Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Marsh Fimbry - Common Threesquare Coastal Marsh Alliance
Colloquial Name: Southeastern Fimbry Coastal Marsh
Hierarchy Level: Alliance
Type Concept: These wetlands of southeastern coastal areas from Delaware to Texas are dominated or codominated by Fimbristylis castanea and Schoenoplectus pungens which often occur in interdune swales. Diagnostic species are Eleocharis spp., Fimbristylis castanea, Juncus spp., and Schoenoplectus pungens and Spartina patens (in interdunal swales). The general aspect and species composition of this vegetation are variable, not only among occurrences, but also over the course of the growing season. When Schoenoplectus pungens is not dense, it is most often associated with an even mixture of Spartina patens or Fimbristylis castanea. Other herbs are sparse and contribute very little to the overall vegetative cover. There is usually standing water present in these swales in the spring.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Wetlands dominated or codominated by Fimbristylis castanea that often occur in interdune swales. Vegetation may be characterized by dense Schoenoplectus pungens or an even mixture of Spartina patens or Fimbristylis castanea. In spring, Schoenoplectus pungens is generally dominant. Diagnostic species are Eleocharis spp., Fimbristylis castanea, Juncus spp. and Schoenoplectus pungens.
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: No Data Available
Similar NVC Types:
Eleocharis elongata - Eleocharis equisetoides - Fuirena scirpoidea Interdunal Marsh Alliance, note: is not codominated by Fimbristylis castanea or Schoenoplectus pungens.
Physiognomy and Structure: These are graminoid herb dominated wetlands.
Floristics: This alliance includes wetlands dominated or codominated by Fimbristylis castanea or Schoenoplectus pungens that often occur in interdune swales on the southeastern coast, from Delaware to Florida. This alliance is documented from Assateague Island National Seashore (Higgins et al. 1971, Hill 1986), where it is typically characterized by dense Schoenoplectus pungens (= Scirpus pungens) (up to 80% cover). When Schoenoplectus pungens is not as dense, it is most often associated with an even mixture of Spartina patens or Fimbristylis castanea. In spring, Schoenoplectus pungens is generally dominant with few other associates except Eleocharis spp., imparting a distinct aerial photo-signature. By late summer a number of other species, such as Fimbristylis castanea and Sabatia stellaris, contribute more substantial cover. Other herbs are sparse and contribute very little to the overall vegetative cover. These associated species include Andropogon virginicus, Eleocharis parvula, Eleocharis rostellata, Fimbristylis autumnalis, Hydrocotyle umbellata, Juncus canadensis, Juncus scirpoides, Panicum amarum var. amarulum, Phragmites australis, Pluchea foetida, Ptilimnium capillaceum, and Sabatia stellaris. Diagnostic species are Eleocharis spp., Fimbristylis castanea, Juncus spp. and Schoenoplectus pungens. There is usually standing water present in these swales in the spring. In Florida, these are early-successional, interdunal swales which are dominated by Fimbristylis castanea, sometimes monospecific, sometimes intermixed with Triglochin striata, Sesuvium portulacastrum, and Lilaeopsis carolinensis.
Dynamics: This vegetation occurs in southern coastal interdunal swales. These sites are not subject to regular tides, but may be exposed to saltwater from storm surges and seasonal high tides. High wind and storm surges can alter the position of dunes and swales. These are dynamic landforms which change as part of natural coastal processes.
Environmental Description: These wetlands often occur in interdunal swales. There is usually standing water present in these swales in the spring.
Geographic Range: This alliance occurs in southeastern coastal areas from Florida to Delaware. Occurrence in Georgia and South Carolina needs to be confirmed.
States/Provinces: FL, GA?, MD, NC, SC?, TX, VA
|US Forest Service Ecoregions (1994/1995)|
Confidence Level: Low
Confidence Level Comments:
Concept Lineage: This alliance is based on the old alliance Fimbristylis castanea - Schoenoplectus pungens Seasonally Flooded Herbaceous Alliance (A.1372).
Synonomy: ? Juncus scirpoides-Scirpus pungens interdunal wetland association (McAvoy and Clancy 1994)
? Scirpus-Hydrocotyle community (Tyndall and Levy 1978)
? Spartina-Scirpus community (Tyndall and Levy 1978)
>< Fresh marsh community (Hill 1986)
>< fresh marsh community (Higgins et al. 1971)
? wet community of barrier flats? (Travis and Godfrey 1976)
Concept Author(s): C. Nordman, in Faber-Langendoen et al. (2013)
Author of Description: C. Nordman
Version Date: 08Jan2014
- Au, S. 1974. Vegetation and ecological processes on Shackleford Bank, North Carolina. USDI National Park Service, Scientific Monograph No. 6.
- Faber-Langendoen, D., J. Drake, M. Hall, G. Kittel, S. Menard, C. Nordman, M. Pyne, M. Reid, M. Russo, K. Schulz, L. Sneddon, K. Snow, and J. Teague. 2013-2017b. Screening alliances for induction into the U.S. National Vegetation Classification: Part 1 - Alliance concept review. NatureServe, Arlington, VA.
- Higgins, E. A. T., R. D. Rappleye, and R. G. Brown. 1971. The flora and ecology of Assateague Island. University of Maryland Experiment Station Bulletin A-172. 70 pp.
- Hill, S. R. 1986. An annotated checklist of the vascular flora of Assateague Island (Maryland and Virginia). Castanea 5:265-305.
- McAvoy, W., and K. Clancy. 1994. Community classification and mapping criteria for Category I interdunal swales and coastal plain pond wetlands in Delaware. Final Report submitted to the Division of Water Resources in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. 47 pp.
- Schafale, M. P., and A. S. Weakley. 1990. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina. Third approximation. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh. 325 pp.
- Travis, R. W., and P. J. Godfrey. 1976. Interactions of plant communities and oceanic overwash on the manipulated barrier islands of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina. Pages 777-780 in: Proceedings of the First Conference on Scientific Research in the National Parks, Volume II.
- Tyndall, R. W., and G. F. Levy. 1978. Plant distribution and succession within interdunal depressions on a Virginia barrier dune system. Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society 94:1-15.