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Rhododendron (maximum, catawbiense) - Ilex collina - Salix sericea / Eriophorum virginicum Seepage Shrubland
Translated Name: (Great Laurel, Catawba Rosebay) - Long-stalk Holly - Silky Willow / Tawny Cottongrass Seepage Shrubland
Common Name: Southern Appalachian Shrub Bog (Long Hope Valley Type)
Unique Identifier: CEGL003913
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This community includes non-alluvial, wetland vegetation at very high elevations (1170-1490 m [3850-4900 feet]) in the southern Appalachian Mountains. It is known only from the valley of Long Hope Creek, Ashe and Watauga counties, North Carolina, where about 20 examples occur, and from Mount Rogers, Grayson County, Virginia. This palustrine shrubland is known to occur over amphibolite (a mafic metamorphic rock) and over rhyolite (a felsic igneous rock), on slight to fairly steep slopes (1-15%), is slightly to strongly seepage-fed, and generally has shallow soils over bedrock. Examples are structurally variable, but usually have greater than 25% shrub cover (ranges to 100%). The vegetation generally consists of a mosaic of shrub thickets and small herb-dominated areas, much of it underlain by Sphagnum mats. Sphagnum coverage is 50-100%. Trees such as Picea rubens, Abies fraseri, Pinus strobus, and Tsuga canadensis may be scattered throughout or may dominate in patches or on the edges. Dominant shrubs include Salix sericea, Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides, Ilex collina, Rhododendron catawbiense, and Rhododendron maximum. Other characteristic species include Taxus canadensis (Long Hope Valley only), Picea rubens, Rosa palustris, Salix humilis, Carex atlantica, Carex baileyi, Carex echinata, Carex gynandra, Carex leptalea, Carex lurida, Carex trisperma, Eriophorum virginicum, Galium asprellum, Houstonia serpyllifolia, Juncus effusus, Osmunda cinnamomea, Oxypolis rigidior, Rhynchospora capitellata, Scirpus cyperinus, Scirpus expansus, Scirpus polyphyllus, Packera aurea (= Senecio aureus), Solidago patula var. patula, Sphagnum fuscum, Sphagnum recurvum, and Rhizomnium appalachianum.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: In North Carolina, this shrubland often occurs in association with Carex atlantica - Rhynchospora alba - Parnassia asarifolia / Sphagnum warnstorfii Herbaceous Seep (CEGL004157) and is surrounded by Picea rubens - (Tsuga canadensis) / Rhododendron maximum Swamp Forest (CEGL006277) or forests dominated by Fagus grandifolia, Betula alleghaniensis, Picea rubens, and Quercus rubra, or land cleared from these communities. Most of the Grayson Highlands State Park occurrences are surrounded by cleared lands or northern hardwood forests, while the Giles County occurrence is associated with Quercus rubra-dominated slope forest and acidic cove forests dominated by Tsuga canadensis, Betula alleghaniensis, and Rhododendron maximum. Six plots, all from Virginia, were classified as this association in the Appalachian Trail project (Fleming and Patterson 2009a). Species with 100% constancy include Acer rubrum, Carex trisperma var. trisperma, Eriophorum virginicum, Juncus subcaudatus var. subcaudatus, Kalmia latifolia, Osmunda cinnamomea, Picea rubens, Vaccinium simulatum, and Viola macloskeyi ssp. pallens. Less constant species that have high cover in these plots include Carex atlantica ssp. atlantica, Juncus effusus, Rhododendron catawbiense, Rhododendron maximum, Rhynchospora capitellata, Scirpus cyperinus, and Solidago rugosa.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 2 - Shrub & Herb Vegetation
Subclass 2.C - Shrub & Herb Wetland
Formation 2.C.4 - Temperate to Polar Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Division 2.C.4.Nd - Eastern North American Temperate & Boreal Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Macrogroup Eastern North American Cool Temperate Seep
Group Central & Southern Appalachian Seep
Alliance Southern Appalachian Acidic Seep

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004157 Carex atlantica - Rhynchospora alba - Parnassia asarifolia / Sphagnum warnstorfii Herbaceous Seep



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Rhododendron (catawbiense, maximum) - Vaccinium simulatum / Carex trisperma - Eriophorum virginicum - Juncus subcaudatus Shrubland
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]
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: Appalachian Bog
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: High Elevation Mosaic Bog
Relationship: I - Intersecting
Reference: Wichmann, B. 2009. Vegetation of geographically isolated montane non-alluvial wetlands of the Southern Blue Ridge of North Carolina. Masters thesis, North Carolina State, Raleigh. [http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/theses/available/etd-05152009-120239/unrestricted/etd.pdf]
Related Concept Name: IIE1b. Southern Appalachian Bog Complex
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.
Related Concept Name: Mosaic Bog
Relationship: I - Intersecting
Reference: Wichmann, B. 2009. Vegetation of geographically isolated montane non-alluvial wetlands of the Southern Blue Ridge of North Carolina. Masters thesis, North Carolina State, Raleigh. [http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/theses/available/etd-05152009-120239/unrestricted/etd.pdf]
Related Concept Name: Southern Appalachian Bog (Long Hope Valley Shrub Subtype)
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Schafale, M. 1998b. Fourth approximation guide. High mountain communities. March 1998 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Schafale, M. 2002. Fourth approximation guide. Mountain communities. November 2002 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.
Related Concept Name: Southern Appalachian Bog (Northern 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: Southern Appalachian Bog, Long Hope Valley Variant
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Weakley, A. S., and M. P. Schafale. 1994. Non-alluvial wetlands of the Southern Blue Ridge: Diversity in a threatened ecosystem. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 77:359-383.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.300 Southern and Central Appalachian Bog and Fen


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1 (22Oct1996)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This community includes non-alluvial, wetland vegetation influenced by circumneutral seepage, in the southern Appalachian Mountains. It is definitely known only from the valley of Long Hope Creek, Ashe and Watauga counties, North Carolina. There are 25 known examples, totaling 40-80 hectares (100-200 acres) in a 13-square-kilometer (5-square-mile) area. Additionally, in the Mount Rogers area, Grayson County, Virginia, there are three known examples, totaling about 11 hectares (26 acres) in a 6-square-kilometer (2.5-square-mile) area; and at Mann's Bog (headwaters of Stony Creek) on Salt Pond Mountain, Giles County, Virginia, there is a single occurrence covering about 0.4 hectare (1 acre). Stands may be threatened by alteration of the natural hydrologic regime in terms of the amount, seasonality, and chemistry of water. Grazing of cattle can also be destructive to this community, resulting in trampling and nutrient inputs. These lead to detrimental modification of hydrologic regimes and promote rapid succession by woody species.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: NC, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community is restricted to high elevations in the southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina and 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: Examples are structurally variable, but usually have >25% shrub cover and occasionally have nearly 100% shrub cover. The vegetation generally consists of a mosaic of shrub thickets and small herb-dominated areas, much of it underlain by Sphagnum mats. Trees such as Picea rubens, Abies fraseri, Pinus strobus, and Tsuga canadensis may be scattered throughout or may dominate in patches or on the edges. Dominant shrubs include Salix sericea, Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides, Ilex collina, Rhododendron catawbiense, and Rhododendron maximum. Other characteristic woody species include Taxus canadensis (North Carolina only), Picea rubens, Vaccinium simulatum, Rosa palustris, and Salix humilis. Characteristic herbs include Carex atlantica, Carex baileyi, Carex echinata, Carex gynandra, Carex leptalea, Carex lurida, Carex trisperma, Eriophorum virginicum, Galium asprellum, Houstonia serpyllifolia, Juncus effusus, Juncus subcaudatus, Lycopus uniflorus, Osmunda cinnamomea, Oxypolis rigidior, Rhynchospora capitellata, Scirpus cyperinus, Scirpus expansus, Scirpus polyphyllus, Packera aurea (= Senecio aureus), Solidago patula, Solidago rugosa, and Viola macloskeyi ssp. pallens. Sphagnum fuscum, Sphagnum recurvum, and Rhizomnium appalachianum are typical bryophytes. Species richness of six plot-sampled Virginia stands ranges from 20 to 40 taxa per 100 m2 (mean = 31).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Abies fraseri G1 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy      
 
 
Ilex collina G1 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Vaccinium simulatum G1 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Epilobium leptophyllum G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Lilium grayi G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Rudbeckia laciniata var. humilis G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Solidago rugosa G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Viola macloskeyi ssp. pallens G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Osmunda cinnamomea G1 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex atlantica G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex ruthii G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex trisperma G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Eriophorum virginicum G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Juncus brevicaudatus G1 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Juncus subcaudatus G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Scirpus cyperinus G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Abies fraseri
  (Fraser Fir)
G2  
Carex ruthii
  (Ruth's Sedge)
G3  
Ilex collina
  (Long-stalk Holly)
G3  
Lilium grayi
  (Gray's Lily)
G3  
Rudbeckia laciniata var. humilis
  (Appalachian Black-eyed-Susan)
G5T3?  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: The type occupies non-alluvial wetland habitats at high elevations (1170-1490 m [3850-4900 feet]) in the southern Appalachian Mountains. North Carolina sites occur over amphibolite (a mafic metamorphic rock), while Virginia sites are underlain by rhyolite (a felsic igneous rock) and sandstone. Habitats are situated on slight to moderate slopes (1-10), sometimes shallow to bedrock, or in shallow, concave basins along seepage-fed headwaters streams. Percent organic matter in soil samples from Virginia plots varies from <2% in gravelly/sandy seepage rills to >45% on hummocks. These soils are very strongly acidic (mean pH = 4.8) with low base status. Surface cover of bryophytes, especially Sphagnum spp. is typically >70%.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): A.S. Weakley, mod. G. Fleming and P. Coulling
Element Description Edition Date: 02Oct2001
Element Description Author(s): G. Fleming and P. Coulling
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 22Oct2002
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
  • 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.

  • 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. 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. 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.

  • 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.

  • Schafale, M. 1998b. Fourth approximation guide. High mountain communities. March 1998 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

  • Schafale, M. 2002. Fourth approximation guide. Mountain communities. November 2002 draft. North Carolina 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.

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

  • VDNH [Virginia Division of Natural Heritage]. 2003. The natural communities of Virginia: Hierarchical classification of community types. Unpublished document, working list of November 2003. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Ecology Group, Richmond.

  • Weakley, A. S., and M. P. Schafale. 1994. Non-alluvial wetlands of the Southern Blue Ridge: Diversity in a threatened ecosystem. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 77:359-383.

  • Wichmann, B. 2009. Vegetation of geographically isolated montane non-alluvial wetlands of the Southern Blue Ridge of North Carolina. Masters thesis, North Carolina State, Raleigh. [http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/theses/available/etd-05152009-120239/unrestricted/etd.pdf]


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