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Betula alleghaniensis - Picea rubens / Dryopteris campyloptera Forest
Translated Name: Yellow Birch - Red Spruce / Mountain Woodfern Forest
Common Name: Transitional Northern Hardwood - Red Spruce Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006267
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This transitional hardwood - spruce forest occurs in montane regions of northern New England, the Northern Appalachians, and in adjacent Canada. This forest is most extensive at middle elevations, between 305 and 760 m (1000-2500 feet), occurring on slopes with rocky, nutrient-poor, and often shallow till soils that are well-drained to excessively well-drained. This association forms a relatively broad transitional zone between northern hardwood forests and montane spruce-fir forests. The canopy varies from nearly closed to partly open. Shrubs, herbs, and tree regeneration forms a dense cover in gaps; under closed canopies, understory layers can be sparse. The dominant trees are Picea rubens and a variable mixture of the northern hardwoods Acer saccharum, Betula alleghaniensis, and Fagus grandifolia. Other canopy associates include Acer rubrum, Abies balsamea, Thuja occidentalis, and Betula papyrifera. Abies balsamea may be the major conifer, in either the canopy or subcanopy, in stands that have been selectively logged. Shrub and herbaceous layers contain species common to both northern hardwood and spruce-fir forests. Characteristic shrubs include Sorbus americana, Sorbus decora, Acer pensylvanicum, Acer spicatum, and Viburnum lantanoides. Characteristic herbs include Dryopteris intermedia, Dryopteris campyloptera, Clintonia borealis, Oxalis montana, Linnaea borealis, Maianthemum canadense, Streptopus lanceolatus var. roseus, and Aralia nudicaulis. The bryophyte layer is of variable cover and may include Bazzania trilobata, Dicranum scoparium, Hypnum imponens, Hylocomium splendens, Leucobryum glaucum, and Polytrichum commune. On the ground, this community can grade into both northern hardwood forest and spruce-fir forest types; this type is distinguished by the codominance of conifers and hardwoods.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate

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 Laurentian-Acadian Mesic Hardwood - Conifer Forest
Group Northern Appalachian-Acadian Red Spruce - Fir - Hardwood Forest
Alliance Northern Appalachian Spruce - Fir Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006128 Picea rubens - Abies balsamea / Sorbus americana Forest
CEGL006256 Picea rubens - (Betula alleghaniensis, Aesculus flava) / Viburnum lantanoides / Solidago glomerata Forest
CEGL006273 Picea rubens - Abies balsamea - Betula papyrifera Forest
CEGL006505 Picea rubens - Abies balsamea - Betula spp. - Acer rubrum Forest
CEGL006631 Acer saccharum - Betula alleghaniensis - Fagus grandifolia / Viburnum lantanoides Forest
CEGL006632 Acer saccharum - Fagus grandifolia - Fraxinus americana / Arisaema triphyllum 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
Maine Spruce - northern hardwoods forest Equivalent   Gawler 2002
Massachusetts Spruce - Fir - Northern Hardwoods Forest Broader   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Hampshire Northern hardwood - spruce - fir forest Equivalent   Sperduto 2000
New York Spruce-northern hardwood forest Equivalent   Edinger et al. 2002
Vermont Montane Yellow Birch-Red Spruce Forest Intersects   Thompson and Sorenson 2000
Vermont Red Spruce-Northern Hardwood Forest Intersects   Thompson and Sorenson 2000


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Red Spruce - Yellow Birch: 30
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES201.566 Acadian-Appalachian Montane Spruce-Fir Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: GNR (01Dec1997)
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: MA, ME, NH, NY, VT
Canadian Province Distribution: NB, NS, QCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This forest occurs in montane regions of northern New England, the Northern Appalachians, and adjacent Canada.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Warm Continental Division
Province Name: Laurentian Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 212 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Fundy Coastal and Interior Section
Section Code: 212C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: St. Lawrence and Champlain Valley Section
Section Code: 212E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Hot Continental Division
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Oceanic) Province
Province Code: 221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lower New England Section
Section Code: 221A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Hudson Valley Section
Section Code: 221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Continental) Province
Province Code: 222 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Mohawk and Black River Valley Section
Section Code: 222O Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Warm Continental Regime Mountains
Province Name: Adirondack-New England Mixed Forest - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M212 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: White Mountain Section
Section Code: M212A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Vermont-New Hampshire Upland Section
Section Code: M212B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Green, Taconic, Berkshire Mountain Section
Section Code: M212C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Adirondack Mountain Section
Section Code: M212D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Catskill Mountain Section
Section Code: M212E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Tug Hill Plateau Section
Section Code: M212F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The canopy varies from nearly closed to partly open. Shrubs, herbs, and tree regeneration forms a dense cover in gaps; under closed canopies, understory layers can be sparse. The dominant trees are Picea rubens and a variable mixture of the northern hardwoods Acer saccharum, Betula alleghaniensis, and Fagus grandifolia. Other canopy associates include Acer rubrum, Abies balsamea, Thuja occidentalis, and Betula papyrifera. Abies balsamea may be the major conifer, in either the canopy or subcanopy, in stands that have been selectively logged. Shrub and herbaceous layers contain species common to both northern hardwood and spruce-fir forests. Characteristic shrubs include Sorbus americana, Sorbus decora, Acer pensylvanicum, Acer spicatum, and Viburnum lantanoides (= Viburnum alnifolium). Characteristic herbs include Dryopteris intermedia, Dryopteris campyloptera, Clintonia borealis, Oxalis montana, Linnaea borealis, Maianthemum canadense, Streptopus lanceolatus var. roseus (= Streptopus roseus), and Aralia nudicaulis. The bryophyte layer is of variable cover and may include Bazzania trilobata, Dicranum scoparium, Hypnum imponens, Hylocomium splendens, Leucobryum glaucum, and Polytrichum commune.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer saccharum GNR Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)    
 
 
Betula alleghaniensis GNR Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)  
 
 
Fagus grandifolia GNR Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)    
 
 
Abies balsamea GNR Needle-leaved tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)    
 
 
Picea rubens GNR Needle-leaved tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)  
 
 
Acer rubrum GNR Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Sorbus americana GNR Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Maianthemum canadense GNR Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Dryopteris campyloptera GNR Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Dryopteris intermedia GNR Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This transitional hardwood - spruce forest occurs in montane regions of northern New England, the northern Appalachian Mountains, and in adjacent Canada. This forest is most extensive at middle elevations, between 305 and 760 m (1000-2500 feet), occurring on slopes with rocky, nutrient-poor, and often shallow till soils that are well-drained to excessively well-drained. This association forms a relatively broad transitional zone between northern hardwood forests and montane spruce-fir forests.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: This association forms a relatively broad transitional zone between northern hardwood forests and montane spruce-fir forests.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Northern Appalachian Planning Team and L.A. Sneddon
Element Description Edition Date: 27Jan2003
Element Description Author(s): S.C. Gawler

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


References
  • CDPNQ [Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec]. No date. Unpublished data. Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec, Québec.

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

  • Edinger, G. J., D. J. Evans, S. Gebauer, T. G. Howard, D. M. Hunt, and A. M. Olivero, editors. 2014a. Ecological communities of New York state. Second edition. A revised and expanded edition of Carol Reschke's ecological communities of New York state. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY.

  • Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.

  • Gawler, S. C. 2002. Natural landscapes of Maine: A guide to vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta, ME.

  • Gawler, S. C., and A. Cutko. 2010. Natural landscapes of Maine: A classification of vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta.

  • Küchler, A. W. 1956. Notes on the vegetation of southeastern Mount Desert Island, Maine. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 38:335-392.

  • Lubinski, S., K. Hop, and S. Gawler. 2003. Vegetation Mapping Program: Acadia National Park, Maine. Report produced by U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, and Maine Natural Areas Program in conjunction with M. Story (NPS Vegetation Mapping Coordinator) NPS, Natural Resources Information Division, Inventory and Monitoring Program, and K. Brown (USGS Vegetation Mapping Coordinator), USGS, Center for Biological Informatics and NatureServe. [http://biology.usgs.gov/npsveg/ftp/vegmapping/acad/reports/acadrpt.pdf]

  • Moore, B., and N. Taylor. 1927. An ecological study of the vegetation of Mount Desert Island, Maine. Brooklyn Botanical Garden Memoirs 3:1-151.

  • Reschke, C. 1990. Ecological communities of New York State. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Latham, NY. 96 pp.

  • Sperduto, D. D., and W. F. Nichols. 2004. Natural communities of New Hampshire: A guide and classification. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord. 242 pp.

  • Swain, P. C., and J. B. Kearsley. 2014. Classification of the natural communities of Massachusetts. Version 2.0. Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Westborough, MA. [http://www.mass.gov/nhesp/http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/natural-heritage/natural-communities/classification-of-natural-communities.html]

  • Thompson, E. H., and E. R. Sorenson. 2005. Wetland, woodland, wildland: A guide to the natural communities of Vermont. The Nature Conservancy and the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. University Press of New England, Hanover, NH. 456 pp.


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