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Picea rubens / Ribes glandulosum Woodland
Translated Name: Red Spruce / Skunk Currant Woodland
Common Name: Red Spruce Talus Slope Woodland
Unique Identifier: CEGL006250
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association is a red spruce woodland of acidic talus slopes in the Northern Appalachians. The community occurs generally within the spruce-fir forest zone at moderate to high elevations inland, and may occur near sea level along the coast. The substrate varies, even within a site, from cobble to large boulder-sized talus. There is variable soil development depending on the periodicity and intensity of rockslides, but generally soils are thin and extremely patchy. The tree distribution is likewise patchy: in some areas there may be a partial to almost closed canopy; at most sites these areas are interspersed with patches of nearly open talus. Shrub and herb vegetation is very scattered and sparse. The bryoid layer ranges from sparse to well-developed; bryophytes are mostly desiccation-tolerant species, and crustose lichens may be extensive. The canopy is dominated by Picea rubens, in association with Abies balsamea, Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera, Betula papyrifera var. cordifolia, and Betula alleghaniensis. The tall-shrub cover is composed of Acer spicatum, Acer pensylvanicum, Sorbus americana, and Sorbus decora. Ribes glandulosum is a typical and diagnostic smaller shrub. Low heaths include Kalmia angustifolia, Vaccinium angustifolium, Vaccinium myrtilloides, and occasionally Gaylussacia baccata. The herbaceous layer is made up of vines and forbs confined to crevices and may include Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Dryopteris marginalis, Polypodium appalachianum, Polygonum cilinode, Solidago simplex var. randii, Deschampsia flexuosa, and, occasionally Juncus trifidus. The bryoid is made up of Umbilicaria spp., Cladina spp., Grimmia spp., Ptilidium ciliare, Dicranum polysetum, and other Dicranum spp. Ground cover is talus with variable litter accumulation. This association is differentiated from most other red spruce woodlands (e.g., Picea rubens / Vaccinium angustifolium / Sibbaldiopsis tridentata Woodland (CEGL006053)) in its occurrence on talus on steep slopes, and in general has a lower cover of heath shrubs. At some sites, near the base of the talus slope it may grade into Picea mariana / Ledum groenlandicum - Empetrum nigrum / Cladina spp. Dwarf-shrubland (CEGL006268); that cold-air talus community has a much more extensive dwarf-shrub layer dominated by Ledum groenlandicum.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low

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 Laurentian-Acadian Mesic Hardwood - Conifer Forest
Group Northern Appalachian-Acadian Red Spruce - Fir - Hardwood Forest
Alliance Northern Appalachian Spruce - Fir Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006053 Picea rubens / Vaccinium angustifolium / Sibbaldiopsis tridentata Woodland
CEGL006254 Picea rubens / Kalmia latifolia - Menziesia pilosa Woodland
CEGL007128 Picea rubens / Ribes glandulosum Forest



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
Maine Spruce talus woodland Broader   Gawler 2002
Massachusetts Acidic talus forest/woodland Broader   Swain and Kearsley 2011
Massachusetts Open Talus/Coarse Boulder Community Broader   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Hampshire Birch - mountain maple wooded talus Equivalent   Sperduto and Nichols 2004
New York Ice cave talus community Broader   Edinger et al. 2002
Vermont Boreal Talus Woodland Equivalent   Thompson and Sorenson 2000


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: SNE acidic talus forest/woodland
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
CES201.569 Laurentian-Acadian Acidic Cliff and Talus


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3G5 (01Dec1997)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: MA, ME, NH, NY, VT
Canadian Province Distribution: NB, QCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This association is found on acidic talus slopes in the northern Appalachians.

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
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


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: In some areas there may be a partial to almost closed canopy; at most sites these areas are interspersed with patches of nearly open talus. Shrub and herb vegetation is very scattered and sparse. The bryoid layer ranges from sparse to well-developed; bryophytes are mostly desiccation-tolerant species, and crustose lichens may be extensive. The canopy is dominated by Picea rubens, in association with Abies balsamea, Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera, Betula papyrifera var. cordifolia, and Betula alleghaniensis. The tall-shrub cover is composed of Acer spicatum, Acer pensylvanicum, Sorbus americana, and Sorbus decora. Ribes glandulosum is a typical and diagnostic smaller shrub. Low heaths include Kalmia angustifolia, Vaccinium angustifolium, Vaccinium myrtilloides, and occasionally Gaylussacia baccata. The herbaceous layer is made up of vines and forbs confined to crevices and may include Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Dryopteris marginalis, Polypodium appalachianum, Polygonum cilinode, Solidago simplex var. randii, Deschampsia flexuosa, and, occasionally Juncus trifidus. The bryoid is made up of Umbilicaria spp., Cladina spp., Grimmia spp., Ptilidium ciliare, Dicranum polysetum, and other Dicranum spp. Ground cover is talus with variable litter accumulation.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Betula papyrifera var. cordifolia G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Picea rubens G4 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This association is a red spruce woodland of acidic talus slopes in the northern Appalachians. The community occurs generally within the spruce-fir forest zone at moderate to high elevations inland, and may occur near sea level along the coast. The substrate varies, even within a site, from cobble to large boulder-sized talus. There is variable soil development depending on the periodicity and intensity of rockslides, but generally soils are thin and extremely patchy.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Northern Appalachian Planning Team and L.A. Sneddon
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
  • CDPNQ [Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec]. No date. Unpublished data. Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec, Québec.

  • 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.

  • Gawler, S. C. 2000. Vegetation mapping of Acadia National Park: Classification, key, and vegetation types. A report from the Maine Natural Areas Program to The Nature Conservancy. Department of Conservation, Augusta, ME. 156 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.

  • Hunt, D. M. 1999. Natural community descriptions and specifications: Communities known or suspected from Adirondack Nature Conservancy. Unpublished report. New York Natural Heritage Program, Albany, NY. 272 pp.

  • Lubinski, S., K. Hop, and S. Gawler. 2003. Vegetation Mapping Program: Acadia National Park, Maine. Report produced by U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, and Maine Natural Areas Program in conjunction with M. Story (NPS Vegetation Mapping Coordinator) NPS, Natural Resources Information Division, Inventory and Monitoring Program, and K. Brown (USGS Vegetation Mapping Coordinator), USGS, Center for Biological Informatics and NatureServe. [http://biology.usgs.gov/npsveg/ftp/vegmapping/acad/reports/acadrpt.pdf]

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

  • 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.

  • Swain, P. C., and J. B. Kearsley. 2014. Classification of the natural communities of Massachusetts. Version 2.0. Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Westborough, MA. [http://www.mass.gov/nhesp/http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/natural-heritage/natural-communities/classification-of-natural-communities.html]

  • 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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