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Classification of Natural Ponds and Lakes
in the Glaciated Prairie Region

Appendix A. - Characteristic Plant Species in Prairie Ponds and Lakes


The more important plant species characteristic of classes and subclasses of prairie ponds and lakes are listed here. Major groupings are the vegetational zones and phases. In Classes III, IV, and VII, dominant and subdominant categories are referred to. Dominant species are relatively tall emergents that form the canopy, or overstory, of plant associations; subdominants are submerged, floating, or short, emergent species that ordinarily compose the understory. Plants are grouped as primary and secondary species to show their prevalence as related to cover under normal conditions within a plant community. A more detailed description of wetland vegetation in northern prairie ponds and lakes may be found in Stewart and Kantrud (in press).

Except for a few extralimital species, the identification of vascular plants is according to the eighth edition of Gray's Manual (Fernald, 1950). A few western species of vascular plants not treated in Gray's Manual follow the nomenclature used by Stevens (1963). References to algae are according to Smith (1950), while names of mosses and liverworts follow Conard (1956). Altogether, 174 plant species are listed here. Scientific and common names of all plants referred to are listed in appendix B. Voucher specimens for all of these are preserved in the herbarium at the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center.

Class I - Emphemeral Ponds | Class II - Temporary Ponds | Class III - Seasonal Ponds and Lakes |
Class IV - Semipermanent Ponds and Lakes | Class V - Permanent Ponds and Lakes |
Class VI - Alkali Ponds and Lakes | Class VII - Fen Ponds

Class I - Emphemeral Ponds:

Central Wetland-low-prairie Zone:

Class II - Temporary Ponds:

Subclass A - Fresh:

Central Wet-meadow Zone:

Subclass B - Slightly Brackish:

Central Wet-meadow Zone:

Class III - Seasonal Ponds and Lakes:

Subclass A - Fresh:

Central Shallow-marsh Zone:

Subclass B - Slightly Brackish

Central Shallow-marsh Zone:

Subclass C - Moderately Brackish:

Central Shallow-marsh Zone

Peripheral Wet-meadow Zone: Peripheral Wetland-low-prairie Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central wetland-low-prairie azone fo ephemeral ponds (Class I)

Class IV - Semipermanent Ponds and Lakes:

Subclass A - Fresh:

Central Deep Marsh Zone:

Peripheral Shallow-marsh Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central shallow-marsh zone of fresh seasonal ponds and lakes (Class III-A).

Peripheral Wet-meadow Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central wet-meadow zone of fresh temporary ponds (Class II-A).

Peripheral Wetland-low-prairie Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central wetland-low-prairie zone of ephemeral ponds (Class I).

Subclass B - Slightly Brackish

Central Deep-marsh Zone:

Peripheral Shallow-marsh Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central shallow-marsh zone of slightly brackish seasonal ponds and lakes (Class III-B).

Peripheral Wet-meadow Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central wet-meadow zone of slightly brackish temporary ponds (Class II-B).

Peripheral Wetlands-low-prairie Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central wetland-low-prairie zone of ephemeral ponds (Class I).

Subclass C - Moderately Brackish:

Central Deep-marsh Zone:

Peripheral Shallow-marsh Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central shallow-marsh zone of moderately brackish seasonal ponds and lakes (Class III-C).

Peripheral Wet-meadow Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the peripheral wet-meadow zone of moderately brackish seasonal ponds and lakes (Class III-C).

Peripheral Wetland-low-prairie Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central wetland-low-prairie zone of ephemeral ponds (Class I).

Peripheral fen zone (marginal pockets): The species composition is the same as that of the central fen zone of fen ponds (Class VII).

Subclass D - Brackish:

Central Deep Marsh Zone:

Peripheral Shallow-marsh Zone: Peripheral Wet-meadow Zone: Peripheral Wetland-low-prairie Zone: The species compositions is the same as that of the central wetland-low-prairie zone of ephemeral ponds (Class I).

Peripheral Fen Zone (marginal pockets): The species composition is the same as that of the central fen zone of fen ponds (Class VII).

Subclass E - Subsaline:

Central Deep-marsh Zone:

Peripheral Shallow-marsh Zone: Peripheral Wet-meadow Zone: Peripheral Wetland-low-prairie Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the wetland-low-prairie zone of ephemeral ponds (Class I).

Peripheral Fen Zone (Marginal pockets): The species composition is the same as that of the central fen zone of fen ponds (Class VII).

Class V - Permanent Ponds and Lakes:

Subclass B - Slightly Brackish:

Central Permanent-open-water Zone:

Peripheral Deep-marsh Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central deep-marsh zone of slighlty brackish semipermanent ponds and lakes (Class IV-B).

Peripheral Shallow-marsh Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central shallow-marsh zone of slightly brackish seasonal ponds and lakes (Class III-B).

Peripheral Wet-meadow Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central wet-meadow zone of slightly brackish temporary ponds (Class II-B).

Peripheral Wetland-low-prairie Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central wetland-low-prairie zone of ephemeral ponds (Class I).

Peripheral Fen Zone (marginal pockets): The species composition is the same as that of the central fen zone of fen ponds (Class VII).

Subclass C - Moderately Brackish:

Central Permanent-open-water Zone:

Peripheral Deep-marsh Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central deep-marsh zone of moderately brackish semipermanent poonds and lakes (Class IV-C).

Peripheral Shallow-marsh Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central shallow-marsh zone of moderately brackish seasonal ponds and lakes (Class III-C).

Peripheral Wet-meadow Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the peripheral wet-meadow zone of moderately brackish seasonal ponds and lakes (Class III-C).

Peripheral Wetland-low-prairie Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central wetland-low-prairie zone of ephemeral ponds (Class I).

Peripheral Fen Zone (marginal pockets): The species composition is the same as that of the central fen zone of fen ponds (Class VII).

Subclass D - Brackish:

Central Permanent-open-water Zone:

Peripheral Deep-marsh Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central deep-marsh zone of brackish semipermanent ponds and lakes (Class IV-D).

Peripheral Shallow-marsh Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the peripheral shallow-marsh zone of brackish semipermanent ponds and lakes (Class IV-D).

Peripheral Wet-meadow Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the peripheral wet-meadow zone of brackish semipermanent ponds and lakes (Class IV-D).

Peripheral Wetland-low-prairie Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central wetland-low-prairie zone of ephemeral ponds (Class I).

Peripheral Fen Zone (marginal pockets): The species composition is the same as that of the central fen zone of fen ponds (Class VII).

Subclass E - Subsaline

Central Permanent-open-water Zone:

Peripheral Deep-marsh Zone: This zone is often poorly represented; when present, the characteristic species are the same as those of the central deep-marsh zone of subsaline semipermanent ponds and lakes (Class IV-E).

Peripheral Shallow-marsh Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the peripheral shallow-marsh zone of subsaline semipermanent ponds and lakes (Class IV-E).

Peripheral Wet-meadow Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the peripheral wet-meadow zone of subsaline semipermanent ponds and lakes (Class IV-E).

Peripheral Wetland-low-prairie Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central wetland-low-prairie zone of ephemeral ponds (Class I).

Peripheral Fen Zone (marginal pockets): The species composition is the same as that of the central fen zone of fen ponds (Class VII).

Class VI - Alkali Ponds and Lakes

Central Intermittent-alkali Zone:

Peripheral Shallow-marsh Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the peripheral shallow-marsh zone of subsaline semipermanent ponds and lakes (Class IV-E).

Peripheral Wet-meadow Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the peripheral wet-meadow zone of subsaline semipermanent ponds and lakes (Class IV-E).

Peripheral Wetland-low-prairie Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central wetland-low-prairie zone of ephemeral ponds (Class I).

Peripheral Fen Zone (marginal pockets): The species composition is the same as that of the central fen zone of fen ponds (Class VII).

Class VII - Fen Ponds

Central Fen Zone:

Peripheral Wet-meadow Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central wet-meadow zone of slightly brackish temporary ponds (Class II-B).

Peripheral Wetland-low-prairie Zone: The species composition is the same as that of the central wetland-low-prairie zone of ephemeral ponds (Class I).


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