Unconsolidated (Gravel, Sand, Silt, Mud) Stream Bottom
Unconsolidated stream bottoms are those found in more or less permanently inundated stream sections that are lined with gravel, sand, silt, or mud. In some stream systems, detritus may cover the sediments of the stream bottom. These communities frequently lack vascular plants but in some areas vascular plants, aquatic bryophytes, and various types of algae and cyanobacteria may form important submerged aquatic plant bed communities. Cowardin et al. (1979) referred to these as "aquatic beds."
Tennessee rivers that have especially rich aquatic bed communities associated with unconsolidated stream bottoms include the Buffalo, Caney Fork, Clinch, Duck, Hiwassee, Little Tennessee, and Powell rivers.