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Quercus rubra - Tilia americana var. heterophylla - (Halesia tetraptera var. monticola) / Collinsonia canadensis - Prosartes lanuginosa Forest
Translated Name: Northern Red Oak - Appalachian Basswood - (Mountain Silverbell) / Richweed - Yellow Fairybells Forest
Common Name: Southern Appalachian Red Oak Cove Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL007878
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This community is a Quercus rubra-dominated rich forest of protected steep, rocky slopes at intermediate elevations (mostly 800-1400 m [2600-4600 feet]) in the Southern Appalachians. Its distribution is not completely known, but appears to be concentrated in the southern part of the Southern Blue Ridge, in southwestern North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and possibly northern Georgia. This forest has a canopy dominated by Quercus rubra (25-50% cover) occurring with lesser amounts of Tilia americana var. heterophylla, Fraxinus americana, Acer saccharum, Betula lenta, and Carya glabra. Halesia tetraptera var. monticola is an important canopy associate over parts of the range, particularly in the Great Smoky Mountains. Other minor canopy and subcanopy trees include Liriodendron tulipifera, Magnolia acuminata, Acer pensylvanicum, Acer rubrum, Aesculus flava, Carya cordiformis, and Prunus serotina. The shrub stratum is open, made up of saplings from the canopy and subcanopy, with no clear dominant. Herbs are sparse to moderate in coverage, with relatively high species richness. Herbs with the highest coverages are Collinsonia canadensis, Polystichum acrostichoides, Prosartes lanuginosa, Actaea racemosa, Thelypteris noveboracensis, and Impatiens pallida. Other typical herbs are Actaea pachypoda, Ageratina altissima var. roanensis, Agrostis spp., Arisaema triphyllum, Athyrium filix-femina ssp. asplenioides, Caulophyllum thalictroides, Desmodium nudiflorum, Dioscorea quaternata, Dryopteris marginalis, Galium lanceolatum, Laportea canadensis, Maianthemum racemosum, Phegopteris hexagonoptera, Polygonatum biflorum, Sanguinaria canadensis, Smilax herbacea, Solidago curtisii (= Solidago caesia var. curtisii), Tradescantia subaspera, and Viola cucullata.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: This association may represent a subset of Quercus alba - Quercus rubra - Quercus prinus / Collinsonia canadensis - Podophyllum peltatum Forest (CEGL007692), Appalachian Montane Oak - Hickory Forest (Rich Type), or may be transitional between it and Liriodendron tulipifera - Fraxinus americana - (Aesculus flava) / Actaea racemosa - Laportea canadensis Forest (CEGL007710), Southern Appalachian Cove Forest (Typic Montane Type). More regional information is needed to assess the distinctiveness of this type. It is described from a small number of samples from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In a regional analysis for the Appalachian Trail project and a follow-up comparative analysis with Quercus alba - Quercus rubra - Quercus prinus / Collinsonia canadensis - Podophyllum peltatum Forest (CEGL007692), 35 plots from North Carolina and Tennessee were classified as this type (Fleming and Patterson 2009a). These analyses demonstrated that this type is distinct from CEGL007692 and has a wider distribution on the Southern Blue Ridge than previously documented.

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 Appalachian-Interior-Northeastern Mesic Forest
Group Appalachian-Central Interior Mesic Forest
Alliance Southern Appalachian Mesophytic Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004256 Quercus rubra - Fraxinus americana - Acer saccharum / Actaea racemosa - Caulophyllum thalictroides Forest
CEGL007692 Quercus alba - Quercus rubra - Quercus prinus / Collinsonia canadensis - Podophyllum peltatum Forest
CEGL007698 Quercus rubra - Acer saccharum - Tilia americana var. heterophylla - Aesculus flava - (Cladrastis kentukea) Forest
CEGL007710 Liriodendron tulipifera - Fraxinus americana - (Aesculus flava) / Actaea racemosa - Laportea canadensis 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
North Carolina Rich Cove Forest (Red Oak Subtype) Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Quercus rubra - Tilia americana var. heterophylla - (Halesia tetraptera var. monticola) / Collinsonia canadensis - Prosartes lanuginosa Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2009a. A vegetation classification for the Appalachian Trail: Virginia south to Georgia. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. In-house analysis, March 2009.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.373 Southern and Central Appalachian Cove Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3? (03Sep2002)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: The conservation status of this community has not yet been fully assessed.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: GApotentially occurs, NC, TN
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community is found in the Southern Blue Ridge of Tennessee, North Carolina, and possibly Georgia.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
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: Blue Ridge Mountains Section
Section Code: M221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This forest has a canopy dominated by Quercus rubra (25-50% cover) occurring with lesser amounts of Tilia americana var. heterophylla, Fraxinus americana, Acer saccharum, Betula lenta, and Carya glabra. Halesia tetraptera var. monticola is an important canopy associate over parts of the range, particularly in the Great Smoky Mountains. Other minor canopy and subcanopy trees include Liriodendron tulipifera, Magnolia acuminata, Acer pensylvanicum, Acer rubrum, Aesculus flava, Carya cordiformis, and Prunus serotina. The shrub stratum is open, made up of saplings from the canopy and subcanopy, with no clear dominant. Herbs are sparse to moderate in cover, with relatively high species richness. Herbs with the highest covers are Collinsonia canadensis, Polystichum acrostichoides, Prosartes lanuginosa, Actaea racemosa, Thelypteris noveboracensis, and Impatiens pallida. Other typical herbs are Actaea pachypoda, Ageratina altissima var. roanensis, Agrostis spp., Arisaema triphyllum, Athyrium filix-femina ssp. asplenioides, Caulophyllum thalictroides, Desmodium nudiflorum, Dioscorea quaternata, Dryopteris marginalis, Galium lanceolatum, Laportea canadensis, Maianthemum racemosum, Phegopteris hexagonoptera, Polygonatum biflorum, Sanguinaria canadensis, Smilax herbacea, Solidago curtisii (= Solidago caesia var. curtisii), Tradescantia subaspera, and Viola cucullata. Many other herbs occur at low cover and constancy. Mean species richness of 35 plots is 67 taxa per 1000 square meters.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Halesia tetraptera var. monticola G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy      
 
 
Quercus rubra G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Tilia americana var. heterophylla G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Collinsonia canadensis G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Prosartes lanuginosa G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Stachys clingmanii G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Polystichum acrostichoides G3 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Thelypteris noveboracensis G3 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
Stachys clingmanii
  (Clingman's Hedge-nettle)
G2  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This community is found on protected steep, rocky slopes at intermediate elevations in the Southern Appalachians. The known elevational range is 600-1580 m (2000-5200 feet), but most stands occur between 800 and 1400 m (2600-4600 feet). The type is most commonly associated with middle-slope sites that have moderate to high surficial rock cover, including sideslopes and the upper parts of coves. It is also known from more exposed, rocky, convex upper slopes and ridge spurs. The mean aspect of 35 plots samples is 41 (northeast). Soil samples collected from plots are strongly acidic with notably high organic matter content, but have higher magnesium and calcium levels than most other Southern Appalachian soils. Soil chemistry data suggests that mafic bedrock underlies at least some of the sites occupied by this association.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): K.D. Patterson
Element Description Edition Date: 22Feb2010
Element Description Author(s): K.D. Patterson and G.P. Fleming
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 03Sep2002
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
  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2009a. A vegetation classification for the Appalachian Trail: Virginia south to Georgia. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. In-house analysis, March 2009.

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

  • 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.

  • Schafale, M. P. 2012. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina, 4th Approximation. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

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

  • TDNH [Tennessee Division of Natural Heritage]. No date. Unpublished data. Tennessee Division of Natural Heritage, Nashville, TN.


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