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Nyssa aquatica - Nyssa biflora Swamp Forest
Translated Name: Water Tupelo - Swamp Tupelo Swamp Forest
Common Name: Water Tupelo - Swamp Tupelo Swamp Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL007429
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This forest, dominated by Nyssa aquatica and Nyssa biflora in varying proportions, is found along shallow borders of alluvial swamps and flats near uplands. It is a Zone II community. The range has not been completely assessed; it is theoretically possible on the Atlantic Coastal Plain from North Carolina to southern Georgia, the Gulf Coastal Plain from about Tallahassee west to southeastern Texas, and the Mississippi Alluvial Plain to southern Arkansas and western Tennessee. Taxodium distichum may occur in the canopy of this community, but is not a dominant (usually less than 25% cover). Other tree canopy/subcanopy species are Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Salix nigra, Populus heterophylla, and Carpinus caroliniana. Other shrub and herbaceous species are Leucothoe racemosa, Cyrilla racemiflora, Planera aquatica, and Saururus cernuus. Decumaria barbara, Toxicodendron radicans, Ampelopsis arborea, and Bignonia capreolata are commonly occurring vines, but have less than 10% cover.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low - Poorly Documented
Classification Comments: Although swamp forests dominated by Nyssa aquatica and Nyssa biflora and lacking Taxodium distichum completely or as a dominant develop following logging, this community is naturally occurring. More work needs to understand the development of this community and to determine the extent of its geographic variation. In Virginia, where related vegetation is relatively uncommon and in a restricted geography, it is treated as Taxodium distichum - Nyssa aquatica - Nyssa biflora / Fraxinus caroliniana / Itea virginica Floodplain Forest (CEGL007432).

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 Water Tupelo Swamp Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL002421 Taxodium distichum - (Nyssa aquatica) / Forestiera acuminata - Planera aquatica Floodplain Forest
CEGL007422 Taxodium distichum - Nyssa aquatica - Acer rubrum / Itea virginica Floodplain Forest
CEGL007432 Taxodium distichum - Nyssa aquatica - Nyssa biflora / Fraxinus caroliniana / Itea virginica 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
Alabama Nyssa aquatica - Nyssa biflora Forest Equivalent Certain Schotz pers. comm.
Louisiana Tupelo-Blackgum Swamp Broader   Smith 1996
Mississippi Tupelo Swamp Broader   Wieland 1994
South Carolina Nyssa aquatica - Nyssa biflora Forest Equivalent Certain SCWMRD unpubl. data
South Carolina Bald cypress - tupelo gum swamp Intersects   Nelson 1986
Tennessee Nyssa aquatica - Nyssa biflora Forest Equivalent Certain TDNH unpubl. data


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Baldcypress-Water Tupelo Series
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Diamond, D. D. 1993. Classification of the plant communities of Texas (series level). Unpublished document. Texas Natural Heritage Program, Austin. 25 pp.
Related Concept Name: Blackwater Stream Floodplain Forest
Relationship: I - Intersecting
Reference: Ambrose, J. 1990a. Georgia's natural communities--A preliminary list. Unpublished document. Georgia Natural Heritage Inventory. 5 pp.
Related Concept Name: Brownwater Stream Floodplain Forest
Relationship: I - Intersecting
Reference: Ambrose, J. 1990a. Georgia's natural communities--A preliminary list. Unpublished document. Georgia Natural Heritage Inventory. 5 pp.
Related Concept Name: Gum Swamp
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: IIA4d. Tupelo Swamp
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: P1B3dII3b. Nyssa aquatica - Nyssa biflora - Taxodium distichum
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Foti, T., M. Blaney, X. Li, and K. G. Smith. 1994. A classification system for the natural vegetation of Arkansas. Proceedings of the Arkansas Academy of Science 48:50-53.
Related Concept Name: Tupelo Swamp
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Oberholster, C. 1993. Preliminary list of natural communities of Alabama. Unpublished document. Alabama Department Conservation and Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Section, Montgomery, AL. 6 pp.
Related Concept Name: Water Tupelo - Swamp Tupelo: 103
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
CES203.065 Red River Large Floodplain Forest
CES203.066 Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Large River Floodplain Forest
CES203.304 Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Nonriverine Swamp and Wet Hardwood Forest
CES203.488 West Gulf Coastal Plain Large River Floodplain Forest
CES203.489 East 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: G4G5 (15Aug1997)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: AL, AR, FL, GA, LApotentially occurs, MS, NCpotentially occurs, SC, TNpotentially occurs, TX
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: The range has not been completely assessed; it is theoretically possible on the Atlantic Coastal Plain from North Carolina to southern Georgia, the Gulf Coastal Plain from about Tallahassee west to southeastern Texas, and the Mississippi Alluvial Plain to southern Arkansas and presumably western Tennessee.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Subtropical Division
Province Name: Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 232 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: Stands of this forest are dominated by Nyssa aquatica and Nyssa biflora in varying proportions. Taxodium distichum may occur in the canopy of this community, but is not a dominant (usually less than 25% cover). Other tree canopy/subcanopy species are Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Salix nigra, Populus heterophylla, and Carpinus caroliniana. Other shrub and herbaceous species are Leucothoe racemosa, Cyrilla racemiflora, Planera aquatica, and Saururus cernuus. Decumaria barbara, Toxicodendron radicans, Ampelopsis arborea, and Bignonia capreolata are commonly occurring vines, but have less than 10% cover.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Crataegus aestivalis G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy      
 
 
Nyssa aquatica G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Nyssa biflora G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Planera aquatica G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy      
 
 
Acer rubrum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Fraxinus caroliniana G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Ilex amelanchier G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Cephalanthus occidentalis G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Itea virginica G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Cardamine longii G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Epidendrum conopseum G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Lilaeopsis carolinensis G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Ranunculus flabellaris G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Dryopteris carthusiana G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)      
 
 
Dryopteris cristata G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)      
 
 
Isoetes riparia G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)      
 
 
Carex decomposita G4 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Luziola fluitans G4 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Torreyochloa pallida G4 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Gelsemium rankinii G4 Liana Herb (field)      
 
 
Lejeunea bermudiana G4 Liverwort/hornwort Nonvascular      
 
 
Lopholejeunea muelleriana G4 Liverwort/hornwort Nonvascular      
 
 
Sagittaria filiformis G4 Aquatic herb Submerged aquatic      
 
 
Sagittaria kurziana G4 Aquatic herb Submerged aquatic      
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Cardamine longii
  (Long's Bittercress)
G3?  
Carex decomposita
  (Cypress-knee Sedge)
G3G4  
Lejeunea bermudiana
  (a liverwort)
G3G4  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This forest association is found along shallow borders of alluvial swamps and flats near uplands. Hydrologic regime is the most important environmental determinant of the distribution of this community. It occurs in Zone II (Wharton et al. 1982), and therefore probability of annual flooding is 100% and duration of flooding is approximately 100% of the growing season with soils nearly permanently saturated. The community occurs along shallow borders of alluvial swamps and flats near the uplands (Eyre 1980) and probably is found in less wet areas than swamp forests dominated by Taxodium distichum and Nyssa aquatica.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Probability of annual flooding is 100%, and duration of flooding is approximately 100% of the growing season with soils nearly permanently saturated. Seedlings of the dominant tree species are not shade-tolerant and require unflooded soil for germination. Successional relationships of this community to others is not clear, although with organic matter accumulation and soil buildup, this community may succeed to a bottomland hardwood type.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): S. Landaal
Element Description Edition Date: 01Jan2013
Element Description Author(s): S. Landaal
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 15Aug1997

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.

  • Ambrose, J. 1990a. Georgia's natural communities--A preliminary list. Unpublished document. Georgia Natural Heritage Inventory. 5 pp.

  • Diamond, D. D. 1993. Classification of the plant communities of Texas (series level). Unpublished document. Texas Natural Heritage Program, Austin. 25 pp.

  • Evans, M. 1991. Kentucky ecological communities. Draft report to the Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission. 19 pp.

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

  • Foti, T., M. Blaney, X. Li, and K. G. Smith. 1994. A classification system for the natural vegetation of Arkansas. Proceedings of the Arkansas Academy of Science 48:50-53.

  • 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]

  • Nelson, J. B. 1986. The natural communities of South Carolina: Initial classification and description. South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Columbia, SC. 55 pp.

  • Oberholster, C. 1993. Preliminary list of natural communities of Alabama. Unpublished document. Alabama Department Conservation and Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Section, Montgomery, AL. 6 pp.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Wieland, R. G. 1994b. Mississippi Natural Heritage Program: Ecological communities. Unpublished document. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Museum of Natural Science, Natural Heritage Program, Jackson, MS. 7 pp.

  • Wieland, R. G. 2000b. Ecological communities of Mississippi: Mississippi Natural Heritage Program. Unpublished document. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Museum of Natural Science, Natural Heritage Program, Jackson, MS. 8 pp.


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