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F053 Benthic Macroalgae Saltwater Vegetation Formation

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Type Concept Sentence: The vegetation includes subtidal or intertidal bottoms and other areas dominated by attached macroalgae, including kelp, intertidal fucoids, and calcareous algae, which are usually submersed within or extend to the surface of the water column, though they may be exposed during low tides.
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Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Benthic Macroalgae Saltwater Vegetation Formation
Colloquial Name: Benthic Macroalgae Saltwater Vegetation
Hierarchy Level: Formation
Type Concept: Benthic Macroalgae Saltwater Vegetation includes subtidal or intertidal bottoms and any other areas characterized by a dominant cover of attached macroalgae, which are usually submersed within or extend to the surface of the water column. They may be exposed during low tides. The aquatic beds dominated by macroalgae include kelp, intertidal fucoids, and calcareous algae. Macroalgal communities can exist at all depths within the photic zone, on diverse substrates, and across a range of energy and water chemistry regimes. Many macroalgal types and communities have low temporal persistence and can bloom and die back within short periods. This aspect of macroalgae can be reflected with a temporal persistence modifier.

While many researchers organize macroalgae based on their pigmentation, the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) (FGDC 2012) takes a growth morphology approach to defining benthic algal biotic groups. This decision was driven by the fact that macroalgal assemblages often include a variety of co-existing algal species, making delineations of individual species difficult. This approach also captures the influence that the algal growth structure has in shaping the local environment, by providing shelter, shade, and detrital material to an area, which is important to associated fauna. Thus CMECS distinguishes sheet group, filamentous group, coarsely branched group, thick leathery group, jointed calcareous group, and crustose group.
Diagnostic Characteristics: No Data Available
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: Free-floating macroalgae are included under 5.A.1 Floating & Suspended Macroalgae Saltwater Vegetation Formation (F052). Macroalgal communities (typically coralline/crustose algae) that build substrate in a reef setting are categorized separately as Reef Biota and not included here.
Similar NVC Types:
F054 Benthic Vascular Saltwater Vegetation, note:
F055 Benthic Lichen Saltwater Vegetation, note:
Physiognomy and Structure: The vegetation includes subtidal or intertidal bottoms and any other areas characterized by a dominant cover of attached macroalgae, which are usually submersed within or extend to the surface of the water column. They may be exposed during low tides. The aquatic beds dominated by macroalgae include kelp, intertidal fucoids, and calcareous algae. Many macroalgal types and communities have low temporal persistence and can bloom and die back within short periods. This aspect of macroalgae can be reflected with a temporal persistence modifier.

While many researchers organize macroalgae based on their pigmentation, the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) (FGDC 2012) takes a growth morphology approach to defining benthic algal biotic groups. This decision was driven by the fact that macroalgal assemblages often include a variety of co-existing algal species, making delineations of individual species difficult. This approach also captures the influence that the algal growth structure has in shaping the local environment, by providing shelter, shade, and detrital material to an area, which is important to associated fauna. Thus CMECS distinguishes sheet group, filamentous group, coarsely branched group, thick leathery group, jointed calcareous group, and crustose group.
Floristics:
Dynamics: No Data Available
Environmental Description: This type can exist at all depths within the photic zone, on diverse substrates, and across a range of energy and water chemistry regimes.
Geographic Range: This type is found throughout the world's oceans.
Nations: CA, US
States/Provinces:
Omernik Ecoregions:
Plot Analysis Summary:
Confidence Level: Moderate
Confidence Level Comments:
Grank: GNR
Greasons:
Name:Database Code:Classification Code:
Class 5 Aquatic Vegetation C05 5
Subclass 5.A Saltwater Aquatic Vegetation S09 5.A
Formation 5.A.2 Benthic Macroalgae Saltwater Vegetation F053 5.A.2
Division 5.A.2.Wb Temperate Intertidal Shore D047 5.A.2.Wb
Concept Lineage:
Predecessors:
Obsolete Names:
Obsolete Parents:
Synonomy: = Biotic Subclass: Benthic Macroalgae (FGDC 2012)
Concept Author(s): Federal Geographic Data Committee (2012)
Author of Description: K. Goodin and D. Faber-Langendoen
Acknowledgements:
Version Date: 17Oct2014
References:
  • FGDC [Federal Geographic Data Committee]. 2012. Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (Version 4.0). FGDC-STD-018-2012. Federal Geographic Data Committee, FGDC Secretariat, U.S. Geological Survey. Reston, VA. 246 pp. plus appendices.