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Tsuga canadensis - (Betula alleghaniensis) - Picea rubens / Cornus canadensis Forest
Translated Name: Eastern Hemlock - (Yellow Birch) - Red Spruce / Bunchberry Dogwood Forest
Common Name: Hemlock - Spruce - Hardwood Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006129
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This mesic coniferous to mixed hemlock forest of northern and central New England and New York occurs on somewhat sheltered slopes at moderate elevations (30-610 m [100-2000 feet]). Hillslopes, stream valleys, ravines, and river or kame terraces are typical settings. The soils are mesic, well-drained sands or loams, often derived from till, acidic and typically shallow (<50 cm to obstruction). Canopy cover is typically dense, resulting in low light levels near the forest floor and correspondingly sparse lower layers. The canopy is dominated by Tsuga canadensis, and may be either almost entirely coniferous or a mixture of conifers and deciduous trees. Northern hardwoods are characteristic associates, including Betula alleghaniensis, Betula papyrifera, Fagus grandifolia, and Acer saccharum. Picea rubens is a common conifer associate, and may approach codominance with hemlock at some sites. Scattered subcanopy and shrub layers may feature Acer pensylvanicum and Viburnum lantanoides. Herb richness and cover are very low; typical species include Aralia nudicaulis, Cornus canadensis, Dryopteris intermedia, Gaultheria procumbens, Maianthemum canadense, Medeola virginiana, Mitchella repens, Thelypteris noveboracensis, and Trientalis borealis. In northern settings (e.g., where red spruce is common), the herb layer may contain more boreal species such as Dryopteris campyloptera, Huperzia lucidula, Oxalis montana, and Trillium undulatum. This association differs from other upland hemlock forest associations in the presence of red spruce and/or yellow birch and the more generally boreal species affinities, lacking plants such as Kalmia latifolia, Rhododendron maximum, Betula lenta, and Quercus spp.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low

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 Laurentian-Acadian Mesic Hardwood - Conifer Forest
Group Laurentian-Acadian Hemlock - White Pine - Hardwood Forest
Alliance Laurentian-Acadian Mesic Hemlock - Northern Hardwood Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL005042 Tsuga canadensis - Fagus grandifolia - (Acer saccharum) Great Lakes Forest
CEGL005044 Tsuga canadensis - Acer saccharum - Betula alleghaniensis Forest
CEGL006088 Tsuga canadensis - Fagus grandifolia - Quercus rubra Forest
CEGL006324 Pinus strobus - Tsuga canadensis - Picea rubens Forest
CEGL006631 Acer saccharum - Betula alleghaniensis - Fagus grandifolia / Viburnum lantanoides Forest
CEGL006632 Acer saccharum - Fagus grandifolia - Fraxinus americana / Arisaema triphyllum Forest
CEGL006638 Tsuga canadensis - Betula alleghaniensis - Acer saccharum / Dryopteris intermedia Forest
CEGL006639 Tsuga canadensis - Acer saccharum - Fagus grandifolia / Dryopteris intermedia 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 Hemlock forest Broader   Gawler 2002
Massachusetts Spruce - Fir - Northern Hardwoods Forest Intersects   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Hampshire Hemlock - oak - northern hardwood forest Intersects   Sperduto and Nichols 2004
New Hampshire Hemlock - spruce - northern hardwood forest Equivalent   Sperduto 2000
New York Hemlock-northern hardwood forest Broader   Edinger et al. 2002
Vermont Hemlock Forest Broader   Thompson and Sorenson 2000
Vermont Hemlock-Northern Hardwood Forest Broader   Thompson and Sorenson 2000


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: CNE dry conifer forest on acidic bedrock or till
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.
Related Concept Name: CNE mesic conifer [transition] forest on acidic bedrock/till
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.
Related Concept Name: CNE mesic conifer forest on acidic bedrock/till
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.
Related Concept Name: Eastern Hemlock: 23
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.
Related Concept Name: Hemlock - Yellow Birch: 24
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES201.563 Laurentian-Acadian Pine-Hemlock-Hardwood Forest
CES201.564 Laurentian-Acadian Northern Hardwood Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: GNR (01Dec1997)
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: MA, ME, NH, NY, VT
Canadian Province Distribution: NB, NS, ONpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This mesic hemlock forest occurs in northern and central New England and adjacent Canada.

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: Aroostook Hills and Lowlands Section
Section Code: 212A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Maine-New Brunswick Foothills and Lowlands Section
Section Code: 212B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Fundy Coastal and Interior Section
Section Code: 212C Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
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
Section Name: Hudson Valley Section
Section Code: 221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Warm Continental Regime Mountains
Province Name: Adirondack-New England Mixed Forest - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M212 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: White Mountain Section
Section Code: M212A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Vermont-New Hampshire Upland Section
Section Code: M212B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Green, Taconic, Berkshire Mountain Section
Section Code: M212C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Adirondack Mountain Section
Section Code: M212D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Catskill Mountain Section
Section Code: M212E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Tug Hill Plateau Section
Section Code: M212F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Canopy cover is typically dense, resulting in low light levels near the forest floor and correspondingly sparse lower layers. The canopy is dominated by Tsuga canadensis, and may be either almost entirely coniferous or a mixture of conifers and deciduous trees. Northern hardwoods are characteristic associates, including Betula alleghaniensis, Betula papyrifera, Fagus grandifolia, and Acer saccharum. Picea rubens is a common conifer associate, and may approach codominance with hemlock at some sites. Scattered subcanopy and shrub layers may feature Acer pensylvanicum and Viburnum lantanoides (= Viburnum alnifolium). Herb richness and cover are very low; typical species include Aralia nudicaulis, Cornus canadensis, Dryopteris intermedia, Gaultheria procumbens, Maianthemum canadense, Medeola virginiana, Mitchella repens, Thelypteris noveboracensis, and Trientalis borealis. In northern settings (e.g., where red spruce is common), the herb layer may contain more boreal species such as Dryopteris campyloptera, Huperzia lucidula, Oxalis montana, and Trillium undulatum.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Betula alleghaniensis GNR Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Picea rubens GNR Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Tsuga canadensis GNR Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Cornus canadensis GNR Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This mesic coniferous to mixed hemlock forest of northern and central New England and New York occurs on somewhat sheltered slopes at moderate elevations (30-610 m [100-2000 feet]). Hillslopes, stream valleys, ravines, and river or kame terraces are typical settings. The soils are mesic, well-drained sands or loams, often derived from till, acidic and typically shallow (<50 cm to obstruction).


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Northern Appalachian Planning Team and L.A. Sneddon
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.

  • Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.

  • 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.

  • Küchler, A. W. 1956. Notes on the vegetation of southeastern Mount Desert Island, Maine. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 38:335-392.

  • Lubinski, S., K. Hop, and S. Gawler. 2003. Vegetation Mapping Program: Acadia National Park, Maine. Report produced by U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, and Maine Natural Areas Program in conjunction with M. Story (NPS Vegetation Mapping Coordinator) NPS, Natural Resources Information Division, Inventory and Monitoring Program, and K. Brown (USGS Vegetation Mapping Coordinator), USGS, Center for Biological Informatics and NatureServe. [http://biology.usgs.gov/npsveg/ftp/vegmapping/acad/reports/acadrpt.pdf]

  • Moore, B., and N. Taylor. 1927. An ecological study of the vegetation of Mount Desert Island, Maine. Brooklyn Botanical Garden Memoirs 3:1-151.

  • Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.

  • 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]

  • Thompson, E. H., and E. R. Sorenson. 2005. Wetland, woodland, wildland: A guide to the natural communities of Vermont. The Nature Conservancy and the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. University Press of New England, Hanover, NH. 456 pp.


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