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Alnus serrulata / Sanguisorba canadensis - Parnassia grandifolia - Helenium brevifolium Seepage Shrubland
Translated Name: Hazel Alder / Canadian Burnet - Largeleaf Grass-of-Parnassus - Shortleaf Sneezeweed Seepage Shrubland
Common Name: Southern Appalachian Fen (Muck Type)
Unique Identifier: CEGL003917
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association is apparently restricted to western Virginia in Grayson and Carroll counties, and in adjacent Allegheny County, North Carolina (degraded example of uncertain placement). A similar type of vegetation occurs on Bluff Mountain in North Carolina. All known occurrences are in seepage areas underlain by hornblende, gabbro, or gneiss at elevations ranging from about 700-1100 m (2400-3500 feet). This community has a mixed physiognomy ranging from shrub thicket to herbaceous. In general it occurs as a shrubland of Alnus serrulata, Spiraea alba var. latifolia (= Spiraea latifolia), Spiraea tomentosa, and Lyonia ligustrina var. ligustrina. Typically there are a few scattered individuals of Pinus strobus and Acer rubrum but tree cover rarely reaches 10%. The herbaceous layer is relatively continuous and may be quite diverse. Herbaceous species include Glyceria striata, Juncus subcaudatus, Osmunda regalis, Oxypolis rigidior, Viola cucullata, Eleocharis tenuis, Cirsium muticum, Dichanthelium dichotomum, Houstonia caerulea, Oenothera perennis, Sanguisorba canadensis, Parnassia grandifolia, Symphyotrichum novi-belgii (= Aster novi-belgii), Carex atlantica, Helenium brevifolium, Solidago uliginosa, Calopogon tuberosus, Muhlenbergia glomerata, Schizachyrium scoparium, Xyris torta, Panicum virgatum, Rhynchospora capitellata, Rhynchospora alba, and Selaginella apoda.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: This community is floristically related to some of Virginia's mafic woodlands. Generally this community is less "seepy" and lacks the tree canopy of the woodland types. The species Calopogon tuberosus, Muhlenbergia glomerata, Schizachyrium scoparium, Xyris torta, Panicum virgatum, Rhynchospora capitellata, Rhynchospora alba, and Selaginella apoda are probably differential to this type. An association with "similar type of vegetation" that occurs on Bluff Mountain in North Carolina is Cladium mariscoides - Sanguisorba canadensis / Sphagnum subsecundum Herbaceous Seep (CEGL004167). These (CEGL004252 and CEGL003917) are two shrublands that occur in a flat area of the Southern Blue Ridge that is underlain by ultramafic and mafic rocks and has many headwater streams and seepage areas. The two are distinctly different environmentally and floristically. Plots of both in the regional dataset have been examined, and they are quite distinct in quantitative analysis. CEGL003917 is a very low, sparse shrubland that grows in peaty, sphagnous fens and has many "bog" species such as Kalmia carolina, Drosera rotundifolia, Carex sterilis, Calopogon tuberosus, Vaccinium macrocarpon, etc. CEGL004252 is a tall, denser shrubland with coarse herbs that grows in mucky fens. Originally (in the early 1990s), Tom Rawinski recognized both only in the general category of a "Mafic Fen" and so they were sort of combined in the LAPS book (Grossman et al. 1994) as a rare "type."


Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 2 - Shrub & Herb Vegetation
Subclass 2.C - Shrub & Herb Wetland
Formation 2.C.4 - Temperate to Polar Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Division 2.C.4.Nd - Eastern North American Temperate & Boreal Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Macrogroup Eastern North American Cool Temperate Seep
Group Central & Southern Appalachian Seep
Alliance Southern Appalachian Rich Seep

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004167 Cladium mariscoides - Sanguisorba canadensis / Sphagnum subsecundum Herbaceous Seep
CEGL004252 Alnus serrulata / Sanguisorba canadensis - Calamagrostis canadensis Seepage Shrubland
CEGL006249 Spiraea alba var. latifolia - Cornus racemosa / Calamagrostis canadensis - Sanguisorba canadensis - Carex scoparia Seepage Shrubland



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 Southern Appalachian Fen (Glades Subtype) Broader   Schafale 2002


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Alnus serrulata / Sanguisorba canadensis - Helenium brevifolium - Parnassia grandifolia - Eleocharis tenuis Shrubland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and P. P. Coulling. 2001. Ecological communities of the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Preliminary classification and description of vegetation types. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 317 pp.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Patterson, Karen D. Personal communication. Ecologist, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: VDNH [Virginia Division of Natural Heritage]. 2003. The natural communities of Virginia: Hierarchical classification of community types. Unpublished document, working list of November 2003. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Ecology Group, Richmond.
Related Concept Name: Sanguisorba canadensis - Parnassia grandifolia - Helenium brevifolium Shrubland
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Grossman, D. H., K. Lemon Goodin, and C. L. Reuss, editors. 1994. Rare plant communities of the conterminous United States: An initial survey. The Nature Conservancy. Arlington, VA. 620 pp.
Related Concept Name: IIE1a. Southern Appalachian Bog Complex
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Allard, D. J. 1990. Southeastern United States ecological community classification. Interim report, Version 1.2. The Nature Conservancy, Southeast Regional Office, Chapel Hill, NC. 96 pp.
Related Concept Name: Mafic Fen / Seep
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: Southern Appalachian Fen (Glades Subtype)
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Schafale, M. 2002. Fourth approximation guide. Mountain communities. November 2002 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Schafale, M. 1998a. Fourth approximation guide. Mountain wetlands. February 1998 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.300 Southern and Central Appalachian Bog and Fen


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1 (07Oct1998)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: There are probably fewer than 5 occurrences of this community type rangewide; currently there are 2 occurrences documented in Virginia. Most occurrences are very small (less than 5 acres); total rangewide acreage is probably less than 25 acres. Its currently documented range is restricted to the southern Blue Ridge plateau in Virginia known as "The Glades"; it may also occur in North Carolina. Known occurrences are highly threatened by grazing. Must be nutrient poor as vegetation is short/stunted.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: NCpotentially occurs, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community is currently known only from the Southern Blue Ridge plateau in Virginia, in an area known as "The Glades." A similar but distinct type of vegetation, Cladium mariscoides - Sanguisorba canadensis / Sphagnum subsecundum Herbaceous Seep (CEGL004167) occurs on Bluff Mountain in North Carolina (Grossman et al. 1994). This community as defined from Virginia may also occur in North Carolina (other than on Bluff Mountain), but this has not yet been confirmed.

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: Allegheny Mountains Section
Section Code: M221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Blue Ridge Mountains Section
Section Code: M221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This community has a mixed physiognomy ranging from shrub thicket to herbaceous. In general it occurs as a shrubland of Alnus serrulata, Spiraea alba var. latifolia (= Spiraea latifolia), Spiraea tomentosa, and Lyonia ligustrina var. ligustrina. Typically there are a few scattered individuals of Pinus strobus and Acer rubrum but tree cover rarely reaches 10%. The herbaceous layer is relatively continuous and may be quite diverse. Herbaceous species include Glyceria striata, Juncus subcaudatus, Osmunda regalis, Oxypolis rigidior, Viola cucullata, Eleocharis tenuis, Cirsium muticum, Dichanthelium dichotomum, Houstonia caerulea, Oenothera perennis, Sanguisorba canadensis, Parnassia grandifolia, Symphyotrichum novi-belgii (= Aster novi-belgii), Carex atlantica, Helenium brevifolium, Solidago uliginosa, Calopogon tuberosus, Muhlenbergia glomerata, Schizachyrium scoparium, Xyris torta, Panicum virgatum, Rhynchospora capitellata, Rhynchospora alba, and Selaginella apoda (Grossman et al. 1994).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Alnus serrulata G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Rosa palustris G1 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Vaccinium macrocarpon G1 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Calopogon tuberosus G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Euphorbia purpurea G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Helenium brevifolium G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Lilium grayi G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Parnassia grandifolia G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Ranunculus hispidus var. nitidus G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Sanguisorba canadensis G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Solidago uliginosa G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Trillium pusillum G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Carex atlantica G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Cladium mariscoides G1 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Juncus subcaudatus G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Muhlenbergia glomerata G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Rhynchospora capitellata G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Euphorbia purpurea
  (Glade Spurge)
G3  
Lilium grayi
  (Gray's Lily)
G3  
Parnassia grandifolia
  (Largeleaf Grass-of-Parnassus)
G3  
Trillium pusillum
  (Least Trillium)
G3  

Vegetation Structure
Stratum Growth Form
Height of Stratum (m)
Cover
Class
%
Min
Cover %
Max
Cover %
Tall shrub/sapling Shrub
 
 
 
 
Herb (field) Herb
 
 
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: All known occurrences of this association are in seepage areas underlain by hornblende, gabbro, or gneiss at elevations ranging from about 700-1100 m (2400-3500 feet) (Grossman et al. 1994).


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): M. Anderson
Element Description Edition Date: 17May2005
Element Description Author(s): M. Anderson and M. Pyne
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 07Oct1998
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
  • Allard, D. J. 1990. Southeastern United States ecological community classification. Interim report, Version 1.2. The Nature Conservancy, Southeast Regional Office, Chapel Hill, NC. 96 pp.

  • 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. M. McCoy. 2004. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Natural Heritage Technical Report 04-01. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/dnh/ncintro.htm]

  • 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.

  • Fleming, G. P., and P. P. Coulling. 2001. Ecological communities of the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Preliminary classification and description of vegetation types. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 317 pp.

  • Grossman, D. H., K. Lemon Goodin, and C. L. Reuss, editors. 1994. Rare plant communities of the conterminous United States: An initial survey. The Nature Conservancy. Arlington, VA. 620 pp.

  • Patterson, Karen D. Personal communication. Ecologist, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA.

  • Schafale, M. 1998a. Fourth approximation guide. Mountain wetlands. February 1998 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

  • Schafale, M. 2002. Fourth approximation guide. Mountain communities. November 2002 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

  • 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.

  • VDNH [Virginia Division of Natural Heritage]. 2003. The natural communities of Virginia: Hierarchical classification of community types. Unpublished document, working list of November 2003. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Ecology Group, Richmond.


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