I. Forest 10 I. A n a. Lowland tropical or subtropical seasonal evergreen forest 10




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I.A.5.N.e. Saturated tropical or subtropical broad-leaved evergreen sclerophyllous forest

A.77 Conocarpus erectus - Metopium toxiferum Saturated Forest Alliance


Buttonwood - Poisonwood Saturated Forest Alliance

Alliance Concept

Summary: This wetland hammock alliance occurs as 'tree islands' in wet prairies of southern Florida, generally dominated by Conocarpus erectus and Metopium toxiferum. Other tree species in the 4- to 15-m tall canopy are Acoelorraphe wrightii (= Paurotis wrightii) and Sabal palmetto, which often occur as 'emergents,' forming a conspicuous open supercanopy over the dense lower canopy. Subcanopy and shrub species include Chrysobalanus icaco, Sabal palmetto, and Myrsine floridana. Epiphytes are abundant, and include Tillandsia spp. and Encyclia tampensis.

Environment:

Vegetation: This wetland hammock alliance occurs as 'tree islands' in wet prairies of southern Florida, generally dominated by Conocarpus erectus and Metopium toxiferum. Other tree species in the canopy/supercanopy are Acoelorraphe wrightii (= Paurotis wrightii) and Sabal palmetto. Subcanopy and shrub species include Chrysobalanus icaco, Sabal palmetto, and Myrsine floridana. Epiphytes are abundant and include Tillandsia spp. and Encyclia tampensis.

Dynamics:

Similar Alliances:

Similar Alliance Comments:

Alliance Distribution

Range: This alliance is found in Florida.

Nations: US

Subnations: FL

TNC Ecoregions: 54:C

USFS Ecoregions: 411Ae:CCC

Federal Lands: NPS (Everglades)

Alliance Sources

Author(s): A.S. Weakley/K.D. Patterson

References: Loope et al. 1994, Phillips 1940, Ross et al. 1992

[CEGL007057] Conocarpus erectus - Metopium toxiferum - Acoelorraphe wrightii / Chrysobalanus icaco Forest


Translated Name: Buttonwood - Poisonwood - Everglades Palm / Coco-plum Forest

Common Name:



Ecological System(s): South Florida Bayhead Swamp (CES411.366)

South Florida Mangrove Swamp (CES411.289)



Status: Standard Circumscription Confidence: 2 - Moderate

Concept Author(s): A.S. Weakley and K.D. Patterson

Element Concept

Global Summary: Wetland hammock islands surrounded by wet prairie, dominated by a 4- to 15-m tall canopy of Conocarpus erectus, Metopium toxiferum, Acoelorraphe wrightii, and Sabal palmetto. Subcanopy and shrub species include Chrysobalanus icaco, Sabal palmetto, and Myrsine floridana. Epiphytes are abundant, and include Tillandsia spp. and Encyclia tampensis.

Environmental Description

USFWS Wetland System: Palustrine

Global Environment:

Vegetation Description

Global Vegetation:

Global Dynamics:

Species Name Stratum Lifeform Dom Char Const

Global Floristic Composition

Species Name Stratum Lifeform Dom Char Const

Higher Taxon Note

Species Name GRank Animal Note (specifyRare(geogarea),Invasive,Animal,orOther)

Global Other Noteworthy Species

Species Name GRank Animal Note (specifyRare(geogarea),Invasive,Animal,orOther)

Conservation Status Rank

Global Rank & Reasons: G1? (13-Sep-1997).

Related Concepts

Global Similar Associations:

Global Related Concepts:

Classification & Other Comments

Global Classification Comments:

Element Distribution

Global Range:

Nations: US

States/Provinces: FL

TNC Ecoregions: 54:C

TNC Ecoregion Comments:

USFS Ecoregions: 411Ae:CCC

Federal Lands: NPS (Everglades)

Element Sources
Global Description Author(s): A.S. Weakley and K.D. Patterson
References (enter Reference Code when known, otherwise, enter Short Citation; enter full citation if reference is new)

Reference (*=concept ref) name classif related char rank eospec eorank manage image

Southeastern Ecology Working Group n.d.* X° . . . . . . . .


I.A.8.N.b. Rounded-crowned temperate or subpolar needle-leaved evergreen forest

A.128 Pinus strobus Forest Alliance


Eastern White Pine Forest Alliance

Alliance Concept

Summary: This alliance, found near the Great Lakes and in the southern Appalachian Mountains and northeastern United States, is composed of dry-mesic to mesic pine forests. Stands of this alliance are characterized by a moderate to complete tree canopy. The shrub layer is absent to well-developed, while the herbaceous layer is moderately to poorly developed. Understory vegetation is sparse where the canopy is closed, due to the limited amount of light and the duff buildup on the forest floor. The overstory is heavily dominated by coniferous trees, usually Pinus strobus alone but sometimes with Pinus resinosa. Other canopy and subcanopy trees include Abies balsamea (in the northern part of this alliance's range), Acer rubrum, Betula papyrifera, Populus tremuloides, and Thuja occidentalis. The shrub layer typically contains species such as Acer spicatum, Corylus cornuta, Diervilla lonicera, Linnaea borealis, and Vaccinium spp., especially Vaccinium myrtilloides and Vaccinium angustifolium. The herb layer contains species adapted to the dry-mesic nature of stands of this alliance. These include Aralia nudicaulis, Eurybia macrophylla (= Aster macrophyllus), Gaultheria procumbens, and Maianthemum canadense.
Stands of this alliance are found on loamy sand, sandy loam, loam, and clay loam soils which are typically moderately deep to deep (60-100 cm) except in the Driftless Area where they may be very shallow. The soils are acidic and rarely contain a significant amount of organic material. Stands of this alliance are often found on glacial till or outwash plains, although in northeastern Minnesota they occur near lakes and on lower slopes. This alliance can be found on a variety of landscapes, varying from nearly level to rolling across much of its range to steep slopes in the Driftless Area. In the southern Appalachians these forests occur below 3000 feet (900 m) elevation on upper slopes and ridgetops protected by higher landforms, or as successional forests on abandoned agricultural land.

Environment: Stands of this alliance are found on loamy sand, sandy loam, loam, and clay loam soils which are typically moderately deep to deep (60-100 cm) (Ohmann and Ream 1971) except in the Driftless Area where they may be very shallow (Curtis 1959). The soils are acidic and rarely contain a significant amount of organic material (Curtis 1959). Stands of this alliance are often found on glacial till or outwash plains, although in northeastern Minnesota they occur near lakes and on lower slopes (MNNHP 1993). This alliance can be found on a variety of landscapes, varying from nearly level to rolling across much of its range to steep slopes in the Driftless Area. In the southern Appalachians these forests occur below 3000 feet (900 m) elevation on upper slopes and ridgetops protected by higher landforms, or as successional forests on abandoned agricultural land.

Vegetation: This alliance, found near the Great Lakes and in the southern Appalachian Mountains and northeastern United States, is composed of dry-mesic to mesic pine forests. Stands of this alliance are characterized by a moderate to complete tree canopy. The shrub layer is absent to well-developed, while the herbaceous layer is moderately to poorly developed (Sims et al. 1989). Understory vegetation is sparse, where the canopy is closed, due to the limited amount of light and the duff buildup on the forest floor (Eyre 1980). The overstory is heavily dominated by coniferous trees, usually Pinus strobus alone but sometimes with Pinus resinosa. Other canopy and subcanopy trees include Abies balsamea (in the northern part of this alliance's range), Acer rubrum, Betula papyrifera, Populus tremuloides, and Thuja occidentalis. The shrub layer typically contains species such as Acer spicatum, Corylus cornuta, Diervilla lonicera, Linnaea borealis, and Vaccinium spp., especially Vaccinium myrtilloides and Vaccinium angustifolium. The herb layer contains species adapted to the dry-mesic nature of stands of this alliance. These include Aralia nudicaulis, Eurybia macrophylla (= Aster macrophyllus), Gaultheria procumbens, and Maianthemum canadense.

Dynamics:

Similar Alliances: Pinus resinosa Forest Alliance (A.126) Pinus strobus - (Pinus resinosa) - Populus tremuloides Forest Alliance (A.400) Pinus strobus - Quercus (alba, rubra, velutina) Forest Alliance (A.401) Pinus strobus - Tsuga canadensis Forest Alliance (A.127) Pinus strobus Planted Forest Alliance (A.98)

Similar Alliance Comments:

Alliance Distribution

Range: This alliance is found in Michigan, northern Wisconsin, northern and eastern Minnesota, and extreme northeastern Iowa in the midwestern U.S., and from Maine to Georgia in the eastern U.S. It is also found in Canada in Ontario, New Brunswick, and possibly Quebec and Nova Scotia.

Nations: CA, US

Subnations: CT, GA, IA, KY, MA, MD?, ME, MI, MN, NB, NC, NH, NJ, NS?, NY, ON, PA, QC?, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV

TNC Ecoregions: 46:C, 47:C, 48:C, 49:C, 50:C, 51:C, 59:C, 60:C, 61:C, 62:C, 63:C, 64:C

USFS Ecoregions: 212Aa:CC?, 212Ab:CC?, 212Ba:CCP, 212Bb:CCP, 212Ca:CCC, 212Cb:CCC, 212Da:CCC, 212Ea:CCP, 212Eb:CCP, 212Ec:CCC, 212Fa:C??, 212Fb:C??, 212Fc:C??, 212Ga:C??, 212Ha:CCC, 212Hb:CCP, 212He:CCP, 212Hh:CCC, 212Hi:CCP, 212Hj:CCC, 212Hl:CCC, 212Hm:CCC, 212Ho:CCC, 212Hp:CCC, 212Hq:CCP, 212Hr:CCC, 212Hs:CCP, 212Ht:CCP, 212Hu:CCP, 212Hv:CCP, 212Hw:CCP, 212Hx:CCP, 212Hy:CCP, 212Ia:CCC, 212Ja:CCP, 212Jb:CCC, 212Jc:CCC, 212Je:CCC, 212Jf:CC?, 212Jj:CC?, 212Jl:CCC, 212Jm:CCC, 212Jn:CCP, 212Jr:CCC, 212Ka:CCC, 212Kb:CCC, 212La:CCC, 212Lb:CCC, 212Lc:CCC, 212Ld:CCP, 212Ma:CCC, 212Mb:CCC, 212Na:CCC, 212Nb:CCC, 212Nc:CCC, 212Nd:CCP, 221Ae:CCC, 221Af:CCP, 221Al:CCC, 221Ba:CPP, 221Da:CCC, 221Ha:CCC, 221Hc:CCC, 221He:CCC, 221Ja:C??, 221Jc:C??, 222En:CCC, 222Eo:CCC, 222Ib:C??, 222Ic:C??, 222Id:C??, 222Ie:C??, 222If:C??, 222Lc:CCC, 222Ld:CCC, 222Le:CCC, 222Lf:CCC, 222Ma:CCC, 222Mc:CCC, 231:C, M212Ab:CCC, M212Ac:CCC, M212Ae:CCC, M212Ag:CCC, M212Ba:CCC, M212Bb:CCC, M212Bc:CCC, M212Cb:CCC, M212Cc:CCC, M212Da:CCP, M212Db:CCP, M212Dc:CCP, M212Ea:CCP, M212Eb:CCP, M212Fa:C??, M212Fb:C??, M221Aa:CCC, M221Ab:CCC, M221Ac:CCC, M221Bb:CCC, M221Bd:CCC, M221Bf:CCP, M221Cb:CCP, M221Cd:CCC, M221Da:CCC, M221Db:CCC, M221Dc:CCC, M221Dd:CCC

Federal Lands: NPS (Acadia, Big South Fork, Blue Ridge Parkway, Carl Sandburg Home, Gettysburg, Great Smoky Mountains, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller, Obed, Saint-Gaudens, Voyageurs); USFS (Chattahoochee, Cherokee, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Jefferson, Nantahala, Pisgah, Sumter)

Alliance Sources

Author(s): D.J. Allard

References: Allard 1990, Burns and Honkala 1990a, Curtis 1959, DeYoung 1979, DuMond 1970, Eyre 1980, Faber-Langendoen et al. 1996, Govus 1982, Hinkle 1989, Kuchler 1964, MNNHP 1993, Ohmann and Ream 1971, Patterson 1994, Pyne 1994, Schafale and Weakley 1990, Sims et al. 1989, Tobe et al. 1992

[CEGL007100] Pinus strobus / Kalmia latifolia - (Vaccinium stamineum, Gaylussacia ursina) Forest


Translated Name: Eastern White Pine / Mountain Laurel - (Deerberry, Bear Huckleberry) Forest

Common Name: Southern Appalachian White Pine Forest



Ecological System(s): Southern Appalachian Low Mountain Pine Forest (CES202.332)

Status: Standard Circumscription Confidence: 1 - Strong

Concept Author(s): S. Simon, G. Kauffman, D. Danley, mod. K.D. Patterson

Element Concept

Global Summary: This association includes natural stands of forest vegetation with a canopy dominated by Pinus strobus. This community occurs at lower elevations (below 900 m) in the Southern Blue Ridge region of the southern Appalachians on upper slopes and ridgetops protected by higher landforms. Other minor canopy species may include Pinus rigida, Quercus coccinea, and Acer rubrum. These forests often have open subcanopies composed of Oxydendrum arboreum, Acer rubrum, Nyssa sylvatica, and Cornus florida. The shrub stratum is patchy to continuous and dominated by ericaceous species, typically Gaylussacia ursina, or Vaccinium stamineum, and Kalmia latifolia. Other common species in the shrub/sapling stratum may include Gaylussacia baccata, Vaccinium pallidum, Acer rubrum, and Castanea dentata. Typical herbaceous species include Galax urceolata, Chimaphila maculata, Goodyera pubescens, Epigaea repens, Medeola virginiana, Lysimachia quadrifolia, Uvularia puberula, and Chamaelirium luteum.

Environmental Description

USFWS Wetland System:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Environment: This community occurs below 900 m in the park on drier south-facing slopes.

Global Environment: This community occurs at lower elevations (below 900 m) in the Southern Blue Ridge region of the southern Appalachians on upper slopes and ridgetops protected by higher landforms.

Vegetation Description

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Vegetation: Within the park, examples of this association are mostly pure Pinus strobus with the occasional Quercus coccinea and Pinus virginiana in the canopy. In addition, Acer rubrum is increasing in abundance in the understory and may eventually overtake the current canopy species in the absence of fire. Kalmia latifolia is the dominant shrub. Herbaceous species are uncommon and are characteristic of dry acid environments.

Global Vegetation: This association includes natural stands of forest vegetation with a canopy dominated by Pinus strobus. Other minor canopy species may include Pinus rigida, Quercus coccinea, and Acer rubrum. These forests often have open subcanopies composed of Oxydendrum arboreum, Acer rubrum, Nyssa sylvatica, and Cornus florida. The shrub stratum is patchy to continuous and dominated by ericaceous species, typically Gaylussacia ursina or Vaccinium stamineum, and Kalmia latifolia. Other common species in the shrub/sapling stratum may include Gaylussacia baccata, Vaccinium pallidum, Acer rubrum, and Castanea dentata. Typical herbaceous species include Galax urceolata, Chimaphila maculata, Goodyera pubescens, Epigaea repens, Medeola virginiana, Lysimachia quadrifolia, Uvularia puberula, and Chamaelirium luteum.

Global Dynamics:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Floristic Composition

Species Name Stratum Lifeform Dom Char Const

Pinus strobus Tree canopy Needle-leaved tree X X .

Acer rubrum Tree subcanopy Broad-leaved deciduous tree X . .

Oxydendrum arboreum Tree subcanopy Broad-leaved deciduous tree X X .

Vaccinium stamineum Tall shrub/sapling Broad-leaved deciduous shrub . X .

Kalmia latifolia Tall shrub/sapling Broad-leaved evergreen shrub X . .

Kalmia latifolia Short shrub/sapling Broad-leaved evergreen shrub . X .

Chimaphila maculata Herb (field) Dwarf-shrub . X .

Global Floristic Composition

Species Name Stratum Lifeform Dom Char Const

Pinus strobus Tree canopy Needle-leaved tree X X .

Acer rubrum Tree subcanopy Broad-leaved deciduous tree X . .

Oxydendrum arboreum Tree subcanopy Broad-leaved deciduous tree X X .

Kalmia latifolia Tall shrub/sapling Broad-leaved evergreen shrub X X .

Vaccinium stamineum Short shrub/sapling Broad-leaved deciduous shrub . X .

Chimaphila maculata Herb (field) Dwarf-shrub . X .

Higher Taxon Note

Species Name GRank Animal Note (specifyRare(geogarea),Invasive,Animal,orOther)

Global Other Noteworthy Species

Species Name GRank Animal Note (specifyRare(geogarea),Invasive,Animal,orOther)

Conservation Status Rank

Global Rank & Reasons: G2G3 (4-Jan-2000). This community is geographically restricted and uncommon within its range.

Related Concepts

Global Similar Associations:

Global Related Concepts:

  • IA6f. Dry White Pine Ridge Forest (Allard 1990) B

  • White Pine Forest (Schafale 1998b) ?

  • White Pine, BR (Pyne 1994)

Classification & Other Comments

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Other Comments: This community may have photosignatures of similar to Pinus strobus - Tsuga canadensis / Rhododendron maximum - (Leucothoe fontanesiana) Forest (CEGL007102) but is distinguished by occurring on low ridges and upper slopes. This community is compositionally and ecologically similar to Pinus strobus - Quercus (coccinea, prinus) / (Gaylussacia ursina, Vaccinium stamineum) Forest (CEGL007519).

Global Classification Comments:

Element Distribution

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Range: This association was observed on the north side of the park in the Deep Creek drainage on an exposed south-facing slope.

Global Range: This community is known from the escarpment region of the Southern Blue Ridge and the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

Nations: US

States/Provinces: GA, NC, SC, TN

TNC Ecoregions: 50:C, 51:C

TNC Ecoregion Comments: ECO50 & 221Hc added for BISO (mjr 4-05).

USFS Ecoregions: 221Hc:CCC, M221Dc:CCC, M221Dd:CCC

Federal Lands: NPS (Big South Fork, Blue Ridge Parkway?, Great Smoky Mountains); USFS (Chattahoochee, Nantahala, Sumter)

Element Sources
Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area Description Author(s): C.W. Nordman

Blue Ridge Parkway Description Author(s): R. White

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Description Author(s): K.D. Patterson, MOD. R. White

Global Description Author(s): K.D. Patterson
References (enter Reference Code when known, otherwise, enter Short Citation; enter full citation if reference is new)

Reference (*=concept ref) name classif related char rank eospec eorank manage image

Allard 1990 . . X X . . . . .

DeYoung 1979 . X . X . . . . .

Govus 1982 . X . X . . . . .

NatureServe Ecology - Southeastern U.S. unpubl. data . X . X . . . . .

Patterson 1994 . X . X . . . . .

Peet et al. unpubl. data 2002 . . . X . . . . .

Pyne 1994 . . X X . . . . .

Schafale 1998b . . X X . . . . .

Schafale and Weakley 1990 . X . X . . . . .

Southeastern Ecology Working Group n.d.* X° . . . . . . . .

TDNH unpubl. data . . . . . . . . .


A.131 Pinus virginiana Forest Alliance


Virginia Pine Forest Alliance

Alliance Concept

Summary: This alliance includes forests dominated by Pinus virginiana and occurring in the Piedmont from Pennsylvania south to Alabama, and ranging west into the Appalachians, Ridge and Valley, the Cumberland Plateau, and in scattered locales of the Interior Low Plateau. Forests in this alliance may have admixtures of Pinus taeda, Pinus echinata, Pinus pungens, and/or Pinus rigida. These other species, if present, can have canopy coverage between 1 and 50%. Other associated species vary with the geographic distribution of the alliance. In many associations, a dense ericaceous shrub stratum is typical. This alliance includes both early-successional forests resulting from natural or anthropogenic disturbances and natural forests in edaphically extreme situations. Typically, Pinus virginiana communities are short-lived as a forest and are more common as woodland communities [see Pinus (rigida, pungens, virginiana) - Quercus prinus Woodland Alliance (A.677)]. Associated species vary with the geographic distribution of the alliance.

Environment: This alliance includes both early-successional forests resulting from natural or anthropogenic disturbances and natural forests in edaphically extreme situations.

Vegetation: This alliance includes evergreen forests dominated by Pinus virginiana. These forests are usually dense and can contain admixtures of Pinus taeda, Pinus echinata, Pinus pungens, and/or Pinus rigida, and, particularly in fire-suppressed examples, small stems of deciduous species. Associated species vary with the geographic distribution of the alliance. In many associations, a dense ericaceous shrub stratum is typical. Types resulting from anthropogenic disturbance may have a greater admixture of deciduous species. In the Piedmont common associates include Liquidambar styraciflua, Pinus taeda, Pinus echinata, and Quercus spp., while on extreme sites in the southern Appalachians, Pinus pungens and Pinus rigida are more typical. In areas with calcareous geology, Juniperus virginiana is a typical associate. In many associations, a dense ericaceous shrub stratum is typical and can include species such as Vaccinium pallidum, Vaccinium stamineum, Vaccinium arboreum, Vaccinium angustifolium, Vaccinium myrtilloides, Gaylussacia baccata, Gaylussacia ursina, Kalmia latifolia, Rhododendron catawbiense, and Rhododendron maximum. Dry-mesic successional examples may contain other Pinus species (e.g., Pinus taeda, Pinus echinata) or other early successional deciduous trees (e.g., Acer rubrum, Liquidambar styraciflua, Liriodendron tulipifera). The subcanopy may contain Acer saccharum and Cornus florida; other associated species may include Cercis canadensis, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Lonicera japonica, and Microstegium vimineum (Andreu and Tukman 1995).

Dynamics: This alliance includes both early successional forests resulting from natural or anthropogenic disturbance and natural forests in edaphically extreme situations. Typically, Pinus virginiana communities are short-lived as a forest and are more common as woodland communities [see Pinus (rigida, pungens, virginiana) - Quercus prinus Woodland Alliance (A.677)].

Similar Alliances: Pinus (rigida, pungens, virginiana) - Quercus prinus Woodland Alliance (A.677) Pinus virginiana Planted Forest Alliance (A.100)

Similar Alliance Comments:

Alliance Distribution

Range: Forests in this alliance are possible in the Piedmont from Pennsylvania south to Alabama, and ranging west into the Appalachians, Ridge and Valley, the Cumberland Plateau, and in scattered locales of the Interior Low Plateau.

Nations: US

Subnations: AL, DE, GA, IN, KY, MD, NC, NJ, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV

TNC Ecoregions: 43:C, 44:C, 49:C, 50:C, 51:C, 52:C, 58:C, 59:C, 61:C

USFS Ecoregions: 221Da:CCC, 221Db:CCC, 221Ea:CC?, 221Eb:CCC, 221Ec:CCC, 221Ed:CCP, 221Ef:CCC, 221Eg:CCC, 221Ha:CCC, 221Hc:CCC, 221He:CCC, 221Ja:CCC, 221Jb:CCC, 221Jc:CCC, 222Cg:CCC, 222Da:CCC, 222Dc:CCC, 222Dd:CCC, 222Dg:CCC, 222Dj:CCC, 222Eb:CCC, 222Eg:CCC, 222Eh:CCC, 222Ej:CCC, 222El:CCC, 222En:CCC, 222Eo:CCC, 222Fc:CCC, 222Fd:CCC, 222Ff:CCC, 231Aa:CCC, 231Ab:CCC, 231Ac:CCP, 231Ad:CCC, 231Ae:CCC, 231Af:CCP, 231Ag:CCP, 231Ah:CCP, 231Ai:CCP, 231Aj:CCP, 231Ak:CCP, 231Al:CCP, 231Am:CCP, 231An:CCP, 231Ao:CCP, 231Ap:CCP, 231Bc:CCC, 231Ca:CCP, 231Cb:CCP, 231Cc:CCP, 231Cd:CCC, 231Ce:CCP, 231Cf:CCP, 231Cg:CCP, 231Da:CCC, 231Dc:CCC, 232Br:CCC, 232Bt:CCC, 232Bx:CCC, M221Aa:CCC, M221Ab:CCC, M221Ac:CCC, M221Ba:CC?, M221Bd:CCP, M221Be:CCP, M221Ca:CCP, M221Cb:CCP, M221Cc:CCC, M221Cd:CCC, M221Ce:CCC, M221Da:CCC, M221Db:CCC, M221Dc:CCC, M221Dd:CCC

Federal Lands: DOD (Fort Jackson); NPS (Big South Fork, Blue Ridge Parkway, Chickamauga-Chattanooga, Cumberland Gap, Gettysburg, Great Smoky Mountains, Kennesaw Mountain, Kings Mountain, Lincoln Birthplace, Little River Canyon?, Mammoth Cave, Natchez Trace, Obed, Shenandoah, Shiloh); TVA (Land Between the Lakes?, Tellico); USFS (Bankhead, Chattahoochee, Cherokee, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Jefferson, Nantahala, Oconee, Pisgah, Sumter, Talladega, Uwharrie?); USFWS (Chesapeake Marshlands)

Alliance Sources

Author(s): D.J. Allard/K.D. Patterson

References: Allard 1990, Andreu and Tukman 1995, Barden 1977, Burns and Honkala 1990a, Chapman 1957, Cooper 1963, Evans 1991, Eyre 1980, Faber-Langendoen et al. 1996, Frothingham et al. 1926, Gettman 1974, Malter 1977, Nelson 1986, Pyne 1994, Racine 1966, Schafale and Weakley 1990, Whittaker 1956

[CEGL008500] Pinus virginiana - (Pinus rigida, Pinus pungens) / Schizachyrium scoparium Forest


Translated Name: Virginia Pine - (Pitch Pine, Table Mountain Pine) / Little Bluestem Forest

Common Name: Appalachian Low-Elevation Mixed Pine / Little Bluestem Forest



Ecological System(s): Southern Appalachian Low Mountain Pine Forest (CES202.332)

Status: Standard Circumscription Confidence: 1 - Strong

Concept Author(s): J. Teague

Element Concept

Global Summary: This community includes primarily Pinus virginiana-dominated vegetation of low-elevation ridges and steep slopes, occurring in the transition zone between the Southern Blue Ridge and Piedmont / Cumberlands and Southern Ridge and Valley, from eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, western South Carolina and northern Georgia. It occurs on thin soils over a variety of rocky substrates, including quartzite, sandstone, phyllite, and others. The canopy varies from open to closed and may be solely dominated by Pinus virginiana or in some cases Pinus rigida, or an admixture of other species, including Pinus pungens, Pinus echinata, Pinus rigida, Quercus coccinea, Quercus prinus, and Quercus velutina. An open midstory of often stunted hardwoods, including Quercus marilandica, Quercus falcata, Oxydendrum arboreum, and Acer rubrum, may also be present. The open shrub layer typically includes Vaccinium pallidum and may include other members of the Ericaceae, including Vaccinium arboreum, Vaccinium stamineum, Gaylussacia dumosa, Kalmia latifolia, Vaccinium hirsutum, Gaultheria procumbens, and Epigaea repens. The structure of the herbaceous layer is variable, but may provide up to 75% cover. It is dominated by Schizachyrium scoparium. Other characteristic herbaceous components include Tephrosia virginiana, Coreopsis major, Solidago odora, Sorghastrum nutans, Solidago speciosa, Silphium compositum, Dichanthelium commutatum, and Eurybia surculosa.

Environmental Description

USFWS Wetland System:

Blue Ridge Parkway Environment: Parkway examples occur on low-elevation xeric ridgetops or slopes with southern and western aspects. Soils are thin and shallow to rock, and the geologic substrates are typically acidic and nutrient-poor.

Global Environment: Stands of this forest occur on low-elevation ridges, steep slopes, and other exposed sites along the transition between the Southern Blue Ridge and Piedmont / Cumberlands and Southern Ridge and Valley, from eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, western South Carolina and northern Georgia. They are found on thin soils over a variety of rocky substrates including quartzite, sandstone, phyllite, and others.

Vegetation Description

Blue Ridge Parkway Vegetation: In parkway examples the stands vary from being dominated by Pinus virginiana to those dominated by Pinus rigida. These have open canopies approaching a woodland condition. For some stands there is also a significant component of Quercus prinus. Understory species include Quercus marilandica, Carya pallida, Oxydendrum arboreum, Quercus coccinea, and Quercus velutina. The shrub layer is sparse or patchy with Vaccinium stamineum, Gaylussacia baccata, Leucothoe recurva, Chionanthus virginicus, Vaccinium pallidum, Kalmia latifolia, and Amelanchier sanguinea. The herbaceous layer is somewhat sparse but diverse. Often there is a dense needle litter layer present. Typical herbaceous species that occur in this association include Schizachyrium scoparium, Tephrosia virginiana, Coreopsis major, Solidago odora, Pteridium aquilinum, Epigaea repens, Melampyrum lineare, Baptisia tinctoria, Sericocarpus asteroides (= Aster paternus), Solidago erecta, and Clitoria mariana.

Global Vegetation: The canopy varies from open to closed and may be solely dominated by Pinus virginiana or Pinus rigida or an admixture of other species, including Pinus pungens, Pinus echinata, Pinus rigida, Quercus coccinea, Quercus prinus, and Quercus velutina. An open midstory of often stunted hardwoods, including Quercus marilandica, Quercus falcata, Oxydendrum arboreum, and Acer rubrum, may also be present. The open shrub layer typically includes Vaccinium pallidum and may include other members of the Ericaceae, such as Vaccinium arboreum, Vaccinium stamineum, Gaylussacia dumosa, Kalmia latifolia, Vaccinium hirsutum, Gaultheria procumbens, and Epigaea repens. The structure of the herbaceous layer is variable but may provide up to 75% cover. It is dominated by Schizachyrium scoparium. Other characteristic herbaceous components include Tephrosia virginiana, Coreopsis major, Solidago odora, Sorghastrum nutans, Solidago speciosa, Silphium compositum, Dichanthelium commutatum, and Eurybia surculosa.

Global Dynamics: This open structure of this community is a result of steep slopes, xeric conditions and fire.

Blue Ridge Parkway Floristic Composition

Species Name Stratum Lifeform Dom Char Const

Pinus rigida Tree canopy Needle-leaved tree . X .

Pinus virginiana Tree canopy Needle-leaved tree . X .

Carya pallida Tree subcanopy Broad-leaved deciduous tree . X .

Quercus marilandica Tree subcanopy Broad-leaved deciduous tree . X .

Tephrosia virginiana Herb (field) Forb . X .

Schizachyrium scoparium Herb (field) Graminoid . X .

Global Floristic Composition

Species Name Stratum Lifeform Dom Char Const

Higher Taxon Note

Blue Ridge Parkway Other Noteworthy Species

Species Name GRank Animal Note (specifyRare(geogarea),Invasive,Animal,orOther)

Amelanchier sanguinea - P

Baptisia tinctoria - P

Global Other Noteworthy Species

Species Name GRank Animal Note (specifyRare(geogarea),Invasive,Animal,orOther)

Vaccinium hirsutum G3 P

Conservation Status Rank

Global Rank & Reasons: G3G4 (3-Sep-2002). This xeric evergreen forest community is restricted to ridges, xeric slopes, and other sites with favorable conditions for pines. It will be maintained on sites where these local soil conditions, topographic extremes, or occasional fire function to retard hardwood invasion. Infestations of southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis) can cause mortality of canopy trees. The grass-dominated herbaceous layer may deteriorate without fire.

Related Concepts

Global Similar Associations: Pinus virginiana - Pinus (rigida, echinata) - (Quercus prinus) / Vaccinium pallidum Forest (CEGL007119)

Global Related Concepts:

  • Virginia Pine - Mixed Oaks, HR (Pyne 1994) B

  • Virginia Pine, BR, R&V, CUPL (Pyne 1994) B

  • Xeric Pine Forest, Pine - Heath Ridge Forest (Ambrose 1990a) B

Classification & Other Comments

Global Classification Comments: This community is described from the Chattahoochee and Cherokee national forests. It is differentiated from the similar community, Pinus virginiana - Pinus (rigida, echinata) - (Quercus prinus) / Vaccinium pallidum Forest (CEGL007119), by the more open canopy and understory, and the denser, grass-dominated herbaceous layer.

Element Distribution

Blue Ridge Parkway Range: So far this association has only been documented from the southern end of the parkway near the Asheville Basin and the Great Smoky Mountains.

Global Range: This community occurs primarily in the transition zone between the Southern Blue Ridge and Piedmont / Cumberlands and Southern Ridge and Valley, from eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, western South Carolina and northern Georgia.

Nations: US

States/Provinces: AL?, GA, NC, SC?, TN

TNC Ecoregions: 50:?, 51:C, 52:C

TNC Ecoregion Comments:

USFS Ecoregions: 231Ad:CCC, M221Dd:CCC

Federal Lands: NPS (Blue Ridge Parkway); USFS (Chattahoochee, Cherokee)

Element Sources
Blue Ridge Parkway Plots: BLRI.285, BLRI.293.
Blue Ridge Parkway Description Author(s): T. Govus

Global Description Author(s): J. Teague, mod. T. Govus
References (enter Reference Code when known, otherwise, enter Short Citation; enter full citation if reference is new)

Reference (*=concept ref) name classif related char rank eospec eorank manage image

Ambrose 1990a . . X X . . . . .

NatureServe Ecology - Southeastern U.S. unpubl. data . X . X . . . . .

Nelson 1986 . . . X . . . . .

Pyne 1994 . . X X . . . . .

Schafale and Weakley 1990 . . . X . . . . .

Schotz pers. comm. . . . . . . . . .

Southeastern Ecology Working Group n.d.* X° . . . . . . . .



TDNH unpubl. data . . . . . . . . .
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