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Chamaecyparis thyoides - (Liriodendron tulipifera) / Lyonia lucida Swamp Forest
Translated Name: Atlantic White-cedar - (Tuliptree) / Shining Fetterbush Swamp Forest
Common Name: Sandhills Atlantic White-cedar Streamside Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL007563
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This forest, found along streams or at seepages in the Fall-line Sandhills, is usually dominated by Chamaecyparis thyoides, but possesses a mixed-species canopy with Liriodendron tulipifera usually present. It is found in the Sandhills area of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, but is possible on the outer coastal terraces of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The ground surface has little exposed soil. The community is not flood-prone, nor exposed to frequent fire. It occurs at seepage areas where water infiltration is impeded by an impervious clay layer and therefore flows out where the hardpan intersects the soil surface, usually on a slope and often creating a streamhead. The community also occurs at streamsides of small blackwater streams. Soils are generally acidic and saturated throughout the year and often are of the Torhunta (Typic Humaquept) and Johnston (Cumulic Humaquept) series. The canopy contains Chamaecyparis thyoides, with Liriodendron tulipifera, Pinus serotina, Pinus taeda, Nyssa biflora, and Acer rubrum. The subcanopy contains Persea palustris and Magnolia virginiana. The shrub stratum is tall and includes Cyrilla racemiflora, Ilex coriacea, Ilex glabra, Lyonia lucida, and Vaccinium formosum. Toxicodendron radicans, Smilax laurifolia and Smilax rotundifolia are extremely frequent in most occurrences. Arundinaria gigantea ssp. tecta is common. Herbaceous species that may be present include Drosera capillaris, Drosera rotundifolia, Sarracenia flava, Sarracenia rubra, Peltandra virginica, Mayaca fluviatilis, and Orontium aquaticum. Sphagnum spp. are also present.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: This community type occurs along the northern and southern forks of the Edisto River in South Carolina.

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.Nb - Southeastern North American Flooded & Swamp Forest
Macrogroup Southern Coastal Plain Evergreen Hardwood - Conifer Swamp
Group Coastal Plain Mixed Evergreen Swamp
Alliance Southeastern Coastal Plain Atlantic White-cedar Swamp Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006146 Chamaecyparis thyoides / Persea palustris / Lyonia lucida - Ilex coriacea 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
North Carolina Streamhead Atlantic White Cedar Forest Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012
South Carolina Atlantic white cedar swamp Broader   Nelson 1986


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Atlantic White-Cedar: 97
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.
Related Concept Name: Atlantic white cedar (66)
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: USFS [U.S. Forest Service]. 1988. Silvicultural examination and prescription field book. USDA Forest Service, Southern Region. Atlanta, GA. 35 pp.
Related Concept Name: IIA2b. Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Forest
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: Streamhead Atlantic White Cedar Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Schafale, M. 2000. Fourth approximation guide. Coastal Plain. January 2000 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
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: White cedar
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Clewell, A. F., and D. B. Ward. 1987. White cedar in Florida and along the northern Gulf Coast. Pages 69-81 in: A. D. Laderman, editor. Atlantic white cedar wetlands. Westview Press, Boulder, CO. 401 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.247 Atlantic Coastal Plain Blackwater Stream Floodplain Forest
CES203.252 Atlantic Coastal Plain Streamhead Seepage Swamp, Pocosin and Baygall


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2 (10Jan2008)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: This saturated forest association is found along the margins of streams or seepages in the Fall-line Sandhills area of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia and on the outer coastal terraces as well; it was never common historically. It has significantly declined from its original extent and is currently threatened by fire exclusion along with the development and agricultural use of adjacent uplands. Natural fire and hydrologic regimes need to be maintained for successful regeneration and maintenance of this community. It is very susceptible to major disruptions in hydrology; rapid, prolonged change in water depth kills Chamaecyparis thyoides seedlings and stresses or kills mature specimens. Leaf litter and woody debris should not be too dense in order for the shade-intolerant Chamaecyparis thyoides seedlings to survive. In the absence of fire and adequate gap regeneration, succession often leads to development of a bay forest dominated by Magnolia virginiana, Persea palustris and Gordonia lasianthus.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: GA, NC, SC
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This forest is found along streams or seepages in the Fall-line Sandhills area and on the outer coastal terraces of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Subtropical Division
Province Name: Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 232 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Coastal Plains and Flatwoods, Lower Section
Section Code: 232B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Atlantic Coastal Flatwoods Section
Section Code: 232C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This forest is usually dominated by Chamaecyparis thyoides, but possesses a mixed species canopy with Liriodendron tulipifera usually present. The canopy contains Chamaecyparis thyoides, with Liriodendron tulipifera, Pinus serotina, Pinus taeda, Nyssa biflora, and Acer rubrum. The subcanopy contains Persea palustris and Magnolia virginiana. The shrub stratum is tall and includes Cyrilla racemiflora, Ilex coriacea, Ilex glabra, Lyonia lucida, and Vaccinium formosum. Toxicodendron radicans, Smilax laurifolia and Smilax rotundifolia are extremely frequent in most occurrences. Arundinaria gigantea ssp. tecta is common. Herbaceous species that may be present include Drosera capillaris, Drosera rotundifolia, Sarracenia flava, Sarracenia rubra, Peltandra virginica, Mayaca fluviatilis and Orontium aquaticum. Sphagnum spp. are also present. Wetlands dominated by Chamaecyparis thyoides may be refugia for nationally or locally rare, endangered or threatened species. The swamps in the southern portion of the range may provide habitat areas for species that normally occur farther north (Laderman 1989).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer rubrum G2 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Liriodendron tulipifera G2 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Nyssa biflora G2 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Chamaecyparis thyoides G2 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pinus serotina G2 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pinus taeda G2 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Magnolia virginiana G2 Broad-leaved evergreen tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Persea palustris G2 Broad-leaved evergreen tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Gaylussacia mosieri G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Lindera subcoriacea G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Cyrilla racemiflora G2 Broad-leaved evergreen tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Vaccinium corymbosum G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Ilex coriacea G2 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Ilex glabra G2 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Lyonia lucida G2 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Vaccinium crassifolium ssp. sempervirens G2 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling      
 
 
Sarracenia rubra G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Syngonanthus flavidulus G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Carex collinsii G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Rhynchospora alba G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Lindera subcoriacea
  (Bog Spicebush)
G3  
Vaccinium crassifolium ssp. sempervirens
  (Rayner's Blueberry)
G4G5T1  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This forest, found along streams or at seepages in the Fall-line Sandhills, is usually dominated by Chamaecyparis thyoides, but possesses a mixed species canopy with Liriodendron tulipifera usually present. It is found in the Sandhills area of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, but is possible on the outer coastal terraces of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The ground surface has little exposed soil. The community is not flood-prone, nor exposed to frequent fire. This association occurs at seepage areas where water infiltration is impeded by an impervious clay layer and therefore flows out where the hardpan intersects the soil surface - usually on a slope and often creating a streamhead. The community also occurs at streamsides of small blackwater streams. Soils are generally acidic and saturated throughout the year, and often are of the Torhunta (Typic Humaquept) and Johnston (Cumulic Humaquept) series.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Occasional inundation may occur, but this is not a flood-prone community. Fires are very infrequent, but are possibly necessary for regeneration of the type. Natural fire and hydrologic regimes need to be maintained for successful regeneration and maintenance of this community. It is very susceptible to major disruptions in hydrology; rapid, prolonged change in water depth kills Chamaecyparis thyoides seedlings and stresses or kills mature specimens. Leaf litter and woody debris should not be too dense in order for the shade-intolerant Chamaecyparis thyoides seedlings to survive. In the absence of fire and adequate gap regeneration, succession often leads to development of a bay forest dominated by Magnolia virginiana, Persea palustris and Gordonia lasianthus.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): S. Landaal
Element Description Edition Date: 07Jun1994
Element Description Author(s): S. Landaal
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 10Jan2008
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): Southeastern Ecology Group

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.

  • Burns, R. M., and B. H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990a. Silvics of North America: Volume 1. Conifers. Agriculture Handbook 654. USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC. 675 pp.

  • Burns, R. M., and B. H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990b. Silvics of North America. Volume 2: Hardwoods. Agriculture Handbook 654. USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC. 877 pp.

  • Clewell, A. F., and D. B. Ward. 1987. White cedar in Florida and along the northern Gulf Coast. Pages 69-81 in: A. D. Laderman, editor. Atlantic white cedar wetlands. Westview Press, Boulder, CO. 401 pp.

  • Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.

  • Frost, C. C. 1987. Historical overview of Atlantic white cedar in the Carolinas. Pages 257-263 in: A. D. Laderman, editor. Atlantic white cedar wetlands. Westview Press, Boulder, CO. 401 pp.

  • Korstian, C. F., and W. D. Brush. 1931. Southern white cedar. Technical Bulletin 251. USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC. 76 pp.

  • Laderman, A. D. 1989. The ecology of the Atlantic white cedar wetlands: A community profile. USDI Fish and Wildlife Service. Biological Report 85(7.21). 114 pp.

  • Landaal, S. 1978. Plant successional trends in selected Dismal Swamp stands of Chamaecyparis thyoides (L.) BSP (Atlantic white cedar.) Unpublished report to USDI Fish & Wildlife Service, Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

  • McCrain, G. R., and B. H. Church. 1985. An analysis of past and present plant community patterns in Moores Creek National Battlefield along with associated impacts affecting distribution and restoration. Prepared by Resource Management Co., Raleigh, NC, under Purchase Order Number PX-5550-3-0062 for the USDI, National Park Service, Southeast Regional Office, Atlanta, GA.

  • Moore, J. H., and J. H. Carter, III. 1987. Habitats of white cedar in North Carolina. Pages 177-190 in: A. D. Laderman, editor. Atlantic white cedar wetlands. Westview Press, Boulder, CO.

  • Nelson, J. B. 1986. The natural communities of South Carolina: Initial classification and description. South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Columbia, SC. 55 pp.

  • Schafale, M. 2000. Fourth approximation guide. Coastal Plain. January 2000 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

  • Schafale, M. P. 2012. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina, 4th Approximation. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, 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.

  • USFS [U.S. Forest Service]. 1988. Silvicultural examination and prescription field book. USDA Forest Service, Southern Region. Atlanta, GA. 35 pp.

  • Wharton, C. H. 1978. The natural environments of Georgia. Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta. 227 pp.

  • Wharton, C. H., W. M. Kitchens, E. C. Pendleton, and T. W. Sipe. 1982. The ecology of bottomland hardwood swamps of the Southeast: A community profile. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Biological Services. FWS/OBS-81/37. Washington, DC.

  • Whitehead, D. R. 1972. Developmental and environmental history of the Dismal Swamp. Ecological Monographs 42:301-315.

  • ter Braak, C. J. F., and N. J. M. Gremmen. 1987. Ecological amplitudes of plant species and the internal consistency of Ellenberg's indicator values for moisture. Vegetatio 69:79-87.


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