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Nyssa biflora - Acer rubrum var. rubrum / Lyonia lucida Floodplain Forest
Translated Name: Swamp Tupelo - Red Maple / Shining Fetterbush Floodplain Forest
Common Name: Swamp Tupelo Floodplain Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL007864
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: These forests occur on floodplains of the inner South Atlantic Coastal Plain and adjacent East Gulf Coastal Plain, including the Sandhills region, of Georgia and adjacent South Carolina. They are dominated by Nyssa biflora and Acer rubrum var. rubrum, with varying amounts of Quercus laurifolia, Quercus lyrata, Fraxinus caroliniana, and Ilex opaca in the canopy and subcanopy. Liquidambar styraciflua and Liriodendron tulipifera may also occur in some examples, especially following timber removal or natural disturbance. In addition, Fraxinus pennsylvanica and Carpinus caroliniana are reported from some examples. Shrubs may include Itea virginica, Leucothoe axillaris, and Lyonia lucida. Some typical vines include Ampelopsis arborea, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Toxicodendron radicans, and Smilax laurifolia. Herb diversity is low, but species present may include Boehmeria cylindrica, Carex spp., Commelina virginica, Dulichium arundinaceum, Hydrocotyle verticillata, Justicia ovata, Saururus cernuus, Triadenum spp., Viola spp., and Woodwardia areolata. This community typically grades up into Southern Mixed Hardwood Forest.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low - Poorly Documented
Classification Comments: In contrast to related associations from farther south in the outer Coastal Plain, this one lacks Taxodium distichum and Nyssa aquatica. At the Savannah River Site (Whipple et al. 1981), this community is reported to grade up into Southern Mixed Hardwood Forest (sensu Quarterman and Keever 1962). The crosswalk to Jones et al. (1981b) is on the assumption that dominance by yellow poplar (but with "swamp gum" [Nyssa biflora] as characteristic) is indicative of disturbance. At the Francis Marion National Forest, stands of CEGL007864 (Nyssa biflora) and CEGL007397 (Quercus lyrata) are quite similar in their lower strata (Glitzenstein and Streng 2004).

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.Nb - Southeastern North American Flooded & Swamp Forest
Macrogroup Southern Coastal Plain Floodplain Forest
Group Bald-cypress - Tupelo Floodplain Forest
Alliance Coatal Plain Tupelo Floodplain Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL007397 Quercus lyrata - Carya aquatica Floodplain 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
South Carolina Nyssa biflora - Acer rubrum var. rubrum / Lyonia lucida Forest Equivalent Certain SCWMRD unpubl. data


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Nyssa sylvatica - Acer rubrum Community
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Whipple, S. A., L. H. Wellman, and B. J. Good. 1981. A classification of hardwood and swamp forests on the Savannah River Plant, SC. USDE Savannah River Plant National Environmental Research Park Program. SRO-NERP-6. 36 pp.
Related Concept Name: Yellow poplar-swamp gum-dog hobble community
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Jones, S. M., D. H. Van Lear, and S. K. Cox. 1981b. Major forest community types of the Savannah River Plant: A field guide. USDE Savannah River Plant, National Environmental Research Park Program. Report No. SRO-NERP-9. 79 pp. plus 24 illustrations.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.066 Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Large River Floodplain Forest
CES203.489 East Gulf Coastal Plain Large River Floodplain Forest
CES203.493 Southern Coastal Plain Blackwater River Floodplain Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3G4 (15Oct2002)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This is not an inherently rare forest type, although its distribution is somewhat limited. Some examples are protected on public land. Mature examples are uncommon and vulnerable to the removal of commercially valuable species. Many examples are poorly buffered because of upslope land-use change, timber removal, or conversion of upslope forests to managed forest types. It is not globally abundant and secure throughout its range. Grank changed from G3? to G3G4.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: GA, SC
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association is known from the South Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains of South Carolina and Georgia.

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: 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: These forests are dominated by Nyssa biflora and Acer rubrum var. rubrum, with varying amounts of Quercus laurifolia, Quercus lyrata, Fraxinus caroliniana, and Ilex opaca in the canopy and subcanopy. Liquidambar styraciflua and Liriodendron tulipifera may also occur in some examples, especially following timber removal or natural disturbance. In addition, Fraxinus pennsylvanica and Carpinus caroliniana are reported from some examples (Jones et al. 1981b). Shrubs may include Itea virginica, Leucothoe axillaris, and Lyonia lucida. Some typical vines include Ampelopsis arborea, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Toxicodendron radicans, and Smilax laurifolia. Herb diversity is low, but species present may include Boehmeria cylindrica, Carex spp., Commelina virginica, Dulichium arundinaceum, Hydrocotyle verticillata, Justicia ovata, Saururus cernuus, Triadenum spp., Viola spp., and Woodwardia areolata (Whipple et al. 1981). A stand from the Francis Marion National Forest, South Carolina, which is assigned here with some doubt exhibits with dominance by Nyssa aquatica instead of Nyssa biflora. The canopy contains Nyssa aquatica, Liquidambar styraciflua, Ulmus americana, and Acer rubrum var. rubrum, with some Celtis laevigata. The subcanopy contains Carya aquatica, Ilex decidua, and examples of canopy species. Shrubs include Carpinus caroliniana, Ilex decidua, Crataegus marshallii?, along with smaller canopy and subcanopy species.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer rubrum var. rubrum G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Nyssa biflora G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Lyonia lucida G3 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: The habitat for this vegetation at the Savannah River Plant (South Carolina) is described by Whipple et al. (1981) as "flat, moist sites on low floodplains that are regularly but not permanently flooded."


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): M. Pyne and L. Gawin, after Whipple et. al (1981)
Element Description Edition Date: 21Apr2004
Element Description Author(s): M. Pyne and L. Gawin
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 15Oct2002
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): M. Pyne

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


References
  • Jones, S. M., D. H. Van Lear, and S. K. Cox. 1981b. Major forest community types of the Savannah River Plant: A field guide. USDE Savannah River Plant, National Environmental Research Park Program. Report No. SRO-NERP-9. 79 pp. plus 24 illustrations.

  • Quarterman, E., and C. Keever. 1962. Southern mixed hardwood forests: Climax in the southeastern Coastal Plain, USA. Ecological Monographs 32:167-185.

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

  • Whipple, S. A., L. H. Wellman, and B. J. Good. 1981. A classification of hardwood and swamp forests on the Savannah River Plant, SC. USDE Savannah River Plant National Environmental Research Park Program. SRO-NERP-6. 36 pp.


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