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Pinus echinata - Quercus prinus / Rhododendron minus / Vaccinium pallidum Forest
Translated Name: Shortleaf Pine - Chestnut Oak / Piedmont Rhododendron / Blue Ridge Blueberry Forest
Common Name: Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment Shortleaf Pine - Oak Forest (Tallulah Falls Type)
Unique Identifier: CEGL007496
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association is a mixed forest occurring in association with Tallulah Falls quartzite in the Blue Ridge/Piedmont transition of South Carolina and Georgia. It occurs on convex landforms over rocky, shallow soil and on broad, low ridges and exposed, convex slopes with southerly exposures at 490 to 610 m (1600-2000 feet) elevation. This is an open forest with a stunted canopy and scattered rock outcroppings. Pinus echinata and Quercus prinus dominate the canopy, but other species may occur, including Pinus rigida, Pinus virginiana, Quercus coccinea, Quercus falcata, Quercus stellata, and Quercus marilandica. Rhododendron minus occurs as a tall shrub (greater than 2 m) and can be quite dense. Vaccinium pallidum is the dominant short shrub (less than 2 m), in areas where the Rhododendron is sparse or absent. Other shrubs may include Vaccinium arboreum, Rhododendron maximum, and Kalmia latifolia. Smilax glauca and Vitis rotundifolia are common vines. The herbaceous stratum is sparse, with scattered grasses and forbs, including Chimaphila maculata, Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum, Dichanthelium dichotomum, Danthonia sericea, and Schizachyrium scoparium.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: Defined from the Chattooga Basin Project (S. Simon pers. comm.). It is unclear if this is a unique association, or if it would be better considered as a subtype of Pinus echinata - Quercus (prinus, falcata) / Oxydendrum arboreum / Vaccinium pallidum Forest (CEGL007493).

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 Southern & South-Central Oak - Pine Forest & Woodland
Group Shortleaf Pine - Oak Forest & Woodland
Alliance Appalachian Shortleaf Pine - Oak Woodland

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL007493 Pinus echinata - Quercus (prinus, falcata) / Oxydendrum arboreum / Vaccinium pallidum Forest



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: IA7a. Xeric Shortleaf Pine - Oak 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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.332 Southern Appalachian Low-Elevation Pine Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2G3 (15Aug1997)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: GA, NC, SC
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community occurs in the Blue Ridge/Piedmont transition of South Carolina and Georgia.

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: Stands are dominated by Pinus echinata and Quercus prinus, but other species may occur, including Pinus rigida, Pinus virginiana, Quercus coccinea, Quercus falcata, Quercus stellata, and Quercus marilandica. Rhododendron minus occurs as a tall shrub (greater than 2 m) and can be quite dense. Vaccinium pallidum is the dominant short shrub (less than 2 m), in areas where the Rhododendron is sparse or absent. Other shrubs may include Vaccinium arboreum, Rhododendron maximum, and Kalmia latifolia. Smilax glauca and Vitis rotundifolia are common vines. The herbaceous stratum is sparse, with scattered grasses and forbs, including Chimaphila maculata, Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum, Dichanthelium dichotomum, Danthonia sericea, and Schizachyrium scoparium. In an example on the Chattahoochee National Forest, the open canopy is dominated by Pinus echinata, and the midstory is dense and dominated by Quercus marilandica and Quercus prinus. The dense shrub layer is dominated by Vaccinium pallidum and also includes Rhododendron minus, Asimina reticulata, and Kalmia latifolia. The herbaceous layer is generally sparse, but grassy openings are present and dominated by Schizachyrium scoparium and Danthonia sericea.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Quercus prinus G2 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Pinus echinata G2 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Rhododendron minus G2 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Vaccinium pallidum G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This association occurs in association with Tallulah Falls quartzite in the Blue Ridge/Piedmont transition of South Carolina and Georgia, on convex landforms over rocky, shallow soil and on broad, low ridges and exposed, convex slopes with southerly exposures at 490 to 610 m (1600-2000 feet) elevation.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): S. Simon and K.D. Patterson, mod. Southern Blue Ridge Planning Team
Element Description Edition Date: 23Oct2003
Element Description Author(s): S. Simon and K.D. Patterson
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 15Aug1997

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.

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

  • Schafale, M. P., and A. S. Weakley. 1990. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina. Third approximation. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh. 325 pp.

  • Simon, Steve. Personal communication. Ecologist. USDA Forest Service, National Forests in North Carolina, Asheville, NC.

  • Southeastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Durham, NC.


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