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Selaginella rupestris - Schizachyrium scoparium - Hylotelephium telephioides - Allium cernuum Granitic Glade Vegetation
Translated Name: Rock Spikemoss - Little Bluestem - Allegheny Stonecrop - Nodding Onion Granitic Glade Vegetation
Common Name: Low-Elevation Basic Glade (Montane Type)
Unique Identifier: CEGL004991
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This community includes vegetation of North Carolina's upper Piedmont and Blue Ridge, and Virginia's Southern Blue Ridge, on gently to moderately sloping, low-elevation outcrops, with irregular or undulating surfaces but few crevices, and containing plants characteristic of higher pH conditions. This community occurs as small patches (approx. 5-50 acres) at elevations below 1220 m (4000 feet). Vegetation consists of shallow mats dominated by Selaginella rupestris and deeper grassy mats, interspersed with areas of smooth rock or rock with few crevices or fractures. This community has few deep-rooted forbs, shrubs, or trees. The flora is diverse and characterized by the presence of plants indicative of higher pH soils, such as Hylotelephium telephioides (= Sedum telephioides), Dodecatheon meadia, Sedum glaucophyllum, Cheilanthes lanosa, Pycnanthemum curvipes, Arabis laevigata var. laevigata, and Penstemon canescens. Graminoids in this community include Danthonia sericea, Andropogon virginicus, Carex biltmoreana, Andropogon gerardii, and Sorghastrum nutans. Woody species may be scattered, rooted in crevices or in marginal zones between exposed rock and adjacent forests. Typical woody plants include Philadelphus inodorus, Philadelphus hirsutus, Chionanthus virginicus, Quercus prinus, Juniperus virginiana, Fraxinus americana, and Physocarpus opulifolius.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: A subtype of this association, known from the Brushy Mountains of North Carolina (231Aa), is distinguished by a suite of distinctive plant species, including Croton willdenowii (= Crotonopsis elliptica), Allium cuthbertii, Cheilanthes tomentosa, Coreopsis pubescens, Hypericum denticulatum (actually an unnamed taxon), Senna marilandica (= Cassia marilandica), and Diodia teres (M. Schafale pers. comm.). This community often grades into woodlands dominated by Juniperus virginiana and deciduous trees (Quercus prinus, Carya spp., Fraxinus spp.) [see Carya (glabra, alba) - Fraxinus americana - (Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana) Woodland (CEGL003752)].

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 Low-Elevation Basic Rock Spikemoss Glade

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL007690 Selaginella rupestris - Schizachyrium scoparium - Hypericum gentianoides - Bulbostylis capillaris Rocky Grassland



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 Low Elevation Basic Glade (Montane Subtype) Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Low Elevation Basic Glade (Montane 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: Low Elevation Granitic Dome, Basic Variant
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: Low-Elevation Basic Outcrop Barren
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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.348 Southern and Central Appalachian Mafic Glade and Barrens


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2 (19Feb2010)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: This community type is limited to exposures of granitic rocks in the upper Piedmont and Blue Ridge of North Carolina, the Southern Blue Ridge of Virginia, and possibly South Carolina. Fewer than 20 occurrences are known, and most are of 50 acres or less. This community is naturally rare but is somewhat self-protecting. Some occurrences have been negatively impacted by recreational use (off-road vehicles), trash dumping, grazing by cattle, logging of adjacent forests, and mining.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: NC, SCpotentially occurs, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community type is limited to exposures of granitic rocks in the upper Piedmont of North Carolina, and possibly South Carolina and Virginia.

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: Southern Appalachian Piedmont Section
Section Code: 231A 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: Vegetation consists of shallow mats dominated by Selaginella rupestris and deeper grassy mats, interspersed with areas of smooth rock or rock with few crevices or fractures. This community has few deep-rooted forbs, shrubs, or trees. The flora is diverse and characterized by the presence of plants indicative of higher pH soils, such as Hylotelephium telephioides (= Sedum telephioides), Dodecatheon meadia, Sedum glaucophyllum, Cheilanthes lanosa, Arabis laevigata var. laevigata, and Penstemon canescens. Graminoids in this community include Danthonia sericea, Andropogon virginicus, Carex biltmoreana, Andropogon gerardii, and Sorghastrum nutans. Typical woody plants include Philadelphus inodorus, Philadelphus hirsutus, Chionanthus virginicus, Quercus prinus, Juniperus virginiana, Fraxinus americana, and Physocarpus opulifolius. The single Virginia occurrence of this type is strongly codominated by Dodecatheon meadia, Minuartia glabra, Saxifraga michauxii, and Talinum teretifolium. Additional characteristic species include Allium cernuum, Phacelia dubia, Tradescantia ohiensis, Danthonia compressa, and Juncus secundus.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Allium cernuum G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Pycnanthemum curvipes G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Selaginella rupestris G2 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)  
 
 
Hylotelephium telephioides G2 Succulent forb Herb (field)  
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Pycnanthemum curvipes
  (Stone Mountainmint)
G3  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This community includes vegetation on gently to moderately sloping, low-elevation outcrops, with irregular or undulating surfaces but few crevices, and containing plants characteristic of higher pH conditions. This community occurs as small patches (approx. 5-50 acres) at elevations below 1220 m (4000 feet). The single Virginia site for this community occurs at 975 to 1040 m (3200-3400 feet) elevation on the Striped Rock granite, a classic exfoliating formation. Soil samples collected from this site indicate that the rock is calcium-bearing. The vegetation occurs as herbaceous patches at the top of the steep, exfoliated faces. Most of the patches are located where ephemeral seepage runs across the rock surface during wet periods. The transition from forest to open rock is generally abrupt, and there is no well-developed xeric woodland in transitional areas.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): M.P. Schafale and K.D. Patterson
Element Description Edition Date: 19Feb2010
Element Description Author(s): M.P. Schafale, K.D. Patterson, G.P. Fleming
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 19Feb2010
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): A.S. Weakley

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


References
  • Dellinger, B. 1992. Natural areas survey, Nantahala National Forest, Highlands Ranger District: Site survey reports. Unpublished data. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

  • 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., 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.

  • 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.

  • Schafale, Mike P. Personal communication. Ecologist, 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.


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