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Platanus occidentalis - Celtis laevigata - Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Ilex decidua / Carex retroflexa Floodplain Forest
Translated Name: American Sycamore - Sugarberry - Green Ash / Possum-haw / Reflexed Sedge Floodplain Forest
Common Name: American Sycamore - Sugarberry - Green Ash Floodplain Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL007730
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This forest association occurs on terraces of associated rivers and large creeks in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain, lower Piedmont, and possibly in adjacent regions. These are relatively more well-drained than the adjacent flats. The mostly closed canopy of this community is dominated by Platanus occidentalis, Celtis laevigata, and Fraxinus pennsylvanica. These species, along with Acer negundo, are important in the well-developed subcanopy also. Other tree species are possible in these strata; these include Crataegus viridis, Juglans nigra, Acer saccharinum, Morus rubra, Ilex decidua, Ulmus americana, Planera aquatica, Quercus laurifolia, Quercus nigra, Liquidambar styraciflua, Populus deltoides, Carya aquatica, and others. The shrub layer generally is sparse and is dominated by Lindera benzoin, Ilex decidua, Asimina triloba, and likely other species as well. Some examples of this community also have patches of Arundinaria gigantea in spots. The herbaceous layer is typically sparse to moderate and constant species are Boehmeria cylindrica, Carex grayi, Carex retroflexa, and Viola spp. Other typical species include Botrychium dissectum, Carex frankii, Carex lupulina, Chasmanthium latifolium, Onoclea sensibilis, Pilea pumila, Polygonum hydropiperoides, Polygonum virginianum, and others. The vine stratum is moderate and many species are possible. Among these are Bignonia capreolata, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Smilax tamnoides, Vitis rotundifolia, Ampelopsis arborea, Berchemia scandens, Gelsemium sempervirens, and Toxicodendron radicans. Exotic species such as Ligustrum sinense, Lonicera japonica, and Microstegium vimineum may invade stands of this association, and increase following disturbance. This forest type is documented in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain (and lower Piedmont) but is possible in adjacent regions; global distribution needs assessment.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: This association was described based on 1998 data from the Congaree Swamp National Monument. The exotics Ligustrum sinense and Microstegium vimineum may be dominant in occurrences of this community. Related vegetation in Virginia is treated as Fraxinus pennsylvanica - Platanus occidentalis - Celtis laevigata / Chasmanthium latifolium Piedmont Floodplain Forest (CEGL007013).

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 Floodplain Forest
Group Southern Ash - Elm - Willow Floodplain Forest
Alliance Coastal Plain Sycamore - Green Ash - Elm Floodplain Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004740 Celtis laevigata - Fraxinus pennsylvanica - (Juglans nigra) / Asimina triloba / Carex grayi Floodplain Forest
CEGL007013 Fraxinus pennsylvanica - Platanus occidentalis - Celtis laevigata / Chasmanthium latifolium Piedmont Floodplain Forest
CEGL007340 Platanus occidentalis - Liquidambar styraciflua / Carpinus caroliniana - Asimina triloba Floodplain Forest



Related Concepts from Other Classifications


Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.323 Southern Piedmont Small Floodplain and Riparian Forest
CES203.066 Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Large River Floodplain Forest
CES203.250 Atlantic Coastal Plain Small Brownwater River Floodplain Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4? (09Oct2001)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: This community type is globally relatively secure (TNC 1998b). This community, and other types of floodplain forests, are threatened by alteration of the hydroperiod by artificial impoundments or river diversion projects, or the disruption of the floodplain communities by forestry or agriculture. Exotic species such as Ligustrum sinense, Lonicera japonica, and Microstegium vimineum may invade stands of this association, and increase following disturbance.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: GA, MSpotentially occurs, NCpotentially occurs, SC
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This forest type is documented in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain and lower Piedmont, but is possible in adjacent regions; global distribution needs assessment.

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
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


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The mostly closed canopy of this community is dominated by Platanus occidentalis, Celtis laevigata, and Fraxinus pennsylvanica. These species, along with Acer negundo, are important in the well-developed subcanopy also. Other tree species are possible in these strata and include Crataegus viridis, Juglans nigra, Acer saccharinum, Morus rubra, Ilex decidua, Ulmus americana, Planera aquatica, Quercus laurifolia, Liquidambar styraciflua, Carya aquatica, and others. The shrub layer generally is sparse and is dominated by Lindera benzoin, Ilex decidua, Asimina triloba, and likely other species as well. Acer barbatum may be an important shrub-layer component at the southern end of this community's range. Some examples of this community also have patches of Arundinaria gigantea in spots. The herbaceous layer is typically sparse; constant species are Boehmeria cylindrica, Carex grayi, Carex retroflexa, and Viola spp. Other typical species include Botrychium dissectum, Carex lupulina, Chasmanthium latifolium, Onoclea sensibilis, Pilea pumila, Polygonum hydropiperoides, Polygonum virginianum, and others. The vine stratum is moderate and many species are possible. Among these are Bignonia capreolata, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Smilax tamnoides, Vitis rotundifolia, and Toxicodendron radicans. Exotic species such as Ligustrum sinense, Lonicera japonica, and Microstegium vimineum may invade stands of this association and increase following disturbance.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Celtis laevigata G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)  
 
 
Fraxinus pennsylvanica G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)  
 
 
Platanus occidentalis G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy  
 
 
Ligustrum sinense G4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Ilex decidua G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Lindera benzoin G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Carex retroflexa G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Microstegium vimineum G4 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Lonicera japonica G4 Liana Herb (field)      
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This forest occurs on terraces of associated rivers and on well-drained bottoms of creeks in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain, lower Piedmont, and possibly in adjacent regions. These terraces are relatively more well-drained than the adjacent flats.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): S. Landaal
Element Description Edition Date: 04May1998
Element Description Author(s): S. Landaal
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 27Dec2000
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): M. Pyne

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


References
  • NatureServe Ecology - Southeastern United States. No date. Unpublished data. NatureServe, Durham, NC.

  • Peet, R. K., T. R. Wentworth, M. P. Schafale, and A.S. Weakley. No date. Unpublished data of the North Carolina Vegetation Survey. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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

  • TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. [1998]b. Classification of the vegetation of Congaree Swamp National Monument. Report to BRD-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program. The Nature Conservancy, Southern Conservation Science, Chapel Hill, NC. 67 pp.

  • White, R. D., Jr., and T. Govus. 2003. Vascular plant inventory and plant community classification for Ninety Six National Historic Site. Prepared for the National Park Service. NatureServe, Durham, NC. 146 pp.


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