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(Quercus prinus) / Vaccinium pallidum / Schizachyrium scoparium - Danthonia spicata / Cladonia spp. Scrub Grassland
Translated Name: (Chestnut Oak) / Blue Ridge Blueberry / Little Bluestem - Poverty Oatgrass / Cup Lichen species Scrub Grassland
Common Name: Low-Elevation Acidic Glade (Grass Type)
Unique Identifier: CEGL004990
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This type covers vegetation on gently to moderately sloping outcrops of felsic rocks with irregular or undulating surfaces but few crevices, and characterized predominantly by graminoids and low shrubs in fairly shallow soil mats. It includes drier examples where Schizachyrium scoparium, Danthonia spp., or other dry-site grasses predominate. This community is distinguished by the predominance of somewhat deeper soil mats, capable of supporting grasses. Lichen-covered bare rock and thin mats dominated by Selaginella spp. are often present but are less prominent than in granitic dome communities, while grassy mats and low-shrub patches are more prominent. Trees may be dispersed throughout the community rather than largely confined to the edge. This is similar to a granitic dome. Most occurrences are in DuPont State Forest, Transylvania and Henderson counties, North Carolina (M221Dc). It may also occur in the Nantahala National Forest.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: Most occurrences are in DuPont State Forest, Transylvania and Henderson counties, North Carolina. It may occur in the Nantahala National Forest (M. Schafale pers. comm.). This association is distinguished from Low Elevation Mafic Glades by the absence of plant species characteristic of higher pH conditions, such as Hylotelephium telephioides (= Sedum telephioides), Dodecatheon meadia, Sedum glaucophyllum, Cheilanthes lanosa, Arabis laevigata, and Penstemon canescens. Low Elevation Acidic Glades are distinguished from Low Elevation Rocky Summits by having few crevices and having abundant grassy mats and low shrub mats in shallow soil but relatively few forbs or woody plants rooted in crevices. The Grass Type is distinguished from the Biltmore Sedge Type by have grassy mats predominantly consisting of Schizachyrium scoparium, Danthonia spicata, or other dry-site grasses or herbs rather than Carex biltmoreana or other Carex spp.

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 Chestnut Oak - Shortleaf Pine / Little Bluestem Acidic Glade Open Scrub

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004910 Quercus prinus - Quercus stellata - Pinus echinata / Vaccinium pallidum / Schizachyrium scoparium Scrub
CEGL007690 Selaginella rupestris - Schizachyrium scoparium - Hypericum gentianoides - Bulbostylis capillaris Rocky Grassland



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
North Carolina Low Elevation Acidic Glade (Grass Subtype) Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Low Elevation Acidic Glade (Grass Subtype)
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Schafale, M. 1998b. Fourth approximation guide. High mountain communities. March 1998 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.
Related Concept Name: Low Elevation Rocky Summit
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: 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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.297 Southern Appalachian Granitic Dome


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1G2 (20Feb2004)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Stands of this type are limited to gently to moderately sloping outcrops of felsic rocks in the Southern Blue Ridge of North Carolina. Most occurrences are in DuPont State Forest, Transylvania and Henderson counties, North Carolina. It may occur in the Nantahala National Forest. The degree of formal protection of these examples on public land is unknown. Examples, especially any not on public land, would be most likely threatened by ridgetop roads, communication towers or other developments, as well as by lack of fire management.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: NC, SCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This type is restricted to the Southern Blue Ridge of North Carolina and possibly South Carolina.

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 of this association are characterized predominantly by graminoids and low shrubs. In drier examples, Schizachyrium scoparium, Danthonia spp., and other dry-site grasses predominate. Lichen-covered bare rock and thin mats dominated by Selaginella spp. are also often present. Scattered woody plants may include Quercus prinus and Vaccinium pallidum. Lichens may include Cladonia spp.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Vaccinium pallidum G1 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Danthonia spicata G1 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Schizachyrium scoparium G1 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This type, which is similar to a granitic dome, occupies gently to moderately sloping outcrops of felsic rocks with irregular or undulating surfaces but few crevices. It is characterized predominantly by graminoids and low shrubs in fairly shallow soil mats. This community is distinguished by the predominance of somewhat deeper soil mats, capable of supporting grasses. Lichen-covered bare rock and thin mats dominated by Selaginella spp. are often present but are less prominent than in granitic dome communities, while grassy mats and low-shrub patches are more prominent.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): M.P. Schafale
Element Description Edition Date: 09Jul2009
Element Description Author(s): M. Pyne
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 20Feb2004
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
  • Peet, R. K., T. R. Wentworth, M. P. Schafale, and A.S. Weakley. No date. Unpublished data of the North Carolina Vegetation Survey. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

  • Schafale, M. 1998b. Fourth approximation guide. High mountain communities. March 1998 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

  • Schafale, M. P. 2012. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina, 4th Approximation. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

  • 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.

  • Schafale, Mike P. Personal communication. Ecologist, North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

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


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