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Pinus strobus - Quercus alba - Quercus prinus / Vaccinium stamineum Forest
Translated Name: Eastern White Pine - White Oak - Chestnut Oak / Deerberry Forest
Common Name: Central Appalachian-Piedmont White Pine - Subxeric Oak Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL008539
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: The known range of this community includes the Central Appalachian region of Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia, and the northern and central Piedmont of Virginia. The type is particularly abundant and widespread on low shale mountains and hills in west-central Virginia and adjacent West Virginia. Sites are underlain primarily by shale and similar sedimentary rocks (siltstone, metasiltstone, phyllite) or, less commonly, sandstone in the mountains and by a variety of acidic metamorphic and igneous rocks in the Piedmont. Stands occupy middle and upper slopes, ridge crests, dry ravines, and bluffs, mostly below 760 m (2500 feet) elevation in the mountains and above 75 m (240 feet) in the Piedmont. Aspect is variable, and site moisture is typically assessed as subxeric or submesic. Vegetation is a mixed forest, with canopies varying from closed to somewhat open, codominated by Pinus strobus (25-75% canopy cover) and various oaks, particularly Quercus alba, Quercus coccinea, Quercus velutina, Quercus rubra, and Quercus prinus. Minor canopy associates include Acer rubrum, Carya alba, Carya glabra, Fagus grandifolia (mostly Piedmont), Liriodendron tulipifera, Nyssa sylvatica, Pinus virginiana, Quercus falcata (mostly Piedmont), Quercus velutina, and Tsuga canadensis. Understory trees include Acer rubrum, Oxydendrum arboreum, and Nyssa sylvatica, which may be abundant, along with Cornus florida. The shrub layer is predominantly ericaceous and varies from sparse and patchy to occasionally dense, with Vaccinium stamineum, Vaccinium pallidum, Gaylussacia baccata, and Kalmia latifolia being characteristic. Other frequent but lower-cover shrub-layer species include Amelanchier arborea, Viburnum acerifolium, Smilax rotundifolia, Smilax glauca, Sassafras albidum, and Diospyros virginiana. The herb layer is characterized by species tolerant of dry, acidic soils; it is usually sparse but occasionally contains dense graminoid patches of Danthonia spicata, Deschampsia flexuosa, or Carex pensylvanica.



Classification

Classification Confidence: High
Classification Comments: In Virginia, many stands of oak/heath are succeeding to Pinus strobus - Quercus alba - Quercus prinus / Vaccinium stamineum Forest (CEGL008539) because of fire exclusion. The circumscription of this type is based on analysis of 16 plot samples from the Virginia Piedmont and Blue Ridge, and Maryland Ridge and Valley, with an additional 16 plots from the environs of the Bluestone River, West Virginia. Additional data, particularly from Central Appalachian regions where white pine is prevalent, would assist in making the classification more robust and identifying potential regional patterns of variation. Central Appalachian white pine - hardwood forests are distinguished from similar vegetation of the Southern Appalachians, e.g., Pinus strobus - Quercus alba - (Carya alba) / Gaylussacia ursina Forest (CEGL007517) and Pinus strobus - Quercus (coccinea, prinus) / (Gaylussacia ursina, Vaccinium stamineum) Forest (CEGL007519) by the absence of Southern Appalachian species such as Gaylussacia ursina, Leucothoe recurva, Rhododendron minus, Arundinaria gigantea, and Hydrangea radiata. Six plots from the southern part of the Central Appalachians were classified as this association in the Appalachian Trail classification project (Fleming and Patterson 2009a).

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 Appalachian-Northeastern Oak - Hardwood - Pine Forest & Woodland
Group Appalachian Oak / Chestnut Forest
Alliance Appalachian White Pine - Oak Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006293 Pinus strobus - Quercus (rubra, velutina) - Fagus grandifolia Forest
CEGL006304 Liriodendron tulipifera - Pinus strobus - Tsuga canadensis - Quercus rubra / Polystichum acrostichoides Forest
CEGL007517 Pinus strobus - Quercus alba - (Carya alba) / Gaylussacia ursina Forest
CEGL007519 Pinus strobus - Quercus (coccinea, prinus) / (Gaylussacia ursina, Vaccinium stamineum) Forest



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Pinus strobus - Quercus alba - Quercus (coccinea, prinus) / Gaylussacia baccata - Vaccinium stamineum 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.
Related Concept Name: Pinus strobus - Quercus alba - Quercus (coccinea, prinus) / Vaccinium stamineum Forest
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: Pinus strobus - Quercus alba - Quercus coccinea / Vaccinium stamineum Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and P. P. Coulling. 2001. Ecological communities of the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Preliminary classification and description of vegetation types. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 317 pp.
Related Concept Name: Pinus strobus - Quercus alba - Quercus montana / Vaccinium stamineum Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
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: Pinus strobus - Quercus montana / Kalmia latifolia Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and J. T. Weber. 2003. Inventory, classification, and map of forested ecological communities at Manassas National Battlefield Park, Virginia. Unpublished report submitted to the National Park Service. Natural Heritage Technical Report 03-07. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 101 pp. plus appendix.
Related Concept Name: Quercus montana - Pinus strobus / Ostrya virginiana Forest
Relationship: F - Finer
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and W. H. Moorhead, III. 2000. Plant communities and ecological land units of the Peter's Mountain area, James River Ranger District, George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 00-07. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. Unpublished report submitted to the USDA Forest Service. 195 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Eastern White Pine - Hardwood Forest
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, D. P. Walton, K. M. McCoy, and M. R. Parrish. 2001. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. First approximation. Natural Heritage Technical Report 01-1. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 76 pp.
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: White Pine - Chestnut Oak: 51
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.
Related Concept Name: White Pine - Mixed Oak
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Rentch, J. S., R. H. Forney, S. L. Stephenson, H. S. Adams, W. N. Grafton, R. B. Coxe, and H. H. Mills. 2005. Vegetation patterns within the lower Bluestone River gorge in southern West Virginia. Castanea 70:170-183.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.591 Central Appalachian Dry Oak-Pine Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4 (21Sep2001)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Although currently known from a relatively small geographic range, this community type locally covers extensive areas in the Ridge and Valley portion of the Central Appalachians.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: MD, VA, WV
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: The known range of this community includes the Central Appalachian region of Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia, and the northern and central Piedmont of Virginia. The type is particularly abundant and widespread on low shale mountains and hills in the west-central Virginia (Alleghany, Bath, and Craig counties) and adjacent West Virginia (Pendleton and Pocahontas counties).

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
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
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: Northern Ridge and Valley Section
Section Code: M221A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Allegheny Mountains Section
Section Code: M221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Blue Ridge Mountains Section
Section Code: M221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Vegetation is a mixed forest, with canopies varying from closed to somewhat open, codominated by Pinus strobus (25-75% canopy cover) and various oaks, particularly Quercus alba, Quercus coccinea, Quercus velutina, Quercus rubra, and Quercus prinus. Minor canopy associates include Acer rubrum, Carya alba, Carya glabra, Fagus grandifolia (mostly Piedmont), Liriodendron tulipifera, Nyssa sylvatica, Pinus virginiana, Quercus falcata (mostly Piedmont), Quercus velutina, and Tsuga canadensis. In addition, Acer rubrum, Oxydendrum arboreum, and Nyssa sylvatica are abundant understory trees, along with Cornus florida. The shrub layer is predominantly ericaceous and varies from sparse and patchy to occasionally dense. Vaccinium stamineum, Vaccinium pallidum, Gaylussacia baccata, and Kalmia latifolia are characteristic ericads. Other frequent but lower-cover shrub-layer species include Amelanchier arborea, Viburnum acerifolium, Smilax rotundifolia, Smilax glauca, Sassafras albidum, and Diospyros virginiana. The herb layer is typically sparse and characterized by species tolerant of dry, acidic soils. It consists mostly of woody seedlings and scattered individuals of Chimaphila maculata, Polygonatum biflorum, Mitchella repens, Cypripedium acaule, Dioscorea quaternata, Conopholis americana, Houstonia longifolia, Antennaria plantaginifolia, Zizia trifoliata, Gaultheria procumbens, Cunila origanoides, Potentilla simplex, and Viola x palmata. Occasional stands, especially on shale substrates, contain dense graminoid patches of Danthonia spicata, Deschampsia flexuosa, or Carex pensylvanica. Species richness of plot-sampled stands ranged from 16 to 65 taxa per 400 square meters (mean = 36) in the VA and MD plots and from 20 to 53 (mean = 33.5) species per 200 square meters in the WV plots.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Carya alba G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus alba G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus coccinea G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus falcata G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus prinus G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus stellata G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pinus strobus G4 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pinus virginiana G4 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Tsuga caroliniana G4 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy      
 
 
Diospyros virginiana G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Vaccinium stamineum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Amelanchier arborea G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Viburnum acerifolium G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Kalmia latifolia G4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Chimaphila maculata G4 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Vaccinium pallidum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Galax urceolata G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Heuchera caroliniana G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Monarda fistulosa ssp. 1 G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Heuchera caroliniana
  (Carolina Alumroot)
G3  
Monarda fistulosa ssp. 1
  (Smoke Hole Bergamot)
G5T1T2  
Tsuga caroliniana
  (Carolina Hemlock)
G3  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: Sites are underlain primarily by shale and similar sedimentary rocks (siltstone, metasiltstone, phyllite) or, less commonly, sandstone in the mountains and by a variety of acidic metamorphic and igneous rocks in the Piedmont. Stands occupy middle and upper slopes, ridge crests, dry ravines, and bluffs, mostly below 760 m (2500 feet) elevation in the mountains and above 75 m (240 feet) in the Piedmont. At least in West Virginia, it occurs in large patches in all slope positions on southwesterly aspects and becomes restricted to smaller patches on ridge spurs and convex upper slopes on cooler aspects. Aspect is variable, and site moisture is typically assessed as subxeric or submesic. Soils are extremely acidic (mean pH = 4.2) with very low base cation levels. Chemical analysis of soils from 16 sites near the Bluestone River in West Virginia showed soils with relatively high levels of organic matter, estimated N release, S, Al, and Fe, and relatively low levels of B, Ca, Cu, K, Mg, Mn, Na, P, and Zn compared to average values in the area.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: The successional status of this community is somewhat unclear. At some sites, it appears that Pinus strobus has increased greatly following logging disturbances or fire exclusion, and that the white pine-hardwood forest is characteristic of secondary succession in disturbed oak forests. However, Rhoades (1995) describes a mature mixed oak forest (primarily Quercus prinus and Quercus coccinea) that underwent rapid change toward an oak-maple-white pine composition over a 20-year period. In 1971, Pinus strobus was present only as small seedlings, but by 1994 it had assumed dominance of the sapling class. This suggests that in some situations, particularly in the absence of fire, this forest may be a late-successional or climax community type. In a study along the Bluestone River in West Virginia, some stands of this association have some shade-tolerant, mesophytic trees such as Acer saccharum var. saccharum, Tsuga canadensis, and Fagus grandifolia in the understory, which may indicate successional trends; in other stands, however, there is evidence of abundant oak regeneration.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): K.D. Patterson and G.P. Fleming, mod. G.P. Fleming and P. Coulling, mod. G.P. Fleming
Element Description Edition Date: 29Jan2008
Element Description Author(s): G.P. Fleming, P.P. Coulling, S.C. Gawler
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 21Sep2001
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): G.P. Fleming and P.P. Coulling

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


References
  • Abrams, M. D., D. A. Orwig, and T. E. Demeo. 1995. Dendroecological analysis of successional dynamics for a presettlement-origin white-pine-mixed-oak forest in the Southern Appalachians, USA. Journal of Ecology 83(1):123-133.

  • Brooks, A. B. 1910. Forestry and Wood Industries, West Virginia. Volume 5. West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey. Acme Publishing Company, Morgantown, WV. 481 pp.

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

  • Fleming, G. P. 1999. Plant communities of limestone, dolomite, and other calcareous substrates in the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 99-4. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. Unpublished report submitted to the USDA Forest Service. 218 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., P. P. Coulling, D. P. Walton, K. M. McCoy, and M. R. Parrish. 2001. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. First approximation. Natural Heritage Technical Report 01-1. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 76 pp.

  • 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 J. T. Weber. 2003. Inventory, classification, and map of forested ecological communities at Manassas National Battlefield Park, Virginia. Unpublished report submitted to the National Park Service. Natural Heritage Technical Report 03-07. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 101 pp. plus appendix.

  • 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. 2009a. A vegetation classification for the Appalachian Trail: Virginia south to Georgia. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. In-house analysis, March 2009.

  • 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. Taverna. 2006. Vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks, western region. Regional (VA-WVA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2006. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • Fleming, G. P., and P. P. Coulling. 2001. Ecological communities of the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Preliminary classification and description of vegetation types. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 317 pp.

  • Fleming, G. P., and W. H. Moorhead, III. 2000. Plant communities and ecological land units of the Peter's Mountain area, James River Ranger District, George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 00-07. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. Unpublished report submitted to the USDA Forest Service. 195 pp. plus appendices.

  • 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.

  • Patterson, K. D. 2008e. Vegetation classification and mapping at Petersburg National Battlefield, Virginia. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2008/127. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 235 pp.

  • Perles, Stephanie. Personal communication. Ecologist, Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program (PNHP-East), Harrisburg.

  • Rentch, J. S., R. H. Forney, S. L. Stephenson, H. S. Adams, W. N. Grafton, R. B. Coxe, and H. H. Mills. 2005. Vegetation patterns within the lower Bluestone River gorge in southern West Virginia. Castanea 70:170-183.

  • Rhoades, R. W. 1995. Succession in a mature oak forest in southwest Virginia. Castanea 60:98-106.

  • Taverna, K. and K. D. Patterson. 2008. Vegetation classification and mapping at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Virginia. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR-2008/126. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 277 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.

  • Vanderhorst, J. P., B. P. Streets, J. Jeuck, and S. C. Gawler. 2008. Vegetation classification and mapping of Bluestone National Scenic River, West Virginia. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2008/106. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Vanderhorst, J. P., J. Jeuck, and S. C. Gawler. 2007. Vegetation classification and mapping of New River Gorge National River, West Virginia. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR-2007/092. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 396 pp.

  • WVNHP [West Virginia Natural Heritage Program]. No date (b). Unpublished data. West Virginia Natural Heritage Program, Elkins.


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