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Ecological Communities

Mid-reach stream

The aquatic community of stream that has a well-defined pattern of
alternating pool, riffle, and run sections. Waterfalls and springs may
be present. Typical aquatic macrophytes include waterweed, and linear
leaved pondweeds such as sago pondweed.

Successional old field

A meadow on sites cleared, plowed, and then abandoned. The ragweed type
occurs on fields 1 to 3 years after last cultivation.; ragweed, daisy,
Queen Anne’s lace, crab grass, golden foxtail, and chickweed are common.
The golden rod subtype occurs 3 - 15 years after last cultivation.
Dominant species are perennial composites: goldenrods and asters. Other
herbs include timothy, orchard grass, smooth brome, bluegrasses,
quackgrass, sweet vernal grass, evening primrose, old-field cinquefoil,
wild strawberry, and hawkweeds. Shrubs represent less than 50% cover but
include gray and silky dogwoods, arrowwood, raspberries, sumac, and
eastern red cedar.

Successional shrubland

A woodland community that commonly occurs on abandoned agricultural
fields and pastures, particularly on fertile soils, on slopes along the
lakes, and occasionally on well drained soils of alluvial valleys. The
dominant tree is usually red cedar. Gray birch, hawthorn, buckthorn,
white ash, and black walnut are common associates. Shrubs and ground
layers are similar to that of successional old field.

Successional forest

Shallow emergent marsh

A marsh that is better drained than a deep emergent marsh; water depths may range from 15 cm to 1 m during flood stages, but the water level usually drops by mid to late summer and the substrate is exposed. Characteristic plants include bluejoint grass, reed canary grass, rice cutgrass, mannagrass, three-way sedge, bulrushes, sweetflag, wild iris, and water smartweed.

Shrub swamp

A shrub dominated wetland that occurs along a lake or river, in a wet depression , or as a transition between wetland and upland communities. The substrate is usually mineral soil or muck. Alder or willow are common dominants. Other characteristic species include red osier, silky, gray dogwoods, meadowsweet, steeplebush, swamp azalea, highbush blueberry, maleberry, spicebush, viburnums, and buttonbush.

Wet meadow