The lake shore community is generally restricted to the edges of large rivers, and wave-affected lakes such as Lake Michigan, Carlyle Lake, and Rend Lake. Erosion and sediment deposition by waves produce a number of landforms such as beaches, bars, and flats, all of which are included in this type.

Vegetation is generally lacking except for pioneering plants that become established during brief favorable growing conditions. The substrate and water regime are the important factors that determine the types of plant and animal communities present. For example, rocky shores (L2RSJ) tend to support fewer plant species than a sandy beach or mud bar (L2USJ). The amount of vegetation is also dependent on the strength of the wave action as well as the length of inundation.

The typical soil material along the lake shores is beach sand. Sand bars along major rivers are similar; however, these materials are called riverwash.

*Used throughout the community descriptions to indicate the most commonly occurring code in Illinois


Lake Shore