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Acer saccharinum / Onoclea sensibilis - Boehmeria cylindrica Floodplain Forest
Translated Name: Silver Maple / Sensitive Fern - Small-spike False Nettle Floodplain Forest
Common Name: Silver Maple Floodplain Bottom Forest (Sensitive Fern Type)
Unique Identifier: CEGL006176
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: These silver maple floodplain forests of the northeastern United States are typical of riverbottoms, lakeplains, and the inner floodplain of medium to large rivers, mostly at less than 245 m (800 feet) elevation. They are most typical of third- and fourth-order rivers. They are subjected to spring flooding of high frequency and duration; their soils are poorly drained and deep. They are generally associated with calcareous or sedimentary bedrock and with fine-grained surficial deposits but may occur in coarser soils or tills. The canopy ranges from closed to somewhat open (in small inclusions, it may be quite sparse) and is high and arching. Shrubs are few; the herb layer is very well-developed. Bryoids are minor. The overall effect is of tall, well-spaced trees over a lush carpet of herbs. The canopy is strongly dominated by Acer saccharinum. Associated trees include Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Ulmus americana, and occasionally Quercus bicolor or Quercus macrocarpa. Prunus serotina, Picea glauca, and Acer rubrum have been occasionally noted northward. The herb layer is seasonally variable, with spring ephemerals succeeded by dense cover of mixed ferns, forbs and graminoids. Summer-dominant herbs include Onoclea sensibilis and Boehmeria cylindrica. This type differs from Acer saccharinum - (Populus deltoides) / Matteuccia struthiopteris - Laportea canadensis Floodplain Forest (CEGL006147) in its somewhat more poorly drained soils, longer flood duration, and the reduced importance of Matteuccia struthiopteris relative to Onoclea sensibilis along with generally higher herb layer richness. It generally lacks Populus deltoides and Salix nigra in the canopy. It may be bordered on its upland edge by terrace forests dominated by Acer saccharum.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate

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.Na - Eastern North American-Great Plains Flooded & Swamp Forest
Macrogroup Laurentian-Acadian Flooded & Swamp Forest
Group Silver Maple - Green Ash - Black Ash Floodplain Forest
Alliance Silver Maple - Red Maple - American Elm Floodplain Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006147 Acer saccharinum - (Populus deltoides) / Matteuccia struthiopteris - Laportea canadensis Floodplain 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
Connecticut Acer saccharinum / Boehmeria cylindrica community Equivalent   Metzler and Barrett 2006
Maine Silver maple floodplain forest Equivalent   Gawler 2002
Massachusetts Small-river Floodplain Forest Undetermined   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Hampshire Silver maple - false nettle - sensitive fern floodplain forest Equivalent   Sperduto and Nichols 2004
New York Floodplain forest Broader Certain Edinger et al. 2002
Pennsylvania Silver maple floodplain forest Broader Certain Fike 1999
Vermont Lakeside Floodplain Forest Intersects   Thompson and Sorenson 2000
Vermont Silver Maple-Sensitive Fern Riverine Floodplain Forest Intersects   Thompson and Sorenson 2000


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Acer saccharinum / Boehmeria - Onoclea (Type 3)
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Sperduto, D. D., and K. F. Crowley. 2002a. Floodplain forests in New England: Analysis and proposed classification. In collaboration with natural heritage programs in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Inventory, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord, NH. 19 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Lakeside/large riverbottom floodplain forest
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: Silver Maple - American Elm: 62
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: Southern New England floodplain forest
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
CES201.587 Laurentian-Acadian Floodplain Forest
CES202.608 Central Appalachian River Floodplain


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: GNR (01Dec1997)
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, MA, ME, NH, NJpotentially occurs, NY, PA, VT
Canadian Province Distribution: NB, QCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This silver maple floodplain forest of the northeastern United States and adjacent Canada occurs from New Brunswick to New York.

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: Aroostook Hills and Lowlands Section
Section Code: 212A Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Maine-New Brunswick Foothills and Lowlands Section
Section Code: 212B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Fundy Coastal and Interior Section
Section Code: 212C Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
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: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Northern Glaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212F Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Northern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212G Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
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
Section Name: Northern Appalachian Piedmont Section
Section Code: 221D 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: Subtropical Division
Province Name: Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 232 Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain Section
Section Code: 232A Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
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: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Green, Taconic, Berkshire Mountain Section
Section Code: M212C Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Adirondack Mountain Section
Section Code: M212D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Catskill Mountain Section
Section Code: M212E Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Division Name: Hot Continental Regime Mountains
Province Name: Central Appalachian Broadleaf Forest - Coniferous Forest - Meadow Province
Province Code: M221 Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Northern Ridge and Valley Section
Section Code: M221A Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Allegheny Mountains Section
Section Code: M221B Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The canopy ranges from closed to somewhat open and is high and arching. Shrubs are few; the herb layer is very well-developed. Bryoids are minor. The overall effect is of tall, well-spaced trees over a lush carpet of herbs. The canopy is strongly dominated by Acer saccharinum. Associated trees include Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Ulmus americana, and occasionally Quercus bicolor or Quercus macrocarpa. Prunus serotina, Picea glauca, and Acer rubrum have been occasionally noted northward. The herb layer is seasonally variable, with spring ephemerals, including Erythronium americanum, Sanguinaria canadensis, and Arisaema triphyllum, succeeded by dense cover of mixed ferns, forbs and graminoids. Summer-dominant herbs include Onoclea sensibilis and Boehmeria cylindrica. Matteuccia struthiopteris and Laportea canadensis may be present but are not abundant; other typical species include Pilea pumila, Lycopus uniflorus, Scutellaria lateriflora, Thelypteris palustris, Osmunda regalis, Thalictrum pubescens, Bidens tripartita, Ludwigia palustris, Calamagrostis canadensis, and Cinna spp. In more disturbed sites, non-native herbs such as Lysimachia nummularia and Lythrum salicaria may be common.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer saccharinum GNR Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Boehmeria cylindrica GNR Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Lysimachia nummularia GNR Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Lythrum salicaria GNR Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Onoclea sensibilis GNR Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: These silver maple floodplain forests of the northeastern United States are typical of riverbottoms, lakeplains, and the inner floodplain of medium to large rivers, mostly at less than 245 m (800 feet) elevation. They are most typical of third- and fourth-order rivers. They are subjected to spring flooding of high frequency and duration; their soils are poorly drained and deep. They are generally associated with calcareous or sedimentary bedrock and with fine-grained surficial deposits, but may occur in coarser soils or tills.


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

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., A. L. Feldmann, T. G. Howard, J. J. Schmid, F. C. Sechler, E. Eastman, E. Largay, L. A. Sneddon, C. Lea, and J. Von Loh. 2014b. Vegetation inventory: Saratoga National Historical Park, New York. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NETN/NRTR--2014/869, National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO.

  • 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.

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

  • Fike, J. 1999. Terrestrial and palustrine plant communities of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Recreation, Bureau of Forestry, Harrisburg, PA. 86 pp.

  • 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., R. E. Zaremba, and Cogan Technology, Inc. 2017. Vegetation mapping inventory project: Minute Man National Historical Park, Massachusetts. Natural Resource Report NPS/MIMA/NRR--2017/1450. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO.

  • 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.

  • Metzler, K. 1984. Natural community description abstract - southern New England freshwater tidal marsh. Unpublished report. Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Hartford, CT. 6 pp.

  • 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.

  • NRCS [Natural Resources Conservation Service]. 2004a. Soil survey of Saratoga County, New York. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. 590 pp.

  • 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 K. F. Crowley. 2002a. Floodplain forests in New England: Analysis and proposed classification. In collaboration with natural heritage programs in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Inventory, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord, NH. 19 pp. plus appendices.

  • 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.

  • Thompson, E., and J. Jenkins. 1992. Summary of field data from Minuteman National Park plant communities study. A report prepared under a contract with the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program for the National Park Service. 39 pp.

  • Zimmerman, E. A. 2011k. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. Silver Maple Floodplain Forest Factsheet. [http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Community.aspx?=16026] (accessed January 31, 2012)

  • Zimmerman, E. A., T. Davis, M. A. Furedi, B. Eichelberger, J. McPherson, S. Seymour, G. Podniesinski, N. Dewar, and J. Wagner, editors. 2012. Terrestrial and palustrine plant communities of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Harrisburg. [http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/Communities.aspx]


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