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Quercus alba - Quercus velutina - Quercus stellata / Schizachyrium scoparium - Desmodium spp. Woodland
Translated Name: White Oak - Black Oak - Post Oak / Little Bluestem - Tick-trefoil species Woodland
Common Name: Piedmont Granitic White Oak - Black Oak Woodland
Unique Identifier: CEGL003722
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This is a fire-maintained woodland of the Piedmont of Virginia and South Carolina, occurring on soils derived from granitic rock. It may also persist in a slightly altered state due to particularly rigorous mowing regimes. Although the fire or mowing frequency is abnormally high at known sites (on Fort Pickett), this community may be quite similar to some presettlement Piedmont communities. Canopy dominants include Quercus alba, Quercus velutina, Quercus stellata, Quercus falcata, Quercus coccinea, Carya alba, Carya glabra, and Liriodendron tulipifera. The subcanopy may include Cornus florida and Liquidambar styraciflua, but can also be fairly open. Shrubs and woody vines include Rhus copallinum, Rhus michauxii, Rhus glabra, Diospyros virginiana, Ulmus alata, Sassafras albidum, Vaccinium pallidum, Vaccinium stamineum, Hypericum hypericoides ssp. multicaule (= Hypericum stragulum), Toxicodendron pubescens, Vitis rotundifolia. The herb layer is dominated by Schizachyrium scoparium or sometimes Danthonia sericea, and also includes Desmodium laevigatum, Desmodium marilandicum, Desmodium nuttallii, Desmodium paniculatum, Desmodium perplexum, Desmodium ciliare, Eupatorium hyssopifolium, Eupatorium godfreyanum, Clitoria mariana, Eupatorium rotundifolium var. ovatum (= Eupatorium pubescens), Eupatorium sessilifolium, Eupatorium altissimum (= Eupatorium saltuense), Galactia regularis, Lespedeza procumbens, Dichanthelium dichotomum, Dichanthelium depauperatum, Solidago pinetorum, Solidago rugosa, Solidago nemoralis, Solidago erecta, Helianthus atrorubens, Coreopsis major, Liatris pilosa (= Liatris graminifolia), Andropogon ternarius, Tephrosia virginiana, Clitoria mariana, and Sorghastrum elliottii. At Cowpens in South Carolina, historical accounts from the Revolutionary War (1781) all describe open fields in the area where this community now sits. Historic descriptions of upstate South Carolina uplands from as late as 1775 suggest woodlands and open areas covered with "grasses and the wild pea-vine, growing as high as a horse's back" were common. These historical accounts suggest that the remnants in South Carolina and Virginia may indeed approximate the vegetation of the upland areas of the Piedmont of 250 years ago.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low - Poorly Documented

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 Southern & South-Central Oak - Pine Forest & Woodland
Group Piedmont-Central Atlantic Coastal Plain Oak Forest
Alliance Piedmont Post Oak - Hickory - Pine Woodland

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL003721 Quercus alba - Carya glabra / Schizachyrium scoparium - Salvia urticifolia - Parthenium auriculatum Woodland
CEGL006434 Quercus alba - Quercus stellata - Quercus velutina / Cornus florida / Andropogon gerardii Woodland



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Quercus alba - Quercus falcata - Carya alba / Schizachyrium scoparium - Lespedeza procumbens Woodland
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: 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.
Related Concept Name: Quercus alba - Quercus falcata - Carya alba / Schizachyrium scoparium ssp. scoparium - Lespedeza procumbens Woodland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, Gary P. Personal communication. Ecologist, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA.
Related Concept Name: Oak - Hickory Woodland / Savanna
Relationship: B - Broader
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]

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.339 Southern Piedmont Dry Oak-(Pine) Forest and Woodland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1? (26Mar2003)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This community is currently restricted to Fort Pickett, Virginia, and Cowpens National Battlefield in upstate South Carolina, where it is maintained by frequent fires set by military training (VA) and mowing (SC). It is believed, though, that this community may approximate communities which formerly occurred on felsic rock sites of the Piedmont under conditions of more frequent fire. The former distribution may have extended south from central Virginia through North Carolina and into South Carolina and Georgia. Current acreage of this community is less than 5000 acres.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: NCpotentially occurs, SC, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community is currently restricted to Fort Pickett, Virginia and Cowpens National Battlefield, South Carolina. It is maintained by frequent fires set by military training (VA) or mowing (SC). It is believed, though, that this community may approximate communities which formerly occurred on felsic rock sites of the Piedmont under conditions of more frequent fire. The former distribution may have extended south from central Virginia through North Carolina and into South Carolina and Georgia.

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


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Canopy dominants include Quercus alba, Quercus velutina, Quercus stellata, Quercus falcata, Quercus coccinea, Carya alba, Carya glabra, and Liriodendron tulipifera. The subcanopy may include Cornus florida and Liquidambar styraciflua, but can also be fairly open. Shrubs and woody vines include Rhus copallinum, Rhus michauxii, Rhus glabra, Diospyros virginiana, Ulmus alata, Sassafras albidum, Vaccinium pallidum, Vaccinium stamineum, Hypericum hypericoides ssp. multicaule (= Hypericum stragulum), Toxicodendron pubescens, and Vitis rotundifolia. The herb layer is dominated by Schizachyrium scoparium or sometimes Danthonia sericea, and also includes Desmodium laevigatum, Desmodium marilandicum, Desmodium nuttallii, Desmodium paniculatum, Desmodium perplexum, Desmodium ciliare, Eupatorium hyssopifolium, Eupatorium godfreyanum, Clitoria mariana, Eupatorium rotundifolium var. ovatum (= Eupatorium pubescens), Eupatorium sessilifolium, Eupatorium altissimum (= Eupatorium saltuense), Galactia regularis, Lespedeza procumbens, Dichanthelium dichotomum, Dichanthelium depauperatum, Solidago pinetorum, Solidago rugosa, Solidago nemoralis, Solidago erecta, Helianthus atrorubens, Coreopsis major, Liatris pilosa (= Liatris graminifolia), Andropogon ternarius, Tephrosia virginiana, Clitoria mariana, and Sorghastrum elliottii.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Quercus alba G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Rhus michauxii G1 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling      
 
 
Schizachyrium scoparium G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Rhus michauxii
  (Michaux's Sumac)
G2G3 LE: Listed endangered


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This is a fire-maintained woodland of the Piedmont of Virginia and South Carolina, occurring on soils derived from granitic rock. It may also persist in a slightly altered state due to particularly rigorous mowing regimes. Although the fire or mowing frequency is abnormally high at known sites (on Fort Pickett), this community may be quite similar to some presettlement Piedmont communities. At Cowpens in South Carolina, historical accounts from the Revolutionary War (1781) all describe open fields in the area where this community now sits (Babits 1998). Historic descriptions of upstate South Carolina uplands from as late as 1775 suggest woodlands and open areas covered with "grasses and the wild pea-vine, growing as high as a horse's back" were common (Logan 1859). These historical accounts suggest that the remnants in South Carolina and Virginia may indeed approximate the vegetation of the upland areas of the Piedmont of 250 years ago.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: This community's origin is a bit mysterious, but it is hypothesized that it is a remnant of a community type more common in presettlement times when fire was more common on the Piedmont landscape. The community contains plants that are generally not considered threatened or endangered but that are quite rare on the Piedmont landscape outside of rock outcrop and shallow-soiled communities and roadsides (Liatris pilosa, Helianthus atrorubens, Pityopsis aspera, Tephrosia virginiana, and Schizachyrium scoparium). Therefore, though altered by human-maintained fire and/or mowing, this community type may best approximate the oak woodland/savanna community of the Piedmont from 250 or more years ago.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): A.S. Weakley and G. Fleming
Element Description Edition Date: 26Mar2003
Element Description Author(s): R. White
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 26Mar2003
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): A.S. Weakley, mod. R. White

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


References
  • Babits, L. E. 1998. A devil of a whipping: The Battle of Cowpens. The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC.

  • Barden, L. S. 1997. Historic prairies in the Piedmont of North and South Carolina, USA. Natural Areas Journal 17 (2):149-152.

  • Fleming, G. P. 2002b. Preliminary classification of Piedmont & Inner Coastal Plain vegetation types in Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 02-14. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 29 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. 2003. Preliminary vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks. Regional (VA-WVA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2003. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • 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, Gary P. Personal communication. Ecologist, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA.

  • Logan, J. H. 1859. The history of the upper country of South Carolina from the earliest period to the close of the war of independence. Charleston, S. C. S.G. Cortney and Company, Publishers. 521 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.

  • 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.

  • White, Jr., R. D. 2004. Vascular plant inventory and plant community classification for Cowpens National Battlefield. NatureServe, Durham, NC. 126 pp.


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