Coastal Atlantic White Cedar Swamp

Photos: salicicola.com

Naturalcom Home Page

Overview

Basin swamps dominated by Atlantic white cedar (AWC) in the overstory and a mixture of coastal species in the understory.

Coastal AWC swamps typically occur at low elevations, less than 40 ft. above sea level, in basins overlying sand and gravel deposits or glacial lake bottom sediments. They are limited to coastal regions of the state. Water-saturated peat overlies the mineral sediments, and standing water generally occurs for half of the growing season or longer. The water and soil are nutrient-poor, and particularly low in nitrogen and phosphorus. There is a high iron content in the soil; the iron, called "bog iron, was mined in the early days of manufacturing. Soil pH is acidic, 3.1-5.5, and leaf litter decomposition is slow.

Photos credit to salicicola.com (unless otherwise noted). Natural communities information extracted from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP). NHESP's Coastal Atlantic White Cedar Swamp natural community page.

 

SEMPBA Archives: Coastal Atlantic White Cedar Swamp

 

Species Name

Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides)

red maple (Acer rubrum)

pitch pine (Pinus rigida)

white pine (Pinus strobus)

hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

high bush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)

swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum)

sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia)

fetterbush (Leucothoe racemosa)

inkberry (Ilex glabra)

cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea)

Virginia chain fern (Woodwardia virginica)

starflower (Trientalis borealis)

wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)

sphagnum mosses

 

Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides)
Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides)

Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides)

Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides)
red maple (Acer rubrum)
red maple (Acer rubrum)
red maple (Acer rubrum)
red maple (Acer rubrum)
red maple (Acer rubrum)
red maple (Acer rubrum)
pitch pine (Pinus rigida)
pitch pine (Pinus rigida)
pitch pine (Pinus rigida)
white pine (Pinus strobus)
white pine (Pinus strobus)
white pine (Pinus strobus)
white pine (Pinus strobus)
hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)
highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)
highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)
highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)
swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum)
swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum)
swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum)
swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum)

sweet pepper-bush (Clethra alnifolia)

sweet pepper-bush (Clethra alnifolia)

sweet pepper-bush (Clethra alnifolia)
sweet pepper-bush (Clethra alnifolia)
fetterbush (Leucothoe racemosa)
fetterbush (Leucothoe racemosa)
fetterbush (Leucothoe racemosa)
fetterbush (Leucothoe racemosa)
inkberry (Ilex glabra)
inkberry (Ilex glabra)
inkberry (Ilex glabra)
inkberry (Ilex glabra)
cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea)
cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea)
Virginia chain fern (Woodwardia virginica)

Virginia chain fern (Woodwardia virginica)

Virginia chain fern (Woodwardia virginica)
starflower (Trientalis borealis)
starflower (Trientalis borealis)
wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)
wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)
wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)
sphagnum moss--Sphagnum beneath Sceuschzeria palustris.
sphagnum mosss--Sphagnum beneath Sceuschzeria palustris.
sphagnum mosss--Sphagnum beneath Vaccinninum macrocarpon.