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Acer saccharum - Tilia americana - Fraxinus americana / Ostrya virginiana / Geranium robertianum Woodland
Translated Name: Sugar Maple - American Basswood - White Ash / Hophornbeam / Robert's Geranium Talus Woodland
Common Name: Rich Northern Hardwood Talus Woodland
Unique Identifier: CEGL005058
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: These open, circumneutral woodlands range from the Great Lakes to the Northern Appalachians and Lower New England regions. They typically occur on talus and colluvial slopes where soils are derived from circumneutral to calcareous bedrock, and often extend upslope onto ridges and low summits. The elevation range is from about 150 to 610 m (500-2000 feet) with most occurrences below 365 m (1200 feet), and southerly exposure is common. Soils are thin, patchy and dry. The hardwood canopy is very patchy, with open talus interspersed with wooded areas. Even the wooded areas generally have an open canopy, and canopy closure overall is usually less than 50%, often with stunted trees. Shrubs and herbs are scattered where soil is available; vines are unusually well-represented. Herb cover may be locally extensive on stabilized areas. The bryoid layer is very minor and varies from patches of lichens on the open talus to sparse mosses in wooded areas. The ground cover is boulder talus and deciduous litter. Canopy dominants are typically Acer saccharum and Quercus rubra, with the characteristic but usually subordinate species Ostrya virginiana, Fraxinus americana, and Tilia americana. Where shrubs are even present, they are scattered and clumped and include Cornus rugosa, Acer pensylvanicum, Acer spicatum, Rubus odoratus, Corylus cornuta, Viburnum acerifolium, Staphylea trifolia, and Ribes spp. Vines are locally abundant on talus. Rich-site herbs indicative of these talus slopes include Asplenium platyneuron, Polystichum braunii, Aralia racemosa, Saxifraga virginiensis, Geranium robertianum, Arabis drummondii, Asarum canadense, Carex rosea, Carex sprengelii, Carex platyphylla, and Patis racemosa. This association is distinguished from other deciduous talus and low summit woodlands by the presence of enriched-site species such as Tilia americana and Juglans cinerea in the canopy, and the characteristic rich-site herb species listed above. However, sites do occur that are intermediate between this type and the more acidic oak-birch talus woodlands, Betula alleghaniensis - Quercus rubra / Polypodium virginianum Woodland (CEGL006584) and Quercus rubra - Betula lenta / Polypodium virginianum Talus Woodland (CEGL006585).



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 Laurentian-Acadian Hardwood Forest
Alliance Sugar Maple Limestone Woodland

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006577 Acer saccharum - Fraxinus americana - Juglans cinerea / Staphylea trifolia / Adlumia fungosa Forest
CEGL006584 Betula alleghaniensis - Quercus rubra / Polypodium virginianum Talus Woodland
CEGL006585 Quercus rubra - Betula lenta / Polypodium virginianum 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
Connecticut Acer saccharum - Tilia americana / Acer spicatum woodlands Finer   Metzler and Barrett 2001
Connecticut Betula lenta - Fraxinus americana / Geranium robertianum woodlands Finer   Metzler and Barrett 2001
Maine Ironwood - oak - ash woodland Equivalent   Gawler 2002
Massachusetts Circumneutral Talus Forest/Woodland Broader   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Hampshire Rich red oak rocky woods Finer   Sperduto and Nichols 2004
New Jersey Talus slope community Broader   Breden et al. 2001
New York Calcareous talus slope woodland Broader   Edinger et al. 2002
Vermont Northern Hardwood Talus Woodland Broader   Thompson and Sorenson 2000


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Rich talus slope woodland
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: NAP [Northern Appalachian-Boreal Forest Working Group]. 1998. Northern Appalachian-Boreal Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.
Related Concept Name: SNE Circumneutral Talus Forest/Woodland
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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES201.570 Laurentian-Acadian Calcareous Cliff and Talus
CES202.603 North-Central Appalachian Circumneutral Cliff and Talus
CES202.690 Central Interior Calcareous Cliff and Talus


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3G5 (15Dec1994)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, MA, ME, NH, NJpotentially occurs, NY, VT
Canadian Province Distribution: NB, ON, QCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This woodland ranges from the Great Lakes to the Northern Appalachians and Lower New England regions.

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: Central Maine Coastal and Embayment Section
Section Code: 212D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: St. Lawrence and Champlain Valley Section
Section Code: 212E Occurrence Status: Possible
Section Name: Northern Glaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Hot Continental Division
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Oceanic) Province
Province Code: 221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lower New England Section
Section Code: 221A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Hudson Valley Section
Section Code: 221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Continental) Province
Province Code: 222 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Erie and Ontario Lake Plain Section
Section Code: 222I 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
Section Name: Tug Hill Plateau Section
Section Code: M212F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The hardwood canopy is very patchy, with open talus interspersed with wooded areas. Even the wooded areas generally have an open canopy, and canopy closure overall is usually less than 50%. Shrubs and herbs are scattered where soil is available; vines are unusually well represented. Herb cover may be locally extensive on stabilized areas. The bryoid layer is very minor, and varies from patches of lichens on the open talus to sparse mosses in wooded areas. The ground cover is boulder talus and deciduous litter. Canopy dominants are typically Acer saccharum and Quercus rubra, with the characteristic but usually subordinate species Ostrya virginiana, Fraxinus americana, and Tilia americana. Other canopy associates include Acer rubrum, Betula lenta, Betula papyrifera, Betula alleghaniensis, Juglans cinerea, and Ulmus rubra. Where shrubs are even present, they are scattered and clumped and include Cornus rugosa, Acer pensylvanicum, Acer spicatum, Rubus odoratus, Corylus cornuta, Viburnum acerifolium, Staphylea trifolia, and Ribes spp. Vines are locally abundant on talus and include Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Parthenocissus vitacea, Toxicodendron radicans, Clematis virginiana, Clematis occidentalis, Adlumia fungosa, Celastrus scandens, and Polygonum cilinode. Rich-site herbs indicative of these talus slopes include Asplenium platyneuron, Polystichum braunii, Aralia racemosa, Saxifraga virginiensis, Geranium robertianum, Arabis drummondii, Asarum canadense, Carex rosea, Carex sprengelii, Carex platyphylla, and Patis racemosa (= Oryzopsis racemosa). Also present, and less restricted to circumneutral conditions, are Cystopteris bulbifera, Carex pensylvanica, Carex communis, Deschampsia flexuosa, Schizachne purpurascens, Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa (= Hepatica americana), Dryopteris marginalis, Polypodium virginianum, and Athyrium filix-femina.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer saccharum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)    
 
 
Quercus rubra G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)    
 
 
Fraxinus americana G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Tilia americana G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Arabis drummondii G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Aralia racemosa G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Asarum canadense G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Geranium robertianum G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Saxifraga virginiensis G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Asplenium platyneuron G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Dryopteris marginalis G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Polystichum braunii G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex pensylvanica G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex platyphylla G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex rosea G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex sprengelii G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Deschampsia flexuosa G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Piptatherum racemosum G4 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: Stands occur on talus and colluvial slopes where soils are derived from circumneutral to calcareous bedrock, and often extend upslope onto ridges and low summits. The elevation range is from about 150 to 610 m (500-2000 feet) with most occurrences below 370 m (1200 feet), and southerly exposure is common. Soils are thin, patchy, and dry.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Northern Appalachian Planning Team
Element Description Edition Date: 08Dec2005
Element Description Author(s): S.C. Gawler
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 15Dec1994

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


References
  • Breden, T. F., Y. R. Alger, K. S. Walz, and A. G. Windisch. 2001. Classification of vegetation communities of New Jersey: Second iteration. Association for Biodiversity Information and New Jersey Natural Heritage Program, Office of Natural Lands Management, Division of Parks and Forestry, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Trenton.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Lee, H., W. Bakowsky, J. Riley, J. Bowles, M. Puddister, P. Uhlig, and S. McMurray. 1998. Ecological land classification for southern Ontario: First approximation and its application. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Southcentral Science Section, Science Development and Transfer Branch. SCSS Field Guide FG-02.

  • Metzler, K., and J. Barrett. 2006. The vegetation of Connecticut: A preliminary classification. State Geological and Natural History Survey, Report of Investigations No. 12. Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Hartford, CT.

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

  • ONHIC [Ontario Natural Heritage Information Centre]. 2018. Unpublished data. Ontario Natural Heritage Information Centre, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario, Canada.

  • 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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