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Acer saccharinum - (Populus deltoides) / Matteuccia struthiopteris - Laportea canadensis Floodplain Forest
Translated Name: Silver Maple - (Eastern Cottonwood) / Ostrich Fern - Canadian Woodnettle Floodplain Forest
Common Name: Silver Maple Floodplain Levee Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006147
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: These are silver maple floodplain forests along major rivers in the temperate northeastern United States. They occur on the deep, alluvial, silty to somewhat coarse soils of point bars, levees, and adjacent terraces of medium to large, high-energy and moderate-gradient rivers with heavy erosion and sedimentation, and are subjected to spring flooding. The more-or-less closed canopy is high and arching, and the dominant below-canopy feature is the lush and extensive herb layer, with ferns especially prominent. Shrubs are scattered and the overall shrub cover is low. Bryoids are very minor. The canopy is strongly dominated by Acer saccharinum. Other trees may be locally common, or scattered, including Populus deltoides, Quercus rubra, Acer negundo, Ulmus rubra, Juglans nigra, Fraxinus americana, and Fraxinus pennsylvanica. Populus deltoides tends to be characteristic of the siltier soils and levees within these forests. Typical shrubs include Lindera benzoin, Cornus amomum, Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis, and potentially invasive non-native Lonicera spp., Rosa multiflora, or Ligustrum vulgare. Vines such as Vitis riparia are common at some sites. The dominant herbs are Matteuccia struthiopteris and Laportea canadensis. Associated herbs include Elymus riparius, Elymus virginicus, Amphicarpaea bracteata, Ageratina altissima, Arisaema triphyllum, Circaea lutetiana, Thalictrum pubescens, Onoclea sensibilis, and Polygonum virginianum. Particularly in the southern portions of this type's range, non-native herbs such as Alliaria petiolata, Allium vineale, Ranunculus ficaria, and Microstegium vimineum may essentially replace the native herbs. This association is distinguished from the related Acer saccharinum / Onoclea sensibilis - Boehmeria cylindrica Floodplain Forest (CEGL006176) by its greater abundance of Matteuccia struthiopteris relative to Onoclea sensibilis and its better-drained soils. Flood duration is usually shorter in the ostrich fern type. It is distinguished from floodplain forests to the south by the absence (or only very rare presence) of Platanus occidentalis and Celtis occidentalis.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: Two variations in the herb flora have been described (NHNHI 2002). In the ostrich fern variant, Matteuccia struthiopteris is more abundant than Laportea canadensis, Ageratina altissima, and Impatiens spp. are often abundant, and Toxicodendron radicans and Boehmeria cylindrica are infrequent. In the wood nettle variant, Laportea canadensis exceeds Matteuccia struthiopteris in abundance, and Toxicodendron radicans, Leersia virginica, Boehmeria cylindrica, and Cinna arundinacea are more frequent and abundant.

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.Na - Eastern North American-Great Plains Flooded & Swamp Forest
Macrogroup Central Hardwood Floodplain Forest
Group Silver Maple - Green Ash - Sycamore Floodplain Forest
Alliance Silver Maple - Eastern Cottonwood Floodplain Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL002586 Acer saccharinum - Fraxinus pennsylvanica - Ulmus americana Floodplain Forest
CEGL006036 Platanus occidentalis - Fraxinus pennsylvanica Floodplain Forest
CEGL006114 Acer saccharum - Fraxinus spp. - Tilia americana / Matteuccia struthiopteris - Ageratina altissima Floodplain Forest
CEGL006176 Acer saccharinum / Onoclea sensibilis - Boehmeria cylindrica Floodplain Forest
CEGL006217 Acer saccharinum - Acer negundo / Ageratina altissima - Laportea canadensis - (Elymus virginicus) Floodplain Forest



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
Connecticut Acer saccharinum / Ageratina altissima community Intersects   Metzler and Barrett 2006
Massachusetts Major-river Floodplain Forest Broader   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Hampshire Silver maple - wood nettle - ostrich fern floodplain forest Equivalent   Sperduto and Nichols 2004
New York Floodplain forest Broader Certain Edinger et al. 2002
Pennsylvania Silver maple floodplain forest Broader Certain Fike 1999
Vermont Silver Maple-Ostrich Fern Riverine Floodplain Forest Equivalent   Thompson and Sorenson 2000


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Acer saccharinum / Matteuccia / Laportea (Type 3)
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Sperduto, D. D., and K. F. Crowley. 2002a. Floodplain forests in New England: Analysis and proposed classification. In collaboration with natural heritage programs in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Inventory, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord, NH. 19 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Acer saccharinum / Onoclea sensibilis community, Matteuccia struthiopteris variant
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Metzler, K. 1984. Natural community description abstract - southern New England freshwater tidal marsh. Unpublished report. Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Hartford, CT. 6 pp.
Related Concept Name: Riverine floodplain forest: medium-gradient stream
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: NAP [Northern Appalachian-Boreal Forest Working Group]. 1998. Northern Appalachian-Boreal Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.
Related Concept Name: Silver Maple - American Elm: 62
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
CES201.587 Laurentian-Acadian Floodplain Forest
CES202.608 Central Appalachian River Floodplain


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4G5 (14Feb2012)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Despite its wide range and low state ranks, high-quality examples of this type are relatively uncommon. Major threats include invasive species.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, MA, MDpotentially occurs, NH, NJ, NY, PA, VT
Canadian Province Distribution: QCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canadapotentially occurs, United States
Global Range: This association occurs in the northeastern United States from New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York south to Connecticut and Pennsylvania and possibly Maryland.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Warm Continental Division
Province Name: Laurentian Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 212 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Glaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Hot Continental Division
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Oceanic) Province
Province Code: 221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lower New England Section
Section Code: 221A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Hudson Valley Section
Section Code: 221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Appalachian Piedmont Section
Section Code: 221D Occurrence Status: Possible
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Continental) Province
Province Code: 222 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Erie and Ontario Lake Plain Section
Section Code: 222I Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Warm Continental Regime Mountains
Province Name: Adirondack-New England Mixed Forest - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M212 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: White Mountain Section
Section Code: M212A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Vermont-New Hampshire Upland Section
Section Code: M212B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Green, Taconic, Berkshire Mountain Section
Section Code: M212C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Adirondack Mountain Section
Section Code: M212D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The more-or-less closed canopy is high and arching, and the dominant below-canopy feature is the lush and extensive herb layer, with ferns especially prominent. Shrubs are scattered and the overall shrub cover is low. Bryoids are very minor. The canopy is strongly dominated by Acer saccharinum. Other trees may be locally common, or scattered, including Populus deltoides, Quercus rubra, Acer negundo, Ulmus rubra, Juglans nigra, Fraxinus americana, and Fraxinus pennsylvanica. Populus deltoides tends to be characteristic of the siltier soils and levees within these forests. Typical shrubs include Lindera benzoin, Cornus amomum, Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (= Sambucus canadensis), and potentially invasive non-native Lonicera spp., Rosa multiflora, or Ligustrum vulgare. Vines such as Vitis riparia are common at some sites. The dominant herbs are Matteuccia struthiopteris and Laportea canadensis. Associated herbs include Elymus riparius, Elymus virginicus, Amphicarpaea bracteata, Ageratina altissima (= Eupatorium rugosum), Arisaema triphyllum, Circaea lutetiana, Thalictrum pubescens, Onoclea sensibilis, and Polygonum virginianum (= Tovara virginiana). Particularly in the southern portions of this type's range, non-native herbs such as Alliaria petiolata, Allium vineale, Ranunculus ficaria, and Microstegium vimineum may essentially replace the native herbs.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer saccharinum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Populus deltoides G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy      
 
 
Rosa multiflora G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Ligustrum vulgare G4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Cornus amomum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Lindera benzoin G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Alliaria petiolata G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Allium vineale G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Laportea canadensis G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Ranunculus ficaria G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Matteuccia struthiopteris G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)  
 
 
Microstegium vimineum G4 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: These are silver maple floodplain forests along major rivers in the temperate northeastern United States. They occur on the deep, alluvial, silty to somewhat coarse soils of point bars, levees, and adjacent terraces of medium to large, high-energy and moderate-gradient rivers with heavy erosion and sedimentation, and are subjected to spring flooding.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Northern Appalachian Planning Team
Element Description Edition Date: 04Jan2012
Element Description Author(s): S.C. Gawler
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 14Feb2012
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
  • Breden, T. F., Y. R. Alger, K. S. Walz, and A. G. Windisch. 2001. Classification of vegetation communities of New Jersey: Second iteration. Association for Biodiversity Information and New Jersey Natural Heritage Program, Office of Natural Lands Management, Division of Parks and Forestry, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Trenton.

  • CDPNQ [Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec]. No date. Unpublished data. Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec, Québec.

  • Eastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boston, MA.

  • Edinger, G. J., A. L. Feldmann, T. G. Howard, J. J. Schmid, F. C. Sechler, E. Eastman, E. Largay, L. A. Sneddon, C. Lea, and J. Von Loh. 2014b. Vegetation inventory: Saratoga National Historical Park, New York. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NETN/NRTR--2014/869, National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO.

  • Edinger, G. J., D. J. Evans, S. Gebauer, T. G. Howard, D. M. Hunt, and A. M. Olivero, editors. 2014a. Ecological communities of New York state. Second edition. A revised and expanded edition of Carol Reschke's ecological communities of New York state. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY.

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

  • Fike, J. 1999. Terrestrial and palustrine plant communities of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Recreation, Bureau of Forestry, Harrisburg, PA. 86 pp.

  • Metzler, K. 1984. Natural community description abstract - southern New England freshwater tidal marsh. Unpublished report. Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Hartford, CT. 6 pp.

  • Metzler, K. J., and A. W. H. Damman. 1985. Vegetation patterns in the Connecticut River flood plain in relation to frequency and duration of flooding. Naturaliste Can. (Rev. Ecol. Syst.) 112:535-547.

  • Metzler, K. J., and N. Barrett. 1982. National wetlands inventory. Unpublished report submitted to USDI Fish & Wildlife Service. 32 pp.

  • Metzler, K., and J. Barrett. 2006. The vegetation of Connecticut: A preliminary classification. State Geological and Natural History Survey, Report of Investigations No. 12. Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Hartford, CT.

  • NAP [Northern Appalachian-Boreal Forest Working Group]. 1998. Northern Appalachian-Boreal Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.

  • NRCS [Natural Resources Conservation Service]. 2004a. Soil survey of Saratoga County, New York. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. 590 pp.

  • Overlease, W. R. 1987. 150 years of vegetation change in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Bartonia 53:1-12.

  • Sperduto, D. D., and K. F. Crowley. 2002a. Floodplain forests in New England: Analysis and proposed classification. In collaboration with natural heritage programs in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Inventory, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord, NH. 19 pp. plus appendices.

  • Sperduto, D. D., and W. F. Nichols. 2004. Natural communities of New Hampshire: A guide and classification. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord. 242 pp.

  • Swain, P. C., and J. B. Kearsley. 2014. Classification of the natural communities of Massachusetts. Version 2.0. Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Westborough, MA. [http://www.mass.gov/nhesp/http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/natural-heritage/natural-communities/classification-of-natural-communities.html]

  • Thompson, E. H., and E. R. Sorenson. 2005. Wetland, woodland, wildland: A guide to the natural communities of Vermont. The Nature Conservancy and the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. University Press of New England, Hanover, NH. 456 pp.

  • Zimmerman, E. A. 2011k. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. Silver Maple Floodplain Forest Factsheet. [http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Community.aspx?=16026] (accessed January 31, 2012)

  • Zimmerman, E. A., T. Davis, M. A. Furedi, B. Eichelberger, J. McPherson, S. Seymour, G. Podniesinski, N. Dewar, and J. Wagner, editors. 2012. Terrestrial and palustrine plant communities of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Harrisburg. [http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Communities.aspx]


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