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Taxodium ascendens / Ilex myrtifolia / Carex (striata, turgescens) Stringer Swamp Forest
Translated Name: Pond-cypress / Myrtle Dahoon / (Walter's Sedge, Pine Barren Sedge) Stringer Swamp Forest
Common Name: Pond-cypress Stringer Swamp Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL007419
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This forested community, often known as "cypress stringers," occurs along small, diffuse creeks or streams, and possibly along larger rivers. Small Taxodium ascendens trees form the fairly open to dense canopy. Shrubs species present include Cyrilla racemiflora, Cliftonia monophylla, Ilex myrtifolia, Clethra alnifolia, Lyonia lucida, and Stillingia aquatica. Carex spp. and Rhynchospora spp. including Carex striata, Carex turgescens, and Rhynchospora microcephala (= Rhynchospora cephalantha var. microcephala), occur in the water and on the drier edges. Scleria baldwinii and Cladium mariscus ssp. jamaicense can be significant herbaceous components. This community occurs on the Coastal Plain from southeastern South Carolina to northern Florida, and west to southeastern Louisiana. The sandy subsoil is overlain by peat. Fire probably occurs more often here than in other Taxodium ascendens-dominated forests.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low

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 Pond-cypress Basin Swamp
Group Pond-cypress Basin Swamp
Alliance Pond-cypress / Walter's Sedge Depression Swamp Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004089 Taxodium ascendens - Nyssa biflora / Carex striata - Rhynchospora (careyana, cephalantha) Stringer Swamp Woodland
CEGL007420 Taxodium ascendens / (Nyssa biflora) / Leucothoe racemosa - Lyonia lucida - Morella cerifera Swamp 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These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.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 Taxodium ascendens / Ilex myrtifolia / Carex (striata, turgescens) Stringer Forest Equivalent Certain Schotz pers. comm.
Florida Strand Swamp Broader   FNAI 1997


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: IIA5b. Coastal Plain Small Stream Swamp 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: Pondcypress (23)
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: Pondcypress: 100
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.
Related Concept Name: Strand Swamp, Cypress Strand
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 1990. Guide to the natural communities of Florida. Florida Natural Areas Inventory and Florida Department of Natural Resources, Tallahassee. 111 pp.
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 1992b. Natural community classification. Unpublished document. The Nature Conservancy, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee. 16 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.251 Southern Coastal Plain Nonriverine Cypress Dome
CES203.262 Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Depression Pond


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3?Q (16Dec1999)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Although these pond cypress stringers have a large range, from the Coastal Plain of southeastern South Carolina and west to southeastern Louisiana, they are relatively rare within this landscape. They occur in narrow, shallow drainage corridors primarily in flatwoods and are vulnerable to physical damage and hydrologic changes due to silviculture, agriculture, and urban development in adjacent lands. Fires in the uplands naturally burned into and sometimes through these communities, maintaining a patchwork of graminoid and woody vegetation in the understory. Several excellent examples of this community are protected on public land; as additional data are gathered, this community may be re-ranked to be less rare. However, additional vegetation classification work is needed to determine whether this association should be divided to reflect ecoregional variation in understory species composition. Until this work is done, and until further occurrences of this community are documented, a question-mark beside the rarity ranking is warranted.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, SC
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community occurs on the Coastal Plain in southeastern North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and southeastern Louisiana.

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
Section Name: Coastal Plains and Flatwoods, Lower Section
Section Code: 232B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Atlantic Coastal Flatwoods Section
Section Code: 232C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Small Taxodium ascendens trees form the fairly open to dense canopy. Shrubs species present include Cyrilla racemiflora, Cliftonia monophylla, Ilex myrtifolia, Clethra alnifolia, Lyonia lucida, and Stillingia aquatica. Carex spp. and Rhynchospora spp., including Carex striata, Carex turgescens, and Rhynchospora microcephala (= Rhynchospora cephalantha var. microcephala), occur in the water and on the drier edges. Scleria baldwinii and Cladium mariscus ssp. jamaicense can be significant herbaceous components. An example from Apalachicola National Forest had the following dominants: Taxodium ascendens, Pinus elliottii, Cliftonia monophylla, Clethra alnifolia, Nyssa ursina, Magnolia virginiana, Hypericum fasciculatum, Eriocaulon decangulare, Aristida beyrichiana, Panicum rigidulum, and Smilax laurifolia (NatureServe Ecology unpubl. data). Another Apalachicola National Forest plot had these dominants: Taxodium ascendens, Nyssa biflora, Hypericum chapmanii, Ilex myrtifolia, and Cyrilla racemiflora, with Clethra alnifolia, Lyonia lucida, Rhynchospora microcephala, Pieris phillyreifolia, Cliftonia monophylla, and Smilax laurifolia (NatureServe Ecology unpubl. data). Exotics in southern Florida include Eichhornia crassipes and Hydrilla verticillata (Duever et al. 1984).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Nyssa ursina G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy      
 
 
Taxodium ascendens G3 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Hypericum chapmanii G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Pieris phillyreifolia G3 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Cyrilla racemiflora G3 Broad-leaved evergreen tree Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Clethra alnifolia G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Ilex myrtifolia G3 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Lyonia lucida G3 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Hymenocallis henryae G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Carex striata G3 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex turgescens G3 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Rhynchospora cephalantha var. microcephala G3 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Eichhornia crassipes G3 Aquatic herb Floating aquatic      
 
 
Hydrilla verticillata G3 Aquatic herb Submerged aquatic      
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Hymenocallis henryae
  (Henry's Spider-lily)
G2  
Hypericum chapmanii
  (Chapman's St. John's-wort)
G3  
Nyssa ursina
  (Bear Tupelo)
G2  
Pieris phillyreifolia
  (Climbing Fetterbush)
G3  
Puma concolor coryi
  (Florida Panther)
G5T1 LE: Listed endangered


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This community is situated in elongated depressions serving as seasonal flow ways (Duever et al. 1984). The sandy soils are overlain by peat deposits which are relatively thick in depressions and shallower in higher areas. These soils are occasionally mixed with shell beds and exposed limestone. Carbon dating of the earliest overlying peat deposits indicates these channels have been inundated by freshwater for 5000 years. Due to the slow water velocity and low erosive potential, Taxodium ascendens grows in the riverbed, thus further slowing the velocity and spreading the water farther. Localized peat fires account for deeper holes and sloughs (Wharton et al. 1976).


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: The water table in higher sections of this community lowers enough for at least the surface layers of peat to dry and burn occasionally. In depressions with deep peat deposits that generally remain in contact with the water table, the ground is usually moist-wet and burns much less often than the shallower peat areas. Although most natural fires were a result of lightning strikes in early rainy season thunderstorms, most fires now occur in the winter when the peat is too moist to burn.

Cypress communities in general are very long-lived. With a greater accumulation of peat, the graminoid ground cover may decrease and a hardwood understory develop (Wharton et al. 1976).


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): J.E. Mohan
Element Description Edition Date: 25Mar1994
Element Description Author(s): J.E. Mohan
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 16Dec1999
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): C. Kindell

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.

  • Clewell, A. F. 1971. The vegetation of the Apalachicola National Forest: An ecological perspective. Unpublished document. USDA Forest Service, Tallahassee, FL. 152 pp.

  • Duever, M. J., J. F. Meeder, and L. C. Duever. 1984. Ecosystems of the Big Cypress Swamp. Pages 294-303 in: K. C. Ewel and H. T. Odum, editors. Cypress swamps. University of Florida Press, Gainesville.

  • Ewel, K. C., and H. T. Odum, editors. 1984b. Cypress swamps. University of Florida Press, Gainesville.

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

  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 1990. Guide to the natural communities of Florida. Florida Natural Areas Inventory and Florida Department of Natural Resources, Tallahassee. 111 pp.

  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 1992a. Natural communities. Unpublished document. The Nature Conservancy, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee. 6 pp.

  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 1992b. Natural community classification. Unpublished document. The Nature Conservancy, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee. 16 pp.

  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 2010a. Guide to the natural communities of Florida: 2010 edition. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee, FL.

  • Glitzenstein, J. S., and D. R. Streng. 2004. Evaluating the NatureServe preliminary plant community classification for Francis Marion National Forest. Tall Timbers Research Station, Tallahassee, FL. Plus appendices and data.

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

  • 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.

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

  • Wharton, C. H., H. T. Odum, K. Ewel, M. Duever, A. Lugo, R. Boyt, J. Bartolomew, E. DeBellevue, S. Brown, M. Brown, and L. Duever. 1976. Forested wetlands of Florida - their management and use. University of Florida, Center for Wetlands. 421 pp.


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