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Acer negundo Ruderal Floodplain Forest
Translated Name: Box-elder Ruderal Floodplain Forest
Common Name: Ruderal Box-elder Floodplain Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL005033
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This semi-open to closed-canopy ruderal forest is found on disturbed sites in floodplains in the southern, eastern, and midwestern United States. Stands occur on large rivers in the active floodplain and on sandbars, and may form farther from the riverfront following disturbance. Occurrences are mostly on higher floodplain terraces with less rocky soils which were used for agriculture or habitation. They are typically temporarily flooded in the spring. These ruderal forests are dominated by Acer negundo. Other characteristic species include Platanus occidentalis, Celtis laevigata, Acer rubrum, Liriodendron tulipifera, Robinia pseudoacacia, Liquidambar styraciflua, Acer saccharinum, Ulmus alata, Ulmus rubra, Carya cordiformis, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Juglans nigra, Carpinus caroliniana, Morus rubra, and Populus deltoides. The shrub and herb layers range from sparse to relatively lush, and the vine component often is heavy. The herb layer consists of a mixture of weedy exotics and native floodplain species, including Rhamnus cathartica and various invasive Lonicera species.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: The range, dynamics, and variability of this type is complicated by the "weedy" nature of Acer negundo. For example, disturbed stands in former Fraxinus pennsylvanica - Ulmus americana - Celtis (occidentalis, laevigata) Temporarily Flooded Forest Alliance (A.286) often become dominated by Acer negundo. And in the upper Midwest Acer negundo-dominated stands are treated as part of Fraxinus pennsylvanica - (Ulmus americana) / Symphoricarpos occidentalis Floodplain Forest (CEGL002088). Thus, some consistency is needed in the application of this type across its range. In Arkansas, these forests can be pure Acer negundo or have Acer rubrum and Platanus occidentalis as associates (T. Foti pers. comm. 1999). Composition is variable. Where Acer negundo occurs in natural habitats in the Southeast, it should be placed in Acer negundo - (Platanus occidentalis, Populus deltoides) Floodplain Forest (CEGL004690), e.g., along the Arkansas River in Arkansas (D. Zollner pers. comm. 1999). In Missouri, natural stands would probably be combined with Betula nigra - Platanus occidentalis Floodplain Forest (CEGL002086) (M. Leahy pers. comm. 1999). In Kentucky, this may be found at the Licking River impoundment (Cave Run Lake).

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 Eastern North American Ruderal Flooded & Swamp Forest
Group Eastern North American Ruderal Flooded & Swamp Forest
Alliance Ruderal Box-elder - Mixed Hardwood Floodplain Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL002014 Fraxinus pennsylvanica - Ulmus spp. - Celtis occidentalis Floodplain Forest
CEGL002086 Betula nigra - Platanus occidentalis Floodplain Forest
CEGL002088 Fraxinus pennsylvanica - (Ulmus americana) / Symphoricarpos occidentalis Floodplain Forest
CEGL004690 Acer negundo - (Platanus occidentalis, Populus deltoides) Floodplain Forest
CEGL005400 Fraxinus pennsylvanica - Ulmus americana - (Acer negundo, Tilia americana) Great Plains Floodplain Forest
CEGL005488 Fraxinus nigra - Acer saccharinum Upper Great Lakes Floodplain Forest
CEGL007334 Platanus occidentalis - Acer saccharinum - Juglans nigra - Ulmus rubra 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
Delaware Box Elder Floodplain Forest Equivalent Certain Coxe 2009
Iowa Boxelder-Honey Locust-Hawthorn Semi-natural Forest Equivalent Certain INAI
Kentucky Riparian Forest Broader   Evans 1991
Louisiana Bottomland Hardwood Forest Broader   Smith 1996
New York Floodplain forest Broader Certain Edinger et al. 2002


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Acer negundo 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: Acer negundo riparian woodland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Vanderhorst, J. 2001b. Plant communities of the New River Gorge National River, West Virginia: Northern and southern thirds. Non-game Wildlife and Natural Heritage Program, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Elkins. 146 pp.
Related Concept Name: Bottomland Hardwood Forest
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Smith, L. M., compiler. 1996a. Natural plant communities in Louisiana currently recognized by the Louisiana Natural Heritage Program. Unpublished document. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Natural Heritage Program, Baton Rouge. 2 pp.
Related Concept Name: Riparian Forest
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Evans, M. 1991. Kentucky ecological communities. Draft report to the Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission. 19 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.608 Central Appalachian River Floodplain
CES202.705 South-Central Interior Large Floodplain
CES203.066 Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Large River Floodplain Forest
CES203.070 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Riparian and Floodplain
CES203.190 Mississippi River Riparian Forest
CES203.489 East Gulf Coastal Plain Large River Floodplain Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: GNA (28Mar2014)
Rounded Global Status: GNA - Not Applicable
Reasons: As currently defined, this is a broad-ranging ruderal community type.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: AL, AR, DC, DE, GA, IA, KY, LA, MD, MN, MO, MS, NJ, NY, OK, PA, SC, SDpotentially occurs, TN, TXpotentially occurs, VA, WV
Canadian Province Distribution: QCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canadapotentially occurs, United States
Global Range: This Acer negundo ruderal floodplain forest is found sporadically on floodplains in the southern, eastern, and midwestern United States, ranging from New York and New Jersey west to Iowa (and possibly southeastern South Dakota), south to Louisiana and possibly Texas, and east to Georgia. It occurs in the Piedmont region in Pennsylvania and in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont regions in New Jersey and Delaware.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Hot Continental Division
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Oceanic) Province
Province Code: 221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Hudson Valley Section
Section Code: 221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Cumberland Plateau Section
Section Code: 221H Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Central Ridge and Valley Section
Section Code: 221J Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Continental) Province
Province Code: 222 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Ozark Highlands Section
Section Code: 222A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Upper Gulf Coastal Plain Section
Section Code: 222C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Interior Low Plateau, Highland Rim Section
Section Code: 222E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Interior Low Plateau, Bluegrass Section
Section Code: 222F Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Division Name: Subtropical Division
Province Name: Southeastern Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 231 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Coastal Plain Middle Section
Section Code: 231B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Cumberland Plateau Section
Section Code: 231C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Ridge and Valley Section
Section Code: 231D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Middle Coastal Plains, Western Section
Section Code: 231E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Eastern Gulf Prairies and Marshes Section
Section Code: 231F Occurrence Status: Possible
Section Name: Arkansas Valley Section
Section Code: 231G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
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
Province Name: Lower Mississippi Riverine Forest Province
Province Code: 234 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Mississippi Alluvial Basin Section
Section Code: 234A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Hot Continental Regime Mountains
Province Name: Central Appalachian Broadleaf Forest - Coniferous Forest - Meadow Province
Province Code: M221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Allegheny Mountains Section
Section Code: M221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Cumberland Mountains Section
Section Code: M221C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: These ruderal forests (sometimes woodlands) are dominated by Acer negundo. Other characteristic species include Platanus occidentalis, Celtis laevigata, Acer rubrum, Liriodendron tulipifera, Robinia pseudoacacia, Liquidambar styraciflua, Acer saccharinum, Ulmus alata, Ulmus rubra, Carya cordiformis, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Juglans nigra, Carpinus caroliniana, Morus rubra, and Populus deltoides. The shrub and herb layers range from sparse to relatively lush, and the vine component often is heavy. Lindera benzoin may be dominant in the shrub layer. The herb layer consists of a mixture of weedy exotics and native floodplain species, including Ageratina altissima, Alliaria petiolata, Boehmeria cylindrica, Carex grayi, Cryptotaenia canadensis, Glechoma hederacea, Lysimachia nummularia, Mertensia virginica, Polygonum virginianum, Prunella vulgaris, Urtica dioica ssp. dioica, and Verbesina alternifolia. The range, dynamics, and variability of this type are complicated by the "weedy" nature of Acer negundo, e.g., in Kentucky, Acer negundo may be dominant in old fields, with Dichanthelium clandestinum and Carex spp. in the ground layer. Elsewhere in the Midwest, logged and grazed stands of Fraxinus pennsylvanica and Ulmus americana may be dominated by Acer negundo.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer negundo GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)
 
 
Acer saccharinum GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)    
 
 
Liquidambar styraciflua GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)    
 
 
Platanus occidentalis GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)    
 
 
Robinia pseudoacacia GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)    
 
 
Ulmus americana GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)    
 
 
Lindera benzoin GNA Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Ageratina altissima GNA Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Alliaria petiolata GNA Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Boehmeria cylindrica GNA Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Glechoma hederacea GNA Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Lysimachia nummularia GNA Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Mertensia virginica GNA Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Prunella vulgaris GNA Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Urtica dioica ssp. dioica GNA Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Verbesina alternifolia GNA Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex grayi GNA Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: Stands occur on disturbed sites in large rivers in the active floodplain and on sandbars, and may form farther from the riverfront following disturbance. Occurrences are mostly on higher floodplain terraces with less rocky soils which were used for agriculture or habitation. They are typically temporarily flooded in the spring and have sandy soils. In Kentucky, these forests may also occur in old fields within floodplains.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: This type is a ruderal, early-successional community that arises from cultural disturbances on floodplains. Stands in natural habitats where occasional flash floods create extensive open alluvial deposits are treated as Acer negundo - (Platanus occidentalis, Populus deltoides) Floodplain Forest (CEGL004690).


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Midwestern Ecology Group
Element Description Edition Date: 28Mar2014
Element Description Author(s): E. Largay, S.C. Gawler, D. Faber-Langendoen
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 28Mar2014
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): D. Faber-Langendoen

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


References
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