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Quercus nigra Ruderal Forest
Translated Name: Water Oak Ruderal Forest
Common Name: Ruderal Water Oak Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL004638
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This community is a result of soil disturbance and/or fire suppression of upland pinelands of the Southeastern Coastal Plain and of pinelands and subsequent old fields in the adjacent Piedmont areas. South of the range of southern yellow pines, this community is found on spoil banks, artificial levees, and other anthropogenic landforms in a marsh and swamp landscape context. This association occurs on mesic or dry-mesic sites, especially on loamy or other fine-textured soils (in contrast to Quercus hemisphaerica - Quercus nigra Forest Alliance (A0053), which occurs primarily on coarse-textured sands in drier situations). Quercus nigra dominates the tree canopy. Other oaks (e.g., Quercus falcata, Quercus phellos, Quercus hemisphaerica) may be intermixed, as well as Liquidambar styraciflua, remnant Pinus palustris, weedy Pinus elliottii var. elliottii, Carya spp., or Pinus taeda. In the Upper Gulf Coastal Plain of Georgia, some examples may contain Fagus grandifolia, Liriodendron tulipifera, Carya alba, and Cornus florida in the subcanopy.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: The "successional" and "ruderal" aspects of this association may need to be teased apart.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 1 - Forest & Woodland
Subclass 1.B - Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland
Formation 1.B.1 - Warm Temperate Forest & Woodland
Division 1.B.1.Na - Southeastern North American Forest & Woodland
Macrogroup Southeastern North American Ruderal Forest
Group Southeastern Native Ruderal Forest
Alliance Ruderal Sweetgum - Sugarberry - Water Oak Forest

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



Related Concepts from Other Classifications


Ecological Systems Placement

NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: GNA (17May2002)
Rounded Global Status: GNA - Not Applicable
Reasons: This vegetation is presumed to be either a result of disturbance of more diverse-canopied hardwood forests, and/or a result of lack of fire on sites which would be dominated by Pinus palustris. In the Piedmont area of South Carolina, it may occur on areas formerly codominated by Quercus oglethorpensis. In these areas, the Quercus oglethorpensis still survives, making this modified community of more conservation value in those areas.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: AL, FLpotentially occurs, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TXpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community is distributed throughout the southeastern United States, including within the traditional range of longleaf pine communities, mainly in the Coastal Plain from Texas up through at least South Carolina. In some parts of its range in South Carolina and Georgia, the community may be found in the Piedmont within 50 to 70 miles of the fall-line and may share dominance with other successional pine-dominated communities more common in the Piedmont. It is also found south of where pines dominate the landscape, as in southern Louisiana.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Subtropical Division
Province Name: Southeastern Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 231 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Appalachian Piedmont Section
Section Code: 231A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Coastal Plain Middle Section
Section Code: 231B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
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
Section Name: Louisiana Coast Prairies and Marshes Section
Section Code: 232E Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Province Name: Lower Mississippi Riverine Forest Province
Province Code: 234 Occurrence Status: Possible
Section Name: Mississippi Alluvial Basin Section
Section Code: 234A Occurrence Status: Possible


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The canopy of this association is dominated by Quercus nigra. Other oaks may be intermixed, especially Quercus phellos, as well as Quercus falcata, Quercus hemisphaerica, Liquidambar styraciflua, remnant Pinus palustris, weedy Pinus elliottii var. elliottii, Carya spp., or Pinus taeda. In the Upper Gulf Coastal Plain of Georgia, some examples may contain Fagus grandifolia, Liriodendron tulipifera, Carya alba, and Cornus florida in the subcanopy.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Quercus nigra GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus oglethorpensis GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy      
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Quercus oglethorpensis
  (Oglethorpe's Oak)
G3  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This community is a result of disturbance and/or fire suppression of upland pinelands of the southeastern Coastal Plain and adjacent Piedmont. South of the range of southern yellow pines, this community is found on highly disturbed upland sites, spoil banks, artificial levees, and other anthropogenic landforms in a marsh and swamp landscape context. It occurs on mesic or dry-mesic sites, especially on loamy or other fine-textured soils. In the Piedmont transition of South Carolina, it may have grown out of areas that were heavily farmed or cut over in the past but which did not grow up into Pinus taeda forests.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: This community occurs as a successional community following either degradation of pinelands or recovery from agricultural disturbance of old fields in fairly sandy soils, as well as other forms of soil disturbance in the southern coastal plains and adjacent Piedmont. In the Piedmont area of South Carolina, this is reported to occur on areas formerly codominated by Quercus oglethorpensis. In these areas, the Quercus oglethorpensis still survives, making this modified community of more conservation value in those areas. This manifestation may be an altered version of a natural association, and not strictly "ruderal."


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Southeastern Ecology Group
Element Description Edition Date: 20Oct2015
Element Description Author(s): M. Pyne
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 17May2002
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): M. Pyne, mod. 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
  • McCrain, G. R., and B. H. Church. 1985. An analysis of past and present plant community patterns in Moores Creek National Battlefield along with associated impacts affecting distribution and restoration. Prepared by Resource Management Co., Raleigh, NC, under Purchase Order Number PX-5550-3-0062 for the USDI, National Park Service, Southeast Regional Office, Atlanta, GA.

  • McManamay, R. H., A. Curtis, and M. W. Byrne. 2012. Vegetation mapping at Moores Creek National Battlefield. Natural Resource Data Series NPS/SECN/NRDS--2012/319. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 173 pp.

  • NatureServe Ecology - Southeastern United States. No date. Unpublished data. NatureServe, Durham, NC.

  • Nordman, C., M. Russo, and L. Smart. 2011. Vegetation types of the Natchez Trace Parkway, based on the U.S. National Vegetation Classification. NatureServe Central Databases (International Ecological Classification Standard: Terrestrial Ecological Classifications). Arlington, VA. Data current as of 11 April 2011. 548 pp.

  • Schotz, Al. Personal communication. Community Ecologist. Alabama Natural Heritage Program. Huntingdon College, Massey Hall, 1500 East Fairview Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36106-2148.

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

  • White, Jr., R. D. 2004. Vascular plant inventory and plant community classification for Cowpens National Battlefield. NatureServe, Durham, NC. 126 pp.

  • White, R. D., Jr., and T. Govus. 2003. Vascular plant inventory and plant community classification for Ninety Six National Historic Site. Prepared for the National Park Service. NatureServe, Durham, NC. 146 pp.


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