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Quercus alba / Physocarpus opulifolius / Packera plattensis - Hexastylis arifolia var. ruthii Forest
Translated Name: White Oak / Common Ninebark / Prairie Groundsel - Appalachian Arrowleaf Heartleaf Forest
Common Name: Southern Blue Ridge Ultramafic Outcrop Barrens (Deciduous Forest Type)
Unique Identifier: CEGL007296
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This community includes Quercus alba-dominated forest vegetation occurring in association with serpentine geology in the Southern Blue Ridge. Quercus alba makes up 50-75% of the canopy, with lesser amounts (less than 25%) of Pinus rigida and Tsuga canadensis. The subcanopy is primarily Acer rubrum, Amelanchier arborea, and Magnolia acuminata. Shrub cover can exceed 80% or be as low as 15%. Kalmia latifolia is a typical shrub, but other common shrubs include Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides, Vaccinium stamineum, and Physocarpus opulifolius. The herbaceous stratum is dominated by Packera plattensis (= Senecio plattensis). Other typical herbs include Hexastylis arifolia var. ruthii, Polygala paucifolia, Epigaea repens, Mitchella repens, Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum, Thalictrum macrostylum, Poa saltuensis, Phlox stolonifera, Andropogon gerardii, and Zizia aptera. This community occurs on rocky soils associated with serpentine geology. It is found at moderate elevations (1015 m) on gentle to steep concave slopes with an eastern to northwestern exposure.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: This forest at Buck Creek Barrens, Clay County, North Carolina, forms a matrix in which Pinus rigida - Quercus alba / Sporobolus heterolepis - Andropogon gerardii Woodland (CEGL003768) and its seepage inclusions occur. This forest occurs in a physiognomically complex landscape. Fire should be applied with the objective of maintaining a physiognomic complex of woodland, forest, and grass-dominated areas.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 2 - Shrub & Herb Vegetation
Subclass 2.B - Temperate & Boreal Grassland & Shrubland
Formation 2.B.2 - Temperate Grassland & Shrubland
Division 2.B.2.Nc - Eastern North American Grassland & Shrubland
Macrogroup Appalachian Rocky Felsic & Mafic Scrub & Grassland
Group Appalachian Mafic Glade
Alliance Appalachian Ultramafic Oak - Pine Scrub

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL003768 Pinus rigida - Quercus alba / Sporobolus heterolepis - Andropogon gerardii 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
North Carolina Ultramafic Outcrop Barren (White Oak Subtype) Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: IE9b. Blue Ridge/Piedmont Ultramafic Barren
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: Pine-savanna on serpentine
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Mansberg, L., and T. R. Wentworth. 1984. Vegetation and soils of a serpentine barren in western North Carolina. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 111:273-286.
Related Concept Name: Ultramafic Outcrop Barren
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Schafale, M. P., and A. S. Weakley. 1990. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina. Third approximation. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh. 325 pp.
Related Concept Name: Ultramafic Outcrop Barren (White Oak Subtype)
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Schafale, M. 1998b. Fourth approximation guide. High mountain communities. March 1998 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.
Related Concept Name: White Oak (54)
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: White Oak: 53
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
CES202.347 Eastern Serpentine Woodland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1 (31Dec1997)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This community has a very restricted range and only a few small occurrences are known to exist. It is associated with serpentine, dunite and peridotite, all rock types with restricted occurrence in the Southern Blue Ridge ecoregion. There is little or no potential for the discovery of additional occurrences.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: NC
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community occurs on rocky soils associated with serpentine geology in the Southern Blue Ridge of North Carolina.

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


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Quercus alba makes up 50-75% of the canopy in this forest, with lesser amounts (less than 25%) of Pinus rigida and Tsuga canadensis. The subcanopy is primarily Acer rubrum, Amelanchier arborea, and Magnolia acuminata. Shrub cover can exceed 80% or be as low as 15%. Kalmia latifolia is a typical shrub, often occurring in dense patches. Other common shrub species include Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides, Vaccinium stamineum, and Physocarpus opulifolius. The herbaceous stratum is dominated by Packera plattensis (= Senecio plattensis). Other typical herbs include Hexastylis arifolia var. ruthii, Polygala paucifolia, Epigaea repens, Mitchella repens, Pteridium aquilinum, Thalictrum macrostylum, Poa saltuensis (= Poa languida), Phlox stolonifera, Andropogon gerardii, and Zizia aptera. Smilax glauca is a common vine that occurs throughout this forest. Regionally uncommon species or species disjunct from their main distributions include Carex woodii, Poa saltuensis, Polygala paucifolia, and Packera plattensis (Schafale and Weakley 1990).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Quercus alba G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pinus rigida G1 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Acer rubrum G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Magnolia acuminata G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Physocarpus opulifolius G1 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Smilax glauca G1 Liana Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Vaccinium stamineum G1 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Kalmia latifolia G1 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Hexastylis arifolia var. ruthii G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Packera plattensis G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Parnassia grandifolia G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Thalictrum macrostylum G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Viola appalachiensis G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Carex manhartii G1 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Carex manhartii
  (Manhart's Sedge)
G3G4  
Parnassia grandifolia
  (Largeleaf Grass-of-Parnassus)
G3  
Thalictrum macrostylum
  (Small-leaf Meadowrue)
G3G4  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This community occurs on rocky soils associated with serpentine geology. It is found at moderate elevations (1015 m) on gentle to steep concave slopes with a east to northwest exposure.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Natural disturbances in this community include infestations of southern pine beetle and periodic fire. The natural fire frequency for this forest is not known. This forest is thought to be a late successional community. Periodic fire will likely increase the Pinus rigida and graminoid component.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): K.D. Patterson and A.S. Weakley
Element Description Edition Date: 23Feb1995
Element Description Author(s): K.D. Patterson
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 31Dec1997
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): Southeastern Ecology Group

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.

  • Fleming, Gary P. Personal communication. Ecologist, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA.

  • Kauffman, Gary. Personal communication. Botanist. USDA Forest Service, Nantahala National Forest, Highlands, NC.

  • Mansberg, L., and T. R. Wentworth. 1984. Vegetation and soils of a serpentine barren in western North Carolina. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 111:273-286.

  • 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.

  • Schafale, M. 1998b. Fourth approximation guide. High mountain communities. March 1998 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.

  • Schafale, M. P., and A. S. Weakley. 1990. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina. Third approximation. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh. 325 pp.

  • Southeastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Durham, NC.

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

  • Weakley, A. S. 2010. Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, and surrounding areas. Unpublished working draft. University of North Carolina Herbarium (NCU), North Carolina Botanical Garden, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. [http://www.herbarium.unc.edu/flora.htm]


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