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F057 Temperate to Polar Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation Formation

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Type Concept Sentence: Temperate to Polar Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation occurs in shallow to deep freshwater habitats (e.g., lakes, ponds, canals, streams, rivers, and freshwater portions of estuaries) where emergent vegetation is <10% cover, and submerged or floating aquatic plants have >1% cover, occurring around the globe in both hemispheres, from the tropics north and south to the polar regions.
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Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Temperate to Polar Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation Formation
Colloquial Name: Temperate to Polar Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation
Hierarchy Level: Formation
Type Concept: This type occurs in shallow to deep water habitats in the temperate to polar regions, where emergent vegetation is <10% cover, and submerged or floating aquatic plants have >1% cover. The upper limits of salinity are set at approximately 0.5 ppt, above which it is considered saltwater. Submerged or floating-aquatic plants usually dominate the vegetation. Open surface water up to 2 m deep is present for all or most of the year. Water levels are seasonally stable, permanently flooded, or intermittently exposed during droughts, low flows or intertidal periods.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Temperate to Polar Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation occurs in shallow to deep water habitats (e.g., lakes, ponds, canals, streams, rivers, and freshwater portions of estuaries) where emergent vegetation is <10% cover, and submerged or floating aquatic plants have >1% cover, with the upper limits of salinity set at 0.5 ppt, above which it is considered saltwater. Water levels are seasonally stable, permanently flooded, or intermittently exposed during droughts, low flows or intertidal periods. Temperate to Polar Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation occurs around the globe in both hemispheres, from the tropics north and south to the polar regions. Vegetation may only be seasonally present, and is absent during colder months.
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: The concept of this formation extends to deeper water habitats (i.e., deeper than 2 m in lakes) and to riverine bottoms, but in practice, freshwater aquatic classifications may supersede this one from a user standpoint [see Formation Class and Subclass Classification Comments].
Similar NVC Types:
CFO12 Agricultural Aquatic Vegetation, note: "Although in some cases there may be difficulty distinguishing natural (F057) from agricultural ponds (F047), in the large majority of cases, they are distinct in ecological setting, edges, and in composition."
CFO13 Developed Aquatic Vegetation, note: "Although in some cases there may be difficulty distinguishing natural (F057) from urban ponds (F048), in the large majority of cases, they are distinct in ecological setting, edges, and in composition."
F054 Benthic Vascular Saltwater Vegetation, note:
F056 Tropical Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation, note:
Physiognomy and Structure: Submerged or floating aquatic plants usually dominate the vegetation, with <10% of the surface water area covered by standing emergent or woody plants. In cold seasons, rooted vegetation (submerged and floating-leaved) usually dies back to sediment, and floating plants may largely disappear. Biomass may persist longer or throughout the year in warmer parts of the range. Open surface water up to 2 m or more deep is present for all or most of the year (National Wetlands Working Group 1997).
Floristics:
Dynamics: No Data Available
Environmental Description: Temperate to Polar Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation is subject to aquatic processes typical of upper limnetic or infra-littoral lake zones, such as nutrient and gas exchange, oxidation and decomposition. Ionic composition of waters varies widely. The upper limits of salinity for Temperate to Polar Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation are set at 0.5 ppt. Dissolved minerals, acid-base balances, and nutrient levels are influenced by the hydrology, underlying geological materials, nutrient fluxes, and plant communities. Temperate to Polar Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation is usually situated on substrates of limnic organic or mineral material, or on marl in stable-water regimes. Little sediment accumulation occurs in high-energy shallow waters such as tidal regimes, rivers, or large lakes. In semi-arid regions, shallow waters dry up intermittently, often leaving evaporite alkaline salt deposits. Except in highly saline or acidic waters, these deposits provide a substrate for rooted submerged and floating macrophytes, algae, and aquatic mosses (National Wetlands Working Group 1997).

Temperate to Polar Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation is found in shallow water that usually has standing or flowing water <2 m deep in mid-summer. Water levels are seasonally stable, permanently flooded, or intermittently exposed during droughts or low flows. Shallow-water vegetation may also occupy bays and margins of profundal zones of lakes (National Wetlands Working Group 1997).

Temperate to Polar Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation occurs in ponds, pools, shallow lakes, oxbows, sloughs, natural and artificial impoundments, canals, or stream and river channels, including freshwater portions of estuaries. Boundaries are determined by water-eroded shorelines, beaches or landward margins of mudflats, recent limnic deposits, floating mats, emergents or hydrophytic trees or shrubs. Bordering mats of rooted emergent vegetation, including inundated trees, may occupy up to 10% of the shallow-water area. Shallow waters are found in all hydrogeomorphic settings, but are usually associated with lacustrine, fluvial, stream, river, and permafrost systems (National Wetlands Working Group 1997).
Geographic Range: Temperate to Polar Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation occurs in shallow to deep freshwater habitats around the globe in both hemispheres, from the tropics north and south to the polar regions.
Nations: CA, MX, 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.B Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation S13 5.B
Formation 5.B.2 Temperate to Polar Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation F057 5.B.2
Division 5.B.2.Na North American Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation D049 5.B.2.Na
Concept Lineage:
Predecessors:
Obsolete Names:
Temperate & Boreal Freshwater Aquatic Vegetation Formation
Obsolete Parents:
Synonomy: >< Freshwater Marshes (Mitsch and Gosselink 2000) [Both tropical and temperate marshes are treated together, and inland saline marshes are included here too, as are emergent and aquatic vegetation.]
>< Shallow Water Wetland Class (National Wetlands Working Group 1997) [The authors include both saltwater aquatic and freshwater aquatic vegetation in their concept and restrict the type to wetland aquatic vegetation, whereas the concept used here could extend to deeper water habitats.]
>< Tidal Freshwater Marshes (Mitsch and Gosselink 2000) [Both tropical and temperate marshes are treated together, as are emergent and aquatic vegetation.]
Concept Author(s): Hierarchy Revisions Working Group, Federal Geographic Data Committee (Faber-Langendoen et al. 2014)
Author of Description: D. Faber-Langendoen, after National Wetlands Working Group (1997), and C. Lea
Acknowledgements:
Version Date: 03Aug2016
References:
  • Faber-Langendoen, D., T. Keeler-Wolf, D. Meidinger, C. Josse, A. Weakley, D. Tart, G. Navarro, B. Hoagland, S. Ponomarenko, J.-P. Saucier, G. Fults, and E. Helmer. 2015c. Classification and description of world formation types. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-000. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, CO.
  • Mitsch, W. J., and J. G. Gosselink. 2000. Wetlands. Third edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York. 920 pp.
  • National Wetlands Working Group. 1997. Wetlands of Canada. C. D. A. Rubec, editor. Ecological Land Classification Series No. 24. Environment Canada, Ottawa, and Polyscience Publications, Inc., Montreal. 452 pp.