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M881 Eastern North American Riverscour Vegetation Macrogroup

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Type Concept Sentence: 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.
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Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Eastern North American Riverscour Vegetation Macrogroup
Colloquial Name: Eastern North American Riverscour Vegetation
Hierarchy Level: Macrogroup
Type Concept: 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.
Diagnostic Characteristics: 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.
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: 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.
Similar NVC Types:
M880 Eastern North American Wet Shoreline Vegetation, note: occurs on shores of lakes and slow-moving rivers with greater organic accumulation, as well as presence of marshes and shrublands.
Physiognomy and Structure: 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.
Floristics: 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.
Dynamics: No Data Available
Environmental Description: 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.
Geographic Range:
Nations: CA, US
States/Provinces: CT?, MA, ME, MI, MN, NB, NH, NS, NY, PA?, RI, VT, WI, WV
US Forest Service Ecoregions (2007)
Domain Name:
Division Name:
Province Name: Northeastern Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 211    Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Green Bay Lobe Section
Section Code: 212T     Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Omernik Ecoregions:
Plot Analysis Summary:
Confidence Level: Low
Confidence Level Comments:
Grank: GNR
Greasons:
Concept Lineage:
Predecessors:
Obsolete Names:
Obsolete Parents:
Synonomy: >< Riverbed - Bank - Floodplain Complex (Fike 1999)
Concept Author(s): T. Rawinski, in Faber-Langendoen et al. (2014)
Author of Description: L. Sneddon
Acknowledgements:
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.