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Pinus rigida / (Quercus ilicifolia) / Aronia melanocarpa / Deschampsia flexuosa Woodland
Translated Name: Pitch Pine / (Bear Oak) / Black Chokeberry / Wavy Hairgrass Woodland
Common Name: Pitch Pine Rocky Summit
Unique Identifier: CEGL006116
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This northeastern pitch pine community occurs on dry rocky ridges and summits of low to moderate elevations. Soils are derived from acidic bedrock and are typically shallow, well- to excessively drained, coarse sands or gravels that develop in pockets of the exposed bedrock expanses. The canopy is open and trees are often stunted, usually less than 15 m in height and may be under 10 m. Tall shrubs are scattered and not abundant. The dwarf-shrub layer is moderately to well-developed (>20% cover, often more dense). Herbs are sparse. The bryoid layer is of variable cover, with lichens prominent. The ground cover is bare rock and deciduous and coniferous litter. The canopy is dominated by Pinus rigida with a variable mixture of associates, such as Betula populifolia, Quercus rubra, Quercus montana, Carya glabra, Pinus strobus, Pinus resinosa, Betula lenta, Acer rubrum, and Prunus serotina. The tall-shrub layer is composed of scattered Quercus ilicifolia, Quercus prinoides, or less commonly Ilex mucronata. The shrub layer is dominated by heaths, such as Vaccinium angustifolium, Vaccinium pallidum, Vaccinium myrtilloides, and Gaylussacia baccata, as well as other shrubs, such as Comptonia peregrina and Aronia melanocarpa. The herbaceous layer typically includes Pteridium aquilinum, Schizachyrium scoparium, Deschampsia flexuosa, Danthonia spicata, Carex pensylvanica and/or Carex lucorum, Maianthemum canadense, Aralia nudicaulis, Melampyrum lineare, Fragaria virginiana, Rumex acetosella, Erechtites hieraciifolius, Corydalis sempervirens, Trientalis borealis, and Cypripedium acaule. In the northern Appalachian Mountains, this community generally occurs at elevations from near sea level to 520 m (1700 feet) and may include species of northern affinity, such as Viburnum nudum, Kalmia angustifolia, Betula papyrifera, Picea rubens, and Rhododendron canadense. Periodic fires are probably necessary for persistence of this type, except at the most extreme sites.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate

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 Pitch Pine Barrens
Alliance Northern Pitch Pine Barrens

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004821 Pinus rigida - Quercus montana / Gaylussacia baccata / Carex pensylvanica Woodland
CEGL004996 Pinus (pungens, rigida) - Quercus montana / (Quercus ilicifolia) / Gaylussacia baccata Woodland
CEGL006154 Pinus rigida / Corema conradii Woodland



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
Connecticut Pinus rigida / Quercus ilicifolia community Broader   Metzler and Barrett 2001
Connecticut Acidic rocky summit/outcrop Undetermined   Metzler and Barrett 2006
Maine Pitch pine woodland Broader   Gawler and Cutko 2010
Massachusetts Acidic Rocky Summit/Rock Outcrop Community Broader   Swain and Kearsley 2001
Massachusetts Ridgetop Pitch Pine - Scrub Oak Community Intersects   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Hampshire Appalachian oak - pine rocky ridge Intersects   Sperduto 2000
New Jersey Pinus rigida / Quercus ilicifolia / Photinia melanocarpa Woodland Equivalent Certain Breden et al. 2001
New Jersey Ridgetop pitch pine-scrub oak forest Broader   Breden 1989
New York Pitch pine-oak-heath rocky summit Broader Certain Edinger et al. 2002
Pennsylvania Pitch pine - mixed hardwood woodland Intersects Somewhat certain Fike 1999
Vermont Pitch Pine-Oak-Heath Rocky Summit Equivalent   Thompson and Sorenson 2000


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Pitch Pine: 45
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: Pitch pine/black chokeberry low-mid elevation ridgetop
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: CAP [Central Appalachian Forest Working Group]. 1998. Central Appalachian Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.
Related Concept Name: SNE Acidic Rocky Summit/Rock Outcrop Community
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.600 Central Appalachian Pine-Oak Rocky Woodland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4 (20May2011)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: There are many occurrences of this association over a large range, including many examples with good ecological integrity. Major threats include loss to cell phone towers, wind turbines, and utility lines, trampling by visitors on hiking trails, and fire suppression.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT
Canadian Province Distribution: QCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This association occurs in the northeastern United States from central New England south to Maryland.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Warm Continental Division
Province Name: Laurentian Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 212 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Fundy Coastal and Interior Section
Section Code: 212C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Central Maine Coastal and Embayment Section
Section Code: 212D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Glaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Hot Continental Division
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Oceanic) Province
Province Code: 221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lower New England Section
Section Code: 221A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Hudson Valley Section
Section Code: 221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 221E Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Division Name: Warm Continental Regime Mountains
Province Name: Adirondack-New England Mixed Forest - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M212 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: White Mountain Section
Section Code: M212A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Vermont-New Hampshire Upland Section
Section Code: M212B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Green, Taconic, Berkshire Mountain Section
Section Code: M212C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Adirondack Mountain Section
Section Code: M212D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Catskill Mountain Section
Section Code: M212E 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: The canopy is open and trees are often stunted, usually less than 15 m in height and may be under 10 m. Tall shrubs are scattered and not abundant. The dwarf-shrub layer is moderately to well-developed (>20% cover, often more dense). Herbs are sparse. The bryoid layer is of variable cover, with lichens prominent. The ground cover is bare rock and deciduous and coniferous litter. The canopy is dominated by Pinus rigida with a variable mixture of associates, such as Betula populifolia, Quercus rubra, Quercus montana (= Quercus prinus), Carya glabra, Pinus strobus, Pinus resinosa, Betula lenta, Acer rubrum, and Prunus serotina. The tall-shrub layer is composed of scattered Quercus ilicifolia, Quercus prinoides, or less commonly Ilex mucronata (= Nemopanthus mucronatus). The shrub layer is dominated by heaths, such as Vaccinium angustifolium, Vaccinium pallidum, Vaccinium myrtilloides, and Gaylussacia baccata, as well as other shrubs, such as Comptonia peregrina and Aronia melanocarpa. The herbaceous layer typically includes Pteridium aquilinum, Schizachyrium scoparium, Deschampsia flexuosa, Danthonia spicata, Carex pensylvanica and/or Carex lucorum, Maianthemum canadense, Aralia nudicaulis, Melampyrum lineare, Fragaria virginiana, Rumex acetosella, Erechtites hieraciifolius, Corydalis sempervirens, Trientalis borealis, and Cypripedium acaule. In the northern Appalachian Mountains, this community may include species of northern affinity, such as Viburnum nudum, Kalmia angustifolia, Betula papyrifera, Picea rubens, and Rhododendron canadense.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Betula lenta G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Betula populifolia G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus prinus G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pinus rigida G4 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus ilicifolia G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Pinus rigida G4 Needle-leaved tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Amelanchier arborea G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Gaylussacia baccata G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Vaccinium angustifolium G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Vaccinium pallidum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Corydalis sempervirens G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Erechtites hieraciifolius G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Rumex acetosella G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Deschampsia flexuosa G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Schizachyrium scoparium G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This northeastern pitch pine community occurs on dry rocky ridges and summits of low to moderate elevations. Soils are derived from acidic bedrock and are typically shallow, well- to excessively drained, coarse sands or gravels that develop in pockets of the exposed bedrock expanses. In the northern Appalachian Mountains, this community generally occurs at elevations from near sea level to 520 m (1700 feet).


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Periodic fires are probably necessary for persistence, except at the most extreme sites.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Northern Appalachian Planning Team and L.A. Sneddon
Element Description Edition Date: 27Nov2017
Element Description Author(s): S.C. Gawler
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 20May2011
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
  • Breden, T. F. 1989. A preliminary natural community classification for New Jersey. Pages 157-191 in: E. F. Karlin, editor. New Jersey's rare and endangered plants and animals. Institute for Environmental Studies, Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ. 280 pp.

  • 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.

  • CAP [Central Appalachian Forest Working Group]. 1998. Central Appalachian Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.

  • CDPNQ [Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec]. No date. Unpublished data. Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec, Québec.

  • Eastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boston, MA.

  • Edinger, G. J., D. J. Evans, S. Gebauer, T. G. Howard, D. M. Hunt, and A. M. Olivero, editors. 2014a. Ecological communities of New York state. Second edition. A revised and expanded edition of Carol Reschke's ecological communities of New York state. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY.

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

  • Fike, J. 1999. Terrestrial and palustrine plant communities of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Recreation, Bureau of Forestry, Harrisburg, PA. 86 pp.

  • Gawler, S. C. 2002. Natural landscapes of Maine: A guide to vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta, ME.

  • Gawler, S. C., and A. Cutko. 2010. Natural landscapes of Maine: A classification of vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta.

  • 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., 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.

  • Hunt, D. M. 1999. Natural community descriptions and specifications: Communities known or suspected from Adirondack Nature Conservancy. Unpublished report. New York Natural Heritage Program, Albany, NY. 272 pp.

  • Küchler, A. W. 1956. Notes on the vegetation of southeastern Mount Desert Island, Maine. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 38:335-392.

  • Lubinski, S., K. Hop, and S. Gawler. 2003. Vegetation Mapping Program: Acadia National Park, Maine. Report produced by U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, and Maine Natural Areas Program in conjunction with M. Story (NPS Vegetation Mapping Coordinator) NPS, Natural Resources Information Division, Inventory and Monitoring Program, and K. Brown (USGS Vegetation Mapping Coordinator), USGS, Center for Biological Informatics and NatureServe. [http://biology.usgs.gov/npsveg/ftp/vegmapping/acad/reports/acadrpt.pdf]

  • Lundgren, J. 1999a. Lower New England - Northern Piedmont Ecoregion Forest Classification. December 1999 Draft. 63 pp.

  • Metzler, K., and J. Barrett. 2006. The vegetation of Connecticut: A preliminary classification. State Geological and Natural History Survey, Report of Investigations No. 12. Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Hartford, CT.

  • Moore, B., and N. Taylor. 1927. An ecological study of the vegetation of Mount Desert Island, Maine. Brooklyn Botanical Garden Memoirs 3:1-151.

  • NYNHP [New York Natural Heritage Program]. 2009. New York Natural Heritage Conservation Guides. New York Natural Heritage Program, Albany, NY. [http://www.nynhp.org/] (accessed 2009)

  • Perles, S. J., G. S. Podniesinski, E. Eastman, L. A. Sneddon, and S. C. Gawler. 2007. Classification and mapping of vegetation and fire fuel models at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2007/076. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 2 volumes.

  • Perles, S. J., G. S. Podniesinski, M. Furedi, B. A. Eichelberger, A. Feldmann, G. Edinger, E. Eastman, and L. A. Sneddon. 2008. Vegetation classification and mapping at Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2008/133. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 370 pp.

  • Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.

  • Sperduto, D. D., and W. F. Nichols. 2004. Natural communities of New Hampshire: A guide and classification. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord. 242 pp.

  • Swain, P. C., and J. B. Kearsley. 2014. Classification of the natural communities of Massachusetts. Version 2.0. Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Westborough, MA. [http://www.mass.gov/nhesp/http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/natural-heritage/natural-communities/classification-of-natural-communities.html]

  • Thompson, E. H., and E. R. Sorenson. 2005. Wetland, woodland, wildland: A guide to the natural communities of Vermont. The Nature Conservancy and the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. University Press of New England, Hanover, NH. 456 pp.


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