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Picea rubens / Vaccinium angustifolium / Sibbaldiopsis tridentata Woodland
Translated Name: Red Spruce / Lowbush Blueberry / Shrubby Fivefingers Woodland
Common Name: Northern Appalachian Red Spruce Rocky Ridge
Unique Identifier: CEGL006053
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This red spruce woodland of the Northern Appalachians occurs primarily on acidic bedrock outcrops or summits. Soil development is restricted to crevices or sheltered areas interspersed with significant amounts of exposed bedrock. What soils are present are shallow, well-drained to excessively drained, acidic, coarse sands. Elevations of known examples range from near sea level at the coast to 305-760 m (1000-2500 feet) inland. The canopy is patchy and open, with areas of moderate canopy cover interspersed with areas of sparse vegetation and much open rock. Taken over a large area, woodland structure (25-60% canopy cover) is evident. Tall shrubs and herb are sparse. The dwarf-shrub layer is of variable cover, and may be locally extensive, as may bryoids. Canopy trees are primarily Picea rubens and Abies balsamea, with Pinus strobus occasionally codominant. Associated tree species include Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera, Betula papyrifera var. cordifolia, Pinus rigida, Thuja occidentalis, and Picea mariana. Typical tall shrubs are Sorbus americana, Sorbus decora, Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides, Ilex mucronata, Aronia melanocarpa, or Amelanchier spp. Morella pensylvanica and Picea glauca may be present in this community near the seacoast. The low heath layer is made up of Vaccinium angustifolium, Vaccinium myrtilloides, Gaylussacia baccata, and Kalmia angustifolia. Forbs and graminoids include Deschampsia flexuosa, Danthonia spicata, Piptatheropsis pungens, Sibbaldiopsis tridentata, Solidago simplex var. randii, and Maianthemum canadense. Bryoids include Cladonia spp., Pleurozium schreberi, Dicranum polysetum, Polytrichum juniperinum, Polytrichum piliferum, and Polytrichum commune. Ground cover is sparse needle litter and exposed bedrock. This association occurs on bedrock ridges and outcrops, compared to the floristically similar Picea rubens / Ribes glandulosum Woodland (CEGL006250), which occurs on talus.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low

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 Laurentian-Acadian Mesic Hardwood - Conifer Forest
Group Northern Appalachian-Acadian Red Spruce - Fir - Hardwood Forest
Alliance Northern Appalachian Red Spruce Rocky Woodland

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006250 Picea rubens / Ribes glandulosum Woodland
CEGL006254 Picea rubens / Kalmia latifolia - Menziesia pilosa 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
Maine Red spruce - mixed conifer woodland Equivalent   Gawler 2002
Massachusetts High Elevation Spruce - Fir Forest/Woodland Broader   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Hampshire Red spruce - heath - cinquefoil rocky ridge Equivalent   Sperduto 2000
New York Spruce-fir rocky summit Broader   Edinger et al. 2002
Pennsylvania Red spruce rocky summit Finer   Fike 1999
Vermont Boreal Outcrop Intersects   Thompson and Sorenson 2000
Vermont Red Spruce-Heath Rocky Ridge Forest Broader   Thompson and Sorenson 2000


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: New England high elevation spruce/fir forest
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.
Related Concept Name: Red spruce wooded rocky summit
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: NAP [Northern Appalachian-Boreal Forest Working Group]. 1998. Northern Appalachian-Boreal Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES201.568 Acadian-Appalachian Subalpine Woodland and Heath-Krummholz
CES201.571 Northern Appalachian-Acadian Rocky Heath Outcrop


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4 (01Mar2010)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: This community has a reasonably wide geographic distribution and ecological amplitude. Some occurrences are subject to degradation from recreation or hilltop development.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: MApotentially occurs, ME, NH, NY, PA, VT
Canadian Province Distribution: NB, NSpotentially occurs, QCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This red spruce woodland occurs primarily on acidic bedrock outcrops or summits of the Northern Appalachians and ranges from New Brunswick, Canada, to Pennsylvania.

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: Aroostook Hills and Lowlands Section
Section Code: 212A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Maine-New Brunswick Foothills and Lowlands Section
Section Code: 212B 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
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


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The canopy is patchy and open, with areas of moderate canopy cover interspersed with areas of sparse vegetation and much open rock. Taken over a large area, woodland structure (25-60% canopy cover) is evident. Tall shrubs and herb are sparse. The dwarf-shrub layer is of variable cover, and may be locally extensive, as may bryoids. Canopy trees are primarily Picea rubens and Abies balsamea, with Pinus strobus occasionally codominant. Associated tree species include Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera, Betula papyrifera var. cordifolia, Pinus rigida, Thuja occidentalis, and Picea mariana. Typical tall shrubs are Sorbus americana, Sorbus decora, Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides, Ilex mucronata (= Nemopanthus mucronatus), Aronia melanocarpa, or Amelanchier spp. Morella pensylvanica (= Myrica pensylvanica) and Picea glauca may be present in this community near the seacoast. The low heath layer is made up of Vaccinium angustifolium, Vaccinium myrtilloides, Gaylussacia baccata, and Kalmia angustifolia. Forbs and graminoids include Deschampsia flexuosa, Danthonia spicata, Piptatheropsis pungens (= Oryzopsis pungens), Sibbaldiopsis tridentata, Solidago simplex var. randii, and Maianthemum canadense. Bryoids include Cladonia spp. (= Cladina spp.), Pleurozium schreberi, Dicranum polysetum, Polytrichum juniperinum, Polytrichum piliferum, and Polytrichum commune. Ground cover is sparse needle litter and exposed bedrock.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Picea rubens G4 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Vaccinium angustifolium G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Kalmia angustifolia G4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This red spruce woodland of the Northern Appalachians occurs primarily on acidic bedrock outcrops or summits. Soil development is restricted to crevices or sheltered areas interspersed with significant amounts of exposed bedrock. What soils are present are shallow, well-drained to excessively drained, acidic, coarse sands. Elevations of known examples range from near sea level at the coast to 305-760 m (1000-2500 feet) inland.


Dynamic Processes


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: 27Jan2003
Element Description Author(s): S.C. Gawler
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 01Mar2010
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): S.C. Gawler

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


References
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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]

  • NAP [Northern Appalachian-Boreal Forest Working Group]. 1998. Northern Appalachian-Boreal Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.

  • 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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