Invalid Unit Specified
Macrogroup Detail Report: M881
Eastern North American Riverscour Vegetation Macrogroup

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
This macrogroup comprises vegetation that is highly variable in composition and structure, occurring in the eastern U.S. and adjacent Canada on the shores of rivers that are impacted by sediment removal and redeposition as a result of seasonal flood-scour and swift currents.
Collapse All::Expand All
Translated Name:Eastern North American Riverscour Vegetation Macrogroup
Colloquial Name:Eastern North American Riverscour Vegetation
This widely ranging macrogroup comprises a large number of highly variable vegetation types that occur on the shores of rivers in the eastern U.S. and adjacent Canada. Characteristic species vary over the range. Shrubs may include Alnus serrulata, Hypericum prolificum, Prunus pumila, Salix caroliniana, or Salix interior. Characteristic herbaceous species, depending on geography, may include Andropogon gerardii, Baptisia australis, Calamagrostis canadensis, Campanula rotundifolia, Carex torta, Deschampsia caespitosa, Doellingeria umbellata, Elymus spp., Eupatorium spp., Packera paupercula, Panicum virgatum, Schizachyrium scoparium, Solidago gigantea, Solidago simplex, Spartina pectinata, and Triantha glutinosa. The patchy vegetation ranges from riverside prairies to highly flood-scoured, ice-scoured, and flood-battered patchy or very sparse vegetation along high-gradient rivers.
This macrogroup can be recognized by its association with high-gradient swift river currents, its dynamic physiognomic and floristic composition, and the presence of species adapted to both hydric and xeric environments. These include combinations of Andropogon gerardii, Campanula rotundifolia, Carex torta, Panicum virgatum, Prunus pumila, Schizachyrium scoparium, Solidago simplex, Spartina pectinata, and several species of Salix. Substrate is usually alluvium, sand, silt, cobble, or bedrock exposures.
This macrogroup was split from former Eastern North American Lake & River Shoreline Vegetation Macrogroup (M176) to differentiate riverscour vegetation from that of gentle river currents and lakeshores.
Synonomy: >< Riverbed - Bank - Floodplain Complex (Fike 1999)

Related Type Name:

Short Citation:
  • Faber-Langendoen et al. 2017a
  • Fike 1999
  • Gawler and Cutko 2010
  • Metzler and Barrett 2006
  • Minnesota DNR 2010a
  • Sperduto and Nichols 2004
  • Swain and Kearsley 2011
  • Thompson and Sorenson 2000
States/Provinces:CT?, MA, ME, MI, MN, NB, NH, NS, NY, PA?, RI, VT, WI, WV
Nations:CA, US
Range:
US Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name:
Division Name:
Province Name:
Province Code:   Occurrence Status:
Section Name:
Section Code:     Occurrence Status:
This macrogroup is characterized by highly variable physiognomy, both among and within sites. Vegetation is usually flood-battered, with bent or broken stems, and with flood-deposited debris. Scattered short saplings of typical floodplain trees and shrubs may be evident. Patchy prairies dominated by forbs and grasses often form, but vegetation can be very sparse or absent following extreme flooding events.
Characteristic species vary over the range. Shrubs may include Alnus serrulata, Hypericum prolificum, Prunus pumila, Salix caroliniana, or Salix interior. Characteristic herbaceous species, depending on geography, may include Andropogon gerardii, Baptisia australis, Calamagrostis canadensis, Campanula rotundifolia, Carex torta, Deschampsia caespitosa, Doellingeria umbellata, Elymus spp., Eupatorium spp., Packera paupercula, Panicum virgatum, Schizachyrium scoparium, Solidago gigantea, Solidago simplex, Spartina pectinata, and Triantha glutinosa.
The patchy vegetation ranges from riverside prairies to highly flood-scoured, ice-scoured, and flood-battered patchy or very sparse vegetation along high-gradient rivers. Sites on the shores of these rivers are impacted by sediment removal and redeposition as a result of seasonal flood-scour and swift currents.
Low
No Data Available
Authors:
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]
  • Fike, J. 1999. Terrestrial and palustrine plant communities of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Recreation, Bureau of Forestry, Harrisburg, PA. 86 pp.
  • 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.
  • Metzler, K., and J. Barrett. 2006. The vegetation of Connecticut: A preliminary classification. State Geological and Natural History Survey, Report of Investigations No. 12. Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Hartford.
  • 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)