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Quercus phellos - Quercus (michauxii, shumardii) / (Quercus oglethorpensis) / Zephyranthes atamasca Gabbro Wet Forest
Translated Name: Willow Oak - (Swamp Chestnut Oak, Shumard Oak) / (Oglethorpe Oak) / Atamasco Lily Gabbro Wet Forest
Common Name: Piedmont Gabbro Upland Depression Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL008484
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association represents the wet hardwood forests (Iredell Flatwoods) which occur on gently sloping terrain or shallowly depressed upland flats over gabbro-derived clays in the Piedmont of Georgia and South Carolina. In Georgia, these sites are locally known as the "Monticello Glades," "Monticello Bottomlands," or "Gladesville Glades," from local placenames. Stands of this association are dominated by a variable combination of Quercus phellos, Quercus shumardii, Quercus michauxii, and Fraxinus americana. There are two apparent spatially intergrading phases of this association, the "wet-mesic" one (with an apparently shorter hydroperiod) which contains substantial Quercus shumardii and very little Quercus phellos; the other, longer hydroperiod one has much higher dominance by Quercus phellos and may lack Quercus shumardii. Other species that can be found in the canopy and/or subcanopy include Ulmus americana, Liquidambar styraciflua, Quercus michauxii, Carya spp., and Juglans nigra. Some other subcanopy species include Acer barbatum, Cornus florida, Morus rubra, Crataegus viridis, Cercis canadensis, Sideroxylon lycioides, and Celtis occidentalis. The composition of the shrub strata varies from one stand to another, but some examples may have dominance by Sabal minor. Vines are abundant and diverse. They may include Vitis rotundifolia, Toxicodendron radicans, Berchemia scandens, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Campsis radicans, Cocculus carolinus, Bignonia capreolata, Smilax bona-nox, Smilax glauca, Smilax rotundifolia, Matelea carolinensis, Trachelospermum difforme, Passiflora lutea, and Lonicera sempervirens. Some of the more abundant herbs include Dichanthelium boscii, Chasmanthium sessiliflorum, Glyceria striata (which may dominate some more open, wetter stands), Carex tribuloides, Carex spp., and Scutellaria integrifolia. Landscape context and position, along with the distinctive geology and soil type, separate this community from alluvial bottomland communities with similar canopy composition. These forests are seasonally wet and are on the borderline between upland, saturated, and seasonally flooded. Because of the very subdued topography, the water table is never far from the surface, and the ground may be saturated for extended periods of time during the growing season.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: Landscape context and position, along with the distinctive geology and soil type, separate this community from alluvial bottomland communities with similar canopy composition. These forests are seasonally wet, and are on the borderline between upland, saturated, and seasonally flooded. Sites in SC include; Brattonsville Woods and Troy Gabbro Swamp.

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 Hardwood Swamp Forest
Group South-Central Flatwoods & Pond Forest
Alliance Piedmont-Cumberland Willow Oak Wet Depression Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL003880 Quercus (pagoda, shumardii) / Cornus foemina / Podophyllum peltatum - Hymenocallis occidentalis Flatwoods Forest
CEGL007403 Quercus phellos / Carex (albolutescens, intumescens, joorii) / Climacium americanum Wet 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
South Carolina Upland Depression Swamp Forest Undetermined Not certain Nelson 1986


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Iredell Flatwoods
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Ambrose, J. 1990a. Georgia's natural communities--A preliminary list. Unpublished document. Georgia Natural Heritage Inventory. 5 pp.
Related Concept Name: Piedmont Gabbro Upland Depression Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Sewell, S. Y. S., and W. B. Zomlefer. 2014. Floristics of Piedmont Gabbro Upland Depression Forests in Jasper County, Georgia. Castanea 79(3):195-220.
Related Concept Name: Upland Swamp Glades
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Wharton, C. H. 1978. The natural environments of Georgia. Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta. 227 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? (28Jun2001)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: This is an uncommon association, and examples are known only from the Piedmont of Georgia and York County, South Carolina. Very few sites remain with examples of this association. Its habitat was never common, and its distribution is very local. Most of the sites with Iredell soils in the relevant areas of the Georgia Piedmont have been converted to pine plantations (Ambrose 1990a) or to agriculture. Most sites which are currently known for this type are located in an area of about 300 square km in Jasper County, Georgia, where 3 element occurrences are recorded. In South Carolina, the sites from which this community is known are all in York County, where 6 different occurrences are recorded. Some of the better known and more well-studied sites from which this type is known are on USDA Forest Service land, and are afforded varying degrees of protection. The few privately-owned sites on which mature examples of this type exist are threatened with timber removal, particularly of Quercus shumardii and other commercially valuable species; as well as by mining, agricultural conversion, and residential development. More efforts are needed to preserve examples or increase the protection for examples that are already conserved to some degree.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: GA, SC
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association is restricted to the Piedmont of Georgia and South Carolina.

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


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Stands are dominated by a variable combination of Quercus phellos, Quercus shumardii, Quercus michauxii, and Fraxinus americana. There are two apparent spatially intergrading phases of this association, the "wet-mesic" one (with an apparently shorter hydroperiod) which contains substantial Quercus shumardii and very little Quercus phellos; the other, longer hydroperiod one has much higher dominance by Quercus phellos and may lack Quercus shumardii. Other canopy and/or subcanopy species may include Ulmus americana, Ulmus alata, Liquidambar styraciflua, Quercus michauxii, Carya carolinae-septentrionalis, Carya glabra, Carya alba, Carya ovata, Quercus falcata, Quercus pagoda, Quercus stellata, Quercus x joorii, Juglans nigra, Pinus taeda, Quercus muehlenbergii?, and Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana. In addition, Quercus bicolor (rare in South Carolina) is reported from some sites in that state. Other subcanopy species include Acer barbatum, Cornus florida, Morus rubra, Quercus alba, Crataegus viridis, Cercis canadensis, Quercus rubra, Diospyros virginiana, Sideroxylon lycioides, Celtis occidentalis, and Prunus serotina. The shrub strata of some examples may have dominance by Sabal minor. Additional shrubs include Ilex decidua, Acer barbatum, Ulmus alata, Liquidambar styraciflua, Arundinaria gigantea, Cercis canadensis, Chionanthus virginicus, Vaccinium arboreum, Vaccinium stamineum, Malus angustifolia, Crataegus viridis, Crataegus spathulata, Crataegus marshallii, Crataegus crus-galli, Asimina parviflora, Cornus foemina, Diospyros virginiana, Euonymus americanus, and the rare and local Quercus oglethorpensis (which may reach into the subcanopy). Vines are abundant and diverse, including Vitis rotundifolia, Toxicodendron radicans, Berchemia scandens, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Campsis radicans, Cocculus carolinus, Bignonia capreolata, Smilax bona-nox, Smilaxglauca, Smilaxrotundifolia, Matelea carolinensis, Trachelospermum difforme, Passiflora lutea, and Lonicera sempervirens. Some abundant herbs include Dichanthelium boscii, Chasmanthium sessiliflorum, Glyceria striata (which may dominate more open, wetter stands), Carex tribuloides, Carex spp., and Scutellaria integrifolia. Others include Polygonum virginianum, Aristolochia serpentaria, Hypericum hypericoides ssp. hypericoides, Thalictrum dioicum, Asplenium platyneuron, Elephantopus tomentosus, Polystichum acrostichoides, Allium canadense, Desmodium sp., Geranium maculatum, Juncus coriaceus, Oxalis stricta, Hexastylis arifolia, and Bromus pubescens. In addition, Zephyranthes atamasca, Claytonia virginica, Polygonatum biflorum, Anemone caroliniana, Listera australis, and a rich spring flora are reported from these sites (T. Patrick, GANHP, pers. comm.). Some herbs reported from South Carolina sites include Cardamine bulbosa, Lilium canadense, Isoetes piedmontana?, Botrychium sp., Heuchera americana, Camassia scilloides, Scutellaria parvula, Lysimachia ciliata, Geum canadense, and Geum virginianum (SCWMRD unpubl. data). Herbs apparently restricted to stands with a shorter hydroperiod include Pycnanthemum sp., Galium obtusum, Galium circaezans, Conoclinium coelestinum, Dichanthelium sp., Danthonia spicata, Uvularia perfoliata, Solidago odora, Scutellaria elliptica, Scleria sp., Eupatorium sp., and Pleopeltis polypodioides ssp. michauxiana. Clark (1978) cites Quercus palustris as occurring at the Monticello Site, but this has been determined (NatureServe Ecology unpubl. data) to be actually Quercus shumardii. Clark (1978) also reports Isoetes engelmannii and Ophioglossum vulgatum from this community; their identities should be checked. South Carolina descriptions include either Isoetes sp. or Isoetes virginica (unlik

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Fraxinus americana G2 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus michauxii G2 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus phellos G2 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus shumardii G2 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus oglethorpensis G2 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Zephyranthes atamasca G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Isoetes piedmontana G2 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)      
 
 
Isoetes virginica G2 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)      
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Isoetes virginica
  (Virginia Quillwort)
G1  
Quercus oglethorpensis
  (Oglethorpe's Oak)
G3  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: Stands of this association occur on gently sloping terrain or shallowly depressed upland flats over gabbro-derived clays in the Piedmont of Georgia and related areas of South Carolina. The Iredell soil series (Oxyaquic Vertic Hapludalf) is the primary substrate for this association. It consists of moderately well-drained, slowly permeable soils, found on broad flats and gentle sideslopes. These soils are formed in material weathered from gabbro (as well as from diabase, diorite, and other basic igneous rocks high in ferro-magnesium minerals), which are located in uplands throughout the Piedmont. The soil is less acidic than most soils of the Piedmont. Their slope is dominantly less than 6% but ranges up to 15%. The surface layer is olive brown fine sandy clay loam, and the subsoil is light olive brown clay loam. Typically, the surface layer is about 6 inches thick. The subsoil is 22 inches thick, and the underlying material to a depth of 65 inches is light olive brown and olive loam. Organic matter content in the surface layer is low. Permeability is slow, available water capacity is medium, the shrink-swell potential is very high, and surface runoff is medium. The Enon soil is sometimes cited as a substrate for the Monticello Glades. However, this is a more well-drained soil of ridges and gently sloping to strongly sloping sideslopes, instead of the flat terrain of the "glades." In South Carolina, the wetter (saturated) Elbert soil is reported as a substrate for this vegetation. The Elbert soil may develop from the Iredell soil in wetter areas (SCWMRD unpubl. data).

Iredell soil sites are characterized by widely fluctuating hydrologic conditions. In winter and spring, the impermeability of the soil's clay layer produces flooded conditions for extended periods of time; in summer and fall, the dried clay layer has limited moisture availability, causing severe drought conditions. These extremes of water availability, combined with the chemical properties of the soils, are thought to be the major factors promoting the persistence and distinctiveness of this vegetation (Ambrose 1990b). Landscape context and position, along with the distinctive geology and soil type, separate this community from alluvial bottomland communities with similar canopy composition. The Oconee National Forest examples occur on ultramafic rocks which include a large body of gabbro (12 km by 1.5 km) mapped along the northern basin divide of Falling Creek roughly parallel to Georgia State Highway 83 (Vincent et al. 1990). The gabbro here consists primarily of plagioclase, clinopyroxene, orthopyroxene, and olivine. In South Carolina, the sites from which this community is known are all in York County (SCWMRD unpubl. data), although large gabbro areas are also known from nearby Union County.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: These forests are seasonally wet and are on the borderline between upland, saturated, and seasonally flooded. Because of the very subdued topography, the water table is never far from the surface, and the ground may be saturated for extended periods of time during the growing season. In winter and early spring, large areas of standing water typically are found at sites where this vegetation occurs. This helps create the unusual habitat conditions. In summer and fall, as the water table drops, the Iredell soil shrinks and becomes almost pavement-like, even though the water table may be only a foot or two below the soil surface (Clark 1978). This is a distinctly seasonal pattern to the hydrologic regime, but the resulting vegetation is a mixture of wetland and mesic species. There are two apparent spatially intergrading phases of this association, the "wet-mesic" one (with an apparently shorter hydroperiod) which contains substantial Quercus shumardii and very little Quercus phellos; the other, longer hydroperiod one, has much higher dominance by Quercus phellos and may lack Quercus shumardii. The presence of intermediate stands, and the general understanding that this vegetation is one type which is variable in its expression rather than two distinct associations, led to the conclusion that one, not two, types were worthy of recognition.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): C. Wharton and M. Pyne
Element Description Edition Date: 28Jun2001
Element Description Author(s): C. Wharton and M. Pyne
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 28Jun2001
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
  • Ambrose, J. 1990a. Georgia's natural communities--A preliminary list. Unpublished document. Georgia Natural Heritage Inventory. 5 pp.

  • Ambrose, J. 1990b. Rare wetlands. DNR Outdoor Report. Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Winter 5(1):6-7.

  • Clark, R. C. 1978. Natural landmark site evaluation: Georgia. Monticello Bottomland Woods, Jasper County. Unpublished document.

  • NatureServe Ecology - Southeastern United States. No date. Unpublished data. NatureServe, Durham, NC.

  • Nelson, J. B. 1986. The natural communities of South Carolina: Initial classification and description. South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Columbia, SC. 55 pp.

  • Patrick, Dr. Thomas. Personal communication. Georgia Natural Heritage Program, Wildlife Resources Division, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, 2117 U.S. Highway 278 SE, Social Circle, Georgia 30279. 706/557-3032.

  • Radford, A. E., and D. L. Martin. 1975. Potential ecological natural landmarks: Piedmont region, eastern United States. University of North Carolina, Department of Botany, Chapel Hill. 249 pp.

  • SCWMRD [South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department]. No date. Unpublished data. South Carolina. South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, Columbia.

  • Sewell, S. Y. S., and W. B. Zomlefer. 2014. Floristics of Piedmont Gabbro Upland Depression Forests in Jasper County, Georgia. Castanea 79(3):195-220.

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

  • Vincent, H. R., K. I. McConnell, and P. C. Perley, 1990. Geology of selected mafic and ultramafic rocks of Georgia-A review: Georgia Geological Survey Information Circular 82. 59 pp.

  • Wharton, C. H. 1978. The natural environments of Georgia. Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta. 227 pp.


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