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Pinus taeda - Quercus (falcata, nigra) / Morella cerifera / Vitis rotundifolia Forest
Translated Name: Loblolly Pine - (Southern Red Oak, Water Oak) / Wax-myrtle / Muscadine Forest
Common Name: Mid-Atlantic Coastal Maritime Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006040
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This mid-Atlantic coastal upland loblolly pine forest occurs on the Outer Coastal Plain and on barrier islands in sheltered backdunes protected from salt spray and overwash. The substrate is rapidly drained, nutrient-poor sands or sandy loams. This community is dominated by Pinus taeda, which can be the sole canopy component or can be associated with Quercus falcata, Prunus serotina var. serotina, Quercus nigra, and Sassafras albidum. The tall-shrub layer, when present, is composed of Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera) and Vaccinium corymbosum. Vines and lianas are nearly always present in abundance; Vitis rotundifolia is most common, but Toxicodendron radicans, Smilax rotundifolia, Smilax glauca, and Parthenocissus quinquefolia are often present in abundance as well. The herbaceous layer is typically sparse, particularly if shrubs and vines are dense, but Chasmanthium laxum may be fairly abundant in this community. Other herbs include Panicum amarum var. amarulum, Eupatorium hyssopifolium, and Elephantopus nudatus. In southern Virginia, Quercus virginiana and Gelsemium sempervirens may also be present, but Quercus virginiana is never abundant and when present is usually restricted to the understory. In the Chesapeake Marshlands, small patches of this community were observed on Smith Island and north of Bishops Head Point near the Chesapeake Bay Foundation lodge. Vegetation at Bishops Head occupied a small upland hummock which was presumably an old homesite and therefore very fragmented.



Classification

Classification Confidence: High
Classification Comments: This community has floristic affinity with communities of Quercus virginiana - Sabal palmetto Coastal Evergreen Forest Alliance (A3192) but is differentiated by a strong dominance by Pinus taeda and lack of species of southern maritime forests such as Sabal minor and Osmanthus americanus. This community also shares a number of species in common with Prunus serotina / Morella cerifera / Smilax rotundifolia Scrub Forest (CEGL006319) but is differentiated by a strong dominance by Pinus taeda, a structure characterized by generally taller and straighter trees, a better developed herbaceous layer, and in general, a more protected position in backdunes. In 2008, Virginia Heritage staff conducted an analysis of 65 maritime forest and woodland plots from across the range in Virginia, plus 12 North Carolina plots representing Quercus falcata - Pinus taeda - (Fagus grandifolia, Quercus nigra) / Persea palustris Maritime Forest (CEGL007540). The 22 plots representing this association (CEGL006040) had significantly lower mean species richness (n = 15) than the 19 plots representing CEGL007540 in Virginia and North Carolina (n = 35). Another analysis of plot data from 174 loblolly pine-hardwood stands from across the Virginia Eastern Shore clearly indicated that the plots representing CEGL006040 were all located within a few hundred meters of either bay or ocean beaches, both on the mainland and barrier islands, on coarse sands of old dune ridges. None were located where large marshes occur between the mainland edge and the ocean of the bay. These were further distinguished compositionally from the remaining 152 plots of successional pine-hardwood forests by a suite of species with significantly higher constancy and mean cover, by a group of obligate dune species, and by the absence or rarity of numerous widespread species that are characteristic of the successional assemblages. Jason Harrison indicates that, in Maryland, this association is similarly restricted in distribution and similarly distinct from inland forests.

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 North Atlantic Maritime & Coastal Plain Forest
Alliance Maritime Pine Forest & Woodland

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006137 Pinus taeda / Morella cerifera / Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis Swamp Forest
CEGL006319 Prunus serotina / Morella cerifera / Smilax rotundifolia Scrub Forest
CEGL007027 Quercus virginiana - Quercus hemisphaerica - Pinus taeda / Persea palustris - Ilex vomitoria Forest
CEGL007109 Pinus taeda / Saccharum alopecuroidum - Andropogon spp. Ruderal Forest
CEGL007540 Quercus falcata - Pinus taeda - (Fagus grandifolia, Quercus nigra) / Persea palustris Maritime 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
Delaware Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain Loblolly Pine Forest Equivalent Certain Coxe 2009


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Pinus - Juniperus Community
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Harvill, A. M., Jr. 1965. The vegetation of Parramore Island, Virginia. Castanea 30:226-228.
Related Concept Name: Pinus taeda - (Quercus falcata, Prunus serotina) / Myrica cerifera / Vitis rotundifolia Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, K. D. Patterson, and K. Taverna. 2006. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Version 2.2. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/ncTIV.shtml]
Related Concept Name: Pinus taeda / Morella cerifera / Vitis rotundifolia Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Harrison, J. W., compiler. 2004. Classification of vegetation communities of Maryland: First iteration. A subset of the International Classification of Ecological Communities: Terrestrial Vegetation of the United States, NatureServe. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis. 243 pp.
Related Concept Name: Pinus taeda / Myrica cerifera / Vitis rotundifolia Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Clancy, K. 1996. Natural communities of Delaware. Unpublished review draft. Delaware Natural Heritage Program, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Delaware Division of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Smyrna, DE. 52 pp.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. 1997a. Vegetation classification of Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Report to the NBS/NPS Vegetation Mapping Program. The Nature Conservancy. Eastern Regional Office, Boston, MA.
Related Concept Name: Pinus taeda / Myrica spp. coastal forest association
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Clancy, K. 1993b. A preliminary classification of the natural communities of Delaware. Unpublished draft. Delaware Natural Heritage Inventory, Division of Parks and Recreation, Dover. 30 pp.
Related Concept Name: Pinus taeda community
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Harvill, A. M., Jr. 1967. The vegetation of Assateague Island, Virginia. Castanea 32:105-108.
Related Concept Name: Dune Forests
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Clampitt, C. A. 1991. The upland plant communities of Seashore State Park, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Virginia Journal of Science 42:419-435.
Related Concept Name: Forest Community
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Stalter, R., and E. E. Lamont. 1990. The vascular flora of Assateague Island, Virginia. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 117:48-56.
Related Concept Name: Maritime Forest
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Harrison, J. W., compiler. 2004. Classification of vegetation communities of Maryland: First iteration. A subset of the International Classification of Ecological Communities: Terrestrial Vegetation of the United States, NatureServe. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis. 243 pp.
Related Concept Name: Maritime Upland Forest
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, K. D. Patterson, and K. Taverna. 2006. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Version 2.2. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/ncTIV.shtml]
Related Concept Name: Mature loblolly pine forest of dry sites
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Bratton, S. P., and K. Davison. 1987. Disturbance and succession in Buxton Woods, Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Castanea 52:166-179.
Related Concept Name: Mature loblolly pine stand
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, L. M. 1978. Delaware's outstanding natural areas and their preservation. Delaware Nature Education Society, Inc., Hockessin, DE. 422 pp.
Related Concept Name: Pine - Deciduous Mixed Woodland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Higgins, E. A. T., R. D. Rappleye, and R. G. Brown. 1971. The flora and ecology of Assateague Island. University of Maryland Experiment Station Bulletin A-172. 70 pp.
Related Concept Name: Pine Woodlands
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Higgins, E. A. T., R. D. Rappleye, and R. G. Brown. 1971. The flora and ecology of Assateague Island. University of Maryland Experiment Station Bulletin A-172. 70 pp.
Related Concept Name: Pine woodland
Relationship: F - Finer
Reference: Stalter, R. 1990. The vascular flora of Assateague Island, Virginia. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 117:48-56.
Related Concept Name: Pine-deciduous hardwood woodland
Relationship: F - Finer
Reference: Stalter, R. 1990. The vascular flora of Assateague Island, Virginia. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 117:48-56.
Related Concept Name: Upland forest
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Klotz, L. H. 1986. The vascular flora of Wallops Island and Wallops Mainland, Virginia. Castanea 51:306-326.
Related Concept Name: Woodland community
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Hill, S. R. 1986. An annotated checklist of the vascular flora of Assateague Island (Maryland and Virginia). Castanea 5:265-305.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.302 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Maritime Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2 (10Jun2008)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: This coastal forest is limited to the immediate vicinity of the coast in southern New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. EO Rank Estimator v.6.03 was used to assess the global rank. This community has a relatively small geographic range, very narrow environmental specificity, and a substantial overall threat factor from widespread coastal development. Moreover, many existing occurrences have been disturbed by cutting and grazing, and there are relatively few large, protected occurrences.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: DE, MD, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association occurs along the mid-Atlantic Coast from Delaware to North Carolina.

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: Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain Section
Section Code: 232A 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: This community is a mid-Atlantic coastal upland loblolly pine forest dominated by Pinus taeda. Canopy composition varies from nearly pure Pinus taeda to mixed stands of Pinus taeda, Quercus falcata, Prunus serotina, Sassafras albidum, and less frequently Quercus nigra. Ilex opaca var. opaca and Diospyros virginiana are frequent understory trees. The tall-shrub layer, when present, is composed of Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera) and Vaccinium corymbosum. Vines and lianas are nearly always present in abundance; Vitis rotundifolia is most commonly present, but Toxicodendron radicans, Smilax rotundifolia, Smilax glauca, and Parthenocissus quinquefolia are often present in abundance as well. The herbaceous layer is typically sparse, particularly if shrubs and vines are dense, but Chasmanthium laxum may be fairly abundant in this community. Other herbs include Mitchella repens, Pityopsis graminifolia var. latifolia, Dichanthelium ovale, Panicum amarum, Eupatorium hyssopifolium, and Elephantopus nudatus. In southern Virginia and North Carolina, Quercus virginiana and Gelsemium sempervirens may also be present, but Quercus virginiana is never abundant and when present is usually restricted to the understory. Stands on sheltered flats that have been subject to frequent fires at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park in Virginia are rather open, with sparse cover of shrubs and vines and moderately high cover of Chasmanthium laxum in the herb layer.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Quercus falcata G2 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pinus taeda G2 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Smilax rotundifolia G2 Liana Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Toxicodendron radicans G2 Liana Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Vitis rotundifolia G2 Liana Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Vaccinium corymbosum G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Morella cerifera G2 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Chasmanthium laxum G2 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This community occurs on the outer coastal plain and on barrier islands in sheltered backdunes protected from salt spray and overwash. Sites are generally restricted to relict dunes within a few hundred meters of ocean or bay beaches. The substrate is rapidly drained sands or sandy loams which are nutrient poor.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Some of the pure pine-dominated variants of this association are probably successional, while others are related to environmental stressors that exclude hardwoods. Logging of predominantly live oak maritime forests in North Carolina is suspected to have caused expansion of forests dominated by Pinus taeda (Bratton and Davison 1987; Schafale and Weakley 1990), and logging likely impacted the maritime forests of Assateague Island as well (Higgins et al. 1971). However, disturbance brought on by high winds and coastal storms has always been a part of coastal systems, and natural coastal and maritime forests dominated by Pinus taeda or mixtures of Pinus taeda and hardwoods are likely to have always occurred.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): L.A. Sneddon
Element Description Edition Date: 04Feb2009
Element Description Author(s): L.A. Sneddon and G.P. Fleming
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 10Jun2008
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): L.A. Sneddon, mod. S.L. Neid and G.P. Fleming

Ecological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).


References
  • Bartgis, R. 1986. Natural community descriptions. Unpublished draft. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis.

  • Bratton, S. P., and K. Davison. 1987. Disturbance and succession in Buxton Woods, Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Castanea 52:166-179.

  • Breden, T. F., Y. R. Alger, K. S. Walz, and A. G. Windisch. 2001. Classification of vegetation communities of New Jersey: Second iteration. Association for Biodiversity Information and New Jersey Natural Heritage Program, Office of Natural Lands Management, Division of Parks and Forestry, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Trenton.

  • Brock, J. C., C. W. Wright, M. Patterson, A. Naeghandi, and L. J. Travers. 2007. EAARL bare earth topography - Assateague Island National Seashore. U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2007-1176. [http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1176/start.html]

  • Clampitt, C. A. 1991. The upland plant communities of Seashore State Park, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Virginia Journal of Science 42:419-435.

  • Clancy, K. 1993b. A preliminary classification of the natural communities of Delaware. Unpublished draft. Delaware Natural Heritage Inventory, Division of Parks and Recreation, Dover. 30 pp.

  • Clancy, K. 1996. Natural communities of Delaware. Unpublished review draft. Delaware Natural Heritage Program, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Delaware Division of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Smyrna, DE. 52 pp.

  • Coxe, R. 2009. Guide to Delaware vegetation communities. Spring 2009 edition. State of Delaware, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Delaware Natural Heritage Program, Smyrna.

  • Eastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boston, MA.

  • Fleming, G. P. 1998. Virginia natural community framework, version January 30, 1998. Unpublished document. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 6 pp.

  • 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., P. P. Coulling, K. D. Patterson, and K. Taverna. 2006. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Version 2.2. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/ncTIV.shtml]

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

  • Fleming, L. M. 1978. Delaware's outstanding natural areas and their preservation. Delaware Nature Education Society, Inc., Hockessin, DE. 422 pp.

  • Harrison, J. W. 2011. The natural communities of Maryland: 2011 working list of ecological community groups and community types. Unpublished report. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Service, Natural Heritage Program, Annapolis. 33 pp.

  • Harrison, J. W., compiler. 2004. Classification of vegetation communities of Maryland: First iteration. A subset of the International Classification of Ecological Communities: Terrestrial Vegetation of the United States, NatureServe. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis. 243 pp.

  • Harrison, Jason W. Personal communication. State Community Ecologist, Maryland Wildlife and Heritage Division, Department of Natural Resources, Tawes State Office Building, E-1, Annapolis, MD 21401.

  • Harvill, A. M., Jr. 1965. The vegetation of Parramore Island, Virginia. Castanea 30:226-228.

  • Harvill, A. M., Jr. 1967. The vegetation of Assateague Island, Virginia. Castanea 32:105-108.

  • Higgins, E. A. T., R. D. Rappleye, and R. G. Brown. 1971. The flora and ecology of Assateague Island. University of Maryland Experiment Station Bulletin A-172. 70 pp.

  • Hill, S. R. 1986. An annotated checklist of the vascular flora of Assateague Island (Maryland and Virginia). Castanea 5:265-305.

  • Klotz, L. H. 1986. The vascular flora of Wallops Island and Wallops Mainland, Virginia. Castanea 51:306-326.

  • 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.

  • Sneddon, L. A., A. Berdine, G. P. Fleming, and S. Brady. 1997. Vegetation classification of Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Unpublished report to the USDI Fish and Wildlife Service. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Regional Office, Boston, MA.

  • Stalter, R. 1990. The vascular flora of Assateague Island, Virginia. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 117:48-56.

  • Stalter, R., and E. E. Lamont. 1990. The vascular flora of Assateague Island, Virginia. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 117:48-56.

  • TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. 1995c. NBS/NPS Vegetation Mapping Program: Vegetation classification of Assateague Island National Seashore. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Regional Office, Boston, MA.

  • TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. 1997a. Vegetation classification of Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Report to the NBS/NPS Vegetation Mapping Program. The Nature Conservancy. Eastern Regional Office, Boston, MA.


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