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Quercus palustris - Quercus bicolor / Viburnum prunifolium / Leersia virginica - Impatiens capensis Forest
Translated Name: Pin Oak - Swamp White Oak / Blackhaw / Whitegrass - Jewelweed Forest
Common Name: Pin Oak - Swamp White Oak Seasonal Pond
Unique Identifier: CEGL004643
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This wetland forest community is nearly endemic to hardpan soils of the Culpeper Basin in northern Virginia and Montgomery County, Maryland, with a few known outliers elsewhere in the Piedmont and the Ridge and Valley of both states. Habitats are shallow, seasonally flooded upland basins and wet, elongated bottoms along sluggish small streams with little or no active alluvial deposition. These habitats are characterized by shallow seasonal flooding induced by perched groundwater. Moderate hummock-and-hollow microtopography is often present, and maximum flooding depth is usually <25 cm (10 inches). A-horizon soils are dark brown to blackish, loamy clays which typically exhibit pronounced orange and white mottling and have moderate base status. This type is most common on areas underlain by diabase but also occurs on some soils weathered from siltstone and other metasedimentary substrates. The vegetation is an open forest or woodland dominated by Quercus palustris, mixtures of Quercus palustris and Quercus bicolor, or less frequently Quercus bicolor alone. Fraxinus pennsylvanica and Acer rubrum are the most frequent subcanopy trees. Viburnum prunifolium is the sole shrub dominant, while Smilax rotundifolia, Toxicodendron radicans, and Parthenocissus quinquefolia are common climbing and scrambling vines. The herb layer is usually open or sparse. The most constant and characteristic herbs are Leersia virginica, Cinna arundinacea, Impatiens capensis, Arisaema triphyllum, Symphyotrichum lateriflorum (= Aster lateriflorus), Galium obtusum, Lycopus virginicus, and Juncus tenuis. Less constant herbs that can be locally common or abundant include Carex pellita, Carex festucacea, Dichanthelium acuminatum var. lindheimeri, Eleocharis tenuis var. tenuis, Glyceria striata, Scirpus georgianus, and Stachys pilosa var. arenicola. The invasive exotic Microstegium vimineum can be problematic on the drier edges and hummocks.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: Classification of this association is supported by analysis of a 1250-plot regional dataset assembled for the NCR vegetation mapping project. In that analysis, this type was represented by 16 Virginia and Maryland plots. Field-collected qualitative data also exist for additional Virginia sites. This association is similar to the partly sympatric Quercus palustris - Quercus bicolor / Carex tribuloides - Carex radiata - (Carex squarrosa) Forest (CEGL006497), which occurs in backswamps, sloughs, wet flats, and depressions of large-stream and small-river floodplains in the same region. The relationship between these types is somewhat problematic. In their typical floristic expressions and habitats (i.e., floodplain backswamps vs. isolated upland basins), the two types are quite distinct. However, because of very low topographic relief in the Culpeper Basin, there is considerable ambiguity between alluvial and non-alluvial landforms, and composition of stands can be a continuous gradient between the typical expressions. The two groups do not separate well in cluster analysis, but do separate convincingly in ordinations studies. Ultimately, very intensive head-to-head analytical comparisons support the recognition of two types. However, some individual stands will be hard to assign by subjective field assessment.

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 Central & Appalachian Swamp Forest
Group North-Central Flatwoods & Swamp Forest
Alliance North-Central Wet Oak Flatwoods

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006240 Quercus palustris - (Quercus bicolor) - Acer rubrum / Vaccinium corymbosum / Osmunda cinnamomea Forest
CEGL006497 Quercus palustris - Quercus bicolor / Carex tribuloides - Carex radiata - (Carex squarrosa) Forest
CEGL007403 Quercus phellos / Carex (albolutescens, intumescens, joorii) / Climacium americanum Forest



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Quercus bicolor - Quercus palustris / Viburnum prunifolium / Cinna arundinacea Woodland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2004. Natural community inventory of selected areas in the Northern Virginia Culpeper Basin, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Fauquier, and Culpeper counties. Unpublished report submitted to the Virginia Native Plant Society, Potowmack Chapter. Natural Heritage Technical Report 04-07. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 21 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Quercus bicolor - Quercus palustris / Viburnum prunifolium / Glyceria striata - Scirpus atrovirens Woodland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P. 2002a. Ecological communities of the Bull Run Mountains, Virginia: Baseline vegetation and floristic data for conservation planning and natural area stewardship. Natural Heritage Technical Report 02-12. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 274 pp. plus appendices.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P. 2002b. Preliminary classification of Piedmont & Inner Coastal Plain vegetation types in Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 02-14. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 29 pp.
Related Concept Name: Quercus bicolor - Quercus palustris / Viburnum prunifolium / Impatiens capensis - Scirpus atrovirens Woodland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2003. Preliminary vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks. Regional (VA-WVA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2003. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.
Related Concept Name: Quercus bicolor - Quercus palustris / Viburnum prunifolium / Scirpus atrovirens Woodland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and J. T. Weber. 2003. Inventory, classification, and map of forested ecological communities at Manassas National Battlefield Park, Virginia. Unpublished report submitted to the National Park Service. Natural Heritage Technical Report 03-07. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 101 pp. plus appendix.
Related Concept Name: Quercus palustris - Quercus bicolor / Viburnum prunifolium / Leersia virginica - Impatiens capensis Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., K. Taverna, and P. P. Coulling. 2007b. Vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks, eastern region. Regional (VA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2007. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.
Related Concept Name: Upland Depression Swamp
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, D. P. Walton, K. M. McCoy, and M. R. Parrish. 2001. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. First approximation. Natural Heritage Technical Report 01-1. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 76 pp.
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Harrison, J. W., compiler. 2004. Classification of vegetation communities of Maryland: First iteration. A subset of the International Classification of Ecological Communities: Terrestrial Vegetation of the United States, NatureServe. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis. 243 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.336 Piedmont Upland Depression Swamp


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2 (29May2007)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: In evaluating the global status of this unit, six ranking criteria of approximately equal weight were used: (1) Estimated number of occurrences: <300; (2) Area of Occupancy: 1000 to 10,000 acres; (3) Long-Term Decline: moderate (26-75% of original area remaining); (4) Environmental Specificity: highly specific abiotic and biotic factors required for community to persist; (5) Global Range: regional endemic (100 to 10,000 square miles); and (6) Condition of Remaining Occurrences: few high-quality EOs. This community type has a very limited geographic range and is restricted to wetland habitats with special edaphic conditions. Although there are probably hundreds of occurrences, these tend to be small and degraded to some degree by invasive weeds, agricultural impacts such as grazing and ditching, and poor landscape context. A "large" patch of this association is 10 acres, and most are much smaller (historically, however, stands may have been much more extensive). A significant part of this community's range is situated in the greater Washington, DC, metropolitan area; many occurrences have been destroyed outright by development, and many others are imminently threatened with destruction or severe alteration.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: MD, VA, WVpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community type is nearly endemic to hardpan soils of the Culpeper Basin in northern Virginia and Montgomery County, Maryland, with a few known outliers elsewhere in the Piedmont and the Ridge and Valley of both states.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Subtropical Division
Province Name: Southeastern Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 231 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Appalachian Piedmont Section
Section Code: 231A 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


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The vegetation is an open forest or woodland dominated by Quercus palustris, mixtures of Quercus palustris and Quercus bicolor, or less frequently Quercus bicolor alone. Disturbed examples are often dominated by Acer rubrum. Fraxinus pennsylvanica is a frequent overstory associate and often prevalent in a subcanopy layer. Additional understory tree associates include Acer rubrum, Diospyros virginiana, and Ulmus americana. Carya spp. often grow along the margins of the wetland habitats. Viburnum prunifolium is the sole shrub dominant, with densities up to 850 stems/ha recorded in some plots. Minor shrubs include Carpinus caroliniana, Ilex verticillata, Rosa palustris, and Zanthoxylum americanum. Small individuals of Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana usually grow on wetland edges and hummocks, while Smilax rotundifolia, Toxicodendron radicans, and Parthenocissus quinquefolia are common climbing and scrambling vines. The herb layer is usually open or sparse. The most constant and characteristic herbs are Leersia virginica, Cinna arundinacea, Impatiens capensis, Arisaema triphyllum, Symphyotrichum lateriflorum (= Aster lateriflorus), Galium obtusum, Lycopus virginicus, and Juncus tenuis. Less constant herbs that can be locally common or abundant include Carex pellita, Carex festucacea, Dichanthelium acuminatum var. lindheimeri, Eleocharis tenuis var. tenuis, Glyceria striata, Scirpus georgianus, and Stachys pilosa var. arenicola. The invasive exotic Microstegium vimineum can be problematic on the drier edges and hummocks. Mean species richness of 16 Virginia and Maryland plot samples was 46 taxa per 400 square meters, significantly higher than that of other forested depression wetlands in the region.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Quercus bicolor   Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus palustris   Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Viburnum prunifolium   Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Impatiens capensis   Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Leersia virginica   Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Microstegium vimineum   Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This community occupies shallow, seasonally flooded upland basins and wet, elongated bottoms along small streams. Most of the known occurrences are in the Culpeper (Mesozoic) Basin of northern Virginia and adjacent Montgomery County, Maryland. Because of the basin's low relief, headwater drainages are very diffuse, with sluggish, usually intermittent flows and little or no active alluvial deposition. Within this physiographic context, it can be difficult to distinguish true isolated wetlands from small stream bottoms. Hydrologically, these habitats are comparable, with shallow seasonal flooding induced by perched water tables during the winter and spring months. Hydroperiods, however, can apparently be irregular and unpredictable. Moderate hummock-and-hollow microtopography is often present, and maximum flooding depth is usually <25 cm (10 inches). A-horizon soils are dark brown to blackish, loamy clays which typically exhibit pronounced orange and white mottling. Samples collected from plot-sampling sites varied from extremely to moderately acidic, with moderate to high calcium, magnesium, and aluminum levels but only moderate total base saturation. This type is most common on areas underlain by diabase but also occurs on some soils weathered from siltstone and other metasedimentary substrates.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): G.P. Fleming and A.S. Weakley
Element Description Edition Date: 29May2007
Element Description Author(s): G.P. Fleming and A.S. Weakley, mod. G.P. Fleming
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 29May2007
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): G.P. Fleming

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


References
  • Fleming, G. P. 2002a. Ecological communities of the Bull Run Mountains, Virginia: Baseline vegetation and floristic data for conservation planning and natural area stewardship. Natural Heritage Technical Report 02-12. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 274 pp. plus appendices.

  • Fleming, G. P. 2002b. Preliminary classification of Piedmont & Inner Coastal Plain vegetation types in Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 02-14. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 29 pp.

  • Fleming, G. P., K. Taverna, and P. P. Coulling. 2007b. Vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks, eastern region. Regional (VA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2007. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, D. P. Walton, K. M. McCoy, and M. R. Parrish. 2001. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. First approximation. Natural Heritage Technical Report 01-1. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 76 pp.

  • Fleming, G. P., and J. T. Weber. 2003. Inventory, classification, and map of forested ecological communities at Manassas National Battlefield Park, Virginia. Unpublished report submitted to the National Park Service. Natural Heritage Technical Report 03-07. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 101 pp. plus appendix.

  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2003. Preliminary vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks. Regional (VA-WVA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2003. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2004. Natural community inventory of selected areas in the Northern Virginia Culpeper Basin, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Fauquier, and Culpeper counties. Unpublished report submitted to the Virginia Native Plant Society, Potowmack Chapter. Natural Heritage Technical Report 04-07. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 21 pp. plus appendices.

  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2011a. Natural communities of Virginia: Ecological groups and community types. Natural Heritage Technical Report 11-07. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 34 pp.

  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2011b. Analysis of Coastal Plain / Outer Piedmont bottomlands and non-alluvial wetlands in Virginia, 400 plots. In-house analysis, January 2011. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • Harrison, J. W. 2011. The natural communities of Maryland: 2011 working list of ecological community groups and community types. Unpublished report. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Service, Natural Heritage Program, Annapolis. 33 pp.

  • Harrison, J. W., compiler. 2004. Classification of vegetation communities of Maryland: First iteration. A subset of the International Classification of Ecological Communities: Terrestrial Vegetation of the United States, NatureServe. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis. 243 pp.

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

  • VDNH [Virginia Division of Natural Heritage]. 2003. The natural communities of Virginia: Hierarchical classification of community types. Unpublished document, working list of November 2003. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Ecology Group, Richmond.


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