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Natural Community Fact Sheets

The NHESP has prepared fact sheets for named types of natural communities to go with the 2016 revision of the Classification of Natural Communities of Massachusetts, Version 2.0.

Key to the Natural Communities

The Key to the Natural Communities described in the Classification of Natural Communities of Massachusetts, Version 2.0

Keys to the descriptions of the natural communities of Massachusetts are intended to assist users in identifying the natural communities that they encounter in the state. As with the classification, the keys are intended to be used by anyone with an interest in conservation and a familiarity with the plants of Massachusetts. The keys lead to named natural community types, which are illustrated in fact sheets describing the natural community in more detail than available in the key.

Fact sheets

List of Priority Natural Communities with Provisional Ranks 

Acidic Graminoid Fen  

Acidic Graminoid Fen - Spillway Fen  

Acidic Pondshore/Lakeshore Community  

Acidic Rock Cliff Community

Acidic Rocky Summit/Rock Outcrop Community  

Acidic Shrub Fen  

Alluvial Atlantic White Cedar Swamp

Alluvial Hardwood Flat Community  

Alluvial Red Maple Swamp  

Atlantic White Cedar Bog  

Black Gum - Pin Oak - Swamp White Oak Perched Swamp  

Black Oak - Scarlet Oak Woodland  

Brackish Tidal Marsh  

Calcareous Basin Fen  

Calcareous Pondshore/Lakeshore Community  

Calcareous Rock Cliff Community  

Calcareous Rocky Summit/Rock Outcrop Community  

Calcareous Seepage Marsh  

Calcareous Sloping Fen  

Chestnut Oak Forest/Woodland  

Circumneutral Rock Cliff Community  

Circumneutral Rocky Summit/Rock Outcrop Community  

Coastal Atlantic White Cedar Swamp 

Coastal Forest/Woodland  

Coastal Plain Pondshore Community 

Coastal Plain Pondshore Community - Inland Variant  

Coastal Salt Pond Community  

Cobble Bar Forest 

Cultural Grassland 

Deep Emergent Marsh  

Dry, Rich Oak Forest/Woodland  

Forest Seep Community  

Fresh/Brackish Tidal Shrubland  

Fresh/Brackish Tidal Swamp  

Freshwater Mud Flat Community  

Freshwater Tidal Marsh  

Hemlock Forest

Hemlock Swamp  

Hickory - Hop Hornbeam Forest/Woodland  

High Elevation Spruce - Fir Forest/Woodland  

Highbush Blueberry Thicket  

High-energy Riverbank Community  

High-energy Rivershore Meadow  

High-terrace Floodplain Forest  

Inland Atlantic White Cedar Swamp  

Interdunal Marsh/Swale  

Kettlehole Level Bog  

Kettlehole Wet Meadow  

Level Bog  

Low-energy Riverbank Community  

Major-river Floodplain Forest  

Marine Intertidal Gravel/Sand Beach Community  

Marine Intertidal Rocky Shore Community  

Maritime Beach Strand Community  

Maritime Dune Community  

Maritime Erosional Cliff Community  

Maritime Forest/Woodland  

Maritime Juniper Woodland/Shrubland  

Maritime Pitch Pine Woodland on Dunes  

Maritime Rock Cliff Community  

Maritime Shrubland  

Mixed Oak Forest/Woodland  

Northern Atlantic White Cedar Swamp  

Northern Hardwoods - Hemlock - White Pine Forest  

Oak - Hemlock - White Pine Forest  

Oak - Hickory Forest  

Oak - Tulip Tree Forest  

Open Oak Forest/Woodland  

Open Talus/Coarse Boulder Community  

Pitch Pine - Oak Forest/Woodland  

Pitch Pine - Scrub Oak Community  

Red Maple - Black Ash - Bur Oak Swamp  

Red Maple - Black Ash - Tamarack Calcareous Seepage Swamp  

Red Maple - Black Ash Swamp 

Red Maple - Black Gum Swamp  

Red Maple Swamp  

Red Oak - Sugar Maple Transition Forest  

Red Spruce Swamp  

Rich Conifer Swamp  

Rich, Mesic Forest 

Ridgetop Heathland  

Ridgetop Pitch Pine - Scrub Oak Community  

River and Lake Drawdown Community

Riverine Pointbar and Beach Community  

Riverside Rock Outcrop Community  

Riverside Seep Community  

Salt Marsh  

Sandplain Grassland  

Sandplain Grassland - Inland Variant  

Sandplain Heathland  

Sandplain Heathland - Inland Variant  

Scrub Oak Shrubland 

Seagrass Community  

Sea-level Fen  

Shallow Emergent Marsh  

Shrub Swamp  

Small-river Floodplain Forest  

Spruce - Fir - Northern Hardwoods Forest  

Spruce - Tamarack Bog  

Successional Northern Hardwood Forest  

Successional White Pine Forest  

Sugar Maple - Oak - Hickory Forest  

Transitional Floodplain Forest  

Wet Meadow  

White Pine - Oak Forest  

Yellow Oak Dry Calcareous Forest  

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