Invalid Unit Specified
Alliance Detail Report: A3692
Spartina patens - Schoenoplectus pungens Coastal Marsh Alliance

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
This vegetation of dune swales and low dunes is typically dominated by Fimbristylis caroliniana, Fimbristylis castanea, Hydrocotyle bonariensis, Panicum virgatum, and Spartina patens. It is found in seasonally and periodically flooded to saturated interdune swales and depressions on barrier islands, as well as from low flats and overwash areas and low dunes in the maritime coastal plains from Texas and Louisiana east through Florida and Alabama to (possibly) South Carolina and Georgia, as well as possibly in Mexico.
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Translated Name:Saltmeadow Cordgrass - Common Threesquare Coastal Marsh Alliance
Colloquial Name:Low Dune Coastal Marsh
Dominant herbs in Texas examples of this dune swale and low dune alliance can include Fimbristylis caroliniana, Fimbristylis castanea, Hydrocotyle bonariensis, Panicum virgatum, and Spartina patens. Other species typically include Andropogon glomeratus, Andropogon virginicus, Centella erecta, Eleocharis spp., Eragrostis sp., Juncus sp., Paspalum monostachyum, Phyla nodiflora, Pluchea foetida, Rhynchospora colorata (= Dichromena colorata), Rhynchospora spp., Samolus ebracteatus, and Schoenoplectus pungens. In one Florida association, Sporobolus virginicus is usually the most common species, with patches of Iva imbricata, Paspalum distichum, Sesuvium portulacastrum, and Spartina patens. In Louisiana, on the Chandeleurs and related islands, Spartina patens replaces Uniola paniculata (which is present only in small amounts) as the dominant grass along the upper beach and primary dune. This alliance is found in the maritime coastal plains from Texas and Louisiana east through Florida and Alabama to (possibly) South Carolina and Georgia. It may also occur in Mexico. This vegetation is found in seasonally and periodically flooded to saturated interdune swales and depressions on barrier islands, as well as from low flats and overwash areas and low dunes.
This alliance is restricted to dune swales and low dunes in the maritime coastal plains from Texas and Louisiana east through Florida and Alabama. Stands are typically dominated by Andropogon glomeratus, Andropogon virginicus, Fimbristylis caroliniana, Fimbristylis castanea, Panicum virgatum, Paspalum monostachyum, and Spartina patens. This combination of geography and species composition is diagnostic.
This alliance unifies associations that were classified as uplands and some that were classified as seasonally flooded, with similar floristic composition.
Synonomy:

Related Type Name:

Short Citation:
  • Faber-Langendoen et al. 2017b
States/Provinces:AL, FL, GA?, LA, MS?, MXTM?, SC?, TX
Nations:MX?, US
Range:This dune swale alliance is found in the maritime coastal plains from Texas and Louisiana east through Alabama and Florida, and north to (possibly) South Carolina and Georgia. It may also occur in Tamaulipas, Mexico.
US Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name:
Division Name:
Province Name:Southeastern Mixed Forest Province
Province Code:231   Occurrence Status:Confident or certain
Section Name:Louisiana Coast Prairies and Marshes Section
Section Code:232E     Occurrence Status:Confident or certain
This alliance is dominated by perennial graminoids.
Dominant herbs in Texas examples can include Fimbristylis caroliniana, Fimbristylis castanea, Hydrocotyle bonariensis, Panicum virgatum, Schoenoplectus pungens, and Spartina patens. Other species typically include Andropogon glomeratus, Andropogon virginicus, Centella erecta, Eragrostis sp., Juncus sp., Paspalum monostachyum, Phyla nodiflora, Pluchea foetida, Rhynchospora colorata (= Dichromena colorata), Rhynchospora spp., and Samolus ebracteatus. In one Florida association, Sporobolus virginicus is usually the most common species, with patches of Iva imbricata, Paspalum distichum, Sesuvium portulacastrum, and Spartina patens. In Louisiana, on the Chandeleurs and related islands, Spartina patens replaces Uniola paniculata (which is present only in small amounts) as the dominant grass along the upper beach and primary dune.
This alliance is found in seasonally and periodically flooded to saturated interdune swales and depressions on barrier islands, as well as from low flats and overwash areas and low dunes. One component association from Florida occupies low, newly colonized beaches with low dunes, along the outer shore side of barrier islands and also occurs as a narrow ridge along inner bayshores with little wave action. This vegetation also occurs on low dunes of barrier islands along the Louisiana and Texas coasts. The substrate is almost exclusively sandy, unstable, and droughty (Typic Quartzipsamments) with no soil profile development. An Alabama association is known from low sand deposits particularly on back sides of barrier islands or on low grassy barrier spits.
Low
This vegetation receives the force of wind and salt spray but is beyond the influence of most storm tides. It is periodically strongly altered by hurricanes and other storm events.
34:C, 34i:C
Authors:
M. Pyne      Version Date: 06Oct2014


References:
  • 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.


USNVC Credits: Detailed Description of the National Vegetation Classification Types

Date Accessed:

To cite a description:
Author(s). publicationYear. Description Title [last revised revisionDate]. United States National Vegetation Classification. Federal Geographic Data Committee, Washington, D.C.

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About this document
This document contains type descriptions at the Alliance level of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification. These descriptions were primarily written by NatureServe ecologists in collaboration with Federal Geographic Data Committee Vegetation Subcommittee and a wide variety of state, federal and private partners as a part of the implementation of the National Vegetation Classification. Formation descriptions were written by the Hierarchy Revisions Working Group. The descriptions are based on consultation with natural resource professionals, published literature, and other vegetation classification systems. The Ecological Society of America's Panel on Vegetation Classification is responsible for managing the review and formal adoption of these types into the National Vegetation Classification. Partners involved in the implementation of the USNVC include:

U.S. Government
  • Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Department of Commerce (DOC)
  • Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Department of the Interior (USDI)
  • Forest Service (FS) - Chair
  • National Agriculture Statistical Service (NASS)
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
  • U.S. Navy (NAVY)
  • Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
  • Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
  • National Park Service (NPS)
  • U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Non U.S. Government
  • NatureServe (NS)
  • Ecological Society of America (ESA)

Disclaimer:
Given the dynamic nature of the standard, it is possible a type description is incomplete or in revision at the time of download; therefore, users of the data should track the date of access and read the revisions section of the USNVC.org website to understand the current status of the classification. While USNVC data have undergone substantial review prior to posting, it is possible that some errors or inaccuracies have remained undetected.

For information on the process used to develop these descriptions see:

Faber-Langendoen, D., T. Keeler-Wolf, D. Meidinger, D. Tart, B. Hoagland, C. Josse, G. Navarro, S. Ponomarenko, J.-P. Saucier, A. Weakley, P. Comer. 2014. EcoVeg: A new approach to vegetation description and classification. Ecological Monographs 84:533-561 (erratum 85:473).

Franklin, S., D. Faber-Langendoen, M. Jennings, T. Keeler-Wolf, O. Loucks, A. McKerrow, R.K. Peet, and D. Roberts. 2012. Building the United States National Vegetation Classification. Annali di Botanica 2: 1-9.

Jennings, M. D., D. Faber-Langendoen, O. L. Louckes, R. K. Peet, and D. Roberts. 2009. Standards for associations and alliances of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification. Ecological Monographs 79(2):173-199.

FGDC [Federal Geographic Data Committee]. 2008. Vegetation Classification Standard, FGDC-STD-005, Version 2. Washington, DC., USA. [http://www.fgdc.gov/standards/projects/FGDC-standards-projects/vegetation/NVCS_V2_FINAL_2008-02.pdf]

For additional information contact:

  • Implementation of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification Standard - Alexa McKerrow (amckerrow@usgs.gov)
  • NatureServe's Development of NVC Type Descriptions - Don Faber-Langendoen (don_faber- langendoen@natureserve.org)
  • Ecological Society of America's Review of the Type Descriptions Scott.Franklin@unco.edu
  • Federal Geographic Data Committee - Vegetation Subcommittee's Activities - Marianne Burke (mburke@fs.fed.us)