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Quercus rubra - Acer saccharum - Liriodendron tulipifera Forest
Translated Name: Northern Red Oak - Sugar Maple - Tuliptree Forest
Common Name: High Allegheny Rich Red Oak - Sugar Maple Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006125
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This red oak - sugar maple community is found primarily in the Allegheny Plateau and Appalachian Mountains of the United States, as well as on the northern Piedmont north to the Hudson Valley, with possible extensions east and west of those areas. It is typically found in coves, on moist north- and east-facing slopes and on well-drained flats. Soils are slightly acidic and of intermediate fertility. The closed-canopy tree layer is dominated by a mixture of oaks, primarily Quercus alba and Quercus rubra, with other hardwoods including Acer saccharum, Acer rubrum, and Liriodendron tulipifera. Carya ovata, Carya tomentosa, Nyssa sylvatica, and Quercus velutina are possible associates. Carya spp. may share dominance in some stands. Dominance by Acer rubrum or Liriodendron may indicate a past disturbance history. A wide variety of more mesic associates, such as Betula alleghaniensis, Betula lenta, Fagus grandifolia, Fraxinus americana, and Tilia americana could occur but are negligible in dominance. In addition to Acer saccharum reproduction, some understory species may include Carpinus caroliniana, Cercis canadensis, Cornus florida, and Ostrya virginiana. Shrub and vine species include Amelanchier laevis, Amelanchier arborea, Cornus spp., Hamamelis virginiana, Lindera benzoin, Viburnum acerifolium, Viburnum recognitum, and Vitis riparia. Ericaceous shrubs, such as Kalmia latifolia, Vaccinium angustifolium and Vaccinium pallidum, may also be present but are not abundant. The ground layer species are highly variable but include Caulophyllum thalictroides, Ageratina altissima, Dennstaedtia punctilobula, Podophyllum peltatum, Maianthemum racemosum, Medeola virginiana, Thelypteris noveboracensis, Dryopteris marginalis, Dryopteris intermedia, Actaea spp., and Uvularia sessilifolia. Exotic species, including Rosa multiflora and Alliaria petiolata, may be present in the shrub and herb layers of disturbed stands.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: According to Anderson (1982) in Ohio, where this community is found in the southeastern unglaciated plateau region, it is differentiated from the oak-maple type, Quercus alba - Quercus rubra - Quercus montana - Acer saccharum / Lindera benzoin Forest (CEGL002059), and the Appalachian oak forest type, Quercus montana - Quercus (alba, coccinea) / Viburnum acerifolium - (Kalmia latifolia) Forest (CEGL005023), by the substantial presence (over 20% canopy or basal area) of Liriodendron tulipifera and insignificant amounts of Fagus grandifolia or other mesic tree species. This type concept may overlap considerably with that of the oak-maple type, Quercus alba - Quercus rubra - Quercus montana - Acer saccharum / Lindera benzoin Forest (CEGL002059). Braun (1950, e.g., p. 140) reports stands similar to this type in the Shawnee Hills and Mammoth Cave area of Kentucky, as well as other Interior Low Plateau sites. In New York, this type is reported primarily from the southeastern part of the State (Reschke 1990). In the mid-Atlantic states, this type is differentiated from Quercus (alba, rubra, velutina) - Carya spp. / Viburnum acerifolium Forest (CEGL006336) by somewhat more mesic conditions, a higher non-oak canopy component, and the absence of Quercus montana.

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 Appalachian-Interior-Northeastern Mesic Forest
Group Appalachian-Allegheny Northern Hardwood - Conifer Forest
Alliance Northern Red Oak - Sugar Maple - Sweet Birch Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL002059 Quercus alba - Quercus rubra - Quercus montana - Acer saccharum / Lindera benzoin Forest
CEGL005023 Quercus montana - Quercus (alba, coccinea) / Viburnum acerifolium - (Kalmia latifolia) Forest
CEGL006377 Fagus grandifolia - Quercus alba - Quercus rubra Forest
CEGL006566 Quercus rubra - Tsuga canadensis - Liriodendron tulipifera / Hamamelis virginiana Forest
CEGL006921 Fagus grandifolia - Betula lenta - Quercus (alba, rubra) / Carpinus caroliniana Forest
CEGL007233 Quercus alba - Quercus rubra - Carya ovalis / Acer saccharum / Polystichum acrostichoides Forest
CEGL007698 Quercus rubra - Acer saccharum - Tilia americana var. heterophylla - Aesculus flava - (Cladrastis kentukea) Forest
CEGL008517 Quercus rubra - Acer saccharum / Ostrya virginiana / Cardamine concatenata 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 Fagus grandifolia - Quercus alba - Quercus rubra - Liriodendron tulipifera community Equivalent   Metzler and Barrett 2001
Massachusetts Oak - Tulip Tree Forest Equivalent   Swain and Kearsley 2011
New Jersey Dry-mesic inland mixed oak forest Undetermined   Breden 1989
New York Oak-tulip tree forest Broader Certain Edinger et al. 2002
Ohio Oak-maple-tuliptree forest Equivalent   ONHD unpubl. data
Pennsylvania Red oak - mixed hardwood forest Broader   Fike 1999
West Virginia Quercus rubra - Acer (rubrum, saccharum) - Prunus serotina / Acer pensylvanicum / Dennstaedtia punctilobula Forest Equivalent Certain WVNHP unpubl. data


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Quercus rubra - Acer saccharum - Liriodendron tulipifera Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Faber-Langendoen, D., editor. 2001. Plant communities of the Midwest: Classification in an ecological context. Association for Biodiversity Information, Arlington, VA. 61 pp. plus appendix (705 pp.).

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.593 Appalachian (Hemlock)-Northern Hardwood Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4? (02Oct2006)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: This community is reported as a matrix or large-patch type in every ecoregion where it occurs. Despite covering large areas, high-quality stands are probably rare because of widespread historical impacts and ongoing susceptibility to exotics weeds.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, MA, MD, NJ, NY, OH, PA, WV
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This red oak - sugar maple community is found primarily in the Allegheny Plateau and Appalachian Mountain regions of the United States, with possible extensions east and west of those areas, ranging from Massachusetts and New Jersey west to southeastern Ohio.

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: 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
Section Name: Northern Appalachian Piedmont Section
Section Code: 221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 221E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Western Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 221F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Cumberland Plateau Section
Section Code: 221H 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: 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: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Ridge and Valley Section
Section Code: M221A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Allegheny Mountains Section
Section Code: M221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Cumberland Mountains Section
Section Code: M221C Occurrence Status: Possible


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Stands of this red oak - sugar maple forest contain a closed-canopy tree layer. Acer saccharum, Liriodendron tulipifera, Quercus alba, and Quercus rubra are the leading dominants. Acer rubrum, Carya ovata, Carya tomentosa, Nyssa sylvatica, and Quercus velutina are associates on various sites. Liriodendron tulipifera dominance may indicate a past disturbance history, and Carya spp. may share dominance in some stands. A wide variety of more mesic associates, such as Betula alleghaniensis, Betula lenta, Fagus grandifolia, and Fraxinus americana, may occur but are negligible in dominance. In addition to Acer saccharum reproduction, understory species may include Carpinus caroliniana, Cercis canadensis, and Ostrya virginiana. Shrub and vine species include Amelanchier laevis, Amelanchier arborea, Cornus spp., Hamamelis virginiana, Lindera benzoin, Viburnum acerifolium, Viburnum recognitum, and Vitis riparia. Ericaceous shrubs such as Kalmia latifolia, Vaccinium angustifolium and Vaccinium pallidum may also be present. The ground layer species are highly variable but include Caulophyllum thalictroides, Dennstaedtia punctilobula, Podophyllum peltatum, Maianthemum racemosum (= Smilacina racemosa), Medeola virginiana, Thelypteris noveboracensis, and Uvularia sessilifolia. At the southern end of the type's range in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland, Liriodendron tulipifera and Quercus rubra are the leading overstory dominants, with Acer saccharum common in both the overstory and understory. Minor tree associates include Fraxinus americana, Tilia americana, Quercus alba, Betula lenta, Fagus grandifolia, and Acer rubrum. Lindera benzoin and Hamamelis virginiana are the most constant and abundant species in a rather open shrub layer. The most constant herbs in eight plot samples are Arisaema triphyllum, Brachyelytrum erectum, Carex digitalis, Erythronium americanum, Eurybia divaricata (= Aster divaricatus), Galium triflorum, Pilea pumila, Polystichum acrostichoides, Thalictrum thalictroides, Uvularia sessilifolia, Viola pubescens, and Viola sororia. Many other species occur at lower constancies.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer rubrum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)    
 
 
Acer saccharum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)  
 
 
Liriodendron tulipifera G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus alba G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus rubra G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Carpinus caroliniana G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Viburnum acerifolium G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Vaccinium angustifolium G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Vaccinium pallidum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Caulophyllum thalictroides G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Podophyllum peltatum G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Dennstaedtia punctilobula G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex pensylvanica G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: Throughout the range, stands are typically found in coves, on moist north- and east-facing slopes, and on well-drained flats. Soils are slightly acidic and of intermediate fertility (Anderson 1982, Reschke 1990, Fike 1999). In the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland, sites occupied by this community are often covered by bouldery colluvium weathered from metabasalt bedrock. Soils collected from these sites are strongly acidic (mean pH = 4.8) but have moderately high calcium and magnesium levels, typical of soils weathered from iron- and aluminum-rich mafic bedrock.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Catoctin Mountain, Maryland, stands have been degraded by past clearing, cutting and more recent invasion by introduced species, including Microstegium vimineum and Alliaria petiolata.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): D. Faber-Langendoen
Element Description Edition Date: 02Oct2006
Element Description Author(s): D. Faber-Langendoen, E. Largay, S.C. Gawler and G.P. Fleming
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 02Oct2006
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): G.P. Fleming

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


References
  • Anderson, D. M. 1982. Plant communities of Ohio: A preliminary classification and description. Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Columbus, OH. 182 pp.

  • Braun, E. L. 1950. Deciduous forests of eastern North America. Hafner Press, New York. 596 pp.

  • Breden, T. F. 1989. A preliminary natural community classification for New Jersey. Pages 157-191 in: E. F. Karlin, editor. New Jersey's rare and endangered plants and animals. Institute for Environmental Studies, Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ. 280 pp.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Faber-Langendoen, D., editor. 2001. Plant communities of the Midwest: Classification in an ecological context. Association for Biodiversity Information, Arlington, VA. 61 pp. plus appendix (705 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.

  • Fleming, G. P. 1999. Plant communities of limestone, dolomite, and other calcareous substrates in the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 99-4. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. Unpublished report submitted to the USDA Forest Service. 218 pp. plus appendices.

  • Harrison, J. W. 2011. The natural communities of Maryland: 2011 working list of ecological community groups and community types. Unpublished report. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Service, Natural Heritage Program, Annapolis. 33 pp.

  • Harrison, J. W., compiler. 2004. Classification of vegetation communities of Maryland: First iteration. A subset of the International Classification of Ecological Communities: Terrestrial Vegetation of the United States, NatureServe. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis. 243 pp.

  • Lundgren, J., editor. 2001. Plant communities of the High Allegheny Plateau Ecoregion. Draft revisions to the National Vegetation Classification, March 2000 subset. Natural Heritage Central Databases. The Association for Biodiversity Information, Arlington, VA, and The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Regional Office, Boston, MA. 71 pp. plus tables.

  • 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.

  • ONHD [Ohio Natural Heritage Database]. No date. Vegetation classification of Ohio and unpublished data. Ohio Natural Heritage Database, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Columbus.

  • Perles, S. J., G. S. Podniesinski, E. A. Zimmerman, E. Eastman, and L. A. Sneddon. 2006d. Vegetation classification and mapping at Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2006/079. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Perles, S. J., G. S. Podniesinski, E. A. Zimmerman, W. A. Millinor, L. A. Sneddon. 2006a. Vegetation classification and mapping at Fort Necessity National Battlefield. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2006/038. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Perles, S. J., G. S. Podniesinski, E. A. Zimmerman, W. A. Millinor, and L. A. Sneddon. 2006b. Vegetation classification and mapping at Friendship Hill National Historic Site. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2006/041. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 113 pp.

  • Perles, S. J., G. S. Podniesinski, E. Eastman, L. A. Sneddon, and S. C. Gawler. 2007. Classification and mapping of vegetation and fire fuel models at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2007/076. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 2 volumes.

  • Perles, S. J., G. S. Podniesinski, M. Furedi, B. A. Eichelberger, A. Feldmann, G. Edinger, E. Eastman, and L. A. Sneddon. 2008. Vegetation classification and mapping at Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2008/133. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 370 pp.

  • Reschke, C. 1990. Ecological communities of New York State. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Latham, NY. 96 pp.

  • Sechler, F. C., G. J. Edinger, T. G. Howard, J. J. Schmid, E. Eastman, E. Largay, L. A. Sneddon, C. Lea, and J. Von Loh. 2014. Vegetation classification and mapping at Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites, New York. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NETN/NRTR--2014/873, National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 392 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]

  • WVNHP [West Virginia Natural Heritage Program]. No date. Unpublished data. West Virginia Natural Heritage Program, Elkins.


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