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Fagus grandifolia / Smilax rotundifolia Forest
Translated Name: American Beech / Roundleaf Greenbrier Forest
Common Name: Long Island Maritime Beech Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006043
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This maritime forest community is currently described from north-facing exposed bluffs and the back portions of rolling dunes on Long Island. The community is dominated by Fagus grandifolia. Quercus velutina and Acer rubrum can be present at low densities. Canopy trees exhibit a stunted, multi-stemmed growth form from wind and salt spray; trees are notably taller in more protected dune slacks. A shrub layer is sparse to absent. Vines and herbs such as Aralia nudicaulis, Epifagus virginiana, and Smilax rotundifolia form a sparse ground layer, and moss cover is variable. Soils are well-drained fine sands. This community occurs only in Long Island, New York.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: This community is related to maritime oak-beech forests of Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey but differs in the striking dominance of Fagus grandifolia and the absence of many characteristic species. It occurs as part of a mosaic of coastal associations ranging from open Ammophila breviligulata grasslands to closed backdune forests.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 1 - Forest & Woodland
Subclass 1.B - Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland
Formation 1.B.2 - Cool Temperate Forest & Woodland
Division 1.B.2.Na - Eastern North American Forest & Woodland
Macrogroup Appalachian-Northeastern Oak - Hardwood - Pine Forest & Woodland
Group North Atlantic Maritime & Coastal Plain Forest
Alliance Maritime Oak - Beech - Holly Forest

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



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These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.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
New York Maritime beech forest Equivalent   Reschke 1990


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: CNE Mesic hardwood Forest on acidic bedrock / till
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.
Related Concept Name: Dwarf beech maritime forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Greller, A. M. 1977. A classification of mature forests on Long Island, New York. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 104:376-382.
Related Concept Name: Maritime Forest, Dune Subtype, Deciduous Forest
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.
Related Concept Name: Maritime beech forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Edinger, G. J., D. J. Evans, S. Gebauer, T. G. Howard, D. M. Hunt, and A. M. Olivero, editors. 2002. Ecological communities of New York state. Second edition. A revised and expanded edition of Carol Reschke's ecological communities of New York state. (Draft for review). New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY.
Related Concept Name: Maritime forest
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.
Related Concept Name: SNE Maritime Forest on Dunes/Maritime Juniper Forest
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.
Related Concept Name: SNE Maritime Forest on Uplands/Maritime Oak Forest
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.
Related Concept Name: Southern New England oak / pine forest on sandy / gravelly soils
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.302 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Maritime Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1 (30Jan2007)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This community is restricted to maritime bluffs and backdunes dominated by American beech. It is naturally restricted by available habitat on Long Island, New York. There are fewer than five known examples, although a few others may be discovered through additional inventory. The size of an occurrence is about 5-10 acres, with the total known acreage falling below 25 acres. This community is severely threatened by housing development, golf course expansion, and other human uses. It is also vulnerable to size decrease imposed by coastal storms.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: NY
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community is restricted to a short stretch of the northern coast of Long Island, New York.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Subtropical Division
Province Name: Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 232 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain Section
Section Code: 232A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This community is dominated by Fagus grandifolia which ranges from about 50-90% cover. The trees usually exhibit a stunted, multiple-stemmed growth form. Fagus grandifolia often occurs in pure stands but occasional canopy associates include Quercus velutina, Acer rubrum; understory is sparse to absent. Vines and herbaceous species form a sparse layer, ranging from 10-20% cover and characterized by Aralia nudicaulis, Smilax rotundifolia and Epifagus virginiana. Moss cover is variable, reaching 50% on steeper slopes.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Fagus grandifolia G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus velutina G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Smilax rotundifolia G1 Liana Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Epifagus virginiana G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This community is apparently restricted to north-facing exposed bluffs and the back portions of rolling dunes in maritime regions. Soils are well-drained fine sands. Wind and salt spray appear to be responsible for the stunted, multiple-stemmed growth form of trees which is most pronounced on the exposed ocean-facing bluffs. Trees are notably taller in more protected dune slacks.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Edinger et al. (2002)
Element Description Edition Date: 15May1994
Element Description Author(s): M. Anderson
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 30Jan2007
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): L.A. Sneddon

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. 2002. Ecological communities of New York state. Second edition. A revised and expanded edition of Carol Reschke's ecological communities of New York state. (Draft for review). New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY.

  • 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.

  • Good, R. E., and N. F. Good. 1970. Vegetation of the sea cliffs and adjacent uplands on the north shore of Long Island, New York. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 97:204-208.

  • Greller, A. M. 1977. A classification of mature forests on Long Island, New York. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 104:376-382.

  • Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.

  • Reschke, C. 1990. Ecological communities of New York State. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Latham, NY. 96 pp.


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