227 pp.


USNVC Credits: Detailed Description of the National Vegetation Classification Types

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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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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)