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Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States

The Classification System


The structure of this classification is hierarchical, progressing from Systems and Subsystems, at the most general levels, to Classes, Subclasses, and Dominance Types. Figure 1 illustrates the classification structure to the class level. Table 1 lists the Classes and Subclasses for each System and Subsystem. Artificial keys to the Systems and Classes are given in Appendix E . Modifiers for water regime, water chemistry, and soils are applied to Classes, Subclasses, and Dominance Types. Special modifiers describe wetlands and deepwater habitats that have been either created or highly modified by man or beavers.
Table 1. Distribution of Subclasses within the classification hierarchy.

 
System and Subsystema
Marine
Estuarine
Riverine
Lacustrine
Palustrine
Class/Subclass
ST
IT
ST
IT
TI
LP
UP
IN
LM
LT
-
Rock Bottom 
Bedrock
X
 
X
 
X
 
X
 
X
X
X
Rubble
X
 
X
 
X
 
X
 
X
X
X
Unconsolidated Bottom 
Cobble-Gravel
X
 
X
 
X
X
X
 
X
X
X
Sand
X
 
X
 
X
X
X
 
X
X
X
Mud
X
 
X
 
X
X
X
 
X
X
X
Organic
 
 
X
 
X
X
 
 
X
X
X
Aquatic Bed 
Algal
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
 
X
X
X
Aquatic Moss
 
 
 
 
X
X
X
 
X
X
X
Rooted Vascular
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
 
X
X
X
Floating Vascular
 
 
X
X
X
X
X
 
X
X
X
Reef 
Coral
X
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mollusk
 
 
X
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Worm
X
X
X
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Streambed 
Bedrock
 
 
 
X
X
 
 
X
 
 
 
Rubble
 
 
 
X
X
 
 
X
 
 
 
Cobble-Gravel
 
 
 
X
X
 
 
X
 
 
 
Sand
 
 
 
X
X
 
 
X
 
 
 
Mud
 
 
 
X
X
 
 
X
 
 
 
Organic
 
 
 
X
X
 
 
X
 
 
 
Vegetated
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
Rocky Shore 
Bedrock
 
X
 
X
X
X
X
 
 
X
 
Rubble
 
X
 
X
X
X
X
 
 
X
 
Unconsolidated Shore 
Cobble-Gravel
 
X
 
X
X
X
X
 
 
X
X
Sand
 
X
 
X
X
X
X
 
 
X
X
Mud
 
X
 
X
X
X
X
 
 
X
X
Organic
 
X
 
X
X
X
X
 
 
X
X
Vegetated
 
 
 
 
X
X
X
 
 
X
X
Moss-Lichen Wetland 
Moss
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
Lichen
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
Emergent Wetland 
Persistent
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
Nonpersistent
 
 
 
X
X
X
X
 
 
X
X
Scrub-Shrub Wetland 
Broad-leaved Deciduous
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
Needle-leaved Deciduous
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
Broad-leaved Evergreen
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
Needle-leaved Evergreen
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
Dead
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
Forested Wetland 
Broad-leaved Deciduous
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
Needle-leaved Deciduous
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
Broad-leaved Evergreen
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
Needle-leaved Evergreen
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
Dead
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
X
aST = Subtidal, IT = Intertidal, TI = Tidal, LP = Lower Perennial, UP = Upper Perennial, IN = Intermittent, LM = Limnetic, LT = Littoral.

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