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Pinus rigida / Vaccinium spp. - Gaylussacia baccata Woodland
Translated Name: Pitch Pine / Blueberry species - Black Huckleberry Woodland
Common Name: Pitch Pine / Heath Barrens
Unique Identifier: CEGL005046
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: These pitch pine - heath barrens occur on sandy glacial deposits at low elevations in New England and adjacent Canada. The soils are derived from glacial outwash or, less frequently, till, and are coarse, well-drained to excessively drained, nutrient-poor, and acidic. Sites generally have a history of periodic fire. The tree canopy ranges from sparse to partly open, and the understory features a well-developed low heath layer. Taller shrubs are sparse or absent. The herb and bryoid layers are of variable cover, and the ground cover is sparse needle litter and base sand. The open canopy is dominated by Pinus rigida with a variable mixture of associates, including Pinus strobus, Pinus resinosa, Quercus rubra, or Populus grandidentata. In the northern part of the range, Pinus banksiana or Picea rubens may also be present. A few scrub oaks (Quercus ilicifolia, Quercus prinoides) may be present as tall shrubs. The dwarf-shrub layer is comprised largely of heaths, including Vaccinium angustifolium, Vaccinium pallidum, Vaccinium myrtilloides, Gaylussacia baccata, and Kalmia angustifolia. The herbaceous layer often includes Pteridium aquilinum, Carex pensylvanica, Carex lucorum, Piptatheropsis pungens, Gaultheria procumbens, Aralia nudicaulis, Maianthemum canadense, Melampyrum lineare, Fragaria virginiana, Lysimachia quadrifolia, and Cypripedium acaule. The bryophyte layer is of variable cover and is characterized by Cladonia arbuscula, Cladonia pyxidata, Dicranum polysetum, Pleurozium schreberi, and Leucobryum glaucum. These barrens differ from the related Pinus rigida / Quercus ilicifolia / Piptatheropsis pungens Woodland (CEGL006203) in their lack of a well-defined scrub oak shrub layer; they are also more likely to have Pinus strobus and/or Pinus resinosa as a canopy associate.



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 Appalachian-Northeastern Oak - Hardwood - Pine Forest & Woodland
Group Pitch Pine Barrens
Alliance Northern Pitch Pine Barrens

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006203 Pinus rigida / Quercus ilicifolia / Piptatheropsis pungens Woodland
CEGL006385 Pinus rigida / Carex pensylvanica Woodland
CEGL006765 Pinus rigida / Gaylussacia baccata / (Deschampsia flexuosa) Woodland



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
Connecticut Pinus rigida / Vaccinium angustifolium community Broader   Metzler and Barrett 2001
Maine Pitch pine - heath barren Equivalent   Gawler 2002
Massachusetts Pitch Pine - Scrub Oak Community Broader   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Hampshire Pitch pine - scrub oak woodland Broader   Sperduto 2000
New York Pitch pine-heath barrens Equivalent   Edinger et al. 2002
Rhode Island Pitch Pine / Scrub Oak Barrens Broader   Enser 1999
Vermont Pine-Oak-Heath Sandplain Forest Broader   Thompson and Sorenson 2000


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: New England pitch pine/scrub oak barrens
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: Pitch pine-heath barrens
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: NAP [Northern Appalachian-Boreal Forest Working Group]. 1998. Northern Appalachian-Boreal Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.590 Northeastern Interior Pine Barrens


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3G5 (15Dec1994)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT
Canadian Province Distribution: ON, QCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This association occurs at low elevations in 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: Fundy Coastal and Interior Section
Section Code: 212C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Central Maine Coastal and Embayment Section
Section Code: 212D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: St. Lawrence and Champlain Valley Section
Section Code: 212E 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
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: Vermont-New Hampshire Upland Section
Section Code: M212B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Adirondack Mountain Section
Section Code: M212D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
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: Cumberland Mountains Section
Section Code: M221C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The tree canopy ranges from sparse to partly open, and the understory features a well-developed low heath layer. Taller shrubs are sparse or absent. The herb and bryoid layers are of variable cover, and the ground cover is sparse needle litter and base sand. The open canopy is dominated by Pinus rigida with a variable mixture of associates, including Pinus strobus, Pinus resinosa, Quercus rubra, or Populus grandidentata. In the northern part of the range, Pinus banksiana or Picea rubens may also be present. A few scrub oaks (Quercus ilicifolia, Quercus prinoides) may be present as tall shrubs. The dwarf-shrub layer is comprised largely of heaths, including Vaccinium angustifolium, Vaccinium pallidum, Vaccinium myrtilloides, Gaylussacia baccata, and Kalmia angustifolia. The herbaceous layer often includes Pteridium aquilinum, Carex pensylvanica and/or Carex lucorum, Piptatheropsis pungens (= Oryzopsis pungens), Gaultheria procumbens, Aralia nudicaulis, Maianthemum canadense, Melampyrum lineare, Fragaria virginiana, Lysimachia quadrifolia, and Cypripedium acaule. The bryophyte layer is of variable cover and is characterized by Cladonia arbuscula (= Cladina sylvatica), Cladonia pyxidata, Dicranum polysetum, Pleurozium schreberi, and Leucobryum glaucum.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Pinus rigida G4 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Gaylussacia baccata G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Vaccinium angustifolium G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Vaccinium pallidum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Gaultheria procumbens G4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Maianthemum canadense G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex pensylvanica G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: These pitch pine - heath barrens occur on sandy glacial deposits at low elevations in New England and adjacent Canada. The soils are derived from glacial outwash or, less frequently, till, and are coarse, well-drained to excessively drained, nutrient-poor, and acidic. Sites generally have a history of periodic fire.


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
  • CDPNQ [Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec]. No date. Unpublished data. Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec, Québec.

  • 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.

  • Enser, R. W., and J. A. Lundgren. 2006. Natural communities of Rhode Island. A joint project of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Natural Heritage Program and The Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island. Rhode Island Natural History Survey, Kingston. 40 pp. [www.rinhs.org]

  • 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.

  • Lee, H., W. Bakowsky, J. Riley, J. Bowles, M. Puddister, P. Uhlig, and S. McMurray. 1998. Ecological land classification for southern Ontario: First approximation and its application. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Southcentral Science Section, Science Development and Transfer Branch. SCSS Field Guide FG-02.

  • 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]

  • Lundgren, J. 1999a. Lower New England - Northern Piedmont Ecoregion Forest Classification. December 1999 Draft. 63 pp.

  • Metzler, K., and J. Barrett. 2006. The vegetation of Connecticut: A preliminary classification. State Geological and Natural History Survey, Report of Investigations No. 12. Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Hartford, CT.

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

  • Motzkin, G., and D. R. Foster. 2002. Grasslands, heathlands and shrublands in coastal New England: Historical interpretations and approaches to conservation. Journal of Biogeography 29:1569-1590. [http://harvardforest.fas.harvard.edu/sites/harvardforest.fas.harvard.edu/files/publications/pdfs/Motzkin_JBiogeography_2002_Grasslands.pdf]

  • NAP [Northern Appalachian-Boreal Forest Working Group]. 1998. Northern Appalachian-Boreal Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.

  • ONHIC [Ontario Natural Heritage Information Centre]. 2018. Unpublished data. Ontario Natural Heritage Information Centre, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario, Canada.

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

  • Sneddon, L. A., Zaremba, R. E., and M. Adams. 2010. Vegetation classification and mapping at Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts. Natural Resources Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2010/147. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 481 pp. [http://biology.usgs.gov/npsveg/caco/cacorpt.pdf]

  • 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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