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Liquidambar styraciflua - Quercus laurifolia - (Pinus taeda) / Arundinaria gigantea / Carex abscondita Floodplain Forest
Translated Name: Sweetgum - Laurel Oak - (Loblolly Pine) / Giant Cane / Thicket Sedge Floodplain Forest
Common Name: Sweetgum - Laurel Oak / Giant Cane Floodplain Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL007732
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: These forests occur on somewhat poorly drained to moderately well-drained silt loam soils of ridges of associated river floodplains in the southern Atlantic Coastal Plain. These are temporarily flooded sites with an annual probability of flooding of 100% but with the water table well below the soil surface throughout the growing season in most years. At the Congaree Swamp National Monument (South Carolina), this community type occurs in two phases: one with an emergent canopy of large Pinus taeda trees, and the other without the emergent canopy. Coverage by Pinus taeda in the Pinus taeda phase ranges from 10% to greater than 60%. The closed canopy of stands of this type is codominated by Liquidambar styraciflua with Quercus spp., especially Quercus nigra and Quercus laurifolia, and possibly by Quercus phellos. Other species typical in this stratum include Ulmus alata, Ulmus americana, Fraxinus americana, Quercus pagoda, Quercus michauxii, Quercus shumardii, and Acer rubrum. The well-developed subcanopy is dominated by Carpinus caroliniana and Ilex opaca. Canopy species are present in this stratum as well, as are Nyssa sylvatica, Ilex decidua, Diospyros virginiana, Celtis laevigata, Carya ovata, Morus rubra, and likely other species. Arundinaria gigantea and Asimina triloba dominate the shrub stratum. The herbaceous layer ranges from moderate to fairly dense. Typical species include Carex abscondita, Boehmeria cylindrica, Mitchella repens, Botrychium dissectum, Carex intumescens, Carex lupulina, Carex retroflexa, Asplenium platyneuron, Carex alata, Carex debilis, Ruellia caroliniensis, Elephantopus tomentosus, Leersia virginica, Dichanthelium boscii (= Panicum boscii), Lobelia cardinalis, Sabatia angularis, and others. This forest type is documented in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain, but is possible in adjacent regions; global distribution needs assessment.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: This community type is among the community types of which occurrences had structure and species composition most affected by Hurricane Hugo which hit Congaree Swamp National Monument in September 1989. All of the plots placed within this classification unit had many snapped off trees and tip-up mounds. This association was described based on data from the Congaree Swamp National Monument in 1998. There, this community type occurs in two phases: one with an emergent canopy of large Pinus taeda trees, and the other without the emergent canopy.

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.Nb - Southeastern North American Flooded & Swamp Forest
Macrogroup Southern Coastal Plain Floodplain Forest
Group Oak - Sweetgum Floodplain Forest
Alliance Coastal Plain Oak - Sweetgum - Tupelo Floodplain Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL007329 Liquidambar styraciflua - Liriodendron tulipifera / Onoclea sensibilis Floodplain Forest
CEGL007350 Nyssa biflora - Quercus nigra - Quercus laurifolia - Pinus taeda / Carpinus caroliniana Riparian Forest
CEGL007916 Quercus laurifolia - Quercus nigra Mississippi River Riparian Forest



Related Concepts from Other Classifications


Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.066 Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Large River Floodplain Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3G4 (15Oct2002)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This community type is thought to be relatively secure globally, but the global status needs further assessment (TNC 1998b). Many examples have been lost to flooding from impoundments, timber removal, and conversion to agriculture or other commercial forest types. Threats include fragmentation from powerline corridors and sewerline easements, siltation from land disturbance and development upstream, and anthropogenic flooding from wildlife subimpoundments and other hydrologic enhancements. The exotic species Lonicera japonica, Ligustrum sinense, and Microstegium vimineum may invade stands of this association. Stands on impounded rivers may suffer from altered hydrologies.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: GApotentially occurs, NCpotentially occurs, SC
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: These forests occur on river floodplains in the southern Atlantic Coastal Plain of the United States.

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: Coastal Plains and Flatwoods, Lower Section
Section Code: 232B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Atlantic Coastal Flatwoods Section
Section Code: 232C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Stands of this type have a closed canopy codominated by Liquidambar styraciflua with Quercus spp., especially Quercus nigra and Quercus laurifolia, and possibly by Quercus phellos. Other species typical of this stratum include Ulmus alata, Ulmus americana, Fraxinus americana, Quercus pagoda, Quercus michauxii, Quercus shumardii, and Acer rubrum. The well-developed subcanopy is dominated by Carpinus caroliniana and Ilex opaca. Canopy species are present in this stratum as well, as are Nyssa sylvatica, Ilex decidua, Diospyros virginiana, Celtis laevigata, Carya ovata, Morus rubra, and likely other species. Arundinaria gigantea and Asimina triloba dominate the shrub stratum. The herbaceous layer ranges from moderate to fairly dense. Typical species include Carex abscondita, Boehmeria cylindrica, Mitchella repens, Botrychium dissectum, Carex intumescens, Carex lupulina, Carex retroflexa, Asplenium platyneuron, Carex alata, Carex debilis, Ruellia caroliniensis, Elephantopus tomentosus, Leersia virginica, Dichanthelium boscii (= Panicum boscii), Lobelia cardinalis, Sabatia angularis, and others. At the Congaree Swamp National Monument (South Carolina), this community type occurs in two phases: one with an emergent canopy of large Pinus taeda trees, and the other without the emergent canopy. Coverage by Pinus taeda in the Pinus taeda phase ranges from 10% to greater than 60%.


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: These forests occur on somewhat poorly drained to moderately well-drained silt loam soils of ridges of associated river floodplains in the southern Atlantic Coastal Plain. These are temporarily flooded sites with an annual probability of flooding of 100%, but with the water table well below the soil surface throughout the growing season in most years.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): S. Landaal
Element Description Edition Date: 01May1998
Element Description Author(s): S. Landaal
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 15Oct2002
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): M. Pyne

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


References
  • Peet, R. K., T. R. Wentworth, M. P. Schafale, and A.S. Weakley. No date. Unpublished data of the North Carolina Vegetation Survey. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

  • Southeastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Durham, NC.

  • TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. [1998]b. Classification of the vegetation of Congaree Swamp National Monument. Report to BRD-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program. The Nature Conservancy, Southern Conservation Science, Chapel Hill, NC. 67 pp.


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