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Vaccinium corymbosum / Sphagnum spp. Acidic Peatland
Translated Name: Highbush Blueberry / Peatmoss species Acidic Peatland
Common Name: Highbush Blueberry Bog Thicket
Unique Identifier: CEGL006190
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: Highbush blueberry peat bog of glaciated regions in the eastern and northeastern United States. This tall-shrub bog thicket occurs on oligotrophic to weakly minerotrophic peat soils, commonly as a border thicket around more open dwarf heath shrub peatlands or within small, isolated basins. Significant seasonal water level fluctuation can occur, especially in isolated basins without inlet or outlet streams. A tall-shrub layer is characterized by abundant Vaccinium corymbosum plus Gaylussacia baccata, Chamaedaphne calyculata, Kalmia angustifolia, Rhododendron canadense, Lyonia ligustrina, and Nemopanthus mucronatus in more northern or cooler microclimates, and Ilex verticillata and Rhododendron viscosum in the south. In locally wetter areas, Cephalanthus occidentalis or Decodon verticillatus can occur. Coastal occurrences may have additional shrub species such as Leucothoe racemosa, Clethra alnifolia, and Gaylussacia dumosa. Sparse, scattered trees may occur, including Acer rubrum, Picea mariana, Larix laricina, Pinus strobus, Pinus rigida, Betula populifolia, or Nyssa sylvatica, with species dependent on environmental setting. The herbaceous layer tends to be sparse, although can be locally abundant. Common herbs include Osmunda cinnamomea, Woodwardia virginica, Carex trisperma, Sarracenia purpurea, Thelypteris palustris, Triadenum virginicum, and Maianthemum trifolium. Sphagnum mosses blanket well-developed hummocks and hollows, including Sphagnum magellanicum, Sphagnum centrale, Sphagnum rubellum, Sphagnum capillifolium, Sphagnum fimbriatum, and Sphagnum fuscum.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: These tall heath shrub bog thickets tend to occur in wetter, more minerotrophic settings relative to dwarf heath shrub bogs.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 2 - Shrub & Herb Vegetation
Subclass 2.C - Shrub & Herb Wetland
Formation 2.C.2 - Temperate to Polar Bog & Fen
Division 2.C.2.Na - North American Bog & Fen
Macrogroup North American Boreal & Subboreal Bog & Acidic Fen
Group Eastern North American Subboreal Bog & Acidic Fen
Alliance Highbush Blueberry Peat Shrubland

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL005085 Vaccinium corymbosum - Gaylussacia baccata - Aronia melanocarpa / Calla palustris Acidic Peatland
CEGL006371 Vaccinium corymbosum - Rhododendron viscosum - Clethra alnifolia Acidic Peatland



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
Maine Mountain holly - alder woodland fen Broader   Gawler 2002
Massachusetts Highbush Blueberry Thicket Intersects   Swain and Kearsley 2001
Massachusetts Kettlehole Level Bog Intersects   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Hampshire Highbush blueberry - mountain holly wooded fen Finer   Sperduto and Nichols 2004
New Jersey Northern NJ shrub swamp Undetermined   Breden 1989
New York Highbush blueberry bog thicket Broader Certain Edinger et al. 2002
Pennsylvania Highbush blueberry - meadow-sweet wetland Intersects   Fike 1999
Pennsylvania Highbush blueberry - sphagnum wetland Intersects Certain Fike 1999
Rhode Island Dwarf Shrub Fen/ Bog Intersects   Enser 1999
Vermont Alder Swamp Broader   Thompson and Sorenson 2000


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Vaccinietum corymbosi
Relationship: I - Intersecting
Reference: Conard, H. S. 1935. The plant associations of central Long Island. The American Midland Naturalist 16:433-516.
Related Concept Name: Vaccinium corymbosum - Rhododendron viscosum community
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: 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.
Related Concept Name: Vaccinium corymbosum-Rhododendron viscosum tall shrub bog and bog border association [Type A]
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Kearsley, J. 1999a. Non-forested acidic peatlands of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, Wetborough. June 1999. Unpublished report.
Related Concept Name: Highbush blueberry shrub swamp
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: CAP [Central Appalachian Forest Working Group]. 1998. Central Appalachian Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.
Related Concept Name: Low-shrub Bog
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Lynn, L. M., and E. F. Karlin. 1985. The vegetation of the low-shrub bogs of northern New Jersey and adjacent New York: Ecosystems at their southern limit. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 112:436-444.
Related Concept Name: New England coastal plain pondshore
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.
Related Concept Name: Shrub Swamp
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Lundgren, J., B. Hammond, J. Stone, and L. Sneddon. 2000. Vegetation classification and mapping of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. Final Draft. The Nature Conservancy, March 2000. 59 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES201.583 Eastern Boreal-Sub-boreal Acidic Basin Fen
CES202.606 North-Central Interior and Appalachian Acidic Peatland
CES203.374 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Pitch Pine Lowland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4 (20May2011)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: There are an estimated 1200 occurrences of this small-patch vegetation type throughout the northeastern U.S. from New Jersey to southern Maine. Although larger examples are protected by some state laws, smaller examples, and those in isolated basins, do not receive Federal protection under the Clean Water Act. Much of this vegetation continues to be threatened by adjacent development and runoff associated with these activities, as well as hydrological manipulations such as ditching and filling, or flooding by beaver dams.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association occurs from Pennsylvania and New Jersey north to New Hampshire, Maine and possibly Vermont.

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: Confident or certain
Division Name: Subtropical Division
Province Name: Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 232 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain Section
Section Code: 232A 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: Catskill Mountain Section
Section Code: M212E 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: Northern Ridge and Valley Section
Section Code: M221A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Allegheny Mountains Section
Section Code: M221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Blue Ridge Mountains Section
Section Code: M221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: A tall-shrub layer is characterized by abundant Vaccinium corymbosum plus Gaylussacia baccata, Chamaedaphne calyculata, Kalmia angustifolia, Rhododendron canadense, Lyonia ligustrina, and Nemopanthus mucronatus in more northern or cooler microclimates, and Ilex verticillata and Rhododendron viscosum in the south. In locally wetter areas, Cephalanthus occidentalis or Decodon verticillatus can occur. Sparse, scattered trees may occur, including Acer rubrum, Picea mariana, Larix laricina, Pinus strobus, Pinus rigida, Betula populifolia, or Nyssa sylvatica, with species dependent on environmental setting. The herbaceous layer tends to be sparse, although can be locally abundant. Common herbs include Osmunda cinnamomea, Woodwardia virginica, Carex trisperma, Sarracenia purpurea, Thelypteris palustris, Triadenum virginicum, and Maianthemum trifolium. Sphagnum mosses blanket well-developed hummocks and hollows, including Sphagnum magellanicum, Sphagnum centrale, Sphagnum rubellum, Sphagnum capillifolium, Sphagnum fimbriatum, and Sphagnum fuscum.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Gaylussacia baccata G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Lyonia ligustrina G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Rhododendron viscosum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Vaccinium corymbosum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Chamaedaphne calyculata G4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Osmunda cinnamomea G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Woodwardia virginica G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This tall-shrub bog thicket occurs on oligotrophic to weakly minerotrophic peat soils, commonly as a border thicket around more open dwarf heath shrub peatlands or within small, isolated basins. Significant seasonal water level fluctuation can occur, especially in isolated basins without inlet or outlet streams.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Eastern Ecology Group
Element Description Edition Date: 21Jun2006
Element Description Author(s): S.L. Neid and S.C. Gawler
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 20May2011
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. 1989. A preliminary natural community classification for New Jersey. Pages 157-191 in: E. F. Karlin, editor. New Jersey's rare and endangered plants and animals. Institute for Environmental Studies, Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ. 280 pp.

  • 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.

  • CAP [Central Appalachian Forest Working Group]. 1998. Central Appalachian Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.

  • Conard, H. S. 1935. The plant associations of central Long Island. The American Midland Naturalist 16:433-516.

  • Damman, A. W. H., and T. W. French. 1987. The ecology of peat bogs of the glaciated northeastern United States: A community profile. USDI Fish & Wildlife Service Biological Report 85(7.16). 100 pp.

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

  • 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.

  • Enser, R. W., and J. A. Lundgren. 2006. Natural communities of Rhode Island. A joint project of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Natural Heritage Program and The Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island. Rhode Island Natural History Survey, Kingston. 40 pp. [www.rinhs.org]

  • 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.

  • Furedi, M. A. 2011a. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. Highbush Blueberry - Meadow-sweet Wetland Factsheet. [http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Community.aspx?=16037] (accessed February 01, 2012)

  • Furedi, M. A. 2011f. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. Highbush Blueberry - Sphagnum Wetland Factsheet. [http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Community.aspx?=16035] (accessed February 16, 2012)

  • Gawler, S. C. 2002. Natural landscapes of Maine: A guide to vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta, ME.

  • Gawler, S. C., and A. Cutko. 2010. Natural landscapes of Maine: A classification of vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta.

  • Johnson, A. F. 1981b. Plant communities of the Napeague Dunes. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 108:76-84.

  • Karlin, E. F., and L. M. Lynn. 1988. Dwarf-shrub bogs of the southern Catskill Mountain region of New York State: Geographic changes in the flora of peatlands in northern New Jersey and southern New York. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 115:209-217.

  • Kearsley, J. 1999a. Non-forested acidic peatlands of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, Wetborough. June 1999. Unpublished report.

  • Lundgren, J., B. Hammond, J. Stone, and L. Sneddon. 2000. Vegetation classification and mapping of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. Final Draft. The Nature Conservancy, March 2000. 59 pp.

  • Lynn, L. M., and E. F. Karlin. 1985. The vegetation of the low-shrub bogs of northern New Jersey and adjacent New York: Ecosystems at their southern limit. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 112:436-444.

  • 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.

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  • Perles, S. J., G. S. Podniesinski, M. Furedi, B. A. Eichelberger, A. Feldmann, G. Edinger, E. Eastman, and L. A. Sneddon. 2008. Vegetation classification and mapping at Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2008/133. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 370 pp.

  • Radis, R. 1986. Rare and endangered plant species within the New Jersey portion of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Technical Report. National Park Service. Philadelphia, PA.

  • Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.

  • Rozsa, R., and K. Metzler. No date. Plant communities of Mashomak. Pages 101-161 in: Mashomak Preserve Master Plan. The Nature Conservancy unpublished report.

  • Sneddon, L. A., Zaremba, R. E., and M. Adams. 2010. Vegetation classification and mapping at Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts. Natural Resources Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2010/147. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 481 pp. [http://biology.usgs.gov/npsveg/caco/cacorpt.pdf]

  • 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.

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