Classification of Vegetation Communities of Maryland: First Iteration
A Subset of the International Classification of Ecological
Concept: This alliance includes a variety of dry, dry-mesic, and mesic forests, dominated by Quercus muehlenbergii and possibly Acer saccharum, the canopy often also including other hardwood species associated with high base substrates (e.g., limestone or dolomite) under a variety of moisture conditions. These include Quercus alba, Quercus shumardii, Fraxinus americana, Fraxinus quadrangulata, Acer barbatum, Tilia americana, Carya spp., Juglans nigra, and Liriodendron tulipifera (in the more interior portions of the alliance's distribution), and Quercus sinuata var. sinuata and Carya myristiciformis (in the southwestern, Coastal Plain portion of the alliance's distribution). The habitat of this alliance includes mesic and dry-mesic forests over limestones in the Nashville Basin of Tennessee, dry-mesic slopes associated with prairie openings in Louisiana, moist limestone slopes in the Edwards Plateau of Texas, blackland soils in the upper West Gulf Coastal Plain of Arkansas, lowlands and mesic slopes of Oklahoma and adjacent Arkansas, as well as related habitats in states farther east (e.g., Alleghenies and lower Cumberland Plateau escarpment). Forests in Kentucky and Tennessee have Quercus shumardii and Frangula caroliniana and occur over limestone on south-facing slopes. There are scattered occurrences on benches and clifftops on the Daniel Boone National Forest. In the Coastal Plain of Virginia, this alliance is represented by somewhat open canopy 'shell barren' forests dominated by Quercus muehlenbergii with Acer barbatum. On rare occurrences of limestone in the Southern Blue Ridge of North Carolina, Quercus muehlenbergii occurs with Juglans nigra, Fraxinus americana, and Acer saccharum. Understory species may include Cornus florida, Cercis canadensis, Calycanthus floridus, Cornus alternifolia, Ostrya virginiana, and Hydrangea arborescens. In the Northeast, the shrub layer is sparse and may contain Hamamelis virginiana, Zanthoxylum americanum, and Cornus alternifolia. In some more southerly examples, shrubs may include Forestiera ligustrina, Frangula caroliniana, and Symphoricarpos orbiculatus. The herbaceous layer may contain Asclepias quadrifolia, Clematis occidentalis (= Clematis verticillaris) (in northeastern examples), Packera obovata (= Senecio obovatus), Phryma leptostachya, Saxifraga virginiensis, Arabis laevigata, and Triosteum aurantiacum. Two unusual communities of this alliance are lowland forests from the Upper West Gulf Coastal Plain of Arkansas. In the Northeast, the habitat is characterized as upper slopes or summits of limestone or marble ridges with dry soil-moisture regimes. Limestone outcrops or boulders may be present, as well as Karst collapse features. In the Southeast, mesic to dry limestone-derived soils may occur as well on flatter landforms, as in the Nashville Basin of Tennessee. In the Southeast, this vegetation is known from the Ridge and Valley, lower Cumberland Plateau escarpment, Highland Rim escarpment, and Nashville Basin in Tennessee; the Highland Rim, Bluegrass and Dripping Springs escarpment in Kentucky; the Cumberland Plateau in Alabama; as well as rarely in the Southern Blue Ridge and Coastal Plain. Isolated occurrences are reported in northern Arkansas on moderately shallow soils, often on glade margins. It also occurs in the Arbuckle Mountains of Oklahoma and the Edwards Plateau of Texas. If this alliance occurs in the Upper East Gulf Coastal Plain, stands would contain Acer barbatum instead of Acer saccharum.
Comments: This alliance was created by the merger of the former Acer saccharum - Quercus muehlenbergii Forest Alliance and the former Quercus muehlenbergii Forest Alliance. MP 6-01: On the southern flank of the alliance's distribution, the sugar maple which is present is Acer barbatum (= Acer saccharum var. floridanum), not Acer saccharum var. saccharum. Is this a problem?
Range: This alliance may be found in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina (?), Tennessee, Texas, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan (?), Missouri, Nebraska (?), and Ohio, and in Canada in Ontario. In the Southeast, this vegetation is known from the Ridge and Valley, lower Cumberland Plateau escarpment, Highland Rim escarpment, and Central Basin in Tennessee; the Highland Rim, Bluegrass and Dripping Springs escarpment in Kentucky; the Cumberland Plateau in Alabama; as well as rarely in the Southern Blue Ridge and coastal plain. Isolated occurrences are reported in northern Arkansas on moderately shallow soils, often on glade margins. It also occurs in the Arbuckle Mountains of Oklahoma and the Edwards Plateau of Texas.
States/Provinces: AL AR CT GA IL? IN KY LA MA MD MI? MS? NC NJ NY OH OK ON PA SC? TN TX VA VT WV
TNC Ecoregions: 29:C, 32:C, 33:C, 37:C, 38:C, 39:C, 40:C, 41:C, 43:C, 44:C, 45:C, 48:C, 49:C, 50:C, 51:C, 57:C, 58:C, 59:C, 60:?, 61:C, 63:C, 64:C
USFS Ecoregions: 212B:CC, 212E:CC, 212Fa:C??, 212Ga:C??, 212Gb:C??, 221A:CC, 221B:CC, 221Dc:CC?, 221Ea:CCC, 221Hb:CCC, 221Hc:CCC, 221Hd:CCP, 221Ja:CCC, 221Jb:CCC, 221Jc:CCP, 222An:CC?, 222Cg:CCC, 222Df:CCP, 222Dg:CCC, 222Ea:CC?, 222Eb:CCC, 222Ec:CCC, 222Ed:CCC, 222Ee:CCC, 222Ef:CCC, 222Eg:CCC, 222Eh:CCC, 222Ej:CCC, 222En:CCC, 222Eo:CCP, 222Fa:CCP, 222Fb:CCC, 222Fc:CC?, 222Fd:CCC, 222Fe:CCP, 222Ff:CCP, 222Ha:CCC, 222Hb:CCC, 222Hc:CCC, 222I:CC, 231Ba:CP?, 231Be:CP?, 231Cc:CCP, 231Cd:CCC, 231Ce:CCP, 231Cf:CCP, 231Cg:CCP, 231Da:CCP, 231Dc:CCP, 231De:CCC, 231Ea:CCP, 231Eb:CCC, 231Gc:CCC, 232Br:CCC, 232Ch:C??, 232Fa:CCC, 251Ea:P??, 251Eb:P??, 251Ec:P??, 251Ed:P??, 255Af:CCC, 311A:CC, 315D:CC, M212B:CC, M212C:CC, M221Aa:CCC, M221Ab:CCC, M221Ac:CCC, M221Bd:CC?, M221Be:CCP, M221Ca:CC?, M221Cb:CCP, M221Cc:CC?, M221Ce:CCC, M221Da:CCC, M221Db:CC?, M221Dc:CCC, M221Dd:CCC
Federal Lands: COE (J. Percy Priest?, Lake Millwood); NPS (Colonial, Cumberland Gap?, Great Smoky Mountains?, Russell Cave?, Shiloh, Stones River); TVA (Columbia, Tellico); USFS (Bankhead, Chattahoochee, Cherokee, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Jefferson, Kisatchie, Ozark, Pisgah); USFWS (Wichita Mountains)
Synonymy: IA6k. Sugar Maple - Oak - Hickory Forest, in part (Allard 1990); Sugar Maple - Oak - Hickory Forest, in part (Pyne 1994); IA6j. Interior Calcareous Oak - Hickory Forest. in part? (Allard 1990); Calcareous xeric forest, in part (Evans 1991); Calcareous sub-xeric forest, in part (Evans 1991); Calcareous mesophytic forest, in part (Evans 1991); Basic Mesic Forest, Montane Calcareous Subtype (Schafale and Weakley 1990); Quercus muehlenbergii forest alliance (Hoagland 1997); Bigtooth Maple-Oak Series, in part (Diamond 1993); Sugar Maple: 27, in part (Eyre 1980); Calcareous Talus Forest / Woodland (Swain and Kearsley 2001); Yellow Oak Dry Calcareous Forest (Swain and Kearsley 2001); Yellow oak - redbud woodland (Fike 1999); Dry-Mesic Calcareous Central Forest (Smith 1991)
References: Allard 1990, Andreu and Tukman 1995, Bowen et al. 1995, Campbell 1980, Crites and Clebsch 1986, Diamond 1993, Evans 1991, Eyre 1980, Faber-Langendoen et al. 1996, Fike 1999, Fowells 1965, Hoagland 1997, Hoagland 1998a, Pyne 1994, Schafale and Weakley 1990, Smith 1991, Swain and Kearsley 2001, Ware and Ware 1992
Authors: D.J. ALLARD/D. FABER-LANG, MP, Southeast Identifier: A.1912
ACER SACCHARUM - QUERCUS MUEHLENBERGII / CERCIS CANADENSIS FOREST
Sugar Maple - Chinquapin Oak / Redbud Forest
Appalachian Sugar Maple - Chinquapin Oak Limestone Forest G4? (00-10-19)
Ecological Group (SCS;MCS): Appalachian Highlands Dry-mesic Circumneutral Hardwood Forests and Woodlands (401-17; 2.5.3.z)
Concept: This circumneutral to basic maple - oak forest is found in the Central Appalachians and adjacent regions of the eastern United States, ranging south and west to the Interior Low Plateau of Tennessee and the Cumberlands of Alabama. Stands occur in thin soils over calcareous substrates, sometimes in association with limestone glades. These are typically closed-canopy, rich, dry to dry-mesic forests; in some stands the canopy may vary from closed to somewhat open, particularly in Pennsylvania at the northern edge of the range. The stands are primarily composed of Acer saccharum, Quercus muehlenbergii, Fraxinus americana, and Ostrya virginiana. Associates include Quercus alba, Tilia americana, Acer nigrum, Ulmus rubra, Celtis occidentalis, Carya ovalis, and Carya ovata. Quercus prinus may also be present in some examples. A variable subcanopy and shrub layer contains Cornus florida, Cercis canadensis, Hamamelis virginiana, Rosa carolina, Rhus aromatica, Viburnum prunifolium, Viburnum rafinesquianum, Viburnum rufidulum, and Zanthoxylum americanum. The sparse to well-developed herb layer may contain Danthonia spicata, Elymus hystrix, Bouteloua curtipendula, Ageratina altissima (= Eupatorium rugosum), Antennaria plantaginifolia, Aquilegia canadensis, Arabis laevigata, Asclepias quadrifolia, Clematis occidentalis (to the north), Houstonia longifolia (= Houstonia tenuifolia), Polygonum scandens, Sanicula canadensis, Saxifraga virginiensis, and Packera obovata (= Senecio obovatus). Some other herbs recorded in Virginia examples include Agrimonia rostellata, Anemone virginiana var. virginiana, Symphyotrichum patens var. patens (= Aster patens var. patens), Bromus pubescens, Dichanthelium boscii, Erigeron pulchellus var. pulchellus, Galium circaezans, Sanicula canadensis, Scutellaria elliptica, and Solidago ulmifolia var. ulmifolia. Some stands attributed to this type are mesic forests of steep slopes in the southern Ridge and Valley which are dominated by Acer saccharum and some combination of Quercus alba and/or Quercus muehlenbergii with Liriodendron tulipifera, Carya spp., and Aesculus flava in either the canopy or subcanopy. The same, or related forests, are reported from limestones of the lower Cumberland Plateau escarpment of Tennessee and possibly Alabama.
Comments: The range of this type, which was initially described from "the High Alleghenies," has gradually extended south to at least the Interior Low Plateau. It may require subdivision. (This type was formerly attributed questionably to the Upper East Gulf Coastal Plain, it was dropped from ECO43 by REE based on input from MP and ASW). Some stands attributed to this type are mesic forests of steep slopes in the southern Ridge and Valley which are dominated by Acer saccharum and some combination of Quercus alba and/or Quercus muehlenbergii with Liriodendron tulipifera, Carya spp., and Aesculus flava in either the canopy or subcanopy (Andreu and Tukman 1995). The same, or related forests, are reported from limestones of the lower Cumberland Plateau escarpment of Tennessee and possibly Alabama (Bowen et al. 1995). There has been discussion of the merits of subdividing this type, in effect re-splitting former Acer saccharum - Quercus (alba, muehlenbergii) / Aesculus flava Forest (CEGL006136) (or an equivalent) out of it again.
Two tentative, fully intergrading subtypes have been recognized in Virginia (Fleming 1999): The Quercus muehlenbergii - Quercus alba / Cercis canadensis Subtype occurs (with one exception) on limestone and occupies very steep, subxeric, middle to upper slopes with southwesterly aspects and considerable exposed mineral soil (mean = 28%). Quercus alba, Cercis canadensis, Hamamelis virginiana, Muhlenbergia tenuiflora, and Desmodium glutinosum are characteristic species of the subtype. The Quercus muehlenbergii - Tilia americana / Muhlenbergia sobolifera Subtype occurs without exception on dolomite and occupies less steep, more submesic, lower to middle slopes with more southerly aspects and high surface cover of bedrock and boulders. Soils have lower mean calcium levels and higher mean magnesium levels than those of the previous subtype. Tilia americana, Juniperus virginiana, Dirca palustris, and Muhlenbergia sobolifera are most important in this subtype.
Range: This maple - oak forest is found in the Central Appalachians and adjacent regions of the eastern United States, including the Ridge and Valley and Western Allegheny Plateau regions, ranging from Pennsylvania southward to the Interior Low Plateau of Tennessee and the Ridge and Valley of Virginia.
States/Provinces: AL?, KY:S?, MD:S?, OH:S?, PA:S?, TN:S?, VA:S?, WV:S?
TNC Ecoregions: 44:C, 49:C, 50:C, 59:C, 60:?, 61:?
USFS Ecoregions: 212Fa:???, 212Ga:???, 212Gb:???, 221A:C?, 221D:C?, 221Ea:CCC, 221Hb:CCC, 221Hc:CCC, 221Jb:CCC, 222Ej:CPP, 222Fd:CCC, 231B:P?, 231Cc:PPP, M221Aa:CCC, M221Ab:CCC, M221Ac:CCC, M221Bd:CP?, M221Be:CPP, M221Ca:CC?, M221Cb:CC?, M221Cc:CC?, M221Ce:CCC, M221Da:CCC, M221Db:CC?, M221Dc:CCC
Federal Lands: TVA (Tellico); USFS (Cherokee?, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Jefferson)
Synonymy: Acer saccharum - Quercus (alba, muehlenbergii) Forest (Andreu and Tukman 1995), Quercus muhlenbergii - Acer (nigrum, saccharum var. saccharum) / Ostrya virginiana / Senecio obovatus Forest, Type 3.1 (Fleming 1999), Quercus muehlenbergii / Juniperus virginiana / Hybanthus concolor Association (Rawinski et al. 1996), Yellow oak - redbud woodland (Fike 1999), Yellow oak-sugar maple-red bud forest of calcareous upper slopes and summits (CAP pers. comm. 1998), Quercus muehlenbergii - Acer (nigrum, saccharum) / Ostrya virginiana / Erigeron pulchellus - Packera obovata Forest (Fleming and Coulling 2001)
References: Andreu and Tukman 1995, Bartgis 1985a, Bartgis 1993, Bowen et al. 1995, CAP pers. comm. 1998, Fike 1999, Fleming 1999, Fleming and Coulling 2001, Fleming et al. 2001, Rawinski et al. 1996
Authors: L.A. Sneddon, mod. M. Pyne after Fleming 1999, ECS Confidence: 2 Identifier: CEGL006017
QUERCUS MUEHLENBERGII / ERIGERON PULCHELLUS VAR. PULCHELLUS - DICHANTHELIUM BOSCII - (VERBESINA VIRGINICA VAR. VIRGINICA) FOREST
Chinquapin Oak / Robin's-plantain - Bosc's Witchgrass - (Common Frostweed) Forest |
North Atlantic Coastal Plain Calcareous Forest G2? (98-12-14)
Ecological Group (SCS;MCS): Atlantic and Gulf Coast Maritime Shell Barrens
and Near-coastal Calcareous Hammocks (240-70; n/a)
Concept: This dry, open, calcareous forest of the Inner Coastal Plain of Virginia is restricted to subxeric to xeric, fertile habitats over unconsolidated, calcareous deposits. These localized habitats are found on southeast- to southwest-facing, usually convex slopes of deep ravines or stream-fronting bluffs that have downcut into Tertiary shell deposits or limesands. Occurrences are small (typically <1 acre) and highly localized in dissected portions of the Inner Coastal Plain. Quercus muehlenbergii is a constant, codominant or dominant canopy tree, and is the most characteristic tree of this type. Some stands tend toward a woodland physiognomy, with low-statured, gnarled trees and a very open canopy. The understory includes Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana and Cercis canadensis var. canadensis. The herb layer is usually patchy, but contains a diversity of species, including several long-range mountain disjuncts. Particularly abundant or noteworthy herbaceous species include Erigeron pulchellus var. pulchellus and Dichanthelium boscii, which are the most constant and abundant herbs, each with mean cover >5% over all documented stands. Other important species are Verbesina virginica var. virginica, Campanulastrum americanum, Smallanthus uvedalius, Silphium trifoliatum var. trifoliatum, Desmodium pauciflorum, Hexalectris spicata, and Piptochaetium avenaceum.
Comments: This type is described by G. Fleming, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. It is based on analysis of plot data from 11 stands in James City, Stafford, Surry, and York counties (VA). Homoteneity = 0.653. Mean species richness = 70. According to Rod Simmons, vegetation similar to the stands of this type at Crow's Nest, Stafford County, VA, occurs across the Potomac River at Chapman's Landing, Maryland. It is likely that this community type is endemic to a narrow region of the Coastal Plain stretching from Charles County, MD, south to Surry County, VA. Further inventory is required to determine whether it is present in Isle of Wight County and City of Suffolk, VA. This is a small-patch community type, usually occurring in patches <1 acre. The total acreage of all known occurrences is <25 acres.
Range: This dry, open, calcareous forest occurs in the Inner Coastal Plain of Virginia.
States/Provinces: MD:S?, VA:S?
TNC Ecoregions: 57:C, 58:C
USFS Ecoregions: 232Br:CCC
Federal Lands: NPS (Colonial)
Synonymy: Quercus muhlenbergii / Erigeron pulchellus var. pulchellus - Dichanthelium boscii - (Verbesina virginica) Forest (Patterson pers. comm.)
References: Fleming 2001, Fleming et al. 2001, Fleming unpubl. data, Patterson pers. comm., Ware and Ware 1992
Authors: G.P. Fleming, ECS Confidence: 2 Identifier: CEGL007748
- Maryland Vegetation Classification Subset Report I.B. Deciduous forest
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