Riparian Forests, Woodlands, Shrublands
Riparian communities of Tennessee are tremendously variable. Basically, the term includes any vegetation that borders a stream and whose composition is influenced by the stream and its various processes (e.g. flooding, silt deposition). Non-riparian flood plain communities (e.g. flood plain forests or bottomland hardwood forests) are classified under forested wetlands. Riparian communities are here divided into several types, including riparian forests and woodlands, mudflats, sandbars, gravelbars, and various types of rocky bars known collectively as riverscour communities. Riverscour communities are riparian communities developed in entrenched rocky gorges in dissected terrain where streams drop in elevation and often cut through the various rock strata. In these areas flooding is very intense and "scours" the rocky riparian zone, hence the name riverscour. Riverscour communities develop on sand, gravel, cobble, boulder, and bedrock or often on some combination of these.