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Thuja occidentalis / Sphagnum (girgensohnii, warnstorfii) Swamp Forest
Translated Name: Northern White-cedar / (Girgensohn's Peatmoss, Fen Peatmoss) Swamp Forest
Common Name: Northern White-cedar Peatland Swamp Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006007
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: These cedar swamps are closed-canopy forests in enriched peatland basins in the Northern Appalachians and possibly adjacent Canada. They typically occur in small forested basins, or along lakes or streams, but may rarely occur in the enriched portions of larger peatlands where there is an influence of minerotrophic groundwater. They often occur in areas of calcareous or at least circumneutral bedrock. The soils are organic and range widely in depth of the peat. Canopy closure ranges from somewhat open to closed, and the forest floor is typically dark and cool. Shrub and herb coverage may be sparse to locally dense, with increased cover in canopy gaps. Herbs are typically scattered thinly over the moss layer. Bryophytes are abundant and form a mossy carpet. Thuja occidentalis is the canopy dominant; associates include Picea mariana, Abies balsamea, and Larix laricina. Tsuga canadensis, Picea rubens, or Pinus strobus are occasionally present. Shrubs include Lonicera canadensis, Ilex verticillata, Vaccinium corymbosum, Nemopanthus mucronatus, and small amounts of Kalmia angustifolia. Rhamnus alnifolia is typical in the more enriched swamps. The herb layer is often diverse and features Gaultheria hispidula, Carex trisperma, Carex disperma, Linnaea borealis, Mitella nuda, Mitella diphylla, Tiarella cordifolia, Orthilia secunda, Rumex acetosella, Gymnocarpium dryopteris, Phegopteris connectilis, Chrysosplenium americanum, Moneses uniflora, Cornus canadensis, Trientalis borealis, Carex leptalea, Carex pedunculata, and Coptis trifolia, with the uncommon Calypso bulbosa, Cypripedium reginae, and Cypripedium parviflorum in some swamps. Sphagnum mosses, especially Sphagnum girgensohnii and Sphagnum warnstorfii, form a mixed moss layer with Hylocomium splendens, Pleurozium schreberi, Thuidium delicatulum, Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus, and Bazzania trilobata, with Calliergon cordifolium, Calliergon giganteum, Rhizomnium punctatum, Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus, Leptodictyum riparium, and Campylium stellatum in wet hollows. This association is related to Thuja occidentalis - (Picea rubens) / Tiarella cordifolia Swamp Forest (CEGL006175), but occurs in basins rather than on slopes and has deeper peat soils.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 1 - Forest & Woodland
Subclass 1.B - Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland
Formation 1.B.3 - Temperate Flooded & Swamp Forest
Division 1.B.3.Na - Eastern North American-Great Plains Flooded & Swamp Forest
Macrogroup Laurentian-Acadian Flooded & Swamp Forest
Group Laurentian-Acadian Alkaline Swamp
Alliance Northern White-cedar - Red Maple Swamp Forest

This is the revised vegetation hierarchy. For more information see Classification Sources and usnvc.org.

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL002456 Thuja occidentalis - (Picea mariana, Abies balsamea) / Alnus incana Swamp Forest
CEGL006175 Thuja occidentalis - (Picea rubens) / Tiarella cordifolia Swamp Forest
CEGL006199 Thuja occidentalis - Acer rubrum / Cornus sericea Swamp Forest
CEGL006507 Thuja occidentalis - Abies balsamea / Ledum groenlandicum / Carex trisperma Swamp Woodland



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Related Subnational Community Units
These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.
In the U.S., contact the state Heritage Program for the most complete and up-to-date information at: http://www.natureserve.org/natureserve-network.
Information from programs in other jurisdictions will be posted when they are made available.
Subnation Concept Name Relationship to Standard Confidence Reference
Connecticut Thuja occidentalis seasonally flooded forests Intersects   Metzler and Barrett 2006
Maine Northern white cedar swamp Equivalent   Gawler 2002
New Hampshire Acidic northern white cedar swamp Finer   Sperduto 2000
New Hampshire Northern white cedar - balsam fir swamp Finer   Sperduto 2000
New York Northern white cedar swamp Broader   Edinger et al. 2002
Vermont Northern White Cedar Swamp Equivalent   Thompson and Sorenson 2000


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Northern White-Cedar: 37
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES201.575 Laurentian-Acadian Alkaline Conifer-Hardwood Swamp


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: GNR (01Dec1997)
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, ME, NH, NY, VT
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This swamp forest is found from Maine to New York.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Warm Continental Division
Province Name: Laurentian Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 212 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Aroostook Hills and Lowlands Section
Section Code: 212A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Maine-New Brunswick Foothills and Lowlands Section
Section Code: 212B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Fundy Coastal and Interior Section
Section Code: 212C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Central Maine Coastal and Embayment Section
Section Code: 212D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: St. Lawrence and Champlain Valley Section
Section Code: 212E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Glaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Hot Continental Division
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Oceanic) Province
Province Code: 221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lower New England Section
Section Code: 221A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Hudson Valley Section
Section Code: 221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Continental) Province
Province Code: 222 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Erie and Ontario Lake Plain Section
Section Code: 222I Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Warm Continental Regime Mountains
Province Name: Adirondack-New England Mixed Forest - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M212 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: White Mountain Section
Section Code: M212A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Vermont-New Hampshire Upland Section
Section Code: M212B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Green, Taconic, Berkshire Mountain Section
Section Code: M212C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Adirondack Mountain Section
Section Code: M212D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Catskill Mountain Section
Section Code: M212E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Tug Hill Plateau Section
Section Code: M212F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Hot Continental Regime Mountains
Province Name: Central Appalachian Broadleaf Forest - Coniferous Forest - Meadow Province
Province Code: M221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Ridge and Valley Section
Section Code: M221A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Allegheny Mountains Section
Section Code: M221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Blue Ridge Mountains Section
Section Code: M221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Canopy closure ranges from somewhat open to closed, and the forest floor is typically dark and cool. Shrub and herb coverage may be sparse to locally dense, with increased cover in canopy gaps. Herbs are typically scattered thinly over the moss layer. Bryophytes are abundant and form a mossy carpet. Thuja occidentalis is the canopy dominant; associates include Picea mariana, Abies balsamea, and Larix laricina. Tsuga canadensis, Picea rubens, or Pinus strobus are occasionally present. Shrubs include Lonicera canadensis, Ilex verticillata, Vaccinium corymbosum, Nemopanthus mucronatus, and small amounts of Kalmia angustifolia. Rhamnus alnifolia is typical in the more enriched swamps. The herb layer is often diverse and features boreal species such as Gaultheria hispidula, Carex trisperma, Carex disperma, Linnaea borealis, Mitella nuda, Mitella diphylla, Tiarella cordifolia, Orthilia secunda (= Pyrola secunda), Rumex acetosella, Gymnocarpium dryopteris, Phegopteris connectilis (= Thelypteris phegopteris), Chrysosplenium americanum, Moneses uniflora, Cornus canadensis, Trientalis borealis, Carex leptalea, Carex pedunculata, and Coptis trifolia (= Coptis groenlandica), with the uncommon Calypso bulbosa, Cypripedium reginae, and Cypripedium parviflorum in some swamps. Sphagnum mosses, especially Sphagnum girgensohnii and Sphagnum warnstorfii, form a mixed moss layer with Hylocomium splendens, Pleurozium schreberi, Thuidium delicatulum, Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus, and Bazzania trilobata, with Calliergon cordifolium, Calliergon giganteum, Rhizomnium punctatum (= Mnium punctatum), Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus, Leptodictyum riparium (= Amblystegium riparium), and Campylium stellatum in wet hollows.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Thuja occidentalis GNR Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Rumex acetosella GNR Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Sphagnum girgensohnii GNR Moss Nonvascular    
 
 
Sphagnum warnstorfii GNR Moss Nonvascular    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: These cedar swamps are closed-canopy forests in enriched peatland basins in the Northern Appalachians and possibly adjacent Canada. They typically occur in small forested basins, or along lakes or streams, but may rarely occur in the enriched portions of larger peatlands where there is an influence of minerotrophic groundwater. They often occur in areas of calcareous or at least circumneutral bedrock. The soils are organic and range widely in depth of the peat.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Northern Appalachian Planning Team
Element Description Edition Date: 27Jan2003
Element Description Author(s): S.C. Gawler

Ecological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).


References
  • Eastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boston, MA.

  • Edinger, G. J., D. J. Evans, S. Gebauer, T. G. Howard, D. M. Hunt, and A. M. Olivero, editors. 2014a. Ecological communities of New York state. Second edition. A revised and expanded edition of Carol Reschke's ecological communities of New York state. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY.

  • Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.

  • Gawler, S. C. 2002. Natural landscapes of Maine: A guide to vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta, ME.

  • Gawler, S. C., and A. Cutko. 2010. Natural landscapes of Maine: A classification of vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta.

  • Metzler, K., and J. Barrett. 2006. The vegetation of Connecticut: A preliminary classification. State Geological and Natural History Survey, Report of Investigations No. 12. Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Hartford, CT.

  • Sperduto, D. D., and W. F. Nichols. 2004. Natural communities of New Hampshire: A guide and classification. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord. 242 pp.

  • Thompson, E. H., and E. R. Sorenson. 2005. Wetland, woodland, wildland: A guide to the natural communities of Vermont. The Nature Conservancy and the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. University Press of New England, Hanover, NH. 456 pp.


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