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 >>

(Quercus palustris) / Panicum rigidulum var. rigidulum - Panicum verrucosum - Eleocharis acicularis Marsh
Translated Name: (Pin Oak) / Redtop Panicgrass - Warty Panicgrass - Needle Spikerush Marsh
Common Name: Shenandoah Valley Sinkhole Pond (Typic Type)
Unique Identifier: CEGL007858
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This community occurs in seasonally flooded depression ponds developed by solution and collapse of carbonate rocks underlying acidic colluvial materials deposited on the eastern edge of the Great Valley of Virginia, in Augusta, Rockingham, and southern Page counties, Virginia. This community has a variable physiognomy, from an open woodland with scattered individuals or groves of Quercus palustris, to entirely herbaceous with a marginal zone of trees. Quercus palustris is the most common and characteristic tree species; other trees include Acer rubrum, Nyssa sylvatica, Pinus rigida, and Diospyros virginiana. The shrub (and woody vine) stratum is usually sparse or absent; it can include Vaccinium corymbosum, Vaccinium fuscatum, Cephalanthus occidentalis, and Smilax rotundifolia. The herb stratum is well-developed. Herbaceous species with high constancy include Panicum rigidulum var. rigidulum, Panicum verrucosum, Eleocharis acicularis, Agrostis perennans, Dichanthelium acuminatum, Hypericum boreale, Helenium virginicum (endemic to this and related communities in Virginia and Missouri), Panicum philadelphicum, Bidens frondosa, Viola lanceolata, Erechtites hieraciifolia, Symphyotrichum dumosum (= Aster dumosus), Fimbristylis autumnalis, Rhexia mariana, and Rhexia virginica.



Classification

Classification Confidence: High
Classification Comments: Examples occur in the Maple Flats pond complex (Augusta County, Virginia) and other similar ponds and pond complexes in Augusta, Rockingham, and southern Page counties, Virginia. This is the most prevalent and characteristic community of the Shenandoah Valley sinkhole ponds. No comparable or similar vegetation has been documented elsewhere in Virginia or nationally.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 2 - Shrub & Herb Vegetation
Subclass 2.C - Shrub & Herb Wetland
Formation 2.C.4 - Temperate to Polar Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Division 2.C.4.Ne - Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Macrogroup Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Plain Wet Prairie & Marsh
Group Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Plain Pondshore & Wet Prairie
Alliance Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Pondshore Marsh

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



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Quercus palustris / Panicum rigidulum - Panicum verrucosum - Eleocharis acicularis Wooded 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: Quercus palustris / Panicum rigidulum var. rigidulum - Panicum verrucosum - Eleocharis acicularis community
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and N. E. Van Alstine. 1999. Plant communities and floristic features of sinkhole ponds and seepage wetlands in southeastern Augusta County, Virginia. Banisteria 13:67-94.
Related Concept Name: Montane Depression Wetland
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
CES202.018 Central Interior Highlands and Appalachian Sinkhole and Depression Pond


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1 (07Jan1999)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This community appears to be endemic to Augusta, Rockingham, and Page counties, Virginia, a region that is undergoing rapid population growth and development. Although more than 40 individual ponds supporting this association have been documented, most are located on private land and are highly threatened by hydrologic alterations, off-road vehicles, trash dumping, timber cutting, or outright destruction.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community is known only from natural pond complexes along the western foot of the Blue Ridge in Augusta, Rockingham, and southern Page counties, Virginia

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: Northern Ridge and Valley Section
Section Code: M221A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This community has a variable physiognomy, from an open woodland with scattered individuals or groves of Quercus palustris, to entirely herbaceous with a marginal zone of trees. Quercus palustris is the most common and characteristic tree species; minor trees include Acer rubrum, Nyssa sylvatica, Pinus rigida, and Diospyros virginiana. The shrub stratum is usually sparse or absent, but can include Vaccinium corymbosum, Vaccinium fuscatum, and Cephalanthus occidentalis. Thick tangles of Smilax rotundifolia are typical around pond borders. The herb layer is usually well-developed. Eleocharis acicularis often forms the first vegetation patches during late stages of flooding and early draw-down. As it matures, sprouts of Panicum rigidulum (including both var. rigidulum and var. pubescens), Panicum verrucosum, and many other species appear and constitute the late-season draw-down vegetation. Additional species with high constancy include Agrostis perennans, Dichanthelium acuminatum, Hypericum boreale, Hypericum gymnanthum, Helenium virginicum (endemic to this and related communities in Virginia and Missouri), Juncus spp., Panicum philadelphicum, Bidens frondosa, Viola lanceolata, Erechtites hieraciifolia, Symphyotrichum dumosum (= Aster dumosus), Fimbristylis autumnalis, Rhexia mariana, and Rhexia virginica. Intermittently flooded ponds may support dry-site plants such as Schizachyrium scoparium, Sorghastrum nutans, Andropogon virginicus, Baptisia tinctoria, Diodia teres, Hypericum gentianoides, Polygala nuttallii, and Salix humilis var. tristis. The recently named and described Boltonia montana (Townsend and Karaman-Castro 2006) occurs in several ponds supporting this community type, as well as in limesink ponds in New Jersey. Cyperus dentatus, Echinodorus tenellus, Eleocharis melanocarpa, Helenium virginicum, Hypericum boreale, Lysimachia hybrida, and Sabatia campanulata are rare plants associated with this vegetation type. The flora of Shenandoah Valley sinkhole ponds is noteworthy for its high percentage of rarities and disjuncts with various biogeographic affinities. Helenium virginicum was considered endemic to these habitats until recently, when a disjunct population was discovered in a seasonal pond in Missouri (Simurda and Knox 2000).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Quercus palustris G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Boltonia montana G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Echinodorus tenellus G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Helenium virginicum G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Hypericum boreale G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Lysimachia hybrida G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Rhexia mariana G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Rhexia virginica G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Sabatia campanulata G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Viola lanceolata G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Cyperus dentatus G1 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Eleocharis acicularis G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Eleocharis melanocarpa G1 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Fimbristylis autumnalis G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Panicum rigidulum ssp. pubescens G1 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Panicum rigidulum var. rigidulum G1 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Panicum verrucosum G1 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Boltonia montana
  (Mountain Doll's-daisy)
G1G2  
Helenium virginicum
  (Virginia Sneezeweed)
G3 LT: Listed threatened


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This community occurs in seasonally flooded depression ponds developed by solution and collapse of carbonate rocks underlying acidic materials eroded from the Blue Ridge and deposited along the eastern edge of the Great Valley of Virginia in massive alluvial fans. Ponds supporting this community range in size from about 0.04 hectare (0.1 acre) to over 1.0 hectare (2.4 acres). Flooding duration is controlled by groundwater fluctuations and ranges from intermittent to extended, but is often characterized by relatively short seasonal flooding. The dates during which ponds draw down vary widely with annual rainfall patterns, but these habitats are almost always exposed by the end of the growing season. Soils are predominantly clay loams with thin organic horizons of matted, partly decomposed leaf litter and Sphagnum. Soil samples collected from 19 sites were very strongly acidic (mean pH = 4.5), with high levels of aluminum (Al) and arsenic (As), and low levels of boron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. Low pH in combination with high Al and As may impair the assimilation of macronutrients by plants. These data suggest that soil chemistry, in combination with hydrologic conditions, produce unusual edaphic stresses that strongly influence floristic composition in these ponds.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): G.P. Fleming and P. Coulling
Element Description Edition Date: 18Feb2010
Element Description Author(s): G.P. Fleming and P.P. Coulling
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 02Oct2001
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
  • Buhlmann, K. A., J. C. Mitchell, and L. R. Smith. 1999. Descriptive ecology of the Shenandoah Valley sinkhole pond system in Virginia. Banisteria 13:23-51.

  • 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., and K. D. Patterson. 2009b. Classification of selected Virginia montane wetland groups. In-house analysis, December 2009. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • 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 N. E. Van Alstine. 1999. Plant communities and floristic features of sinkhole ponds and seepage wetlands in southeastern Augusta County, Virginia. Banisteria 13:67-94.

  • 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.

  • Mitchell, J. C., and K. A. Buhlmann. 1999. Amphibians and reptiles of the Shenandoah Valley sinkhole pond system and vicinity, Augusta County, Virginia. Banisteria 13:129-142.

  • Roble, S. M. 1999. Dragonflies and damselflies (Odonata) of the Shenandoah Valley sinkhole pond system and vicinity, Augusta County, Virginia. Banisteria 13:101-127.

  • Simurda, M. C., and J. S. Knox. 2000. ITS sequence evidence for the disjunct distribution between Virginia and Missouri of the narrow endemic Helenium virginicum (Asteraceae). Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 127:316-323.

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

  • Townsend, J. F., and V. Karaman-Castro. 2006. A new species of Boltonia (Asteraceae) from the Ridge and Valley province, U.S.A. Sida 22(2):873-886.

  • VDNH [Virginia Division of Natural Heritage]. 2003. The natural communities of Virginia: Hierarchical classification of community types. Unpublished document, working list of November 2003. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Ecology Group, Richmond.

  • Young, J., G. Fleming, P. Townsend, and J. Foster. 2006. Vegetation of Shenandoah National Park in relation to environmental gradients. Final Report (v.1.1). Research technical report prepared for USDI, National Park Service. USGS/NPS Vegetation Mapping Program. 92 pp. plus appendices.

  • Young, J., G. Fleming, W. Cass, and C. Lea. 2009. Vegetation of Shenandoah National Park in relation to environmental gradients, Version 2.0. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2009/142. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 389 pp.


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