PA Ecological Group(s):

Global Rank: rank interpretation
State Rank:

Herbaceous vernal pool
Herbaceous vernal pool, PNHP

General Description

Rank Justification


  • Standing water at some portion of the year
  • Occurs in shallow or deep basins which collect surface water
  • Dominated by variety of herbaceous species
  • When dry, may consist of black leaf debris

* limited to sites with higher soil calcium
Vascular plant nomenclature follows Rhoads and Block (2007). Bryophyte nomenclature follows Crum and Anderson (1981).

International Vegetation Classification Associations:

USNVC Crosswalk:


Representative Community Types:

Woolgrass Marsh (CEGL006349)

NatureServe Ecological Systems:

Laurentian-Acadian Wet Meadow-Shrub Swamp (CES201.582)
Laurentian-Acadian Floodplain Forest (CES201.587)

NatureServe Group Level:


Origin of Concept

Pennsylvania Community Code*

*(DCNR 1999, Stone 2006)

Similar Ecological Communities

Fike Crosswalk

Conservation Value



Range Map

range map

Pennsylvania Range

Global Distribution

Fike, J. 1999. Terrestrial and palustrine plant communities of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Recreation. Bureau of Forestry. Harrisburg, PA.

NatureServe 2010. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, VA. Available (accessed: 23 November 2011).

Rhoads, Ann F. and Timothy A. Block. 1999. Natural Areas Inventory of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Bucks County Commissioners, Doylestown, PA.

Rhoads, Ann F. and Timothy A. Block. 2008. Vegetation of Ridley Creek State Park. Report submitted to DCNR, Bureau of State Parks.

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