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Quercus prinus - (Quercus coccinea) / Carya pallida / Vaccinium arboreum - Vaccinium pallidum Forest
Translated Name: Chestnut Oak - (Scarlet Oak) / Sand Hickory / Farkleberry - Blue Ridge Blueberry Forest
Common Name: Subxeric Ridgetop Chestnut Oak Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL008431
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association includes subxeric chestnut oak forests on high slopes and ridges in the southern Cumberland Plateau, southern Ridge and Valley, Southern Blue Ridge, and occasionally in the Piedmont of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. This forest occurs over rocky, shallow soils derived from various geologies. These include sandstone, quartzite (in the Piedmont), schist, or weakly metamorphosed, metasedimentary rocks (in the western edge of the Southern Blue Ridge). This is a closed-canopy, deciduous forest with open to sparse shrub layers and a sparse to absent herb layer. The canopy is dominated by Quercus prinus, sometimes sharing dominance with Quercus coccinea. Other oaks in the canopy can include Quercus velutina, Quercus stellata, and Quercus alba, although these oaks are not dominant. Hickories (e.g., Carya glabra, Carya pallida) may be present in the canopy and/or subcanopy. Some examples may have coverage of pine in the canopy, most commonly Pinus virginiana and Pinus echinata. The most common subcanopy trees are Acer rubrum, Carya pallida, Cornus florida, Nyssa sylvatica, and Oxydendrum arboreum. The most constant shrub species are Chimaphila maculata, Vaccinium arboreum, Vaccinium pallidum, Vaccinium stamineum, Diospyros virginiana, and Sassafras albidum. Herb coverage is sparse, with little constancy among examples. Some of the more typical herb species are Euphorbia corollata, Hieracium venosum, Carex nigromarginata, and Solidago odora, but many other species may occur.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: This association was defined from examples found in the southern Ridge and Valley of northwestern Georgia, the Cumberland Plateau of northern Alabama, and the western edge of the Southern Blue Ridge in northern Georgia and southeastern Tennessee, where it represents the driest oak forests of this region. This type may be present in the McCreary and Somerset ranger districts of the Daniel Boone National Forest (Kentucky). Stands of Quercus prinus along ecoregional transitions may be difficult to classify [see similar associations].

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 1 - Forest & Woodland
Subclass 1.B - Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland
Formation 1.B.2 - Cool Temperate Forest & Woodland
Division 1.B.2.Na - Eastern North American Forest & Woodland
Macrogroup Appalachian-Northeastern Oak - Hardwood - Pine Forest & Woodland
Group Appalachian Oak / Chestnut Forest
Alliance Chestnut Oak - Scarlet Oak Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL003708 Quercus prinus - Quercus marilandica Piedmont Woodland
CEGL005023 Quercus prinus - Quercus (alba, coccinea) / Viburnum acerifolium - (Kalmia latifolia) Forest
CEGL006271 Quercus (prinus, coccinea) / Kalmia latifolia / (Galax urceolata, Gaultheria procumbens) Forest
CEGL006281 Quercus prinus - Quercus alba / Oxydendrum arboreum / Vitis rotundifolia Forest
CEGL007261 Quercus prinus - Carya spp. - Quercus velutina / Vaccinium arboreum / Iris verna var. smalliana Forest
CEGL007700 Quercus prinus - Quercus spp. / Vaccinium arboreum - (Kalmia latifolia, Styrax grandifolius) Forest
CEGL008430 Quercus alba - (Quercus prinus) / (Hydrangea quercifolia) - Viburnum acerifolium / Carex picta Forest
CEGL008521 Quercus alba - Quercus (coccinea, velutina, prinus) / Gaylussacia baccata Forest



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Quercus prinus - (Quercus coccinea) / Carya pallida / Vaccinium arboreum - Vaccinium pallidum Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Govus, T. E. 2002. Ecological reconnaissance of Pine Mountain, Georgia. Preliminary report, Fall 2002 for The Nature Conservancy, Georgia Field Office, Atlanta, GA. 3 pp.
Related Concept Name: Chestnut Oak Forest
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Lipps, E. L. 1966. Plant communities of a portion of Floyd County, Georgia--especially the Marshall Forest. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. [partial copy]
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Lipps, E. L., and H. R. DeSelm. 1969. The vascular flora of the Marshall Forest, Rome, Georgia. Castanea 34:414-432.
Related Concept Name: Chestnut Oak Type
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Chapman, J. A. 1957. The natural vegetation of English Mountain, Tennessee. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 102 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.339 Southern Piedmont Dry Oak-(Pine) Forest and Woodland
CES202.359 Allegheny-Cumberland Dry Oak Forest and Woodland
CES202.886 Southern Appalachian Oak Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4G5 (31Jan2003)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: This is a wide-ranging type, found on a variety of substrates in several ecoregions; its threats are limited.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: AL, GA, KY, SC, TN
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association occurs in the southern Cumberland Plateau and southern Ridge and Valley of Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama, and ranges into the Southern Blue Ridge and Piedmont regions as well. This or related vegetation is reported from the Daniel Boone National Forest of Kentucky; this needs investigation.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Hot Continental Division
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Oceanic) Province
Province Code: 221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Cumberland Plateau Section
Section Code: 221H Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
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
Section Name: Southern Cumberland Plateau Section
Section Code: 231C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Ridge and Valley Section
Section Code: 231D 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: This is a closed-canopy, deciduous forest with open to sparse shrub layers and a sparse to absent herb layer. The canopy is dominated by Quercus prinus sometimes sharing dominance with Quercus coccinea (and in some Piedmont examples, with Quercus coccinea as the dominant canopy tree). Other oaks in the canopy can include Quercus velutina, Quercus stellata, and Quercus alba, although these oaks are not dominant. Hickories (e.g., Carya glabra, Carya pallida) may be present in the canopy and/or subcanopy. Some examples may have coverage of pine in the canopy, most commonly Pinus virginiana and Pinus echinata. The most common subcanopy trees are Acer rubrum, Carya pallida, Cornus florida, Nyssa sylvatica, and Oxydendrum arboreum. Other minor species in the canopy and subcanopy can include Carya glabra, Castanea dentata, and Magnolia macrophylla. The most constant shrub species are Chimaphila maculata, Vaccinium arboreum, Vaccinium pallidum, Vaccinium stamineum, Diospyros virginiana, and Sassafras albidum. Other shrubs that can occur in examples of this community are Lyonia ligustrina, Castanea pumila, Viburnum acerifolium, Rhododendron alabamense, and Rhododendron canescens. Herb coverage is sparse, with little constancy among examples. Some of the more typical herb species are Euphorbia corollata, Hieracium venosum, Carex nigromarginata, and Solidago odora, but many other species may occur. In the lower Piedmont of Georgia, some additional herbs may include Schizachyrium scoparium, Dichanthelium boscii, Piptochaetium avenaceum, Tephrosia virginiana, Verbesina virginica, Hypoxis hirsuta, Tragia urticifolia, Brickellia eupatorioides, Scutellaria elliptica, Arnoglossum atriplicifolium, Pityopsis aspera, and Coreopsis major.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Quercus coccinea G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus prinus G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Acer rubrum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy  
 
 
Oxydendrum arboreum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Diervilla rivularis G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Gaylussacia brachycera G4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Short shrub/sapling      
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Diervilla rivularis
  (Mountain Bush-honeysuckle)
G3  
Gaylussacia brachycera
  (Box Huckleberry)
G3  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This forest is found on north- and west-facing high slopes and ridgetops over soils derived from sandstone, in the Cumberland Plateau and Ridge and Valley, or weakly metamorphosed, metasedimentary rocks in the western edge of the Southern Blue Ridge. Examples range from 225 to 732 m (740-2400 feet) elevation, with most examples occurring over 274 m (900 feet) elevation. Examples in the Piedmont are usually over metamorphic rock such as schist or quartzite. In the Blue Ridge, this type does not generally reach elevations above 732 m (2400 feet).


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): K.D. Patterson
Element Description Edition Date: 31Aug2004
Element Description Author(s): K.D. Patterson and R. White
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 31Jan2003
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): M. Pyne

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


References
  • ALNHP [Alabama Natural Heritage Program]. No date. Unpublished data on file. Alabama Natural Heritage Program, Auburn University.

  • Chapman, J. A. 1957. The natural vegetation of English Mountain, Tennessee. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 102 pp.

  • Govus, T. E. 2002. Ecological reconnaissance of Pine Mountain, Georgia. Preliminary report, Fall 2002 for The Nature Conservancy, Georgia Field Office, Atlanta, GA. 3 pp.

  • Lipps, E. L. 1966. Plant communities of a portion of Floyd County, Georgia--especially the Marshall Forest. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. [partial copy]

  • Lipps, E. L., and H. R. DeSelm. 1969. The vascular flora of the Marshall Forest, Rome, Georgia. Castanea 34:414-432.

  • NatureServe Ecology - Southeastern United States. No date. Unpublished data. NatureServe, Durham, NC.

  • Schotz, A., H. Summer, and R. White, Jr. 2008. Vascular plant inventory and ecological community classification for Little River Canyon National Preserve. NatureServe, Durham, NC. 244 pp.

  • Schotz, A., M. Hall, and R. D. White, Jr. 2006. Vascular plant inventory and ecological community classification for Russell Cave National Monument. NatureServe, Durham, NC. 108 pp.

  • Schotz, Al. Personal communication. Community Ecologist. Alabama Natural Heritage Program. Huntingdon College, Massey Hall, 1500 East Fairview Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36106-2148.

  • 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.

  • White, Jr., R. D., and T. Govus. 2005. Vascular plant inventory and plant community classification for Kings Mountain National Military Park. NatureServe, Durham, NC. 178 pp.


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