Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Southern Cattail Coastal Marsh Alliance
Colloquial Name: Southern Cattail Coastal Marsh
Hierarchy Level: Alliance
Type Concept: This alliance includes temperate, non-tidal wetlands dominated by Typha domingensis. This includes wet parts of non-tidal interdune ponds with brackish water from hurricane flooding, storm tides, or island overwash. Other characteristic species may include Setaria magna and Cyperus spp. This alliance can be zonal with other vegetation, including Leptochloa fusca ssp. fascicularis (= Leptochloa fascicularis var. maritima) and Phragmites australis. This alliance occurs in coastal areas of the Southeast from North Carolina to Florida and Texas.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Coastal wetlands dominated by Typha domingensis. Typically these are interdunal ponds which get occasional brackish water from hurricane flooding, storm tides, or island overwash. This vegetation occurs in the southeastern United States from North Carolina to Florida and Texas.
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: This alliance is limited to coastal areas from North Carolina to Florida and Texas. Vegetation dominated by Typha domingensis in the western U.S. is not included here.
Similar NVC Types:
Typha angustifolia - Typha latifolia - Schoenoplectus spp. Marsh Alliance, note: occurs in the Great Plains; in the southern Great Plains Typha domingensis may be locally prominent.
Physiognomy and Structure: These are non-tidal wetlands, dominated by tall, graminoid species, with cover usually dense, and averaging over 2 m in height. Shorter graminoids and forbs may be present, but typically are not abundant due to the dense cover of the taller graminoid species. When there is standing water during the growing season, floating and submerged aquatic species may be present.
Floristics: This alliance is characterized by the dominance of Typha domingensis, a tall graminoid species. Stands are often dense, with cover of Typha domingensis over 60%. Like other Typha species, this can form nearly monotypic stands. Other graminoids commonly present can include Cyperus spp., Eleocharis spp., Schoenoplectus acutus (= Scirpus acutus), Schoenoplectus americanus (= Scirpus americanus), Schoenoplectus pungens (= Scirpus pungens), or Setaria magna. When there is surface water, aquatic species such as Bacopa eisenii, Potamogeton spp., or Sagittaria spp. can also be present. This alliance can be zonal with other vegetation, including Leptochloa fusca ssp. fascicularis (= Leptochloa fascicularis var. maritima) and native or alien Phragmites australis.
Dynamics: Drainage, urban stormwater runoff, and diversion of water could limit or impact stands of this alliance. Marshes such as these are important for rails, blackbirds and marsh wrens, as well as other many other birds.
Environmental Description: These are temperate, non-tidal wetlands found mostly in coastal areas. In the Southeast, sites where the alliance is found include wet parts of non-tidal interdune ponds and mainland ponds, impoundments and tanks with brackish water from hurricane flooding, storm tides, or island overwash. Usually if the water table is below the surface, capillary action will keep the soil saturated to the surface. Soils may be slightly saline, but not strongly so. Typha domingensis is more tolerant of alkaline conditions than Typha latifolia.
Geographic Range: This alliance occurs in coastal areas of the southeastern United States, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, and Texas.
States/Provinces: AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TX
|US Forest Service Ecoregions (1994/1995)|
Confidence Level: Low
Confidence Level Comments:
Concept Lineage: Only 2 southern coastal associations are included here, CEGL004138 and CEGL004137 (A.1392).
Synonomy: < Coastal Interdunal Swale (FNAI 2010a)
Concept Author(s): C. Nordman, in Faber-Langendoen et al. (2013)
Author of Description: C. Nordman
Version Date: 08Jan2014
- 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.
- FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 2010a. Guide to the natural communities of Florida: 2010 edition. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee, FL.
- Nelson, J. B. 1986. The natural communities of South Carolina: Initial classification and description. South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Columbia, SC. 55 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.