NatureServe Explorer logo.An Online Encyclopedia of Life
Search
Ecological Association Comprehensive Report: Record 1 of 1 selected.
See All Search Results    View Glossary
<< Previous | Next >>

Tsuga canadensis - (Betula alleghaniensis, Quercus rubra) / Ilex montana / Rhododendron catawbiense Forest
Translated Name: Eastern Hemlock - (Yellow Birch, Northern Red Oak) / Mountain Holly / Catawba Rosebay Forest
Common Name: Eastern Hemlock / Catawba Rhododendron Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL008513
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This community type is known only from seven locations in the Northern Blue Ridge and Ridge and Valley regions of west-central Virginia. It occurs in a narrow elevation range from 900-1170 m (3000-3840 feet). Sites are located on mesic to locally wet-mesic, lower slopes and terraces bordering small perennial streams and seeps in hollow-head concavities and ravines. Most sites for this community have a southerly aspect, and slopes are gentle. The overstory is dominated by Tsuga canadensis, with locally codominant Betula alleghaniensis and Quercus rubra. Acer rubrum, Betula lenta, Fagus grandifolia, Magnolia acuminata, Nyssa sylvatica, Prunus serotina, and Quercus alba are minor overstory and understory associates. Young Tsuga canadensis tends to dominate the lower tree layers. Rhododendron catawbiense dominates the shrub layer in moderately dense to very dense colonies. Ilex montana and Kalmia latifolia are constant, low-cover shrub associates. Few herbs occur in the type.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: Although the distribution of this community type on the Northern Blue Ridge is fairly well known, its status in the Ridge and Valley needs further investigation. The single known Ridge and Valley occurrence, in a high-elevation stream bottom on Warm Springs Mountain (Bath County), suggests that additional occurrences in this region are likely. However, like the distribution of Quercus prinus / Rhododendron catawbiense - Kalmia latifolia Forest (CEGL008524), the distribution of this unit appears to correspond to a geographic area in which Rhododendron maximum is spotty or absent. Throughout much of southwestern and west-central Virginia, as well as in the Southern Appalachians of North Carolina and Tennessee, habitats at all elevations favorable to Tsuga canadensis generally support extensive populations of Rhododendron maximum. Over most of this region, Rhododendron catawbiense is restricted to more xeric and/or exposed sites, and does not appear to be competitive with Rhododendron maximum in mesic habitats (A.S. Weakley pers. comm. 2001). On the Northern Blue Ridge and certain sites of the Ridge and Valley, where Rhododendron maximum is inexplicably rare, it is possible that the absence of Rhododendron maximum enables Rhododendron catawbiense to occur under a wider range of environmental conditions.

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-Interior-Northeastern Mesic Forest
Group Appalachian-Allegheny Northern Hardwood - Conifer Forest
Alliance Central & Southern Appalachian Hemlock - Northern Hardwood Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006638 Tsuga canadensis - Betula alleghaniensis - Acer saccharum / Dryopteris intermedia Forest
CEGL006639 Tsuga canadensis - Acer saccharum - Fagus grandifolia / Dryopteris intermedia Forest
CEGL007861 Betula alleghaniensis - (Tsuga canadensis) / Rhododendron maximum / (Leucothoe fontanesiana) Forest



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Quercus rubra - Tsuga canadensis / Rhododendron catawbiense Association
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rawinski, T. J., K. N. Hickman, J. Waller-Eling, G. P. Fleming, C. S. Austin, S. D. Helmick, C. Huber, G. Kappesser, F. C. Huber, Jr., T. Bailey, and T. K. Collins. 1996. Plant communities and ecological land units of the Glenwood Ranger District, George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. Natural Heritage Technical Report 96-20. Richmond. 65 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Tsuga canadensis - (Betula alleghaniensis, Quercus rubra) / Ilex montana - Rhododendron catawbiense 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: Tsuga canadensis - (Betula alleghaniensis, Quercus rubra) / Ilex montana / Rhododendron catawbiense Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: 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.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2009b. Classification of selected Virginia montane wetland groups. In-house analysis, December 2009. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.
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: Tsuga canadensis - Betula alleghaniensis / Rhododendron catawbiense / Dryopteris intermedia Association
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rawinski, T. J., K. N. Hickman, J. Waller-Eling, G. P. Fleming, C. S. Austin, S. D. Helmick, C. Huber, G. Kappesser, F. C. Huber, Jr., T. Bailey, and T. K. Collins. 1996. Plant communities and ecological land units of the Glenwood Ranger District, George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. Natural Heritage Technical Report 96-20. Richmond. 65 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Tsuga canadensis / Rhododendron catawbiense Forest
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Coulling, P. P., and T. J. Rawinski. 1999. Classification of vegetation and ecological land units of the Piney River and Mt. Pleasant area, Pedlar Ranger District, George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 99-03, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.
Related Concept Name: Eastern Hemlock - Hardwood Forest
Relationship: B - Broader
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.
Related Concept Name: Eastern Hemlock: 23
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: Hemlock - Yellow Birch: 24
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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.593 Appalachian (Hemlock)-Northern Hardwood Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1? (25Jun2001)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: The known geographic range of this community type is very limited, and occurrences are small and restricted to a narrow range of habitat conditions. All occurrences are highly threatened by the exotic insect pest hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae), which causes decline and eventual mortality in Tsuga canadensis.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community type is known only from seven locations in the Northern Blue Ridge and Ridge and Valley regions of west-central Virginia.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
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: Blue Ridge Mountains Section
Section Code: M221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The overstory is dominated by Tsuga canadensis, with locally codominant Betula alleghaniensis and Quercus rubra. Acer rubrum, Betula lenta, Fagus grandifolia, Magnolia acuminata, Nyssa sylvatica, Prunus serotina, and Quercus alba are minor overstory and understory associates. Young Tsuga canadensis tends to dominate the lower tree layers. Rhododendron catawbiense dominates the shrub layer in moderately dense to very dense colonies. Ilex montana and Kalmia latifolia are constant, low-cover shrub associates. Few herbs occur in the type, none with >50% constancy in plots. The most characteristic species in the herb layer include Aralia nudicaulis, Clintonia umbellulata, Dennstaedtia punctilobula, Dryopteris intermedia, Maianthemum canadense, Medeola virginiana, and Oclemena acuminata (= Aster acuminatus). The delicate orchid Listera smallii occasionally grows in the dense shade and litter of Rhododendron catawbiense. With species richness ranging from 10 to 20 taxa per 400 m2 (mean = 16) in plot samples, examples of this vegetation can be considered floristically depauperate.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Betula alleghaniensis G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus rubra G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Tsuga canadensis G1 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Ilex montana G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Rhododendron catawbiense G1 Broad-leaved evergreen tree Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Listera smallii G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This community type occurs in a narrow elevation range from 900-1170 m (3000-3840 feet). Sites are located on mesic to locally wet-mesic, lower slopes and terraces bordering small perennial streams and seeps in hollow-head concavities and ravines. In contrast to the northerly aspects favored by Tsuga canadensis - Betula alleghaniensis - Acer saccharum / Dryopteris intermedia Forest (CEGL006109), most sites for this community have a southerly aspect. Slopes are gentle (mean = 7 in plot samples) and usually concave in at least one direction. Soils have an extremely thick surface layer of root-rich, poorly decomposed duff and are extremely acidic (mean pH = 3.9), with very low base status.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: The Tsuga canadensis component of Virginia stands has been devastated by outbreaks of hemlock woolly adelgid over the past several decades, leading to more open canopy conditions, along with increased regeneration and greater importance of Betula alleghaniensis and other hardwoods in most stands.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): K.D. Patterson and G.P. Fleming
Element Description Edition Date: 24Feb2010
Element Description Author(s): G.P. Fleming
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 25Jun2001
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): G. Fleming

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


References
  • Coulling, P. P., and T. J. Rawinski. 1999. Classification of vegetation and ecological land units of the Piney River and Mt. Pleasant area, Pedlar Ranger District, George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 99-03, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • 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., 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. M. McCoy. 2004. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Natural Heritage Technical Report 04-01. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/dnh/ncintro.htm]

  • 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 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. 2009b. Classification of selected Virginia montane wetland groups. In-house analysis, December 2009. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • 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 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.

  • Rawinski, T. J., K. N. Hickman, J. Waller-Eling, G. P. Fleming, C. S. Austin, S. D. Helmick, C. Huber, G. Kappesser, F. C. Huber, Jr., T. Bailey, and T. K. Collins. 1996. Plant communities and ecological land units of the Glenwood Ranger District, George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. Natural Heritage Technical Report 96-20. Richmond. 65 pp. plus appendices.

  • Rawinski, T. J., and T. F. Wieboldt. 1993. Classification and ecological interpretation of mafic glade vegetation on Buffalo Mountain, Floyd County, Virginia. Banisteria 2:3-10.


Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of November 2016.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2017 NatureServe, 4600 N. Fairfax Dr., 7th Floor, Arlington Virginia 22203, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2017. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.

Copyright 2017
NatureServe
Version 7.1 (2 February 2009)
Data last updated: November 2016