maritime swamp
Natural History

Maritime Wet Grassland

Photo: Robbie Fearn

Maritime Wet Grassland (Southern Hairgrass Subtype):  Small patches of herbaceous-dominated vegetation in wetter swales seem best classified as this community, but are not well developed and are somewhat odd.  Most occur in complexes with Stable Dune Barrens, where they have similarly open vegetation but are dominated by Juncus sp. and lack the xerophytic species.  While it is easy to believe that the Stable Dune Barrens are open because of excessive drainage and drier soil conditions than in adjacent forest areas, it is unclear why these areas should be open. Other species noted include Schizachyrium littorale, Rhynchospora sp., and the moss Atrichum sp.  These areas are too small and marginally developed to be considered significant. It is possible that more typical and extensive Maritime Wet Grasslands were present before the dune building and spread of the maritime forest.  

From the Site Survey report conducted by:

Michael P. Schafale, Ecologist

Natural Heritage Program

Division of Land and Water Stewardship

North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

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