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Acer rubrum - Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Saururus cernuus Swamp Forest
Translated Name: Red Maple - Green Ash / Lizard's-tail Swamp Forest
Common Name: Chesapeake-Piedmont Red Maple / Lizard's-tail Swamp Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006606
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This red maple swamp community of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain of the Chesapeake Bay and Piedmont regions occurs on poorly drained to very poorly drained soils on flats and along watercourses that are seasonally to semipermanently flooded. The organic horizon is of variable depth and overlies sandy or silt clay loam soils. This swamp has pronounced hummock-and-hollow microtopography. The tree canopy is closed to partially open and dominated by Acer rubrum and Fraxinus pennsylvanica. Other canopy associates may include Nyssa sylvatica, Liquidambar styraciflua, Ulmus americana, Quercus lyrata, Quercus phellos, Quercus lyrata, and Populus heterophylla. The shrub layer includes Lindera benzoin, Leucothoe racemosa, Ilex verticillata, Viburnum spp., and Fraxinus pennsylvanica saplings. The herb layer is characterized by Saururus cernuus, Peltandra virginica, Boehmeria cylindrica, Triadenum walteri, Cinna arundinacea, Pilea pumila, Impatiens capensis, Osmunda regalis, Leersia oryzoides, Leersia virginica, Glyceria striata, Commelina virginica, Rumex verticillatus, Carex spp., and Polygonum arifolium.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: Classification is supported by analysis of a 1250-plot regional dataset compiled for the NCR and MAR national parks vegetation mapping projects. In that analysis, this association was represented by 22 Maryland and Virginia plots.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 1 - Forest & Woodland
Subclass 1.B - Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland
Formation 1.B.3 - Temperate Flooded & Swamp Forest
Division 1.B.3.Na - Eastern North American-Great Plains Flooded & Swamp Forest
Macrogroup Laurentian-Acadian-North Atlantic Coastal Flooded & Swamp Forest
Group Laurentian-Acadian-Appalachian Acidic Swamp
Alliance Northeastern Red Maple - Green Ash Swamp Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006548 Acer (rubrum, saccharinum) - Fraxinus pennsylvanica - Ulmus americana / Boehmeria cylindrica Floodplain Forest
CEGL007031 Acer rubrum / Alnus serrulata - Lindera benzoin / Glyceria striata - Impatiens capensis Seep 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 Chesapeake/Piedmont Red Maple/Lizard's Tail Swamp Equivalent Certain Coxe 2009
Maryland Acer rubrum - Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Saururus cernuus Forest Equivalent Certain Harrison 2011
New Jersey Acer rubrum - Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Saururus cernuus Forest Equivalent Certain Breden et al. 2001
North Carolina Piedmont Swamp Forest Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Acer rubrum - Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Impatiens capensis - Saururus cernuus Forest
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Bowman, P. 2000. Draft classification for Delaware. Unpublished draft. Delaware Natural Heritage Program.
Related Concept Name: Acer rubrum - Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Saururus cernuus Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: 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.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Thomson, D., A. M. Gould, and M. A. Berdine. 1999. Identification and protection of reference wetland natural communities in Maryland: Potomac watershed floodplain forests. The Biodiversity Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Division. Annapolis. 119 pp.
Related Concept Name: Fraxinus pennsylvanica - Acer rubrum / Cinna arundinacea - Saururus cernuus - Boehmeria cylindrica Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2003. Preliminary vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks. Regional (VA-WVA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2003. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: 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.
Related Concept Name: Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Asimina triloba - Lindera benzoin - Ilex (decidua, verticillata) / Triadenum walteri - Saururus cernuus Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Walton, D. P., P. P. Coulling, J. Weber, A. Belden, Jr., and A. C. Chazal. 2001. A plant community classification and natural heritage inventory of the Pamunkey River floodplain. Unpublished report submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Natural Heritage Technical Report 01-19. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 200 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Boehmeria cylindrica - Saururus cernuus Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P. 2002a. Ecological communities of the Bull Run Mountains, Virginia: Baseline vegetation and floristic data for conservation planning and natural area stewardship. Natural Heritage Technical Report 02-12. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 274 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Cinna arundinacea - Poa trivialis Semipermanently Flooded Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: McCoy, K. M., and G. P. Fleming. 2000. Ecological communities of U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Belvoir, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Unpublished report submitted to the U.S. Army. Natural Heritage Technical Report 00-08. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 156 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Coastal Plain - Piedmont Bottomland 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: Coastal Plain / Piedmont Swamp 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: Red Maple - Green Ash - Lizard's Tail Swamp (CML2)
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Windisch, A .G. 2014a. Pinelands ecological communities and higher level groups with crosswalk / proposed 2008 revisions to NVC. November 16, 2014 draft. New Jersey Natural Heritage Program, Trenton.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.323 Southern Piedmont Small Floodplain and Riparian Forest
CES202.324 Southern Piedmont Large Floodplain Forest
CES203.070 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Riparian and Floodplain
CES203.520 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Basin Swamp and Wet Hardwood Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3G4 (14Feb2012)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This association is geographically restricted to the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain and in limited areas of the Piedmont. It occurs in small patches, generally less than 20 acres. As of December 2011, it is ranked as S3 in Maryland and S3S4 in Virginia, where it is reportedly widespread in the backswamps of the Coastal Plain. In New Jersey, this type is documented from Great Swamp on the transition from Inner Coastal Plain to Piedmont. This type also is likely to occur in Delaware but its classification requires further resolution there. Beaver impoundments have been observed to threaten this vegetation.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: DC, DE, MD, NC, NJ, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This red maple - green ash swamp community occurs in the Coastal Plain of the Chesapeake Bay region and rarely in the adjacent Piedmont from New Jersey 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 forest type is characterized by a well-developed tree canopy codominated by Acer rubrum and Fraxinus pennsylvanica in variable proportions. Other canopy associates may include Nyssa sylvatica, Quercus phellos, Quercus lyrata, Ulmus americana, and Populus heterophylla. At the southern end of the range, Nyssa biflora and Taxodium distichum may be minor associates. The shrub layer is of variable cover but usually not dense. The most common species are Lindera benzoin, Leucothoe racemosa, Vaccinium corymbosum, Ilex verticillata, Carpinus caroliniana, Rosa palustris, and Viburnum dentatum. Other shrub associates may include Rhododendron viscosum, Cephalanthus occidentalis, Alnus serrulata, and Cornus amomum. The herb layer is diverse and generally characterized by abundant Saururus cernuus, typically in hollows. Other associates are many and varied but generally include Peltandra virginica, Impatiens capensis, Pontederia cordata, Boehmeria cylindrica, Glyceria spp., Cinna arundinacea, Bidens connata, Thelypteris palustris, Onoclea sensibilis, Osmunda regalis, Carex stricta, Carex lurida, Carex crinita, Triadenum walteri, Lobelia cardinalis, Lycopus virginicus, Pilea pumila, Carex tribuloides, Polygonum punctatum, Polygonum arifolium, Cicuta maculata, Leersia oryzoides, Galium obtusum, Commelina virginica, and others. Vines may include Toxicodendron radicans, Smilax rotundifolia, Campsis radicans, and Parthenocissus quinquefolia. Mosses are generally sparse to absent, except on logs and tree bases above the high-water line.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer rubrum G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy
 
 
Fraxinus pennsylvanica G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy
 
 
Carpinus caroliniana G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Ilex verticillata G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Leucothoe racemosa G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Lindera benzoin G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Vaccinium corymbosum G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Viburnum dentatum G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Rosa palustris G3 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Bidens connata G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Boehmeria cylindrica G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Cicuta maculata G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Galium obtusum G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Impatiens capensis G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Lobelia cardinalis G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Lycopus virginicus G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Peltandra virginica G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Pilea pumila G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Polygonum arifolium G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Polygonum punctatum G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Pontederia cordata G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Saururus cernuus G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)
 
 
Triadenum walteri G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Onoclea sensibilis G3 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Osmunda regalis G3 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Thelypteris palustris G3 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex crinita G3 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex lurida G3 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex stricta G3 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex tribuloides G3 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Cinna arundinacea G3 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Leersia oryzoides G3 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This swamp forest occurs in backswamps, watercourses, flats and depressions that are flooded for significant portions of the growing season. These areas receive some nutrient inputs from adjacent uplands or overland flooding and have soils that are moderately calcareous. The substrate is deep muck with a pronounced hummock-and-hollow microtopography.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): D. Thomson, J. Meininger, and L.A. Sneddon
Element Description Edition Date: 07Aug2007
Element Description Author(s): D. Thomson, J. Meininger, L.A. Sneddon, G.P. Fleming
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 14Feb2012
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): L.A. Sneddon

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


References
  • Bowman, P. 2000. Draft classification for Delaware. Unpublished draft. Delaware Natural Heritage Program.

  • 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.

  • 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. 2001a. Community types of Coastal Plain calcareous ravines in Virginia. Preliminary analysis and classification. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 4 pp.

  • Fleming, G. P. 2002a. Ecological communities of the Bull Run Mountains, Virginia: Baseline vegetation and floristic data for conservation planning and natural area stewardship. Natural Heritage Technical Report 02-12. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 274 pp. plus appendices.

  • Fleming, G. P. 2002b. Preliminary classification of Piedmont & Inner Coastal Plain vegetation types in Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 02-14. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 29 pp.

  • Fleming, G. P., K. Taverna, and P. P. Coulling. 2007b. Vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks, eastern region. Regional (VA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2007. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • 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. 2003. Preliminary vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks. Regional (VA-WVA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2003. 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 K. D. Patterson. 2011b. Analysis of Coastal Plain / Outer Piedmont bottomlands and non-alluvial wetlands in Virginia, 400 plots. In-house analysis, January 2011. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • Fleming, G. P., and W. H. Moorhead, III. 1998. Comparative wetlands ecology study of the Great Dismal Swamp, Northwest River, and North Landing River in Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 98-9. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. Unpublished report submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 181 pp. plus appendices.

  • 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., and P. Stango, III. 2003. Shrubland tidal wetland communities of Maryland's Eastern Shore: Identification, assessment and monitoring. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis. 118 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.

  • McCoy, K. M., and G. P. Fleming. 2000. Ecological communities of U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Belvoir, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Unpublished report submitted to the U.S. Army. Natural Heritage Technical Report 00-08. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 156 pp. plus appendices.

  • Meininger, J. 1998. Forest communities of Zekiah Swamp Nontidal Wetland of Special State Concern. Wildlife and Heritage Division, Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Annapolis, MD.

  • Patterson, K. D. 2008c. Vegetation classification and mapping at Colonial National Historical Park, Virginia. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2008/129. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 369 pp.

  • 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.

  • Thomson, D., A. M. Gould, and M. A. Berdine. 1999. Identification and protection of reference wetland natural communities in Maryland: Potomac watershed floodplain forests. The Biodiversity Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Division. Annapolis. 119 pp.

  • 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.

  • Walton, D. P., P. P. Coulling, J. Weber, A. Belden, Jr., and A. C. Chazal. 2001. A plant community classification and natural heritage inventory of the Pamunkey River floodplain. Unpublished report submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Natural Heritage Technical Report 01-19. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 200 pp. plus appendices.

  • Windisch, A .G. 2014a. Pinelands ecological communities and higher level groups with crosswalk / proposed 2008 revisions to NVC. November 16, 2014 draft. New Jersey Natural Heritage Program, Trenton.


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