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Acer rubrum - Prunus serotina / Cornus amomum Floodplain Forest
Translated Name: Red Maple - Black Cherry / Silky Dogwood Floodplain Forest
Common Name: Red Maple Floodplain Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006503
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: These floodplain forests dominated by Acer rubrum are found on smaller rivers and large streams in the northeastern United States. They are characteristic of small to moderate watersheds. The soils are alluvial loams to silt loams, temporarily inundated during spring floods, and often imperfectly drained. There may be a limited organic horizon, but the soils are predominantly mineral and acidic. The forest can range from closed-canopy to woodland structure. Shrub cover is generally moderate, and may be locally high in patches. Herbs are often abundant, with ferns particularly characteristic. Bryophytes are minor. Acer rubrum is the dominant tree; associated woody and herbaceous species can vary somewhat depending on elevation within the floodplain. Ulmus americana is typical of the lowest floodplain elevations, Prunus serotina and Carpinus caroliniana of the middle elevations, and Quercus rubra and Pinus strobus of the higher elevations, grading to upland forest. Characteristic shrubs include Carpinus caroliniana, Cornus amomum, Viburnum spp., and Ilex verticillata. Toxicodendron radicans and Vitis labrusca are common vines. The most abundant herbs are the ferns Onoclea sensibilis, Osmunda regalis, Osmunda cinnamomea, Osmunda claytoniana, and Athyrium filix-femina. Other herbs include Boehmeria cylindrica, Arisaema triphyllum, Cinna latifolia, Galium asprellum, Impatiens capensis, and Doellingeria umbellata. This type differs from most other deciduous floodplain forests in its dominance by Acer rubrum; it differs from the more northerly Acer rubrum - Abies balsamea / Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides Floodplain Forest (CEGL006501) by the presence of more temperate species such as Carpinus caroliniana and Cornus amomum and the absence or low importance of Abies balsamea. It differs from red maple swamps in non-floodplain settings by its alluvial, mineral soils with poor horizon development and the presence of floodplain species such as Cornus amomum, Boehmeria cylindrica, Prunus serotina, and Parthenocissus spp.



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 Silver Maple - Green Ash - Black Ash Floodplain Forest
Alliance Silver Maple - Red Maple - American Elm Floodplain Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006220 Acer rubrum / Ilex mucronata - Vaccinium corymbosum Swamp Forest
CEGL006386 Quercus bicolor - Acer rubrum / Carpinus caroliniana Wet Forest
CEGL006501 Acer rubrum - Abies balsamea / Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides Floodplain 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 Red maple - sensitive fern swamp Broader   Gawler 2002
Massachusetts Alluvial Hardwood Flat Community Equivalent   Swain and Kearsley 2011
New Hampshire Red maple floodplain forest Equivalent   Sperduto and Nichols 2004
New York Floodplain forest Broader   Edinger et al. 2002


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Acer rubrum - Prunus serotina / Viburnum cassinoides, Type 6
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Sperduto, D. D., and K. F. Crowley. 2002a. Floodplain forests in New England: Analysis and proposed classification. In collaboration with natural heritage programs in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Inventory, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord, NH. 19 pp. plus appendices.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES201.587 Laurentian-Acadian Floodplain Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: GNR (01Jul1999)
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: MA, ME, NH, NYpotentially occurs, VTpotentially occurs
Canadian Province Distribution: NB
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: Occurs in Maine, New Hampshire, and 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: Maine-New Brunswick Foothills and Lowlands Section
Section Code: 212B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Central Maine Coastal and Embayment Section
Section Code: 212D 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


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The forest can range from closed-canopy to woodland structure. Shrub cover is generally moderate, and may be locally high in patches. Herbs are often abundant, with ferns particularly characteristic. Bryophytes are minor. Acer rubrum is the dominant tree; associated woody and herbaceous species can vary somewhat depending on elevation within the floodplain. Ulmus americana is typical of the lowest floodplain elevations, Prunus serotina and Carpinus caroliniana of the middle elevations, and Quercus rubra and Pinus strobus of the higher elevations, grading to upland forest. Characteristic shrubs include Carpinus caroliniana, Cornus amomum, Viburnum spp., and Ilex verticillata. Toxicodendron radicans and Vitis labrusca are common vines. The most abundant herbs are the ferns Onoclea sensibilis, Osmunda regalis, Osmunda cinnamomea, Osmunda claytoniana, and Athyrium filix-femina. Other herbs include Boehmeria cylindrica, Arisaema triphyllum, Cinna latifolia, Galium asprellum, Impatiens capensis, and Doellingeria umbellata (= Aster umbellatus).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer rubrum GNR Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Prunus serotina GNR Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Cornus amomum GNR Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: These floodplain forests dominated by Acer rubrum are found on smaller rivers and large streams in the northeastern United States. They are characteristic of small to moderate watersheds. The soils are alluvial loams to silt loams, temporarily inundated during spring floods, and often imperfectly drained. There may be a limited organic horizon, but the soils are predominantly mineral and acidic.


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.

  • 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.

  • Sperduto, D. D., and K. F. Crowley. 2002a. Floodplain forests in New England: Analysis and proposed classification. In collaboration with natural heritage programs in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Inventory, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord, NH. 19 pp. plus appendices.

  • 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]


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