Invalid Unit Specified
M073 Vancouverian Lowland Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland Macrogroup

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Type Concept Sentence: This macrogroup includes freshwater shrublands, meadows, marshes and mudflat wetlands, with mostly mineral soils that are that are poorly to well-drained and seasonally wet to saturated, occurring at low elevations from the Pacific coast and inland to interior wetlands of shallow lakebeds, rivershores of the Columbia River and the Rocky Mountains.
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Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Vancouverian Lowland Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland Macrogroup
Colloquial Name: Vancouverian Lowland Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Hierarchy Level: Macrogroup
Type Concept: This macrogroup includes freshwater shrublands, meadows, marshes and mudflat wetlands. Stands include riparian shrublands, herbaceous meadows, emergent marshes and sparse mudflats dominated by low forbs. Dominant shrubs include Acer glabrum, Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia, Alnus viridis ssp. crispa, Alnus viridis ssp. sinuata, Artemisia cana, Cornus sericea, Crataegus douglasii, Crataegus rivularis, Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda, Malus fusca, Philadelphus lewisii, Prunus virginiana, Rhus trilobata, Rosa nutkana, Rosa woodsii, Rubus spectabilis, many Salix spp., Shepherdia argentea, Spiraea douglasii, and Symphoricarpos spp. Herbaceous species are quite varied and include graminoids Calamagrostis canadensis, Carex aquatilis var. dives, Carex flava, Carex lyngbyei, Carex mackenziei, Carex obnupta, Carex pellita, Carex praegracilis, Carex utriculata, Cyperus spp., Deschampsia beringensis, Deschampsia cespitosa, Eleocharis obtusa, Eleocharis palustris, Elymus trachycaulus, Eragrostis hypnoides, Glyceria striata, Juncus arcticus ssp. littoralis, Juncus lesueurii, Juncus nevadensis, Leymus cinereus, Leymus mollis, Muhlenbergia filiformis, Muhlenbergia richardsonis, Pascopyrum smithii, Paspalum distichum, Phalaris spp., Poa cusickii, Poa secunda, Schoenoplectus americanus, Schoenoplectus pungens, Typha domingensis, and Typha latifolia; forbs Achillea millefolium var. borealis, Angelica lucida, Argentina anserina, Argentina egedii, Bidens spp., Castilleja spp., Cicuta spp., Crassula aquatica, Euthamia occidentalis, Galium triflorum, Gnaphalium palustre, Heracleum maximum, Hydrocotyle umbellata, Iris missouriensis, Lathyrus japonicus var. maritimus, Lilaeopsis occidentalis, Limosella aquatica, Ludwigia palustris, Lupinus nootkatensis, Lysichiton americanus, Maianthemum stellatum, Mimulus spp., Parnassia palustris, and Rorippa curvisiliqua; ferns and fern allies Athyrium filix-femina, Equisetum arvense, Equisetum fluviatile, Equisetum variegatum, and Gymnocarpium dryopteris; and mosses Sphagnum spp. These species are associated with wetlands that occur on poorly drained or well-drained seasonally wet to saturated soils that may dry out completely during the growing season, and are mostly on mineral or shallow (<30 cm) organic or muck soils over mineral substrates. This type ranges from southern Alaska to northern New Mexico, and includes only freshwater, non-saline wetlands that occur in lowland elevations, from sea level to about 1830 m (6000 feet) (generally below the transition from montane forests to lowland grasslands and shrublands).
Diagnostic Characteristics: This macrogroup includes a broad range of species associated with freshwater shrublands, meadows, marshes and mudflat wetlands. Stands include riparian shrublands, herbaceous meadows, emergent marshes and sparse mudflats dominated by low forbs. See the floristics section for details.
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: Is the floristic variability here greater than it is for peatlands or forested wetlands? For peatlands the macrogroups are more finely divided among floristic regions (North Pacific, Vancouverian) and the forested are split biogeographically at the division level! However, here all western shrublands, wet meadows and marshes are only split out at the group level. Are there data justifying that the floristics of this macrogroup (M073) are much more homogenous than those of other wetland types? If they show as much variability as those other groups, then some consistency is needed in how the macrogroups are defined: Vancouverian, Rocky Mountain, Intermountain Basin. Or, to keep logic consistency, those other macrogroup should be lumped (i.e., M063 and M064 = Western North American Bog & Fen (J. Rocchio pers. comm. 2014). Should swamp versus riparian be more consistently applied within the groups of this macrogroup? Great Plains wetland. Possible split: (1) Within 2.B.6 Nb, split M073 into two macrogroups for Vancouverian/Temperate Pacific (G322+G517+G525) and Western North American Interior (G526+G531) bioregions. (2) Consider a physiognomic-based macrogroup within M073--although might that make more sense at division scale?
Similar NVC Types:
M076 Warm Desert Lowland Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland, note:
M050 Southern Vancouverian Lowland Grassland & Shrubland, note:
M071 Great Plains Marsh, Wet Meadow, Shrubland & Playa, note: extends west to the Rocky Mountain foothills.
M109 Western North American Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation, note:
M074 Western North American Vernal Pool, note:
M172 Northern Vancouverian Lowland-Montane Grassland & Shrubland, note:
M301 Western North American Ruderal Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland, note:
Physiognomy and Structure: Deciduous broadleaf shrublands, short to tall (0.5-5 m) and low-statured herbaceous wetlands dominated by perennial graminoids, annual plants or emergent vegetation.
Floristics: Dominant shrubs include Acer glabrum, Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia, Alnus viridis ssp. sinuata, Artemisia cana, Cornus sericea, Crataegus douglasii, Crataegus rivularis, Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda, Malus fusca, Philadelphus lewisii, Prunus virginiana, Rhus trilobata, Rosa nutkana, many Salix spp., Shepherdia argentea, Spiraea douglasii, and Symphoricarpos spp. Herbaceous species are quite varied and include graminoids Calamagrostis canadensis, Carex aquatilis var. dives (= Carex sitchensis), Carex flava (= Carex nevadensis), Carex lyngbyei, Carex mackenziei, Carex obnupta, Carex pellita (= Carex lanuginosa), Carex praegracilis, Carex utriculata, Cyperus spp., Deschampsia beringensis, Deschampsia cespitosa, Eleocharis obtusa, Eleocharis palustris, Elymus trachycaulus, Eragrostis hypnoides, Glyceria striata, Juncus arcticus ssp. littoralis (= Juncus balticus), Juncus lesueurii, Leymus cinereus, Leymus mollis, Muhlenbergia richardsonis, Pascopyrum smithii, Paspalum distichum, Phalaris spp., Poa cusickii, Poa secunda (= Poa nevadensis), Schoenoplectus americanus, Schoenoplectus pungens, Typha domingensis, and Typha latifolia; forbs Achillea millefolium var. borealis (= Achillea borealis), Angelica lucida, Argentina anserina (= Potentilla anserina), Argentina egedii, Bidens spp., Castilleja spp., Cicuta spp., Crassula aquatica, Euthamia occidentalis, Galium triflorum, Gnaphalium palustre, Heracleum maximum, Hydrocotyle umbellata, Iris missouriensis, Lathyrus japonicus var. maritimus, Lilaeopsis occidentalis, Limosella aquatica, Ludwigia palustris, Lupinus nootkatensis, Lysichiton americanus, Maianthemum stellatum, Mimulus spp., and Parnassia palustris; ferns and fern allies Athyrium filix-femina, Equisetum arvense, Equisetum fluviatile, Equisetum variegatum, and Gymnocarpium dryopteris; and mosses Sphagnum spp.
Dynamics: These wetlands are subject to flooding, groundwater discharge, or surface inundation, resulting from proximity to waterbodies, including tidal pulses of freshwater, or subsurface water due to high water table. Flooding may be accompanied by burial by sand and other coarse material. A fluctuating water table may expose some areas to scour by wind. They may be heavily inundated for at least part of the growing season, impeding the establishment of tree species. Isolated wetlands in dune systems are subject to changes in the size and location of the wet swales as the sand dunes shift with active dune migration.
Environmental Description: Environmental settings include seasonally flooded bottomlands along drainages, river floodplain depressions, glacial or other depressions, cienegas, oxbow lakes, seeps and springs, freshwater tidal-influenced shores of the Columbia River, frequently flooded gravel bars, low-lying sidebars, infilled side channels, small ponds, ditches, small interdunal depressions to extensive deflation plains behind stabilized foredunes, slow-moving streams, perennial streams in valleys and mountain foothills, and lakeshore mudflats. Elevations range from sea level to 1830 m (0-6000 feet). Soil/substrate/hydrology: Substrates are variable but are generally fine-textured, alluvial soil, coarse loam, sandy loam, sand, and silt. Hydrologic regimes vary from seasonal inundation followed by complete soil desiccation to year-round standing water. Water may be poorly oxygenated or nitrogen-rich and at or above the ground surface for most of the growing season. A consistent source of freshwater is essential to the function of these systems. Rarely, water is brackish.
Geographic Range: This macrogroup is found from the northernmost Aleutian Islands to Cook Inlet Basin and Prince William Sound, Alaska, south along the Pacific Coast to California, into the temperate western North American interior (interior British Columbia, Columbia Basin, Great Basin, Colorado Plateau, and higher intermountain basins) and in dune wetlands across the intermountain western U.S.
Nations: CA, MX?, US
States/Provinces: AB, AK, AZ, BC, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, TX, UT, WA, WY
US Forest Service Ecoregions (2007)
Domain Name:
Division Name:
Province Name: Southwest Plateau and Plains Dry Steppe and Shrub Province
Province Code: 315    Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Yellowstone Highlands Section
Section Code: M331A     Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Omernik Ecoregions:
Plot Analysis Summary:
Confidence Level: Moderate
Confidence Level Comments:
Grank: GNR
Greasons:
Concept Lineage:
Predecessors:
Obsolete Names:
Obsolete Parents:
Synonomy: < Wetlands (217) (Shiflet 1994)
Concept Author(s): Faber-Langendoen et al. (2014)
Author of Description: G. Kittel, K. Boggs, C. Chappell, P. Comer, M.S. Reid, M.E. Hall, J. Christy
Acknowledgements:
Version Date: 29Mar2017
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