Maritime Dry Grassland Community

Habitat: Maritime Dry Grassland Community
Maritime Dry Grassland on Pea Island by Bob Glennon

 The Maritime Dry Grassland Community occurs on low, stable dunes and sand ridges. It also occurs in overwash terraces behind or between dunes in areas subject to inundation by the ocean or partial burial due to wind-blown sand. Frequently, this community transitions into the dune grass community on the ocean side. The dominance of saltmeadow grass readily distinguishes maritime dry grassland from the dune grass community. Under natural conditions this community is influenced by salt spray that retards shrub invasion. Where dunes are naturally protected or have been artificially stabilized, these grasslands can succeed into maritime shrub and possibly to maritime forest with sufficient time. In contrast, the maritime dry grassland may transition from maritime shrub or maritime forest in areas where there is loss of dune protection. In addition to saltmeadow cordgrass, this community may have a moderate to dense herbaceous cover of species such as seaside goldenrod, marsh pink, seaside greenbrier, and Indian blanket. It is not uncommon to find some sparse woody vegetation such as yaupon and yucca.

Facts About Maritime Dry Grassland Community

Typical Plants: 

  • saltmeadow cordgrass
  • seaside goldenrod
  • marsh pink
  • seaside greenbrier
  • Indian blanket
  • yaupon
  • yucca