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Taxodium distichum - Fraxinus pennsylvanica - Quercus laurifolia / Acer rubrum / Saururus cernuus Floodplain Forest
Translated Name: Bald-cypress - Green Ash - Laurel Oak / Red Maple / Lizard's-tail Floodplain Forest
Common Name: Coastal Plain Bald-cypress - Mixed Hardwood Floodplain Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL007719
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This forest of bald-cypress and mixed hardwoods occurs in sloughs, alluvial flats, and other alluvial settings in the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States, especially on soils with a percentage of silt. This type was originally documented in the Atlantic Coastal Plain but also occurs in the Gulf Coastal Plain as well. Examples of this association are dominated by Taxodium distichum, but differ from most other bald-cypress forests in the diversity of other hardwoods present (stands codominated by Nyssa are accommodated by other associations). A number of other tree species may be present in the canopy and/or subcanopy, some of which are indicative of less inundated conditions typically found in well developed slough and backswamps. These species include Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Quercus laurifolia, Quercus lyrata, Quercus michauxii, Acer rubrum, Liquidambar styraciflua, Planera aquatica, Fraxinus caroliniana, Celtis laevigata, Ulmus americana, Platanus occidentalis, and Acer negundo. The canopy is closed and the subcanopy layer generally is well-developed. The shrub layer is sparse and the herbaceous layer ranges from sparse to moderately dense depending upon duration of flooding. Acer rubrum is the strong dominant in the subcanopy with Planera aquatica, Carpinus caroliniana, Ulmus alata, Ilex decidua, and Celtis laevigata typical in this stratum as well. Itea virginica and Cephalanthus occidentalis are typical in the shrub layer. A variety of vines are possible within occurrences of this community. These include Vitis rotundifolia, Vitis aestivalis, Bignonia capreolata, Campsis radicans, Berchemia scandens, Trachelospermum difforme, and Mikania scandens. The most commonly occurring herbs are Asclepias perennis, Boehmeria cylindrica, Pilea pumila, Saururus cernuus, Commelina virginica, Justicia ovata, Phanopyrum gymnocarpon, Carex lupulina, Leersia lenticularis, Ludwigia alternifolia, and Chasmanthium latifolium. This forest type is documented in North Carolina and South Carolina; global distribution needs assessment.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: In Virginia, where related vegetation is relatively uncommon and in a restricted geography, it is treated as Taxodium distichum - Nyssa aquatica - Nyssa biflora / Fraxinus caroliniana / Itea virginica Floodplain Forest (CEGL007432).

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 Bald-cypress - Tupelo Floodplain Forest
Alliance Southern Bald-cypress - Tupelo Floodplain Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL007422 Taxodium distichum - Nyssa aquatica - Acer rubrum / Itea virginica Floodplain Forest
CEGL007432 Taxodium distichum - Nyssa aquatica - Nyssa biflora / Fraxinus caroliniana / Itea virginica 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
North Carolina Brownwater Bottomland Hardwoods (Swamp Transition Subtype) Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Brownwater Bottomland Hardwoods (Swamp Transition Subtype)
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Schafale, M. 2000. Fourth approximation guide. Coastal Plain. January 2000 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.
Related Concept Name: Coastal Plain Bottomland Hardwoods (Brownwater Subtype)
Relationship: B - Broader
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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.066 Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Large River Floodplain Forest
CES203.250 Atlantic Coastal Plain Small Brownwater River Floodplain Forest
CES203.489 East Gulf Coastal Plain Large River Floodplain Forest
CES203.559 East Gulf Coastal Plain Small Stream and River Floodplain Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3G4 (01May1998)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This community type is thought to be relatively secure globally, but the global status needs further assessment (TNC 1998b).

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: LApotentially occurs, MS, NC, SC
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This forest type is documented in Coastal Plain of North Carolina and South Carolina and more recently in Mississippi; global distribution needs additional assessment.

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: Atlantic Coastal Plain examples of this association are dominated by Taxodium distichum and Fraxinus pennsylvanica. Quercus laurifolia, Quercus lyrata, Acer rubrum, Liquidambar styraciflua, Planera aquatica, and Fraxinus caroliniana are usually present, as are other tree species of generally higher bottomland communities including Celtis laevigata, Ulmus americana, Platanus occidentalis, and Acer negundo. The canopy is closed and the subcanopy layer generally is well-developed. The shrub layer is sparse and the herbaceous layer ranges from sparse to moderately dense depending upon duration of flooding. Acer rubrum is the strong dominant in the subcanopy with Planera aquatica, Carpinus caroliniana, Ulmus alata, Ilex decidua, and Celtis laevigata typical in this stratum as well. Itea virginica and Cephalanthus occidentalis are typical in the shrub layer. A variety of vines are possible within occurrences of this community. These include Vitis rotundifolia, Vitis aestivalis, Bignonia capreolata, Campsis radicans, Berchemia scandens, Trachelospermum difforme, and Mikania scandens. The most commonly occurring herbs are Asclepias perennis, Boehmeria cylindrica, Pilea pumila, Saururus cernuus, Commelina virginica, Justicia ovata, Phanopyrum gymnocarpon, Carex lupulina, Leersia lenticularis, Ludwigia alternifolia, and Chasmanthium latifolium.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer rubrum G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)  
 
 
Fraxinus pennsylvanica G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus laurifolia G3 Broad-leaved evergreen tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Taxodium distichum G3 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Saururus cernuus G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: These forests occur in sloughs and on alluvial flats on soils with a percentage of silt. This type is found in the Atlantic Coastal Plain and is possibly more widespread.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): S. Landaal
Element Description Edition Date: 27Feb2004
Element Description Author(s): Southeast Ecology Group
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 23Oct2000
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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


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