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Quercus rubra - Quercus muehlenbergii / Hamamelis virginiana / Polymnia canadensis Forest
Translated Name: Northern Red Oak - Chinquapin Oak / American Witch-hazel / White-flower Leafcup Forest
Common Name: Appalachian Calcareous Oak - Walnut Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL007215
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association represents forests on sheltered dolomite slopes in the Southern Blue Ridge with canopies dominated by Quercus spp., Juglans nigra, and Magnolia acuminata. However, a small amount of the canopy and understory is always composed of calciphilic canopy species more characteristic of areas west of the Blue Ridge, including Quercus muehlenbergii and Juglans cinerea. The dominant shrub is Hamamelis virginiana, but other shrubs include Calycanthus floridus, Cornus alternifolia, and Hydrangea arborescens. The herbaceous layer is lush and diverse, with typical species including Impatiens spp., Hybanthus concolor, Polymnia canadensis, Laportea canadensis, Aquilegia canadensis, Adiantum pedatum, Sanguinaria canadensis, and Asarum canadense.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: The name of the association is based on a North Carolina occurrence over limestone on North Fork Catawba River (McDowell County). The name and concept may need modification with additional information. It is documented by plots gathered by the North Carolina Vegetation Survey near Linville Caverns, North Carolina (Plots 4-303 and 5-304 from PULSE 1995). Related vegetation in Virginia is treated as Quercus muehlenbergii - Quercus (alba, rubra) - Carya cordiformis / Viburnum prunifolium Forest (CEGL004793), a broad and variable dry-mesic calcareous forest.

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 Appalachian-Northeastern Oak - Hardwood - Pine Forest & Woodland
Group Northeastern Chinquapin Oak - Red-cedar Alkaline Forest & Woodland
Alliance Chinquapin Oak Calcareous Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004793 Quercus muehlenbergii - Quercus (alba, rubra) - Carya cordiformis / Viburnum prunifolium 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
North Carolina Calcareous Oak-Walnut Forest Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Basic Mesic Forest (Montane Calcareous Subtype)
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
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.
Related Concept Name: Calcareous Oak-Walnut Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Schafale, M. 1998b. Fourth approximation guide. High mountain communities. March 1998 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.
Related Concept Name: IA5e. Calcareous Mesophytic Forest
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
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
CES202.886 Southern Appalachian Oak Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1Q (25Feb2004)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This community is only known to occur in one location in the vicinity of Linville Caverns on the North Fork of the Catawba River. There are still no documented occurrences elsewhere, although there is still a small possibility that it may exist in adjacent South Carolina. Until these range and classification issues are answered this type will continue to be ranked G1Q. Once this is reviewed, the community should most likely continue to be a G1 or be removed altogether, depending upon whether it is a distinct association.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: NC, SCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community is currently only known to occur in North 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: Northern Ridge and Valley Section
Section Code: M221A Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Blue Ridge Mountains Section
Section Code: M221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Canopies of this community are dominated by Quercus spp., Juglans nigra, and Magnolia acuminata. However, a small amount of the canopy and understory is always composed of calciphilic canopy species more characteristic of areas west of the Blue Ridge, including Quercus muehlenbergii and Juglans cinerea. The dominant shrub is Hamamelis virginiana, but other shrubs include Calycanthus floridus, Cornus alternifolia, and Hydrangea arborescens. The herbaceous layer is lush and diverse, with typical species including Impatiens spp., Hybanthus concolor, Polymnia canadensis, Laportea canadensis, Aquilegia canadensis, Adiantum pedatum, Sanguinaria canadensis, and Asarum canadense. Due to the isolated nature of this type of geology in this part of the Appalachians, the species composition tends to be very different than the surrounding matrix. It is not clear at this point whether this community is indeed its own type or whether there is enough similarity to other types in the Ridge and Valley to warrant lumping it with them.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Quercus muehlenbergii G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus rubra G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Hamamelis virginiana G1 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Ageratina altissima var. roanensis G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Polymnia canadensis G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Ageratina altissima var. roanensis
  (Appalachian White Snakeroot)
G5T3T4  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This association represents forests on sheltered dolomite slopes in the Southern Blue Ridge. This type of geology is extremely uncommon this far east in the southern Appalachians, so this community is isolated from other patches of similar geology.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): A.S. Weakley, mod. R. White
Element Description Edition Date: 24Oct2002
Element Description Author(s): R. White
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 16Dec2012
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): R. White

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.

  • Fleming, Gary P. Personal communication. Ecologist, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA.

  • 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.

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


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