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Thuja occidentalis - (Picea rubens) / Tiarella cordifolia Swamp Forest
Translated Name: Northern White-cedar - (Red Spruce) / Heartleaf Foamflower Swamp Forest
Common Name: Northern White-cedar - Spruce Seepage Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006175
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: These forests of northern white-cedar mixed with other boreal conifers are found on damp slopes in the cooler regions of the northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. They occur on gently sloping hillsides, or at slope bases, with significant seepage of cold calcium-enriched groundwater. The soils are mostly mineral, usually developed over circumneutral to calcareous bedrock, with little peat accumulation; peat is primarily sedge-derived. The canopy may be somewhat open but more often is closed (usually 65-95%), with a patchy shrub layer beneath. The herb layer is locally extensive and usually relatively species-rich. The bryoid layer is very well-developed, essentially continuous, with mossy hollows and hummocks of moss-covered decaying downed trees. The canopy may be strongly dominated by Thuja occidentalis or may be a mixture of Thuja with Picea rubens. Less abundant associates include Abies balsamea, Acer rubrum, Fraxinus nigra, and Betula alleghaniensis. Shrubs include Lonicera canadensis, Lonicera oblongifolia, Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides, and Acer spicatum. Particularly characteristic herbs are Mitella nuda, Platanthera obtusata, Orthilia secunda, and Dalibarda repens; common associates in the herb layer include Cornus canadensis, Clintonia borealis, Gaultheria hispidula, Coptis trifolia, Oxalis montana, Linnaea borealis, Tiarella cordifolia, and Gymnocarpium dryopteris. The bryophyte layer tends to have feathermosses (Hylocomium splendens, Thuidium delicatulum, and others), Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus, and Bazzania trilobata more abundant than Sphagnum spp., which are also present. This association is similar to Thuja occidentalis / Sphagnum (girgensohnii, warnstorfii) Swamp Forest (CEGL006007), but that type occurs in basins that have deeper peat soils and generally lacks the more upland herb species found in this type. A similar midwestern association, Larix laricina - Thuja occidentalis Swamp Forest (CEGL002455), lacks red spruce.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low

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.Na - Eastern North American-Great Plains Flooded & Swamp Forest
Macrogroup Laurentian-Acadian Flooded & Swamp Forest
Group Laurentian-Acadian Alkaline Swamp
Alliance Northern White-cedar - Red Maple Swamp Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL002455 Larix laricina - Thuja occidentalis Swamp Forest
CEGL006007 Thuja occidentalis / Sphagnum (girgensohnii, warnstorfii) Swamp Forest



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 Cedar - spruce seepage forest Equivalent   Gawler 2002
New Hampshire Northern white cedar seepage forest Equivalent   Sperduto and Nichols 2004
New York Northern white cedar swamp Broader   Edinger et al. 2002
Vermont Northern White Cedar Sloping Seepage Forest Broader   Thompson and Sorenson 2000



Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES201.576 Acadian-Northern Appalachian Conifer Seepage Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: GNR (01Dec1997)
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: ME, NH, NY, VT
Canadian Province Distribution: NB
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: These forests are found in the cooler regions of the northeastern United States and adjacent Canada.

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
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


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The canopy may be somewhat open but more often is closed (usually 65-95%), with a patchy shrub layer beneath. The herb layer is locally extensive and usually relatively species-rich. The bryoid layer is very well-developed, essentially continuous, with mossy hollows and hummocks of moss-covered decaying downed trees. The canopy may be strongly dominated by Thuja occidentalis or may be a mixture of Thuja with Picea rubens. Less abundant associates include Abies balsamea, Acer rubrum, Fraxinus nigra, and Betula alleghaniensis. Shrubs include Lonicera canadensis, Lonicera oblongifolia, Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides, and Acer spicatum. Particularly characteristic herbs are Mitella nuda, Platanthera obtusata, Orthilia secunda (= Pyrola secunda), and Dalibarda repens; common associates in the herb layer include Cornus canadensis, Clintonia borealis, Gaultheria hispidula, Coptis trifolia (= Coptis groenlandica), Oxalis montana, Linnaea borealis, Tiarella cordifolia, and Gymnocarpium dryopteris. The bryophyte layer tends to have feathermosses (Hylocomium splendens, Thuidium delicatulum, and others), Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus, and Bazzania trilobata more abundant than Sphagnum spp., which are also present.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Picea rubens GNR Needle-leaved tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)      
 
 
Thuja occidentalis GNR Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Abies balsamea GNR Needle-leaved tree Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Ilex verticillata GNR Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Alnus incana GNR Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Chrysosplenium americanum GNR Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Doellingeria umbellata GNR Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Ranunculus hispidus var. nitidus GNR Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Solidago rugosa GNR Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Symphyotrichum puniceum GNR Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Tiarella cordifolia GNR Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Hylocomium splendens GNR Moss Nonvascular    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: These forests of northern white-cedar mixed with other boreal conifers are found on damp slopes in the cooler regions of the northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. They occur on gently sloping hillsides, or at slope bases, with significant seepage of cold calcium-enriched groundwater. The soils are mostly mineral, usually developed over circumneutral to calcareous bedrock, with little peat accumulation; peat is primarily sedge-derived.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Northern Appalachian Planning Team
Element Description Edition Date: 27Jan2003
Element Description 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
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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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