Hydrophytes in the Mid-Atlantic region: Ecology, communities, assessment, and diversity

Sarah J. Chamberlain, Denice Heller Wardrop, M. Siobhan Fennessy, Doug Deberry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


Hydrophytes, or wetland plants, are the most conspicuous and perhaps most colorful element of wetland systems. In the mid-Atlantic region, hydrophytes have been the focus of many studies, resulting in a wealth of information on wetland classification, vegetation stressors, and plant-based assessment tools. For example, exploration of the relationship between hydrophytes and the physical aspects of wetlands has led to a new hydrogeomorphic classification of headwater systems that combines three previously distinct classes. Studies of stressors have shown that plants respond differentially to human-mediated disturbances in the surrounding landscape. Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), a native but highly invasive wetland grass in regional wetlands, exhibits increased establishment, growth, and biomass in response to nutrient additions, and surprisingly, in some instances, to increased sedimentation, while blue vervain (Verbena hastata), a denizen of freshwater wetland habitats, is intolerant of increased sediment loading. Hydrophtyes have also served as the foundation for some of the most powerful wetland assessment tools in the region. Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA) and biotic indices have been developed by a number of states within the region and in the case of FQA, for the region as a whole. This chapter examines the role of hydrophytes in these studies, as well as spotlights invasive and special status wetland species found in wetland habitats in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMid-Atlantic Freshwater Wetlands
Subtitle of host publicationAdvances in Wetlands Science, Management, Policy, and Practice
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages100
ISBN (Electronic)9781461455967
ISBN (Print)1461455952, 9781461455950
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Hydrophytes in the Mid-Atlantic region: Ecology, communities, assessment, and diversity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this