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Platanus occidentalis - Liquidambar styraciflua / Carpinus caroliniana - Asimina triloba Floodplain Forest
Translated Name: American Sycamore - Sweetgum / American Hornbeam - Pawpaw Floodplain Forest
Common Name: Sycamore - Sweetgum Floodplain Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL007340
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This forest, dominated by Platanus occidentalis and Liquidambar styraciflua, occurs on small to medium-sized streams and on larger streams on active first bottoms and possibly on levees where flooding may be frequent but is of short duration. The community occurs in the Interior Low Plateau, the Cumberlands, Ridge and Valley, and adjacent provinces of Tennessee and Kentucky, and possibly Alabama and Georgia. Other trees present can include Acer rubrum, Liriodendron tulipifera, Quercus phellos, Celtis occidentalis, Juglans nigra, Fraxinus spp., and Ulmus spp. Other woody species common to this community include Carpinus caroliniana, Aesculus sylvatica, Cornus florida, Alnus serrulata, Fraxinus americana, Acer rubrum, Asimina triloba, Toxicodendron radicans, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Ulmus americana, Fagus grandifolia, and Euonymus americanus. In addition, Arundinaria gigantea may be present or even abundant. Herbaceous species that may be found include Arisaema triphyllum, Sanicula canadensis, Saururus cernuus, Campanula divaricata, Laportea canadensis, Salvia lyrata, Chasmanthium latifolium, Dichanthelium dichotomum var. dichotomum, Viola sororia, and Carex crinita. Because of repeated flooding, this community may remain on a site indefinitely. It develops from communities dominated by Salix spp. and Populus spp., and probably from others.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: The former Platanus occidentalis - (Liquidambar styraciflua, Acer rubrum) / (Carpinus caroliniana) / Onoclea sensibilis Forest (CEGL007701) was combined with this type (CEGL007340), broadening its range in the Cumberlands and Interior Low Plateau. Aesculus sylvatica does not occur in Kentucky. This association was originally conceived as having a more montane or upper piedmontane affinity. This type may be more likely in the upper/inner Piedmont (in contrast to Platanus occidentalis - Celtis laevigata - Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Ilex decidua / Carex retroflexa Floodplain Forest (CEGL007730), which is more likely in the portions of the Piedmont closer to the Coastal Plain, e.g., the Oconee National Forest).

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 - Sugarberry - Sweetgum Floodplain Forest
Alliance Southern Appalachian Sycamore - Sweetgum - Tuliptree Floodplain Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006458 Platanus occidentalis - Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Carpinus caroliniana / Verbesina alternifolia Floodplain Forest
CEGL006492 Liriodendron tulipifera - Acer negundo - (Platanus occidentalis) / Carpinus caroliniana / Polygonum virginianum Floodplain Forest
CEGL006603 Platanus occidentalis - (Liquidambar styraciflua, Liriodendron tulipifera) / Asimina triloba Floodplain Forest
CEGL007013 Fraxinus pennsylvanica - Platanus occidentalis - Celtis laevigata / Chasmanthium latifolium Piedmont Floodplain Forest
CEGL007730 Platanus occidentalis - Celtis laevigata - Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Ilex decidua / Carex retroflexa 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 Platanus occidentalis - Liquidambar styraciflua / Carpinus caroliniana - Asimina triloba Forest Equivalent Certain Schotz pers. comm.
Kentucky Small Stream Scour Forest Broader   Evans 1991
Tennessee Platanus occidentalis - Liquidambar styraciflua / Carpinus caroliniana - Asimina triloba Forest Equivalent Certain TDNH unpubl. data


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Alluvial Forest
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Evans, M. 1991. Kentucky ecological communities. Draft report to the Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission. 19 pp.
Related Concept Name: IIA6f. "Interior" Small Stream Swamp Forest
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
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: IIA7g. Sycamore - Sweetgum - American Elm Riverfront Forest
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: Red Maple - Black Gum - Sweetgum, HR
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Pyne, M. 1994. Tennessee natural communities. Unpublished document. Tennessee Department of Conservation, Ecology Service Division, Nashville. 7 pp.
Related Concept Name: Sycamore - Pecan - American Elm (25)
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: USFS [U.S. Forest Service]. 1988. Silvicultural examination and prescription field book. USDA Forest Service, Southern Region. Atlanta, GA. 35 pp.
Related Concept Name: Sycamore - Sweetgum - American Elm: 94
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
CES202.706 South-Central Interior Small Stream and Riparian


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G5 (19May2005)
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: This is not an inherently rare forest type. It may establish or re-establish itself following canopy removal.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: ALpotentially occurs, GA, KY, TN
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: The community occurs along small to medium-sized streams in the Interior Low Plateau, Cumberlands, the Ridge and Valley, and adjacent provinces of Tennessee and Kentucky, and possibly Alabama and Georgia.

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
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Continental) Province
Province Code: 222 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Upper Gulf Coastal Plain Section
Section Code: 222C Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Interior Low Plateau, Shawnee Hills Section
Section Code: 222D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Interior Low Plateau, Highland Rim Section
Section Code: 222E 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
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: Cumberland Mountains Section
Section Code: M221C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Blue Ridge Mountains Section
Section Code: M221D Occurrence Status: Possible


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This forest is dominated by Platanus occidentalis, Liquidambar styraciflua, and sometimes Acer rubrum. Other canopy trees can include Liriodendron tulipifera, Quercus phellos, Celtis occidentalis, Juglans nigra, Fraxinus americana, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Ulmus americana, Fagus grandifolia, and Ulmus rubra. The subcanopy or tall-shrub layer may be dominated by Asimina triloba in some examples. Other woody species common to this community include Carpinus caroliniana, Aesculus sylvatica, Cornus florida, Alnus serrulata, Cercis canadensis, Lindera benzoin, Symphoricarpos orbiculatus, Smilax rotundifolia, Acer rubrum, Toxicodendron radicans, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, and Euonymus americanus. In addition, Arundinaria gigantea may be present or even abundant. Herbaceous species that may be found include Arisaema triphyllum, Sanicula canadensis, Onoclea sensibilis, Saururus cernuus, Campanula divaricata, Laportea canadensis, Salvia lyrata, Chasmanthium latifolium, Chasmanthium laxum, Dichanthelium dichotomum var. dichotomum, Dichanthelium scoparium, Viola sororia, and Carex crinita. Exotics commonly found in occurrences include Microstegium vimineum, Ligustrum sinense, Lonicera japonica, and Cardamine hirsuta.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Betula nigra G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Liquidambar styraciflua G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Liriodendron tulipifera G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Platanus occidentalis G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Acer negundo G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Carpinus caroliniana G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Ligustrum sinense G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Asimina triloba G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Lindera benzoin G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Cardamine hirsuta G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Laportea canadensis G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Salvia lyrata G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Arundinaria gigantea G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Chasmanthium latifolium G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Microstegium vimineum G5 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Lonicera japonica G5 Liana Herb (field)      
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This forest occurs on small to medium-sized streams and on larger streams on active first bottoms and possibly on levees where flooding may be frequent but is of short duration. Because of repeated flooding, this community may remain on a site indefinitely. This is a Zone IV community with a likelihood of 51-100% of flooding with intermittent periodicity for 1-2 months (12.5-25% of total) of the growing season. Flooding usually occurs in late winter and spring. Common soil orders for this community include Entisols, Inceptisols and Alfisols, and soils are relatively fertile because of frequent sediment deposition. It develops from communities dominated by Salix spp., Populus spp., and probably others.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: This is a Zone IV community with a likelihood of 51-100% of flooding with intermittent periodicity for 1-2 months (12.5-25% of total) of the growing season. Flooding usually occurs in late winter and spring. This vegetation may follow timber removal on active first bottoms and where flooding may be frequent and of long duration. It is apparently a stable community once established. It also develops from communities dominated by Salix spp., Populus spp., and probably others.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): S. Landaal
Element Description Edition Date: 22Dec2011
Element Description Author(s): S. Landaal, C.W. Nordman, G.P. Fleming, M. Pyne, M.P. Schafale
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 19May2005
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): C.W. Nordman

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.

  • Burns, R. M., and B. H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990b. Silvics of North America. Volume 2: Hardwoods. Agriculture Handbook 654. USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC. 877 pp.

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

  • Clark, J. R., and J. Benforado. 1981. Introduction. Pages 1-9 in: J. R. Clark and J. Benforado, editors. Wetlands of bottomland hardwood forests. Elsevier Scientific Publications, New York.

  • Dickson, J. G., and C. A. Segelquist. 1978. Winter bird populations in pine and pine-hardwood forest stands in east Texas. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 31:134-137.

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

  • Evans, M., B. Yahn, and M. Hines. Kentucky ecological communities. 2009. Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission, Frankfort, KY.

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

  • Faulkner, S. P., and W. H. Patrick, Jr. No date. Characterization of bottomland hardwood wetland transition zones in the lower Mississippi Valley. Unpublished document.

  • Flinchum, D. M. 1977. Lesser vegetation as indicators of varying moisture regimes in bottomland and swamp forests of northeastern North Carolina. Ph.D. dissertation, North Carolina State University, Raleigh. 105 pp.

  • Klimas, C. V., C. O. Martin, and J. W. Teaford. 1981. Impacts of flooding regime modification on wildlife habitats of bottomland hardwood forests in the lower Mississippi. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experimental Station and Environmental Lab. Technical Report EL-81-13. Vicksburg, MS. 137 pp. plus appendix.

  • McWilliams, W. H., and J. F. Rosson, Jr. 1990. Composition and vulnerability of bottomland hardwood forests of the Coastal Plain province in the south central United States. Forest Ecology and Management 33/34:485-501.

  • Putnam, J. A. 1951. Management of bottomland hardwoods. Occasional Paper No. 116. USDA Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station, New Orleans, LA.

  • Putnam, J. A., G. M. Furnival, and J. S. McKnight. 1960. Management and inventory of southern hardwoods. Handbook 181. USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC. 102 pp.

  • Pyne, M. 1994. Tennessee natural communities. Unpublished document. Tennessee Department of Conservation, Ecology Service Division, Nashville. 7 pp.

  • Pyne, M., E. Lunsford Jones, and R. White. 2010. Vascular plant inventory and plant community classification for Mammoth Cave National Park. NatureServe, Durham, NC. 334 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.

  • TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. 1998a. An investigation and assessment of the vegetation of Arnold Air Force Base. Coffee and Franklin counties, Tennessee. The Nature Conservancy, Tennessee Field Office, Nashville. 37 pp. plus appendices.

  • USFS [U.S. Forest Service]. 1988. Silvicultural examination and prescription field book. USDA Forest Service, Southern Region. Atlanta, GA. 35 pp.

  • Wharton, C. H. 1978. The natural environments of Georgia. Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta. 227 pp.

  • 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.

  • White, R. D., Jr. 2006. Vascular plant inventory and ecological community classification for Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. NatureServe, Durham, NC. 246 pp.


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