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Liriodendron tulipifera - Acer rubrum - Robinia pseudoacacia Ruderal Forest
Translated Name: Tuliptree - Red Maple - Black Locust Ruderal Forest
Common Name: Appalachian Ruderal Hardwood Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL007219
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This early-successional or semi-natural vegetation occurs at approximately 700-1220 m (2300-4000 feet) elevation in the southern Appalachian Mountains and Appalachian Plateaus. Examples are typical of areas which were once clearcut, old fields, strip-mined, graded for road construction, or otherwise cleared. Stands are typically revegetated from root and stump sprouts and wind dispersed seeds. Stands have canopies which are typically dominated by Liriodendron tulipifera and Acer rubrum, with lesser amounts of Robinia pseudoacacia. Robinia pseudoacacia is listed as a nominal to indicate the Appalachian distribution of this type. Associated species may vary. Some examples may contain Pinus virginiana. Tall shrubs (Rhododendron periclymenoides, Rhododendron calendulaceum, Kalmia latifolia, Calycanthus floridus) sprout from root stocks and occur as scattered, dense clumps, while shorter shrubs (Gaylussacia ursina, Leucothoe fontanesiana, Rubus spp., Vaccinium spp.) can have dense, continuous cover. Composition of the herbaceous stratum varies with site conditions and moisture regime and may contain field-adapted species, tolerant of high light intensities, as well as many shade-tolerant forest herbs. Lycopodium digitatum may also form dense cover.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: Some examples of this type are not dominated by, and may not even contain, Liriodendron tulipifera. It is restricted to the Appalachian ecoregions (TNC Ecoregions 50 and 51) in contrast to other successional Liriodendron tulipifera forests (CEGL007220, CEGL007221). This community differs from Liriodendron tulipifera - Quercus spp. Ruderal Forest (CEGL007221) by its lack or relative lack of Quercus spp. It differs from other successional Liriodendron tulipifera types by the presence of Robinia pseudoacacia as well as other hardwoods characteristic of the Southern Appalachians (e.g., Betula lenta, Amelanchier laevis, Magnolia fraseri).

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 Eastern North American Ruderal Forest
Group Eastern North American Native Ruderal Forest
Alliance Ruderal Tuliptree - Black Walnut - Black Locust Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL007221 Liriodendron tulipifera - Quercus spp. Ruderal Forest



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: IF3a. Recently Harvested Timberland
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: Yellow Poplar (50)
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: USFS [U.S. Forest Service]. 1988. Silvicultural examination and prescription field book. USDA Forest Service, Southern Region. Atlanta, GA. 35 pp.
Related Concept Name: Yellow-Poplar: 57
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

NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: GNA (07Dec2000)
Rounded Global Status: GNA - Not Applicable
Reasons: This forest represents early successional vegetation or vegetation resulting from anthropogenic activities and is thus not a conservation priority. These forests are typical of areas which were once clearcut, old fields, strip-mined, or cleared by fire or other natural disturbances.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community occurs in upland areas of the Blue Ridge escarpment where there has been removal of the above-ground portion of canopy trees within the past ten years. It occurs in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, in the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province and is likely in the Cumberland Plateau and Ridge and Valley Province.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Hot Continental Division
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Oceanic) Province
Province Code: 221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Cumberland Plateau Section
Section Code: 221H 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: Blue Ridge Mountains Section
Section Code: M221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Some stands of this successional vegetation have canopies which are dominated by Liriodendron tulipifera and Acer rubrum, with lesser amounts of Robinia pseudoacacia. Other stands may have Liriodendron tulipifera at lower cover, and instead be dominated by a variable combination of other successional hardwoods, including Acer rubrum, Robinia pseudoacacia, Sassafras albidum, Betula lenta, Amelanchier laevis, Prunus serotina, Nyssa sylvatica, and/or Magnolia fraseri. The subcanopy may contain Oxydendrum arboreum and/or Cornus florida. Some examples may contain Pinus virginiana. Associated species vary. Taller shrubs include Rhododendron periclymenoides, Rhododendron calendulaceum, Ilex montana, Pyrularia pubera, Kalmia latifolia, and Calycanthus floridus; shorter shrubs include Gaylussacia ursina, Leucothoe fontanesiana, Rubus spp., and Vaccinium spp. Composition of the herbaceous stratum varies with site conditions and moisture regime and may contain field-adapted species which are tolerant of high light intensities, as well as many shade-tolerant forest herbs. Lycopodium digitatum may also form dense cover. Most of the regeneration is from stump and root sprouts, however, Liriodendron tulipifera establishment is primarily from seedlings. The upper canopy ranges from 5-9 m, but most of the regeneration is in a shrub/sapling layer at 1-3 m. Cover of woody species may be patchy to dense and is characterized by clumps of Robinia pseudoacacia and Acer rubrum, occurring as stump sprouts. Scattered thickets of evergreen ericads (Rhododendron and Kalmia) are also typical. Other species occurring as shrubs/saplings include Calycanthus floridus, Halesia carolina, Pinus strobus, Castanea dentata, Prunus serotina, Pyrularia pubera, Sassafras albidum, Castanea pumila, Hydrangea arborescens, Viburnum acerifolium, Gaylussacia ursina, Rubus spp., and Vaccinium ssp. Short shrubs (<2 m), such as Gaylussacia ursina, Rubus spp. and, Vaccinium ssp., often form a dense, continuous vegetation layer. Herbaceous species and tree seedlings occur in openings and beneath the shrub cover and include ferns (Thelypteris noveboracensis, Dennstaedtia punctilobula, Polystichum acrostichoides, and Pteridium aquilinum), other forests forbs (Potentilla spp., Viola spp., Ageratina altissima, Asteraceae spp., Solidago spp., Galium latifolium, Lysimachia quadrifolia, and Desmodium spp.) and grasses (Arundinaria gigantea, Panicum spp., and Dichanthelium spp.). Vines are also an important component in these forests with Vitis spp., Smilax spp., Parthenocissus quinquefolia, and Dioscorea villosa typical.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer rubrum GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Betula lenta GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Liriodendron tulipifera GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Robinia pseudoacacia GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Parthenocissus quinquefolia GNA Liana Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Acer rubrum GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Castanea dentata GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Cornus florida GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Halesia carolina GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Magnolia fraseri GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Nyssa sylvatica GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Prunus serotina GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Robinia pseudoacacia GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Sassafras albidum GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Pinus strobus GNA Needle-leaved tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Calycanthus floridus GNA Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Pyrularia pubera GNA Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Kalmia latifolia GNA Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Castanea pumila GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Gaylussacia ursina GNA Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Hydrangea arborescens GNA Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Viburnum acerifolium GNA Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Ageratina altissima GNA Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Anemone quinquefolia var. minima GNA Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Dioscorea villosa GNA Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Galium latifolium GNA Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Isotria medeoloides GNA Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Lysimachia quadrifolia GNA Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Dennstaedtia punctilobula GNA Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Pteridium aquilinum GNA Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Thelypteris noveboracensis GNA Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Arundinaria gigantea GNA Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Anemone quinquefolia var. minima
  (Dwarf Anemone)
G5T3  
Isotria medeoloides
  (Small Whorled Pogonia)
G2? LT: Listed threatened

Vegetation Structure
Stratum Growth Form
Height of Stratum (m)
Cover
Class
%
Min
Cover %
Max
Cover %
Tree canopy Broad-leaved deciduous tree
 
 
 
 
Shrub/sapling (tall & short) Liana
 
 
 
 
Tall shrub/sapling Broad-leaved deciduous shrub
 
 
 
 
Short shrub/sapling Broad-leaved deciduous shrub
 
 
 
 
Herb (field) Herb
 
 
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This community occurs on gentle to moderately steep, middle to upper slopes at approximately 700-1220 m (2300-4000 feet) elevation. Important environmental factors, such as solar irradiation, soil moisture/temperature, and air temperature, vary within and between sites and are related to the size of the opening, age of the stand, and slope direction (Phillips and Shure 1990). Soils are primarily Hapludults and Dystrochrepts. This successional forest occurs on upland areas in the southern Appalachian Mountains and Appalachian Plateaus. It typically occurs as 8- to 16-ha patches in the landscape. These forests are typical of areas which were once clearcut, old fields, strip-mined, or cleared by fire or other natural disturbances.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Presumably, individuals arising from sprouts are more susceptible to wind breakage because of constricted vascular tissue at the stump attachment (Phillips and Shure 1990). This is an early-successional forest, on recently cut-over land, dominated by pioneer species. Prior to cutting these areas were dominated by Pinus strobus and/or Quercus spp. (Quercus alba, Quercus prinus, Quercus rubra), occurring with other upland hardwood species such as Carya spp. and Liriodendron tulipifera. Canopy closure occurs rapidly after time of harvest, and by the fourth year, little unshaded, unvegetated area remains. Mid- and late-successional species will slowly re-establish dominance. Considerable competition of tree species with Vitis spp. and Rhododendron spp. may affect future stand development on some sites (McGee and Hooper 1970).


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): K.D. Patterson
Element Description Edition Date: 03Aug2010
Element Description Author(s): K.D. Patterson and M. Pyne
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 04Jan2000
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): K.D. Patterson

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.

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

  • Golden, M. S. 1974. Forest vegetation and site relationships in the central portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 275 pp.

  • Govus, T. E. 1982. Vegetative profiles of the major forest types in the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests. USDA Forest Service. Contract No. 00-4550-1-1399. 71 pp.

  • Horn, J. C. 1976. Avian succession following clearcutting in the Southern Appalachians. Unpublished report. Highlands Biological Station, NC.

  • Horn, J. C. 1980. Short-term changes in vegetation after clearcutting in the Southern Appalachians. Castanea 45:88-96.

  • McGee, C. E., and R. M. Hooper. 1970. Regeneration after clearcutting in the Southern Appalachians. Research Paper SE-70. USDA Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, Asheville, NC. 12 pp.

  • NatureServe Ecology - Southeastern United States. No date. Unpublished data. NatureServe, Durham, NC.

  • 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.

  • Phillips, D. L., and D. J. Shure. 1990. Patch-size effects on early succession in Southern Appalachian forests. Ecology 71:204-212.

  • Schmalzer, P. A. 1978. Classification and analysis of forest communities in several coves of the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. M.S. thesis, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 24 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.

  • Thomas, R. D. 1966. The vegetation and flora of Chilhowee Mountain. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 355 pp.

  • USFS [U.S. Forest Service]. 1988. Silvicultural examination and prescription field book. USDA Forest Service, Southern Region. Atlanta, GA. 35 pp.


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