Classification of Vegetation Communities of Maryland: First Iteration
A Subset of the International Classification of Ecological
Concept: Forests in this alliance represent the drier end of the white oak - red oak - black oak cover type and are difficult to identify easily. This alliance is distributed in the Ozark Highlands, Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas Valley, the Interior Highlands, Piedmont, Inner Coastal Plain, and Blue Ridge. Stands are codominated by some combination of Quercus alba, Quercus coccinea, Quercus velutina, and/or Quercus rubra. In addition, Quercus stellata, Quercus prinus, Carya alba, Carya glabra, Carya ovata, Pinus virginiana, and Pinus echinata are common associates. Other common associates can include Nyssa sylvatica, Acer rubrum var. rubrum, Sassafras albidum, Quercus falcata, Quercus macrocarpa (within its range), and Prunus serotina var. serotina. Typical shrubs and small trees include Cornus florida, Corylus americana, Ostrya virginiana, Oxydendrum arboreum, Sassafras albidum, Kalmia latifolia, Rhododendron calendulaceum, Gaylussacia ursina, Vaccinium spp., Viburnum acerifolium, and Hamamelis virginiana. The herbaceous composition varies considerably over the wide range of this alliance. Some common herbs include Agrimonia rostellata, Amphicarpaea bracteata, Botrychium virginianum, Carex blanda, Danthonia spicata, Antennaria plantaginifolia, Desmodium nudiflorum, Thelypteris noveboracensis, Prenanthes altissima, Galium spp., Dioscorea villosa, Conopholis americana, Polygonatum biflorum, Medeola virginiana, and Maianthemum racemosum. Stands can be found on mid to upper slopes and terraces where dry-mesic conditions persist and where soils are more sandy and/or rocky. Bedrock is sandstone, siltstone, chert, or shale. Disturbance in the form of wind and logging tends to favor Quercus velutina in these forests. These forests generally occur on slopes and sheltered ridgetops. One example from the Interior Low Plateau of Tennessee occurs on high, ancient, elevated terraces adjacent to river floodplains.
Comments: It is not clear (2001-08-19) what the Piedmont manifestations of this alliance are. It is attributed to Kings Mountain NMP, Sumter NF, etc. but no association captures these attributes. Is a "provisional" justified? A new association will be added from the Arkansas Field Office Ouachita Inventory. This alliance is also present in Virginia, at least in the Ridge and Valley; a new association is likely needed. Stands previously placed in this alliance that occur in what are called inland maritime situations in older mature stands in the Outer Coastal Plain of South Carolina (C. Aulbach-Smith pers. comm.) need to be accommodated elsewhere. In Kentucky, these forests lack Quercus rubra as a dominant and occur in the Shawnee Hills and on upper slopes and ridgetops in the Appalachian Plateaus, and are abundant in the Interior Low Plateau.
Range: This alliance is distributed in the Ozark Highlands, Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas Valley, the Interior Highlands, Piedmont, upper Coastal Plain, and Blue Ridge. It is found in Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin, and in Ontario, Canada, and possibly in Alabama (?), Delaware (?), Kentucky (?), Mississippi (?), Oklahoma (?), and South Carolina (?).
States/Provinces: AL? AR CT DE? GA IA IL IN KY? MA MD MI MN MO MS? NC NH NJ NY OH ON PA RI SC? TN VA WI WV
TNC Ecoregions: 36:C, 38:C, 39:C, 43:C, 44:C, 45:C, 46:C, 48:C, 50:C, 51:C, 52:C, 53:C, 56:P, 58:C, 59:C, 60:C, 61:C, 62:C
USFS Ecoregions: 212Fa:CCP, 212Fb:CCP, 212Fd:CCP, 212Ga:CCP, 212Gb:CCP, 212Ht:CPP, 212Hu:CPP, 212Hw:CP?, 212Hx:CPP, 221Ab:CCP, 221Ac:CCP, 221Ad:CCP, 221Ae:CCC, 221Af:CCC, 221Ag:CCC, 221Ai:CCP, 221Ak:CCC, 221Bd:CCP, 221Dc:CPP, 221E:CP, 221F:CP, 221Jb:CCC, 222Aa:CCC, 222Ab:CCP, 222Ad:CCP, 222Ae:CCP, 222Af:CCP, 222Ag:CCP, 222Aj:CCP, 222Am:CCP, 222Ca:CCC, 222Cf:CCP, 222Cg:CCP, 222De:CCC, 222Df:CCC, 222Dh:CCP, 222Di:CCP, 222Eb:CCC, 222Eg:CCP, 222Eh:CCP, 222Ek:CCC, 222Em:CCC, 222Fe:CCC, 222Ga:CCC, 222Gb:CCC, 222Gd:CCC, 222Ha:CCC, 222Hb:CCP, 222Hf:CCP, 222Ig:CCC, 222Ja:CC?, 222Jb:CCP, 222Jg:CCC, 222Jh:CCC, 222Ji:CCC, 222Jj:CCC, 222Kf:CCC, 222Kg:CCP, 222Kj:CCC, 222Lc:CCC, 222Lf:CCC, 222Md:CCC, 222Me:CCC, 231A:CP, 231Bd:CPP, 231Gb:CCC, 232Aa:CCC, 232Ab:CCC, 232Ac:CCC, 232Ad:CCP, 232Bq:CCC, 232Br:CCC, 232Bt:CCP, 232Ch:CCC, 251Cf:CCC, 251Ci:CCC, 251Cj:CCC, 251Ck:CCC, 251Dc:CCC, 251Dd:CCC, 251Df:CCC, 251Dg:CCC, 251Dh:CCP, M221Aa:CCC, M221Ab:CCC, M221Ac:CCC, M221Bb:CCC, M221Bf:CCC, M221C:CP, M221Da:CCC, M221Dc:CCC, M221Dd:CCC
Federal Lands: DOD (Arnold, Fort Benning); NPS (Buffalo, Fire Island, Great Smoky Mountains, Kings Mountain, Russell Cave, Shiloh?); TVA (Tellico); USFS (Cherokee?, Daniel Boone?, George Washington, Holly Springs?, Jefferson, Manistee-Huron?, Nantahala, Ouachita, Ozark, Pisgah, Sumter, Talladega, Tuskegee, Uwharrie) 58
Synonymy: Submesic Oak - Hickory Forest (Foti 1994b); Acidic sub-xeric forest, in part (Evans 1991); Montane Oak--Hickory Forest, in part (Schafale and Weakley 1990); T1B4aII4c. Quercus alba - Quercus velutina - Quercus falcata (Foti et al. 1994); White Oak - Black Oak - Northern Red Oak: 52, in part (Eyre 1980); Coastal Forest/Woodland (Swain and Kearsley 2001); Black Oak - Scarlet Oak Forest / Woodland (Swain and Kearsley 2001)
References: Aulbach-Smith pers. comm., Evans 1991, Eyre 1980, Faber-Langendoen et al. 1996, Foti 1994b, Foti et al. 1994, Jones 1988a, Jones 1988b, Schafale and Weakley 1990, Swain and Kearsley 2001
Authors: D. FABER-LANGENDOEN/L.A., MP, Southeast Identifier: A.1911
QUERCUS (VELUTINA, ALBA) / VACCINIUM PALLIDUM HIGH ALLEGHENY PLATEAU,
WESTERN ALLEGHENY PLATEAU FOREST
(Black Oak, White Oak) / Hillside Blueberry High Allegheny Plateau, Western Allegheny Plateau Forest
Ecological Group (SCS;MCS): Appalachian Highlands Dry-mesic Oak Forests and Woodlands (401-13; 188.8.131.52)
Concept: Acidic, nutrient-poor oak forest of High Alleghenies (HAL) and Lower Allegheny Plateau (LAP) ecoregions.
Comments: Compare with Quercus velutina - Quercus alba / Vaccinium (angustifolium, pallidum) / Carex pensylvanica Forest (CEGL005030); range may include some midwestern states.
States/Provinces: MD:S?, NY:S4, PA:S?, WV:S?
TNC Ecoregions: 59:C, 60:C, 61:P
USFS Ecoregions: 212Fa:CCP, 212Fb:CCP, 212Fd:CCP, 212Ga:CCP, 212Gb:CCP, 221Bd:CCP, 221D:CP, 221E:CP, 221F:CP, 231A:CP, M221Aa:CCC, M221Ac:CCC, M221Bb:CCC, M221Bf:CCC, M221C:CP, M221D:CP
Synonymy: Black oak-white oak-hickory/dogwood forest: (matrix) dry, dry-mesic, low elevation (CAP pers. comm. 1998)
References: CAP pers. comm. 1998, Fike 1999
Authors: ECS Confidence: 3 Identifier: CEGL006018
QUERCUS COCCINEA - QUERCUS VELUTINA - QUERCUS ALBA / AMELANCHIER ARBOREA / GAYLUSSACIA BACCATA FOREST
Scarlet Oak - Black Oak - White Oak / Downy Serviceberry / Black Huckleberry Forest
Mixed Oak / Heath Forest (Low-Elevation White Oak - Scarlet Oak - Black Oak Type) G3G4 (01-09-21)
Ecological Group (SCS;MCS): Appalachian Highlands Xeric Oak Forests and Woodlands (401-10; n/a)
Concept: This community is currently known from low-elevation landscapes in the northern Blue Ridge and Ridge and Valley provinces of Virginia but probably also occurs at similar sites in West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Stands are located between 360 and 700 m (1200-2300 feet) elevation on relatively level sites of mountain valleys and lower slope benches. Most documented occurrences are located on ancient alluvial fan deposits, which are especially extensive along the western foot of the Blue Ridge. The vegetation is a closed to very open oak forest with mixed and variable canopy dominance by Quercus coccinea, Quercus velutina, Quercus alba, and Quercus prinus. Pinus rigida is a frequent canopy associate but has been much reduced over the past decade by infestations of the southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis). Quercus falcata, Quercus stellata, and Carya alba are infrequent canopy trees. Nyssa sylvatica, Amelanchier arborea and, in the southern part of the range, Oxydendrum arboreum attain exceptional abundance and stature in these forests, dominating the subcanopy layers and occasionally reaching the overstory. Acer rubrum and Sassafras albidum are other common understory trees. The shrub layer is dominated by ericaceous species but is fairly diverse. Despite high shrub densities, a number of low-cover herbs and subshrubs occur in the type.
Comments: This unit is distinct among Virginia oak / heath forests in its occurrence on low-elevation, relatively level, non-rocky terrain. Quercus prinus and Kalmia latifolia, although present and occasionally abundant, are not as important in this unit as it is in most related vegetation types. Quercus alba, normally a minor tree in montane oak / heath forests, is usually a codominant, while the low-elevation oaks Quercus falcata and Quercus stellata further distinguish the type. In many respects, this forest's distinctive environmental and floristic features resemble characteristics of Piedmont vegetation, and the relationship of this community to similar oak / heath forests of the Virginia Piedmont needs further scrutiny. Additional data collection and analysis may warrant a broader conceptual interpretation that includes both montane and Piedmont stands.
Range: This community is currently known from low-elevation landscapes in the northern Blue Ridge and Ridge and Valley provinces of Virginia. Its full geographic distribution is likely to be more extensive than documentation indicates and probably includes similar sites in West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
States/Provinces: MD?, PA?, VA:S?, WV?
TNC Ecoregions: 59:C
USFS Ecoregions: M221Aa:CCC, M221Ab:CCC, M221Da:CCC
Federal Lands: USFS (George Washington, Jefferson)
Synonymy: Quercus coccinea - Quercus velutina - Quercus alba / Amelanchier arborea / Gaylussacia baccata Forest (Fleming and Coulling 2001), Quercus alba - Quercus falcata - Carya tomentosa / Cornus florida Association (Rawinski et al. 1996), White Oak - Black Oak - Northern Red Oak: 52 (Eyre 1980) B. black oak - scarlet oak variant
References: Eyre 1980, Fleming and Coulling 2001, Fleming et al. 2001, Harbor 1996, Rawinski et al. 1996
Authors: G. Fleming and P. Coulling, ECS Confidence: Identifier: CEGL008521
- Maryland Vegetation Classification Subset Report I.B. Deciduous forest
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