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Planera aquatica Floodplain Forest
Translated Name: Planertree Floodplain Forest
Common Name: Coastal Plain Planertree Floodplain Swamp Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL007394
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association consists of forests of the southeastern United States Coastal Plain in which Planera aquatica is dominant and may form an essentially monospecific canopy. Relatively few additional species are present in other vegetational strata, although these short-statured forests sometimes have a scattered emergent canopy of other tree species typical of flooded swamps. The herbaceous and vine/liana strata are sparse, and no species are known to be diagnostic of this type relative to other bottomlands. Due in part to extreme periods of inundation, this habitat is typically very low in species diversity.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: Possible Kentucky occurrences are only a few hectares in size.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 1 - Forest & Woodland
Subclass 1.B - Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland
Formation 1.B.3 - Temperate Flooded & Swamp Forest
Division 1.B.3.Nb - Southeastern North American Flooded & Swamp Forest
Macrogroup Southern Coastal Plain Floodplain Forest
Group Bald-cypress - Tupelo Floodplain Forest
Alliance Southern Bald-cypress - Tupelo Floodplain Forest

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



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These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.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
Alabama Planera aquatica Forest Equivalent Certain Schotz pers. comm.
Florida Floodplain swamp Broader   FNAI 1997
Louisiana Bottomland Hardwood Forest Broader   Smith 1996
Tennessee Planera aquatica Forest Equivalent Certain TDNH unpubl. data
Texas Planera aquatica Forest Equivalent Certain TNHS unpubl. data


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Bottomland Hardwood Forest
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Smith, L. M., compiler. 1996a. Natural plant communities in Louisiana currently recognized by the Louisiana Natural Heritage Program. Unpublished document. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Natural Heritage Program, Baton Rouge. 2 pp.
Related Concept Name: Floodplain Swamp, Water Elm Slough subtype
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 1992b. Natural community classification. Unpublished document. The Nature Conservancy, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee. 16 pp.
Related Concept Name: Floodplain Swamp, Water Elm/Pop Ash Slough subtype
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 1992b. Natural community classification. Unpublished document. The Nature Conservancy, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee. 16 pp.
Related Concept Name: Water Elm / Justicia Clayey Intermittently Exposed Swamps
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Turner, R. L., J. E. Van Kley, L. S. Smith, and R. E. Evans. 1999. Ecological classification system for the national forests and adjacent areas of the West Gulf Coastal Plain. The Nature Conservancy, Nacogdoches, TX. 95 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Water Elm Pond
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Wharton, C. H., W. M. Kitchens, E. C. Pendleton, and T. W. Sipe. 1982. The ecology of bottomland hardwood swamps of the Southeast: A community profile. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Biological Services. FWS/OBS-81/37. Washington, DC.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.065 Red River Large Floodplain Forest
CES203.066 Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Large River Floodplain Forest
CES203.249 Atlantic Coastal Plain Small Blackwater River Floodplain Forest
CES203.250 Atlantic Coastal Plain Small Brownwater River Floodplain Forest
CES203.488 West Gulf Coastal Plain Large River Floodplain Forest
CES203.490 Mississippi River Bottomland Depression
CES203.493 Southern Coastal Plain Blackwater River Floodplain Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4? (01Dec1997)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: AL, AR, FL, GA, KYpotentially occurs, LA, MS, OK, SC, TN, TX
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association is found in the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Subtropical Division
Province Name: Southeastern Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 231 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Coastal Plain Middle Section
Section Code: 231B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Middle Coastal Plains, Western Section
Section Code: 231E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Eastern Gulf Prairies and Marshes Section
Section Code: 231F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 232 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
Section Name: Florida Coastal Lowlands (Western) Section
Section Code: 232D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Lower Mississippi Riverine Forest Province
Province Code: 234 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Mississippi Alluvial Basin Section
Section Code: 234A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: These forests are dominated by Planera aquatica, and in many cases form an essentially monospecific canopy of this species. These short-statured forests sometimes have a scattered emergent canopy of Taxodium ascendens, Taxodium distichum, Nyssa biflora, Populus heterophylla, Acer negundo, Fraxinus caroliniana, Liquidambar styraciflua, Platanus occidentalis, Carya aquatica, Celtis laevigata, Nyssa aquatica, Platanus occidentalis, Quercus lyrata, and Fraxinus pennsylvanica, among others. Quercus lyrata is the second most important overstory tree species documented in this association in eastern Texas. Midstory and shrub species in eastern Texas are Cephalanthus occidentalis and Cornus foemina. The herbaceous and vine/liana strata are sparse, and common species include Lindernia dubia, Commelina diffusa, Triadenum walteri, Polygonum hydropiperoides, Pluchea camphorata, Saururus cernuus, Boehmeria cylindrica, Echinodorus cordifolius, Justicia ovata, Packera glabella (= Senecio glabellus), Ampelopsis arborea, Campsis radicans, Toxicodendron radicans, Vitis rotundifolia, and Parthenocissus quinquefolia.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Planera aquatica G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: These forests are associated with southern Coastal Plain rivers, often in depressions a meter or more lower in elevation than the surrounding bottomland hardwood forests. Fine-textured soils in these areas contribute to long periods of inundation typical of backswamp environments while at the same time allowing for further deposition of fine-textured particles. Relatively low chroma values at these sites probably indicate anaerobic soil conditions (Fanning and Fanning 1989). Soil analyses at plot locations of this type in eastern Texas and western Louisiana document strongly acidic pH levels. Mundorff (1998) showed that these soils have higher levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium than other bottomland community types in the West Gulf Coastal Plain. Plots examined in eastern Texas are also fairly high in calcium and magnesium (Turner et al. unpubl. data).


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): A.S. Weakley, mod. R.E. Evans
Element Description Edition Date: 17May2006
Element Description Author(s): A.S. Weakley and R.E. Evans

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


References
  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 1992a. Natural communities. Unpublished document. The Nature Conservancy, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee. 6 pp.

  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 1992b. Natural community classification. Unpublished document. The Nature Conservancy, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee. 16 pp.

  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 2010a. Guide to the natural communities of Florida: 2010 edition. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee, FL.

  • Fanning, D. D., and M. C. Fanning. 1989. Soil morphology, genesis, and classification. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., NY. 395 pp.

  • LNHP [Louisiana Natural Heritage Program]. 2009. Natural communities of Louisiana. Louisiana Natural Heritage Program, Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, Baton Rouge. 46 pp. [http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/page_wildlife/6776-Rare%20Natural%20Communities/LA_NAT_COM.pdf]

  • Mundorff, K. T. 1998. Ecological classification of bottomland hardwood forests in east Texas and central Louisiana. M.S. thesis, Stephen F. Austin University, Nacogdoches, TX.

  • 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.

  • Schotz, Al. Personal communication. Community Ecologist. Alabama Natural Heritage Program. Huntingdon College, Massey Hall, 1500 East Fairview Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36106-2148.

  • Smith, L. M., compiler. 1996a. Natural plant communities in Louisiana currently recognized by the Louisiana Natural Heritage Program. Unpublished document. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Natural Heritage Program, Baton Rouge. 2 pp.

  • 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.

  • TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. [1998]b. Classification of the vegetation of Congaree Swamp National Monument. Report to BRD-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program. The Nature Conservancy, Southern Conservation Science, Chapel Hill, NC. 67 pp.

  • Turner, R. L., J. E. Van Kley, L. S. Smith, and R. E. Evans. 1999. Ecological classification system for the national forests and adjacent areas of the West Gulf Coastal Plain. The Nature Conservancy, Nacogdoches, TX. 95 pp. plus appendices.

  • Turner, R. L., J. E. Van Kley, L. S. Smith, and R. E. Evans. No date. Unpublished data from the national forests and adjacent areas of the West Gulf Coastal Plain. The Nature Conservancy, Nacogdoches, TX.

  • Wharton, C. H., W. M. Kitchens, E. C. Pendleton, and T. W. Sipe. 1982. The ecology of bottomland hardwood swamps of the Southeast: A community profile. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Biological Services. FWS/OBS-81/37. Washington, DC.


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