M888 Arid West Interior Freshwater Marsh Macrogroup
Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Arid West Interior Freshwater Marsh Macrogroup
Colloquial Name: Arid West Interior Freshwater Marsh
Hierarchy Level: Macrogroup
Type Concept: These arid west freshwater marshes are found at all elevations below timberline throughout the interior basins and mountains of western North America. Vegetation is characterized by a lush, dense herbaceous layer with low diversity, sometimes occurring as a monoculture. Structure varies from emergent forbs which barely reach the water surface to tall graminoids that reach as tall as 4 m high. Dominant species include Carex pellita, Carex praegracilis, Eleocharis palustris, Juncus arcticus ssp. littoralis, Paspalum distichum, Schoenoplectus americanus, Schoenoplectus pungens, Typha domingensis, Typha latifolia, and species of Bidens, Cicuta, Cyperus, Mimulus, and Phalaris. This macrogroup includes shallow freshwater to brackish waterbodies found in bottomlands along drainages, in river floodplain depressions, cienegas, oxbow lakes, below seeps, frequently flooded gravel bars, low-lying sidebars, in-fill side channels, small ponds, stockponds, ditches and slow-moving streams, perennial streams in valleys and mountain foothills, as well as in small depressions gouged into basalt by Pleistocene floods, channeled scablands of the Columbia Plateau and within dune fields in the intermountain western U.S. These wetlands are mostly small-patch, confined to limited areas in suitable floodplain or basin topography. They are mostly semipermanently flooded, but some marshes have seasonal hydrologic flooding. Water is on or above the surface for most of the growing season. A consistent source of freshwater is essential to the function of these communities. Soils are muck or mineral or muck over a mineral soil, and water is high-nutrient. It is often found along the borders of ponds, lakes or reservoirs that have more open water. Some occurrences are interdunal wetlands in wind deflation areas, where sands are scoured down to the water table. The water table may be perched over an impermeable layer of caliche or clay or, in the case of the Great Sand Dunes of Colorado, a geologic dike that creates a closed basin that traps water.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Temperate continental, permanently saturated to seasonally flooded wetlands, often with standing water for much of the year, dominated by emergent graminoid herbaceous vegetation. Characteristic dominant species include Typha spp., Schoenoplectus spp., Eleocharis palustris, Carex praegracilis, Carex pellita, and Cyperus spp.
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features: No Data Available
Classification Comments: This macrogroup does not include oceanic saline-influenced tidal areas (coastal saline marshes and brackish marshes) which belong to ~Temperate Pacific Salt Marsh Group (G499)$$. Marshes in saline waters located at the edge of the Great Salt Lake are included in ~North American Desert Alkaline-Saline Marsh & Playa Group (G538)$$.
Similar NVC Types: No Data Available
note: No Data Available
Physiognomy and Structure: Vegetation is characterized by a lush, dense to open emergent herbaceous layer. . The emergent vegetation is characterized by graminoids, annual or perennial forbs or a mixture of all three. Heights varies from low forbs that barely breaking the water surface to tall graminoids up to 4 m high. Sites are permanently or seasonally inundated which prevents the establishment of woody species. Ponds typically have concentric rings or zones of vegetation.
Floristics: These arid west interior marshes are dominated by emergent herbaceous species, mostly graminoids (Carex, Eleocharis, Juncus, Scirpus and/or Schoenoplectus, Typha,) but also some forbs. Stands vary in diversity, with some stands occurring as a monoculture of one of the dominant genera. Dominant species include Carex pellita (= Carex lanuginosa), Carex praegracilis, Cyperus spp., Distichlis spicata, Eleocharis palustris, Flaveria chlorifolia, Helianthus paradoxus, Juncus arcticus ssp. littoralis (= Juncus balticus), Paspalum distichum, Ranunculus aquatilis, Schoenoplectus americanus, Schoenoplectus pungens, Typha domingensis, Typha latifolia, and species of Bidens, Cicuta, Mimulus, and Phalaris.
Dynamics: Sites are depressions, ponds, springs, and riparian areas that are heavily inundated for at least part of the growing season which impedes the establishment of woody species. Isolated marshes in dune systems are subject to changes in size and location of the wet swales as the sand dunes shift, due to active dune migration. Dune "blowouts" and subsequent stabilization through succession are characteristic processes of the active dunes which surround the interdunal swales.
Environmental Description: Climate: Temperate Continental climate. Environmental settings include bottomlands along drainages, in river floodplain depressions, cienegas, oxbow lakes, below seeps, frequently flooded gravel bars, low-lying sidebars, infilled side channels, small ponds, stockponds, ditches and slow-moving streams, perennial streams in valleys and mountain foothills. Elevations range from 890 to 1560 m (2930-5120 feet). Soil/substrate/hydrology: Substrates are variable but are generally fine-textured, alkaline, alluvial soil, coarse loam, sandy loam, sand, silt or peat. Hydrologic regimes vary from seasonal inundation followed by complete soil desiccation to year-round standing water. Water may be poorly oxygenated and nitrogen-rich. They are mostly semipermanently flooded, but some marshes have seasonal hydrologic flooding. Water is at or above the surface for most of the growing season. A consistent source of freshwater is essential to the function of these systems. Soils are muck or mineral or muck over a mineral soil, and water is high-nutrient. Environmental information compiled from Bowers (1982, 1984, 1986), Banner et al. (1986, 1993), Lloyd et al. (1990), MacKinnon et al. (1990), Cooper and Severn (1992), Viereck et al. (1992), Shiflet (1994), Holland and Keil (1995), Shephard (1995), Steen and Coupe (1997), Hammond (1998), Pineada et al. (1999), Boggs (2000), Rondeau (2001), Brand and Sanderson (2002), and Chappell and Christy (2004).
Geographic Range: This macrogroup is found throughout the temperate western North America interior (Columbia Basin, Great Basin, Colorado Plateau, and higher intermountain basins of western North America). It is also known to occur in dune fields across the intermountain western U.S., including the Great Sand Dunes in southern Colorado and the Pink Coral Dunes in Utah, and may also occur in dune fields in northeastern Arizona and the Great Basin, as well as in southwestern Wyoming in the Killpecker Dunes and Ferris Dunes, and southern Idaho.
States/Provinces: AZ, CA, CO, ID, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY
Confidence Level: Moderate
Confidence Level Comments: No Data Available
Greasons: No Data Available
|Type||Name||Database Code||Classification Code|
|Class||2 Shrub & Herb Vegetation Class||C02||2|
|Subclass||2.C Shrub & Herb Wetland Subclass||S44||2.C|
|Formation||2.C.4 Temperate to Polar Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland Formation||F013||2.C.4|
|Division||2.C.4.Nb Western North American Temperate Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland Division||D031||2.C.4.Nb|
|Macrogroup||2.C.4.Nb.1 Arid West Interior Freshwater Marsh Macrogroup||M888||2.C.4.Nb.1|
|Group||2.C.4.Nb.1.a Clubrush species - Cattail species Interior Freshwater Marsh Group||G531||2.C.4.Nb.1.a|
Concept Lineage: No Data Available
Predecessors: No Data Available
Obsolete Names: No Data Available
Obsolete Parents: No Data Available
Synonomy: < III.A.3.d - Fresh sedge marsh (Viereck et al. 1992)
< III.B.3.a - Fresh herb marsh (Viereck et al. 1992)
< Wetlands (217) (Shiflet 1994)
< III.B.3.a - Fresh herb marsh (Viereck et al. 1992)
< Wetlands (217) (Shiflet 1994)
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