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Macrogroup Detail Report: M880
Eastern North American Wet Shoreline Vegetation Macrogroup

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
This macrogroup comprises highly variable herbaceous and shrub vegetation occurring on the shores of lakes and low-energy rivers in the eastern U.S. and adjacent Canada.
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Translated Name:Eastern North American Wet Shoreline Vegetation Macrogroup
Colloquial Name:Eastern North American Wet Shoreline Vegetation
This widely ranging macrogroup comprises a large number of variable vegetation types that occur on the shores of rivers and lakes in the eastern U.S. and adjacent Canada. The patchy vegetation is typically composed of sparsely vegetated mud, sand, gravel or bedrock shores. Characteristic species vary over the range. Typical shrubs may include Alnus serrulata, Cephalanthus occidentalis, Cornus spp., Hypericum densiflorum, Physocarpus opulifolius, Salix spp., and stunted individuals of floodplain trees such as Acer saccharinum, Betula nigra, and Platanus occidentalis. The herbaceous flora is highly variable but often includes Bacopa monnieri, Boehmeria cylindrica, a number of Cyperus spp., Dulichium arundinaceum, Eragrostis hypnoides, Justicia americana, Ludwigia palustris, Lindernia dubia, Polygonum spp., Saururus cernuus, Schoenoplectus pungens, Scirpus cyperinus, and Zizaniopsis miliacea. In the Great Lakes portion of the range, scattered woody trees and shrubs are found throughout, including Abies balsamea, Alnus incana, Juniperus communis, Picea glauca, and Populus tremuloides. Herbs include Argentina anserina, Calamagrostis canadensis, Carex buxbaumii, Carex castanea, Danthonia spicata, Deschampsia caespitosa, and Trichophorum caespitosum.
Patchy to sparse mixtures of shrubs and herbs on sandy to rocky lakeshores and low-energy rivershores, above the zone of regular inundation.
Vegetation in these habitats has not been well-sampled. Physiognomy is a combination of emergent perennial (semi-terrestrial) and annual terrestrial. Note that some of these may belong in Central Interior-Appalachian Open Depression Pond Group (G599), and, in time, with better information, the riverine versus non-riverine distinction may not be a group-level distinction, just as riverine prairies and non-riverine (upland) prairies may not be. The hydrologic regime probably has a more profound influence on floristic composition than does the specific hydrologic setting (e.g., rivershore versus pond- or lakeshore, for wet shoreline types, rivershore versus upland for prairie types). Character species might include a number of annual Polygonum spp. and others. Justicia americana would be highly diagnostic.
Synonomy: > Association-types of the Lake Series (Hill 1923)

Related Type Name:

Short Citation:
  • Faber-Langendoen et al. 2017a
  • Gawler and Cutko 2010
  • Hill 1923
  • Minnesota DNR 2010a
  • Sperduto and Nichols 2004
  • Swain and Kearsley 2011
  • Thompson and Sorenson 2000
States/Provinces:AL, CT, DE, GA, KY, MA, MB, MD, ME, MI, MN, MS, NB, NC, NH, NJ, NS, NY, OH, OK, ON, PA, PE, QC, RI, SC, SK, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV
Nations:CA, US
Range:This macrogroup has a broad range, found from northern New England and northern New York west across the upper Great Lakes, Manitoba, and adjacent Canada, southwards discontinuously to Texas.
US Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name:
Division Name:
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Province Code:   Occurrence Status:
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Shrub- or herb-dominated vegetation, often patchy and/or sparse. These shores may be characterized by narrow zones of vegetation on rocks or sandy beaches.
Characteristic species vary over the range. Typical shrubs may include Alnus serrulata, Cephalanthus occidentalis, Cornus spp., Hypericum densiflorum, Physocarpus opulifolius, Salix spp., and stunted individuals of floodplain trees such as Acer saccharinum, Betula nigra, and Platanus occidentalis. The herbaceous flora is highly variable but often includes Bacopa monnieri, Boehmeria cylindrica, a number of Cyperus spp., Dulichium arundinaceum, Eragrostis hypnoides, Justicia americana, Ludwigia palustris, Lindernia dubia, Polygonum spp., Saururus cernuus, Schoenoplectus pungens, Scirpus cyperinus, and Zizaniopsis miliacea. In the Great Lakes portion of the range, scattered woody trees and shrubs are found throughout, including Abies balsamea, Alnus incana, Juniperus communis, Picea glauca, and Populus tremuloides. Herbs include Argentina anserina, Calamagrostis canadensis, Carex buxbaumii, Carex castanea, Danthonia spicata, Deschampsia caespitosa, and Trichophorum caespitosum.
The substrate is sandy to gravelly, sometimes consolidated rock; there may be muddy patches. Some areas may be briefly inundated during high water periods. Ice-scour is not as major an influence as on high-energy rivers, although it may be locally important.
Low
Wave action and ice are factors in the open vegetation; natural or anthropogenic drawdown during the growing season may be locally important.
Authors:
S.C. Gawler and L. Sneddon      Version Date: 15Oct2014


References:
  • Faber-Langendoen, D., J. Drake, S. Gawler, M. Hall, C. Josse, G. Kittel, S. Menard, C. Nordman, M. Pyne, M. Reid, L. Sneddon, K. Schulz, J. Teague, M. Russo, K. Snow, and P. Comer, editors. 2010-2017a. Divisions, Macrogroups and Groups for the Revised U.S. National Vegetation Classification. NatureServe, Arlington, VA. plus appendices. [in preparation]
  • Gawler, S. C., and A. Cutko. 2010. Natural landscapes of Maine: A classification of vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta.
  • Hill, A. F. 1923. The vegetation of the Penobscot Bay region, Maine. Proceedings of the Portland Society of Natural History 3:307-438.
  • Minnesota DNR [Minnesota Department of Natural Resources]. 2010a. Ecological system summaries and class factsheets - upland grasslands, shrublands, and sparse vegetation. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, St. Paul. [http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/npc/uplandgrassland.html]
  • Sperduto, D. D., and W. F. Nichols. 2004. Natural communities of New Hampshire: A guide and classification. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord. 242 pp.
  • Swain, P. C., and J. B. Kearsley. 2011. Classification of the natural communities of Massachusetts. Version 1.4. Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Westborough, MA. [http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/natural-heritage/natural-communities/classification-of-natural-communities.html]
  • Thompson, E. H., and E. R. Sorenson. 2000. Wetland, woodland, wildland: A guide to the natural communities of Vermont. The Nature Conservancy and the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. University Press of New England, Hanover, NH. 456 pp.


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.

About spatial standards:
The United States Federal Geographic Data Committee (hereafter called the FGDC) is tasked to develop geospatial data standards that will enable sharing of spatial data among producers and users and support the growing National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), acting under the Office of Management Budget (OMB) Circular A-16 (OMB 1990, 2000) and Executive Order #12906 (Clinton 1994) as amended by Executive Order #13286 (Bush 2003). FGDC subcommittees and working groups, in consultation and cooperation with state, local, tribal, private, academic, and international communities, develop standards for the content, quality, and transferability of geospatial data. FGDC standards are developed through a structured process, integrated with one another to the extent possible, supportable by the current vendor community (but are independent of specific technologies), and publicly available.

About this document
This document contains type descriptions at the Macrogroup 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)