Classification of Vegetation Communities of Maryland: First Iteration
A Subset of the International Classification of Ecological
Concept: This alliance includes dry-mesic oak forests, codominated by Quercus prinus and Quercus rubra, at moderate elevations in the Blue Ridge, Ridge and Valley, and High Alleghenies of Virginia, western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia. It also includes transitional oak - hickory forests of Lower New England and the Northern Piedmont. This alliance may possibly range into the upper Piedmont and into the eastern fringes of the Cumberland Mountains and Appalachian Plateau of Kentucky, but no associations have been defined for these regions. The majority of the forests in this alliance occur in areas previously dominated by Castanea dentata, and chestnut sprouts are common in the understory. The canopy of forests in this alliance tend to be dominated by Quercus rubra and/or Quercus prinus, although other mesic hardwood species can codominate or be present in the canopy and subcanopy. Typical tree associates include Liriodendron tulipifera, Acer rubrum, Hamamelis virginiana, Acer pensylvanicum, and Oxydendrum arboreum. In the Appalachian Mountains, shrub layers are often dense and dominated by ericaceous species, Rhododendron maximum (especially on northerly aspects), Rhododendron minus, Kalmia latifolia, Gaylussacia spp., and Vaccinium spp. Herbaceous coverage tends to be inversely proportional to the shrub coverage. Galax urceolata and Gaultheria procumbens are components in sparse herb strata. Other herbs typical of these forests include Solidago curtisii, Lysimachia quadrifolia, Thelypteris noveboracensis, Gentiana decora, Sanicula trifoliata, Prenanthes altissima, Dichanthelium spp. (Dichanthelium boscii, Dichanthelium commutatum, Dichanthelium dichotomum), Carex pensylvanica, Polystichum acrostichoides, Chimaphila maculata, Desmodium nudiflorum, Galium latifolium, Houstonia purpurea, and Maianthemum racemosum ssp. racemosum. In montane landscapes, these forest occur on intermediate positions of elevation and aspect, on protected, often rocky slopes. Forests in this alliance are also found on sandstone boulderfields and outcrops in Virginia's Ridge and Valley.
Range: This alliance ranges from the southern Blue Ridge, north through the Ridge and Valley, and High Alleghenies of Virginia, and into some areas of Lower New England and the Northern Piedmont. This alliance may possibly range into the upper Piedmont and into the eastern fringes of the Cumberland Mountains and Appalachian Plateau of Kentucky, but no associations have been defined for these regions.
States/Provinces: GA MD? NC NJ? PA SC TN VA WV
TNC Ecoregions: 49:?, 50:P, 51:C, 52:C, 59:C, 61:C
USFS Ecoregions: 212G:P?, 221Am:CCP, 221Da:CCP, 221Db:CCP, 221Eb:C??, 221F:C?, 221H:C?, 221J:C?, 231Aa:PPP, 231Ag:PP?, M221Aa:CCC, M221Ab:CCC, M221Ac:CCC, M221Ad:CCC, M221Ba:CCC, M221Bb:CCC, M221Bc:CCC, M221Bd:CCC, M221Bf:CCC, M221Ca:C??, M221Cb:C??, M221Cc:C??, M221Cd:C??, M221Ce:C??, M221Da:CCC, M221Db:CCC, M221Dc:CCC, M221Dd:CCC
Federal Lands: NPS (Carl Sandburg Home, Great Smoky Mountains, Harpers Ferry, Kings Mountain); USFS (Chattahoochee, Cherokee, George Washington, Jefferson, Nantahala, Pisgah, Sumter)
Synonymy: Appalachian sub-xeric forest, in part (Evans 1991); Chestnut Oak Forest, in part (Schafale and Weakley 1990); Dry-Mesic Oak--Hickory Forest, in part (Schafale and Weakley 1990); Oak - Chestnut - Hickory Forest (Ambrose 1990a); Oak--Hickory Forest, in part (Nelson 1986); Quercus prinus - Quercus rubra / Acer pensylvanicum Association (Fleming and Moorhead 1996); Chestnut Oak: 44, in part (Eyre 1980)
References: Ambrose 1990a, Evans 1991, Eyre 1980, Fleming and Moorhead 1996, Golden 1981, Livingston and Mitchell 1976, McLeod 1988, Mowbray 1966, Nelson 1986, Nowacki and Abrams 1992, Rheinhardt 1981, Schafale and Weakley 1990
Authors: D.J. ALLARD 6-94, MOD. S., RW, Southeast Identifier: A.250
QUERCUS PRINUS - QUERCUS RUBRA - CARYA (GLABRA, ALBA) / GAYLUSSACIA BACCATA FOREST
Rock Chestnut Oak - Northern Red Oak - (Pignut Hickory, Mockernut Hickory) / Black Huckleberry Forest
Central Appalachian Rocky Dry-Mesic Oak Forest G5 (01-10-01)
Ecological Group (SCS;MCS): Appalachian Montane Oak-Hickory Forests (410-40; n/a)
Concept: This closed-canopy, dry-mesic oak forest of the central Appalachian Mountains is a montane forest of protected, rocky slopes. The canopy is codominated by Quercus prinus and Quercus rubra. Associated canopy species include Liriodendron tulipifera, Acer rubrum, Carya glabra, and Carya alba. The tall-shrub layer, when present, is characterized by Hamamelis virginiana and Acer pensylvanicum. The lower shrub layer is dense and ericaceous, characterized by Rhododendron maximum, Kalmia latifolia, Gaylussacia spp., and Vaccinium spp. The herbaceous layer is usually sparse but may include Gaultheria procumbens, Lysimachia quadrifolia, Thelypteris noveboracensis, Sanicula trifoliata, Prenanthes altissima, Dichanthelium boscii, Dichanthelium commutatum, Dichanthelium dichotomum, Carex pensylvanica, Polystichum acrostichoides, Chimaphila maculata, Desmodium nudiflorum, Galium latifolium, Houstonia purpurea, and Maianthemum racemosum. This association is intermediate in elevation and aspect in relation to Quercus prinus - Quercus coccinea forests and Quercus rubra forests.
Comments: The Ecological Group placement of this vegetation type is somewhat arbitrary, since it has atypically fertile soils and a sparse ericaceous shrub component compared to other members of the Mixed Oak / Heath and Chestnut Oak Forests group. Although it has some affinities to the Montane Oak - Hickory Forests and the Low-Elevation Boulderfield Forests, placement in either of these groups would be just as imperfect. Therefore, we have followed the results of cluster analysis, which placed the cluster of plots forming this type in a larger group with other oak / heath forests.
Wind and ice damage to tree crowns, damage to Cornus florida from dogwood anthracnose (Discula destructiva), and a few small fire scars were disturbances noted in plots. Although Castanea dentata logs and wood were not abundant in plots, frequent sprouts indicate that Castanea dentata was at least an associate tree in this unit prior to the arrival of chestnut blight. The northwest slopes of Peters Mountain in Alleghany County contains old-growth examples of the type with large, widely spaced canopy trees in the 43-72 cm (17-28 in.) dbh range. Representative old-age trees include a 59 cm (23 in.) dbh Quercus prinus >220 years old; a 63 cm (25 in.) dbh Quercus prinus ca. 179 years old; a 67 cm (26 in.) dbh Quercus prinus 265 years old; and a 71 cm (28 in.) dbh Quercus rubra >247 years old (Fleming and Moorhead 2000).
Range: This association occurs throughout the Central Appalachian region of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and possibly further north. In Virginia, it is a large-patch to matrix community type in both the Northern Blue Ridge and Ridge and Valley provinces.
States/Provinces: MD?, NJ?, PA:S?, VA:S?, WV:S?
TNC Ecoregions: 59:C, 61:?
USFS Ecoregions: 212G:P?, 221Am:CCP, 221Da:CCP, 221Db:CCP, 221E:C?, 221F:C?, 231A:??, M221Aa:CCC, M221Ab:CCC, M221Ac:CCC, M221Ad:CCC, M221Ba:CCC, M221Bb:CCC, M221Bc:CCC, M221Bf:CCC, M221C:C?, M221Da:CCC
Federal Lands: NPS (Harpers Ferry); USFS (George Washington, Jefferson)
Synonymy: Chestnut oak-red oak/ericad forest: (matrix) N slopes (CAP pers. comm. 1998), Quercus montana - Quercus rubra / Acer pensylvanicum - Hamamelis virginiana Forest (Fleming and Moorhead 2000), Quercus rubra - Magnolia acuminata Association (Fleming and Moorhead 1996), Quercus prinus - Quercus rubra / Hamamelis virginiana Forest (Fleming and Coulling 2001), Magnolia acuminata - Betula lenta - Tilia americana / Parthenocissus quinquefolia Association (Rawinski et al. 1994), Quercus montana - Robinia pseudoacacia / Ribes rotundifolium Association (Rawinski et al. 1994), Quercus rubra - Quercus prinus - Liriodendron tulipifera / Parthenocissus quinquefolia - Dryopteris marginalis Association (Rawinski et al. 1996), Red Oak - Chestnut Oak Community Type (Stephenson and Adams 1991), Chestnut Oak: 44 (Eyre 1980) B. chestnut oak - northern red oak variant
References: Breden et al. 2001, CAP pers. comm. 1998, Eyre 1980, Fike 1999, Fleming and Coulling 2001, Fleming and Moorhead 1996, Fleming and Moorhead 2000, Fleming et al. 2001, Rawinski et al. 1994, Rawinski et al. 1996, Stephenson and Adams 1991, Vanderhorst 2000b
Authors: G. Fleming and P. Coulling, ECS Confidence: 3 Identifier: CEGL006057
- Maryland Vegetation Classification Subset Report I.B. Deciduous forest
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