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Cystopteris bulbifera - (Asplenium rhizophyllum) Cliff Sparse Vegetation
Translated Name: Bulblet Bladderfern - (Walking Fern) Cliff Sparse Vegetation
Common Name: Appalachian Wet Limestone Cliff
Unique Identifier: CEGL004394
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This broadly defined type represents sparse vegetation on calcareous rocks and cliff exposures ranging from Kentucky to Virginia and south to Georgia. Examples have substantial cover of bare rock and bryophytes, along with scattered vascular plants. Dominant species may be Cystopteris bulbifera and Asplenium rhizophyllum. An example from the Chattahoochee National Forest contains Heuchera villosa, Adiantum pedatum, Asplenium rhizophyllum, Carex platyphylla, Cystopteris protrusa, Hepatica nobilis var. acuta, Laportea canadensis, and Solidago flexicaulis. Additional species at a similar site in Great Smoky Mountains National Park included Sedum ternatum, Physocarpus opulifolius, Pellaea atropurpurea, and Packera obovata. Additional types may be developed as more information becomes available.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low - Poorly Documented
Classification Comments: This broadly defined type is being geographically subdivided into an eastern type and an Ozarkian placeholder, which is being split off. In Missouri, and perhaps elsewhere in the Interior Highlands region of the Midwest, this vegetation is synonymous with Limestone - Dolostone Midwest Moist Cliff Vegetation (CEGL002292)]; so it is not tracked there. Further Midwest/Southeast review is needed. Vegetation has been assigned here from Chattahoochee National Forest (Chattooga Ranger District, 231Ab33). In Virginia this vegetation is embedded in forested habitat and occurrences may be too small to target as a distinct association.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 6 - Open Rock Vegetation
Subclass 6.B - Temperate & Boreal Open Rock Vegetation
Formation 6.B.1 - Temperate & Boreal Cliff, Scree & Other Rock Vegetation
Division 6.B.1.Na - Eastern North American Temperate & Boreal Cliff, Scree & Rock Vegetation
Macrogroup Eastern North American Cliff & Rock Vegetation
Group Appalachian Cliff & Rock Vegetation
Alliance Central Appalachian Circumneutral Fern Cliff

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL002292 Limestone - Dolostone Midwest Moist Cliff Vegetation



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
Tennessee Cystopteris bulbifera - (Asplenium rhizophyllum) Sparse Vegetation Equivalent Certain TDNH unpubl. data


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: IE1c. Interior Upland Calcareous Cliff
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
CES202.357 Southern Interior Sinkhole Wall
CES202.386 Southern Piedmont Cliff


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3G4 (08Jan2007)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: GA, KY, TN, VApotentially occurs, WVpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This generally defined alkaline cliff type is found in the southeastern United States, from Kentucky to Virginia and south to Georgia. It is not known from North Carolina.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Hot Continental Division
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Oceanic) Province
Province Code: 221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Continental) Province
Province Code: 222 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Interior Low Plateau, Highland Rim Section
Section Code: 222E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
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
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: Blue Ridge Mountains Section
Section Code: M221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Vegetation assigned here from Chattahoochee National Forest (NatureServe Ecology unpubl. data) contains substantial cover by bare rock and bryophytes, along with scattered vascular plants, including Heuchera villosa, Adiantum pedatum, Asplenium rhizophyllum, Carex platyphylla, Cystopteris protrusa, Hepatica nobilis var. acuta, Laportea canadensis, and Solidago flexicaulis. Another example from Great Smoky Mountains National Park contains Sedum ternatum, Physocarpus opulifolius, Pellaea atropurpurea, and Packera obovata. Additional types may be developed as more information becomes available.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Ulmus rubra G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Hydrangea arborescens G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Physocarpus opulifolius G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Heuchera villosa G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Cystopteris bulbifera G3 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)  
 
 
Sedum ternatum G3 Succulent forb Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This vegetation is found on calcareous cliffs in the Southern Blue Ridge and adjacent ecoregions, from Kentucky to Virginia and south to Georgia.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): A.S. Weakley
Element Description Edition Date: 01Jan1996
Element Description Author(s): A.S. Weakley
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 01Dec1997

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.

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

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

  • TDNH [Tennessee Division of Natural Heritage]. No date. Unpublished data. Tennessee Division of Natural Heritage, Nashville, TN.


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Data last updated: November 2016