NatureServe Explorer logo.An Online Encyclopedia of Life
Search
Ecological Association Comprehensive Report: Record 1 of 1 selected.
See All Search Results    View Glossary
<< Previous | Next >>

Minuartia groenlandica - Paronychia argyrocoma - Saxifraga michauxii Grassland
Translated Name: Greenland Stitchwort - Silvery Nailwort - Michaux's Saxifrage Grassland
Common Name: High-Elevation Outcrop Barrens (Greenland Stitchwort Igneous / Metamorphic Type)
Unique Identifier: CEGL008509
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This community is known from only two sites in the Virginia Blue Ridge. The type occupies open, convex, rocky summits at elevations of about 1200 m (3950 feet) on Buffalo Mountain and 1170 m (3850 feet) on Spy Rock. The moisture regime of these sites is xeric, and soil development is limited to shallow accumulations of disintegrated rock and humus. The community is characterized by herbaceous vegetation with very low species richness. A few small (<0.5 m tall) individuals of Kalmia latifolia, Rhododendron catawbiense, and Vaccinium pallidum are present, contributing <1% cover. Total herbaceous cover varies from 5-40%, with plants rooting in crevices, moss, and thin soil deposits. Minuartia groenlandica and Paronychia argyrocoma form locally abundant mats or cushions.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: There are outstanding questions about the relationship of this community to similar associations of high-elevation rocky summits. Quantitative analysis of plot data for this project strongly supports the segregation of this type from communities of high-elevation greenstone outcrops on the northern Virginia Blue Ridge. The latter community type, Diervilla lonicera - Solidago simplex var. randii - Deschampsia flexuosa - Hylotelephium telephioides - Saxifraga michauxii Grassland (CEGL008536), is not known to occur on national forest land. In a regional analysis (1134 plots) for the Southern Appalachian portion of the Appalachian Trail, plots from Buffalo Mountain were analyzed in a subset with other high-elevation balds and rock outcrop data from North Carolina and Tennessee (Fleming and Patterson 2009a). The two plots representing this type performed as a discrete group that was sufficiently distinct from similar associations.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 2 - Shrub & Herb Vegetation
Subclass 2.B - Temperate & Boreal Grassland & Shrubland
Formation 2.B.2 - Temperate Grassland & Shrubland
Division 2.B.2.Nc - Eastern North American Grassland & Shrubland
Macrogroup Appalachian Rocky Felsic & Mafic Scrub & Grassland
Group Central & Southern Appalachian Rocky Outcrop
Alliance Appalachian Michaux's Saxifrage - Wretched Sedge - Little Bluestem Rocky Grassland

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004074 Schizachyrium scoparium - Saxifraga michauxii - Coreopsis major Grassland
CEGL008536 Diervilla lonicera - Solidago simplex var. randii - Deschampsia flexuosa - Hylotelephium telephioides - Saxifraga michauxii Grassland



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Minuartia groenlandica - Paronychia argyrocoma - Saxifraga michauxii Herbaceous Vegetation
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and P. P. Coulling. 2001. Ecological communities of the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Preliminary classification and description of vegetation types. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 317 pp.
Related Concept Name: Paronychia argyrocoma - Potentilla tridentata - Arenaria groenlandica Association
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rawinski, T. J., and T. F. Wieboldt. 1993. Classification and ecological interpretation of mafic glade vegetation on Buffalo Mountain, Floyd County, Virginia. Banisteria 2:3-10.
Related Concept Name: High-Elevation Outcrop Barren
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, D. P. Walton, K. M. McCoy, and M. R. Parrish. 2001. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. First approximation. Natural Heritage Technical Report 01-1. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 76 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.327 Southern Appalachian Rocky Summit


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1 (29Jun2001)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This is a naturally rare, small-patch vegetation type limited by special habitat requirements. Currently, there are only two known occurrences of this vegetation, in aggregate covering less than two hectares (five acres). It is unlikely that many additional occurrences will be found, and these would not significantly increase the aggregate acreage of the type.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community is known from only two sites in the Virginia Blue Ridge. At the summit of Spy Rock in Nelson County (Northern Blue Ridge), it occupies about 0.4 ha (1 acre) on an exposed, strongly convex outcrop of leucocharnockite, a granitic rock. At the summit of Buffalo Mountain in Floyd County (Southern Blue Ridge), it covers a similar area on open amphibolite outcrops.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
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: The community is characterized by herbaceous vegetation with very low species richness (mean = 9 taxa per 100 m2 in plots). A few small (<0.5 m tall) individuals of Kalmia latifolia, Rhododendron catawbiense, and Vaccinium pallidum are present, contributing <1% cover. Total herbaceous cover varies from 5-40%, with plants rooting in crevices, moss, and thin soil deposits. Minuartia groenlandica and Paronychia argyrocoma form locally abundant mats or cushions. Other constant, relatively abundant herbs are Schizachyrium scoparium, Danthonia spicata, and Saxifraga michauxii. Bulbostylis capillaris and Agrostis perennans are abundant herbaceous associates at Spy Rock, while the subshrub Sibbaldiopsis tridentata is conspicuous at Buffalo Mountain.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Micranthes petiolaris G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Minuartia groenlandica G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Paronychia argyrocoma G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Sibbaldiopsis tridentata G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Solidago simplex var. randii G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Bulbostylis capillaris G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: The type occupies open, convex, rocky summits at elevations of about 1200 m (3950 feet) on Buffalo Mountain and 1170 m (3850 feet) on Spy Rock. Mean surface cover of bedrock and boulders in three plot-sampled stands is 90%. Mean moss / lichen cover on these rocks is 72%. The moisture regime of these sites is xeric, and soil development is limited to shallow accumulations of disintegrated rock and humus. These habitats are periodically exposed to extreme winter temperatures, high winds, and ice.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): K.D. Patterson and G.P. Fleming
Element Description Edition Date: 19Feb2010
Element Description Author(s): K.D. Patterson and G.P. Fleming
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 29Jun2001
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): G. Fleming

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


References
  • Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, D. P. Walton, K. M. McCoy, and M. R. Parrish. 2001. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. First approximation. Natural Heritage Technical Report 01-1. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 76 pp.

  • Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, K. D. Patterson, and K. M. McCoy. 2004. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Natural Heritage Technical Report 04-01. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/dnh/ncintro.htm]

  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2009a. A vegetation classification for the Appalachian Trail: Virginia south to Georgia. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. In-house analysis, March 2009.

  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2011a. Natural communities of Virginia: Ecological groups and community types. Natural Heritage Technical Report 11-07. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 34 pp.

  • Fleming, G. P., and P. P. Coulling. 2001. Ecological communities of the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Preliminary classification and description of vegetation types. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 317 pp.

  • Rawinski, T. J., and T. F. Wieboldt. 1993. Classification and ecological interpretation of mafic glade vegetation on Buffalo Mountain, Floyd County, Virginia. Banisteria 2:3-10.


Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of November 2016.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2017 NatureServe, 4600 N. Fairfax Dr., 7th Floor, Arlington Virginia 22203, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2017. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.

Copyright 2017
NatureServe
Version 7.1 (2 February 2009)
Data last updated: November 2016