Classification of Vegetation Communities of Maryland: First Iteration
A Subset of the International Classification of Ecological
Concept: This alliance includes woodland communities occurring on acidic, talus slopes or rocky slopes of higher elevations (e.g., from 1000-2620 feet in New England and to 4500 feet in West Virginia). Soils are shallow and acidic. Quercus rubra is sometimes dominant but usually occurs in association with Quercus alba, Acer rubrum, Betula lenta, Quercus prinus, and others. Canopies are often stunted. The shrub layer may include, in the northern part of the range, Acer spicatum, Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa (= Sambucus racemosa ssp. pubens), Rhus typhina, Kalmia latifolia, Hamamelis virginiana, while in the southern part of the range, Rhododendron catawbiense, Rhododendron arborescens, Rhododendron calendulaceum, Rhododendron maximum, Menziesia pilosa, Gaylussacia ursina, Leucothoe recurva, Vaccinium simulatum, and Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides are more typical. Herbs include Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum, Aralia nudicaulis, Maianthemum canadense, Oclemena acuminata (= Aster acuminatus), Corydalis sempervirens, Deschampsia flexuosa, Carex pensylvanica, and Polypodium virginianum. Communities of this alliance are known from the Appalachian Mountains, from New York and New England, south to the Blue Ridge of North Carolina.
Range: Communities of this alliance are known from the Appalachian Mountains, from New York and New England, south to the Blue Ridge of North Carolina. This alliance is found in Connecticut, Georgia, North Carolina, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia, and possibly South Carolina (?).
States/Provinces: CT GA MA MD? ME NB NC NH NY PA SC? TN VA VT WV
TNC Ecoregions: 49:C, 50:?, 51:C, 52:?, 59:C, 60:C, 61:C, 62:C, 63:C, 64:C
USFS Ecoregions: 212Aa:CCC, 212Ab:CCC, 212Ba:CCC, 212Bb:CCC, 212Ca:CCC, 212Cb:CCC, 212Da:CCC, 212Db:CCP, 212Dc:CCC, 212Ec:CCC, 212Ed:CC?, 212Fa:CCP, 212Fb:CCP, 212Fc:CCC, 212Fd:CCC, 212Ga:CCP, 212Gb:CCP, 221Ae:CCC, 221Af:CCC, 221Ag:CCC, 221Ah:CCP, 221Ai:CCC, 221Ak:CCC, 221Al:CCC, 221Ba:CCC, 221Bb:CCC, 221Bc:CCC, 221Bd:CCC, 221Db:C??, 221Ea:CCC, 222Ic:PP?, 222Id:PP?, 222Ie:PP?, 222If:PPP, M212Ac:CCC, M212Ad:CCC, M212Ae:CCC, M212Af:CCC, M212Ag:CCC, M212Ba:CCC, M212Bb:CCC, M212Bc:CCC, M212Bd:CCC, M212Ca:CCP, M212Cb:CCC, M212Cc:CCP, M212Cd:CCP, M212Da:CCP, M212Db:CCP, M212Dc:CCC, M212De:CCC, M212Ea:CCP, M212Eb:CCP, M212Fa:CPP, M212Fb:CPP, M221Aa:CCC, M221Ab:CCP, M221Ac:CCC, M221Bb:CCP, M221Bd:CC?, M221Bf:CCC, M221Da:CCC, M221Db:CC?, M221Dc:CCC
Federal Lands: NPS (Acadia); USFS (Chattahoochee, George Washington, Jefferson, Nantahala, Pisgah)
Synonymy: Chestnut Oak: 44, in part (Eyre 1980); Northern Red Oak: 55, in part (Eyre 1980); Circumneutral Rocky Summit/Rock Outcrop (Swain and Kearsley 2001); Acidic Talus Forest / Woodland (Swain and Kearsley 2001); Oak - Hemlock - White Pine Forest (Swain and Kearsley 2001); Dry oak - heath woodland (Fike 1999); Ridgetop Dwarf-tree Forest, in part (Smith 1991)
References: Eyre 1980, Fike 1999, Smith 1991, Swain and Kearsley 2001
Authors: ECS, RW, East Identifier: A.624
QUERCUS PRINUS - BETULA LENTA / PARTHENOCISSUS QUINQUEFOLIA TALUS WOODLAND
Rock Chestnut Oak - Sweet Birch / Virginia Creeper Talus Woodland
Chestnut Oak - Black Birch - Virginia Creeper Wooded Talus Slopes G? (99-07-08)
Concept: This talus or rocky slope woodland community occurs in the Central Appalachian Mountains and extends west to the Western Allegheny Plateau in Pennsylvania. The substrate is generally quartzite or sandstone talus and usually sloping, but also occurs on benches, ridges, and boulderfields. Soils are shallow, organic, acidic and infertile. The canopy is of variable cover, but generally open with gnarled widely spaced trees. Characteristic trees are birches, typically Betula lenta but may also include Betula papyrifera, Betula populifolia, or Betula alleghaniensis, as well as Nyssa sylvatica. Other tree associates may include Tsuga canadensis, Acer rubrum, Carya glabra, Quercus prinus, Quercus alba, Quercus velutina, or Quercus coccinea. Typical shrubs include Acer spicatum, Acer pensylvanicum, Amelanchier arborea, Castanea dentata, Kalmia latifolia, Hamamelis virginiana, Ribes rotundifolium, Vitis spp., Toxicodendron radicans, Smilax rotundifolia, and Parthenocissus quinquefolia. Ferns characterize the field layer and may include Dryopteris marginalis, Polypodium virginianum, Woodsia obtusa, or Asplenium platyneuron. Other species include Aralia nudicaulis, Vaccinium angustifolium, or Menziesia pilosa. Lichens characterize the nonvascular layer.
Comments: This vegetation type is poorly represented by plot data and additional sampling is needed, particularly of lower-elevation and south-slope stands. Even with limited data, potential variants of the type in Virginia were proposed by Fleming and Moorhead (2000). A variant of sheltered north slopes in which Tsuga canadensis is codominant with Betula lenta and/or Quercus spp. has been reported from Virginia by Hupp (1983) and from Pennsylvania by Fike (1999). Many Virginia populations of the state-rare, northern tree Betula papyrifera var. cordifolia are associated with this community type.
This boulderfield woodland represents a long-term sere in the geomorphic and vegetational progression from exposed, lichen-dominated block fields to fully forested mountain slopes with well-developed mineral soils. In addition to edaphic stresses, trees of these habitats are subject to frequent damage from wind and ice storms. Boundaries between the boulderfield woodlands and adjacent forests are often obscure, with composition gradually changing along with substrate conditions and soil depth. This type frequently intergrades with several communities of the Mixed Oak / Heath Forests group, especially Quercus prinus - Quercus rubra - Carya (glabra, alba) / Gaylussacia baccata Forest (CEGL006057) of somewhat sheltered, often very rocky slopes.
Range: This community occurs locally throughout the Blue Ridge and Ridge and Valley sections of Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and possibly Maryland. In Virginia, it reaches optimal development on sideslopes of linear sandstone and quartzite strike ridges in the Ridge and Valley, and on the western, metasedimentary flank of the Northern Blue Ridge. Landsliding and debris avalanches, which generate and regenerate boulderfield environments, are dominant erosional processes in these landscapes (Hack and Goodlett 1960).
States/Provinces: MD?, PA:S?, VA:S?, WV:S?
TNC Ecoregions: 49:C, 59:C
USFS Ecoregions: 221Ea:CCC, M221Ac:CCC, M221Bf:CCC
Federal Lands: USFS (George Washington, Jefferson)
Synonymy: Quercus rubra - Quercus montana - Betula lenta / Ilex montana / Menziesia pilosa Forest (Fleming and Moorhead 2000), Quercus rubra - Quercus montana - Betula lenta / Parthenocissus quinquefolia Forest (Fleming and Moorhead 2000), Betula lenta / Ribes rotundifolium - Menziesia pilosa / Parthenocissus quinquefolia - Polypodium appalachianum Woodland (Fleming and Coulling 2001), Betula lenta / Parthenocissus quinquefolia Association (Rawinski et al. 1996)
References: Anderson et al. 1998, Fike 1999, Fleming and Coulling 2001, Fleming and Moorhead 2000, Fleming et al. 2001, Hack and Goodlett 1960, Hupp 1983, Rawinski et al. 1996
Authors: G. Fleming and P. Coulling, ECS Confidence: Identifier: CEGL006565
- Maryland Vegetation Classification Subset Report II. Woodland
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This Page Up-dated on February 09, 2010