NatureServe Explorer logo.An Online Encyclopedia of Life
Search
Ecological Association Comprehensive Report: Record 1 of 1 selected.
See All Search Results    View Glossary
<< Previous | Next >>

Prunus serotina / Morella cerifera / Smilax rotundifolia Scrub Forest
Translated Name: Black Cherry / Wax-myrtle / Roundleaf Greenbrier Scrub Forest
Common Name: Chesapeake Bay Tall Maritime Scrub Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006319
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association comprises tall, temperate, deciduous maritime shrublands or scrub forests of the mid-Atlantic Coast. It generally occurs on the lee side of sand dunes along the coast and is subject to salt spray and winds. The substrate varies from pure sand directly adjacent to the ocean to loamy sands in more sheltered areas of the coast. Although placed within the shrubland class at one time, the physiognomy of this vegetation can be variable and ranges from open woodland to stunted forest to dense nearly impenetrable thicket (this association has been placed back in the forest class). Individual trees tend to be wind-pruned and multi-stemmed. The vegetation is dominated by Prunus serotina, Amelanchier canadensis, Pinus taeda, Sassafras albidum, Photinia pyrifolia (= Aronia arbutifolia), and Diospyros virginiana in varying proportions. Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera) and Vaccinium corymbosum may form a subcanopy, but if the community is particularly stunted, this species may contribute substantially to the canopy. Lianas are abundant in the canopy or over the ground layer, and species include Smilax rotundifolia, Smilax glauca, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, and Toxicodendron radicans. Herbs are generally scarce to lacking entirely, and when present are generally made up of tree and vine seedlings.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: This community is similar to Prunus serotina - Sassafras albidum - Amelanchier canadensis - Quercus velutina / Smilax rotundifolia Forest (CEGL006145) of the same alliance (Sneddon et al. 1994), which ranges from southern New Hampshire to New Jersey but is differentiated from this community by the absence of Pinus taeda and Morella cerifera. The occurrence of this association in New Jersey has not been confirmed; if present, it would likely be confined to the Cape May region.

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-Northeastern Oak - Hardwood - Pine Forest & Woodland
Group North Atlantic Maritime & Coastal Plain Forest
Alliance Maritime Black Cherry - Red-cedar Scrub Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006040 Pinus taeda - Quercus (falcata, nigra) / Morella cerifera / Vitis rotundifolia Forest
CEGL006145 Prunus serotina - Sassafras albidum - Amelanchier canadensis - Quercus velutina / Smilax rotundifolia 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
Delaware Chesapeake Bay Tall Maritime Shrubland Equivalent Certain Coxe 2009
Maryland Prunus serotina / Morella cerifera / Smilax rotundifolia Shrubland Equivalent Certain Harrison 2011
New Jersey Prunus serotina / Morella cerifera / Smilax rotundifolia Forest Equivalent Certain Breden et al. 2001


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Prunus serotina / Morella cerifera / Smilax rotundifolia Shrubland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
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.
Related Concept Name: Prunus serotina / Myrica cerifera / Smilax rotundifolia Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Bartgis, R. 1986. Natural community descriptions. Unpublished draft. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. 1997a. Vegetation classification of Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Report to the NBS/NPS Vegetation Mapping Program. The Nature Conservancy. Eastern Regional Office, Boston, MA.
Related Concept Name: Prunus serotina / Smilax rotundifolia / Schizachyrium littorale Woodland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, K. D. Patterson, and K. Taverna. 2006. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Version 2.2. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/ncTIV.shtml]
Related Concept Name: Dune woodland/dune shrubland
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Breden, T. F. 1989. A preliminary natural community classification for New Jersey. Pages 157-191 in: E. F. Karlin, editor. New Jersey's rare and endangered plants and animals. Institute for Environmental Studies, Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ. 280 pp.
Related Concept Name: Maritime Dune Scrub
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.
Related Concept Name: Maritime Dune Woodland
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.
Related Concept Name: Mixed woodland
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Higgins, E. A. T., R. D. Rappleye, and R. G. Brown. 1971. The flora and ecology of Assateague Island. University of Maryland Experiment Station Bulletin A-172. 70 pp.
Related Concept Name: Oligotrophic woodland
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Rawinski, T. J. 1992. A classification of Virginia's indigenous biotic communities: Vegetated terrestrial, palustrine, and estuarine community classes. Unpublished document. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. Natural Heritage Technical Report No. 92-21. Richmond, VA. 25 pp.
Related Concept Name: Upland forest
Relationship: I - Intersecting
Reference: Klotz, L. H. 1986. The vascular flora of Wallops Island and Wallops Mainland, Virginia. Castanea 51:306-326.
Related Concept Name: Woodland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Boule, M. E. 1979. The vegetation of Fisherman Island, Virginia. Castanea 44:98-108.
Related Concept Name: Woodland community
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Hill, S. R. 1986. An annotated checklist of the vascular flora of Assateague Island (Maryland and Virginia). Castanea 5:265-305.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.264 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Dune and Swale
CES203.302 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Maritime Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1G2 (18Nov1997)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This maritime shrubland association is restricted to a narrow range on coastal dunes of barrier islands on the mid-Atlantic coast. It does not occur north of southern New Jersey or south of Virginia. Occurrences are naturally small (a few acres), confined to the oceanward portion of barrier islands. Potential or historic habitat has been reduced by extensive human development such as residential or commercial building, recreation, or road expansion.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: DE, MD, NJpotentially occurs, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association occurs along the mid-Atlantic Coast from Virginia north to Cape May, New Jersey.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Subtropical Division
Province Name: Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 232 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain Section
Section Code: 232A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Coastal Plains and Flatwoods, Lower Section
Section Code: 232B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Atlantic Coastal Flatwoods Section
Section Code: 232C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This is a tall, deciduous shrubland or scrub forest, although physiognomy can vary dramatically, ranging from open woodland to stunted forest to dense nearly impenetrable thicket. Individual trees tend to be wind-pruned and multi-stemmed. The vegetation is dominated by Prunus serotina, Amelanchier canadensis, Pinus taeda, Sassafras albidum, Photinia pyrifolia (= Aronia arbutifolia), and Diospyros virginiana in varying proportions. Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera) and Vaccinium corymbosum may form a subcanopy, but if the community is particularly stunted, this species may contribute substantially to the canopy. Lianas are abundant in the canopy or over the ground layer, and species include Smilax rotundifolia, Smilax glauca, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, and Toxicodendron radicans. Herbs are generally scarce to lacking entirely, and when present are generally made up of tree and vine seedlings. At the southern end of the range in Virginia, this community occurs as a woodland variably dominated by Prunus serotina, Sassafras albidum, Diospyros virginiana, and Malus angustifolia var. angustifolia. Vine tangles are patchy and interspersed with areas of open sand dominated by Schizachyrium littorale and also containing Opuntia humifusa, Conyza canadensis, Nuttallanthus canadensis, Cirsium horridulum var. horridulum, and other xerophytic herbs at lower cover.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Amelanchier canadensis G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Prunus serotina G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Sassafras albidum G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pinus taeda G1 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Parthenocissus quinquefolia G1 Liana Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Smilax rotundifolia G1 Liana Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Toxicodendron radicans G1 Liana Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Morella cerifera G1 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This association occurs on naturally stabilized dunes, generally occurring leeward of secondary dunes. It is subject to wind and salt spray to varying degrees. The substrate varies from pure sand directly adjacent to the ocean to loamy sands in more sheltered areas of the coast.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: This association occupies a transitional zone between maritime forest and low maritime shrubland or dune associations.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Eastern Ecology Group, mod. S.L. Neid
Element Description Edition Date: 10Jun2008
Element Description Author(s): S.L. Neid, L.A. Sneddon and G.P. Fleming
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 18Nov1997
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): L.A. Sneddon

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


References
  • Bartgis, R. 1986. Natural community descriptions. Unpublished draft. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis.

  • Bellis, V. J. 1992. Floristic continuity among the maritime forests of the Atlantic Coast of the United States. Pages 21-29 in: C. A. Cole and F. K. Turner, editors. Barrier island ecology of the mid-Atlantic Coast: A symposium. Technical Report NPS/SERCAHA/NRTR-93/04.

  • Berdine, M. A. 1998. Maryland vegetation classification. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis, MD.

  • Boule, M. E. 1979. The vegetation of Fisherman Island, Virginia. Castanea 44:98-108.

  • Bowman, P. 2000. Draft classification for Delaware. Unpublished draft. Delaware Natural Heritage Program.

  • Breden, T. F. 1989. A preliminary natural community classification for New Jersey. Pages 157-191 in: E. F. Karlin, editor. New Jersey's rare and endangered plants and animals. Institute for Environmental Studies, Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ. 280 pp.

  • Breden, T. F., Y. R. Alger, K. S. Walz, and A. G. Windisch. 2001. Classification of vegetation communities of New Jersey: Second iteration. Association for Biodiversity Information and New Jersey Natural Heritage Program, Office of Natural Lands Management, Division of Parks and Forestry, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Trenton.

  • Brock, J. C., C. W. Wright, M. Patterson, A. Naeghandi, and L. J. Travers. 2007. EAARL bare earth topography - Assateague Island National Seashore. U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2007-1176. [http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1176/start.html]

  • Coxe, R. 2009. Guide to Delaware vegetation communities. Spring 2009 edition. State of Delaware, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Delaware Natural Heritage Program, Smyrna.

  • Eastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boston, MA.

  • 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., P. P. Coulling, K. D. Patterson, and K. Taverna. 2006. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Version 2.2. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/ncTIV.shtml]

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Higgins, E. A. T., R. D. Rappleye, and R. G. Brown. 1971. The flora and ecology of Assateague Island. University of Maryland Experiment Station Bulletin A-172. 70 pp.

  • Hill, S. R. 1986. An annotated checklist of the vascular flora of Assateague Island (Maryland and Virginia). Castanea 5:265-305.

  • Klotz, L. H. 1986. The vascular flora of Wallops Island and Wallops Mainland, Virginia. Castanea 51:306-326.

  • Rawinski, T. J. 1992. A classification of Virginia's indigenous biotic communities: Vegetated terrestrial, palustrine, and estuarine community classes. Unpublished document. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. Natural Heritage Technical Report No. 92-21. Richmond, VA. 25 pp.

  • Sneddon, L., M. Anderson, and K. Metzler. 1994. A classification and description of terrestrial community alliances in The Nature Conservancy's Eastern Region: First approximation. Unpublished report to USDI Fish & Wildlife Service, Gap Analysis Program. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Heritage Task Force, Boston, MA. 116 pp.

  • TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. 1995c. NBS/NPS Vegetation Mapping Program: Vegetation classification of Assateague Island National Seashore. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Regional Office, Boston, MA.

  • TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. 1997a. Vegetation classification of Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Report to the NBS/NPS Vegetation Mapping Program. The Nature Conservancy. Eastern Regional Office, Boston, MA.


Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of November 2016.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2017 NatureServe, 4600 N. Fairfax Dr., 7th Floor, Arlington Virginia 22203, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2017. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.

Copyright 2017
NatureServe
Version 7.1 (2 February 2009)
Data last updated: November 2016