Abstract for F005

Temperate to Polar Scrub & Herb Coastal Vegetation
Broussailles et végétation herbacée côtières des zones tempérée, boréale et arctique

Temperate to Polar Scrub & Herb Coastal Vegetation includes upland habitats found along the coast, including beaches, bluffs and dunes, where wind, water, and salinity are major drivers of the vegetation. It extends across the mid to polar latitudes between 23 and 60 to 70 degrees N and S, and occurs along both coastal saline waters and large freshwater lakes. Beaches include the strip of sand or gravel that extends from the mean tideline to the top of the foredune (frontal foredune). The dune extends further inland wherever the sandy/gravelly site conditions restrict tree growth (<10% cover). Unconsolidated bluffs (but not marine rock cliffs) are more stable, relatively vertical habitats. The vegetation often has morphological (psammophytic) adaptations to these habitats, including prostrate herbaceous annual growth forms, with mesomorphic leaves, neither succulent nor sclerophyllous, less commonly with perennial herbs, and increasingly with perennial grasses and shrubs on the stabilized backdunes. Temperate coastal habitats tend to have large perennial grasses, with a diversity of forbs, and have higher wind and wave energy. A zone of ephemerals (such as Cakile, Atriplex, and Salsola) is perhaps more common.

Source: Faber-Langendoen, D., T. Keeler-Wolf, D. Meidinger, C. Josse, A. Weakley, D. Tart, G. Navarro, B. Hoagland, S. Ponomarenko, J.-P. Saucier, G. Fults, E. Helmer. 2014. Classification and description of world formation types. Part I (Introduction) and Part II (Description of world formations). Hierarchy Revisions Working Group, Federal Geographic Data Committee, FGDC Secretariat, U.S. Geological Survey. Reston, VA, and NatureServe, Arlington, VA.

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