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Fraxinus pennsylvanica - Ulmus americana / Carpinus caroliniana / Boehmeria cylindrica Floodplain Forest
Translated Name: Green Ash - American Elm / American Hornbeam / Small-spike False Nettle Floodplain Forest
Common Name: Southeastern Coastal Plain Green Ash - Elm Bottomland Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL007806
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This green ash - elm forest occurs in floodplains of major rivers (and parts of their larger tributaries) in the Atlantic and adjacent East Gulf coastal plains, as well as portions of the Piedmont. The typical habitats are generally alluvial or brownwater rivers, on low ridges, flats, and sloughs of first bottoms; terrace flats and sloughs; and on well-drained, relatively fertile levees and backsides of levees. Soils are clay or silt loams with alluvial deposition. This community typically has an uneven-aged canopy dominated by Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Ulmus americana, and Celtis laevigata. Other typical canopy species include Acer negundo, Liquidambar styraciflua, Acer rubrum, Acer saccharinum, Morus rubra, Platanus occidentalis, Ulmus alata, and others. The understory stratum includes Carpinus caroliniana, Cornus foemina, Ilex decidua, Morus rubra, and Crataegus spp. The herbaceous and vine strata are sparse to abundant. Composition may vary somewhat with flooding regime and geographic location. Common species are Boehmeria cylindrica, Carex lupulina, Carex retroflexa, Carex grayi, Carex abscondita, Pilea pumila, Carex louisianica, Arisaema dracontium, Saururus cernuus, Matelea carolinensis, Leersia lenticularis, Chasmanthium latifolium, Justicia ovata, Carex intumescens, and others. Common vine species in this community are Vitis rotundifolia, Campsis radicans, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Toxicodendron radicans, Bignonia capreolata, Cocculus carolinus, and others.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: This association was originally described based on data from the Roanoke River of North Carolina (Rice and Peet 1997). The global distribution of this community needs to be further evaluated, particularly in relation to data from Congaree Swamp National Monument. The name used for this type in Rice and Peet (1997) is the name of the national type Fraxinus pennsylvanica - Ulmus americana - Celtis laevigata / Ilex decidua Floodplain Forest (CEGL002427) from which this type was split (this was after the Rice and Peet report was issued). Compare Fort Benning data to Roanoke River data; some stands at Fort Benning contain Betula nigra, this probably successional.

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.Nb - Southeastern North American Flooded & Swamp Forest
Macrogroup Southern Coastal Plain Floodplain Forest
Group Southern Ash - Elm - Willow Floodplain Forest
Alliance Coastal Plain Sycamore - Green Ash - Elm Floodplain Forest

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



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
Alabama Fraxinus pennsylvanica - Ulmus americana / Carpinus caroliniana / Boehmeria cylindrica Forest Equivalent Certain Schotz pers. comm.
North Carolina Brownwater Levee Forest (Medium Levee Subtype) Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Fraxinus pennsylvanica - Ulmus americana - Celtis laevigata / Ilex decidua Forest
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rice, S. K., and R. K. Peet. 1997. Vegetation of the Lower Roanoke River Floodplain. Unpublished report to The Nature Conservancy. 154 pp.
Related Concept Name: Coastal Plain Bottomland Hardwoods (Brownwater Subtype)
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Schafale, M. P., and A. S. Weakley. 1990. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina. Third approximation. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh. 325 pp.
Related Concept Name: IIA6d. Sugarberry - American Elm - Green Ash Bottomland Forest
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Allard, D. J. 1990. Southeastern United States ecological community classification. Interim report, Version 1.2. The Nature Conservancy, Southeast Regional Office, Chapel Hill, NC. 96 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.066 Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Large River Floodplain Forest
CES203.250 Atlantic Coastal Plain Small Brownwater River Floodplain Forest
CES203.489 East Gulf Coastal Plain Large River Floodplain Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4? (04Jan2001)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: This is not an inherently rare community, although good mature examples of large size are rare. It is at least moderately widespread, and it is presumed to be relatively common throughout its range, although its full range is not known. It occurs in a variety of bottomland habitats. It is poorly documented through EOs, and not much data are available on the specific condition of examples of this type. Some stands have been impacted by removal of more valuable timber species and loss of herbaceous species diversity from the disturbance effects of logging.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: AL, FLpotentially occurs, GA, NC, SC
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This forest is found throughout the Atlantic and East Gulf coastal plains from North Carolina south to Georgia and possibly to Florida, as well as in the Piedmont of Alabama (Horseshoe Bend National Military Park).

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
Section Name: Coastal Plain Middle Section
Section Code: 231B Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
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
Section Name: Atlantic Coastal Flatwoods Section
Section Code: 232C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This community typically has an uneven-aged canopy dominated by Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Ulmus americana, and Celtis laevigata. Other typical canopy species include Acer negundo, Liquidambar styraciflua, Acer rubrum, Acer saccharinum, Morus rubra, Platanus occidentalis, Ulmus alata, and others. The understory stratum includes Carpinus caroliniana, Cornus foemina, Ilex decidua, Morus rubra, and Crataegus spp. The herbaceous and vine strata are sparse to abundant. Composition may vary somewhat with flooding regime and geographic location. Common species are Boehmeria cylindrica, Carex lupulina, Carex retroflexa, Carex grayi, Carex abscondita, Pilea pumila, Carex louisianica, Arisaema dracontium, Saururus cernuus, Matelea carolinensis, Leersia lenticularis, Chasmanthium latifolium, Justicia ovata, Carex intumescens, and others. Common vine species in this community are Vitis rotundifolia, Campsis radicans, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Toxicodendron radicans, Bignonia capreolata, Cocculus carolinus, and others. Some earlier successional stands may contain Betula nigra.


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This community occurs in floodplains of major rivers (and parts of their larger tributaries) in the Atlantic and adjacent East Gulf coastal plains, as well as portions of the Piedmont, generally alluvial or brownwater rivers, on low ridges, flats, and sloughs of first bottoms; terrace flats and sloughs; and on well-drained, relatively fertile levees and backsides of levees. Soils are clay or silt loams with alluvial deposition. Some stands assigned here from Fort Benning, Georgia, are from a creek tributary of the Chattahoochee River.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): S. Landaal
Element Description Edition Date: 01Jan2013
Element Description Author(s): S. Landaal
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 04Jan2001
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): M. Pyne

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


References
  • ALNHP [Alabama Natural Heritage Program]. 2002. Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge: Natural community and rare plant survey. Alabama Natural Heritage Program, The Nature Conservancy, Montgomery.

  • Allard, D. J. 1990. Southeastern United States ecological community classification. Interim report, Version 1.2. The Nature Conservancy, Southeast Regional Office, Chapel Hill, NC. 96 pp.

  • NatureServe Ecology - Southeastern United States. No date. Unpublished data. NatureServe, Durham, NC.

  • Peet, R. K., T. R. Wentworth, M. P. Schafale, and A.S. Weakley. No date. Unpublished data of the North Carolina Vegetation Survey. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

  • Rice, S. K., and R. K. Peet. 1997. Vegetation of the Lower Roanoke River Floodplain. Unpublished report to The Nature Conservancy. 154 pp.

  • Schafale, M. P. 2012. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina, 4th Approximation. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

  • Schafale, M. P., and A. S. Weakley. 1990. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina. Third approximation. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh. 325 pp.

  • Schotz, Al. Personal communication. Community Ecologist. Alabama Natural Heritage Program. Huntingdon College, Massey Hall, 1500 East Fairview Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36106-2148.

  • Southeastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Durham, NC.

  • TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. [1998]b. Classification of the vegetation of Congaree Swamp National Monument. Report to BRD-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program. The Nature Conservancy, Southern Conservation Science, Chapel Hill, NC. 67 pp.


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