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Quercus virginiana - Quercus incana Woodland
Translated Name: Live Oak - Bluejack Oak Woodland
Common Name: Virginia Beach Xeric Dune Woodland
Unique Identifier: CEGL003750
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This maritime woodland occurs primarily on back dunes that are somewhat protected from regular salt spray along the southeastern Virginia coast. Stands are codominated by Quercus virginiana and Quercus incana. Minor canopy species include Pinus taeda, Sassafras albidum, Quercus nigra, and Prunus serotina var. serotina.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 1 - Forest & Woodland
Subclass 1.B - Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland
Formation 1.B.1 - Warm Temperate Forest & Woodland
Division 1.B.1.Na - Southeastern North American Forest & Woodland
Macrogroup Southeastern Coastal Plain Evergreen Oak - Mixed Hardwood Forest
Group Coastal Live Oak - Hickory - Palmetto Forest
Alliance Southeastern Maritime Live Oak Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL007027 Quercus virginiana - Quercus hemisphaerica - Pinus taeda / Persea palustris - Ilex vomitoria Forest



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Maritime Dune Woodland
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: 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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.261 Central Atlantic Coastal Plain Maritime Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1 (10Jun2008)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This maritime woodland is restricted to xeric dunes in extreme southeastern Virginia. Its limited habitat is threatened by coastal development. Only one occurrence of very small acreage is known, and it is unlikely that additional occurrences will be found.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This maritime woodland is restricted to xeric dunes on Cape Henry in southeastern Virginia.

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: Atlantic Coastal Flatwoods Section
Section Code: 232C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Stands of this maritime woodland are dominated by low (4-8 m tall), multi-stemmed Quercus virginiana, with Quercus incana a constant, sometimes codominant associate. Short Quercus nigra, Pinus taeda, Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera), Morella pensylvanica (= Myrica pensylvanica), Sassafras albidum, Prunus serotina, and Zanthoxylum clava-herculis occur at lower cover. Low-climbing and scrambling vines of Vitis rotundifolia, Smilax spp., and Parthenocissus quinquefolia are abundant. Physiognomy is typically a patchwork of dense woody thickets interspersed with small sandy openings covered by vines, Opuntia humifusa, or patchy herbaceous growth. Characteristic herbs include Pityopsis graminifolia var. latifolia, Schizachyrium littorale, Cyperus grayi, Cirsium horridulum, Cnidoscolus stimulosus, Galium hispidulum, and Dichanthelium ovale. Exotics and weedy natives, e.g., Heterotheca subaxillaris, Cenchrus tribuloides, and Conyza canadensis, are common in disturbed areas. Mean species richness of eight plot samples was only 13 taxa per 100 square meters. Known stands have been heavily fragmented and disturbed by the construction of the park campground with roads, campsites, and bath facilities.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Quercus incana G1 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus virginiana G1 Broad-leaved evergreen tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Conyza canadensis G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Heterotheca subaxillaris G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Cenchrus tribuloides G1 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This maritime woodland occurs in extreme southeastern Virginia on low secondary dunes lying about 100 to 200 m from the beach and forming the transition between the open frontal dunes and forest. These dunes may be less stabilized than those farther back from the ocean and are definitely influenced by more frequent winds and salt spray. Soil moisture regime appears to be subxeric to xeric. The habitat grades into dune scrub and grassland on the ocean side, and into an evergreen forest dominated by Quercus virginiana and Pinus taeda on the inland side. The entire habitat at First Landing/Seashore State Park and Fort Story has been heavily disturbed by a park campground and military facilities. This type is one of the least common maritime forests in Virginia, occurring only on Cape Henry in the City of Virginia Beach.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): A.S. Weakley
Element Description Edition Date: 10Jun2008
Element Description Author(s): A.S. Weakley and G.P. Fleming
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 10Jun2008
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): M. Pyne, mod. 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
  • Clampitt, C. A. 1991. The upland plant communities of Seashore State Park, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Virginia Journal of Science 42:419-435.

  • 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., 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.

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


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