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Chamaecyparis thyoides / Ilex glabra - Rhododendron viscosum Swamp Forest
Translated Name: Atlantic White-cedar / Inkberry - Swamp Azalea Swamp Forest
Common Name: Coastal Plain Atlantic White-cedar Swamp Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006188
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This Atlantic white-cedar swamp occurs on the northern Coastal Plain and in areas of coastal climate (generally within 25 miles of the ocean) from New Hampshire to Delaware. It occurs in poorly-drained depressions or basins generally overlaying sand and gravel deposits. The canopy is dominated by Chamaecyparis thyoides or codominated with Acer rubrum. Less frequent canopy associates include Pinus rigida, Nyssa sylvatica, and sometimes Tsuga canadensis and Pinus strobus. The shrub layer is very dense and diverse with Clethra alnifolia, Ilex glabra, Morella pensylvanica, Gaylussacia frondosa, Leucothoe racemosa, Rhododendron viscosum, Ilex laevigata, Ilex verticillata, Aronia melanocarpa, and Vaccinium corymbosum. The herbaceous layer tends to be sparse or patchy and limited to sunny openings with Osmunda cinnamomea, Thelypteris palustris, Woodwardia virginica, Woodwardia areolata, Thelypteris simulata, Gaultheria procumbens, Drosera spp., Sarracenia purpurea, Pogonia ophioglossoides, Mitchella repens, Carex striata, Carex collinsii, Carex atlantica, and Toxicodendron radicans. The nonvascular layer includes several species of Sphagnum, commonly Sphagnum fallax, Sphagnum flavicomans, Sphagnum magellanicum, Sphagnum pulchrum, Sphagnum recurvum, and Sphagnum palustre. Key diagnostic characteristics of this association are its coastal setting and the presence of Coastal Plain species such as Ilex glabra, Gaylussacia frondosa, Morella pensylvanica, Leucothoe racemosa, and Clethra alnifolia.



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 Central Hardwood Swamp Forest
Group Northern Atlantic Coastal Swamp
Alliance Northern Atlantic White-cedar Peat Swamp Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006078 Chamaecyparis thyoides - Acer rubrum - Magnolia virginiana Swamp Forest
CEGL006189 Chamaecyparis thyoides - (Tsuga canadensis, Betula alleghaniensis) / Clethra alnifolia Swamp Forest
CEGL006355 Chamaecyparis thyoides / Rhododendron maximum Swamp Forest
CEGL006363 Chamaecyparis thyoides - Picea rubens / Gaylussacia baccata / Gaultheria hispidula Swamp Forest
CEGL006364 Chamaecyparis thyoides - Acer rubrum / Lycopus spp. Swamp 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
Massachusetts Coastal Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Equivalent   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Jersey Chamaecyparis thyoides / Ilex glabra Forest Equivalent Certain Breden et al. 2001
New Jersey Coastal plain Atlantic white cedar swamp Broader   Breden 1989
New York Coastal plain Atlantic white cedar swamp Broader   Edinger et al. 2002
Rhode Island Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Broader   Enser 1999


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Chamaecyparis thyoides/Rhododendron viscosum (Type 4)
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Sperduto, D. A., and K. F. Crowley. 2002b. Atlantic white cedar in New England: Analysis and proposed classification. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Inventory. DRED Division of Forests & Lands and The Nature Conservancy, Concord, NH.
Related Concept Name: Chamaecyparis thyoides/Rhododendron viscosum Forest
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Barrett, N. E. 1996. Chamaecyparis thyoides wetlands: An overview of the community-types. Submitted to the Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. The Nature Conservancy, Middletown, CT.
Related Concept Name: Atlantic White Cedar Swamp (C)
Relationship: F - Finer
Reference: Windisch, A .G. 2014a. Pinelands ecological communities and higher level groups with crosswalk / proposed 2008 revisions to NVC. November 16, 2014 draft. New Jersey Natural Heritage Program, Trenton.
Related Concept Name: B2 - Chamaecyparis thyoides
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Olsson, H. 1979. Vegetation of the New Jersey Pine Barrens: A phytosociological classification. Pages 245-263 in: R. T. T. Forman, editor. Pine Barrens: Ecosystem and landscape. Academic Press, New York.
Related Concept Name: Coastal Atlantic white cedar type
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Motzkin, G. 1991. Atlantic white cedar wetlands of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Massachusetts. Research Bulletin 731. 53 pp.
Related Concept Name: SNE basin swamp, coastal Atlantic white cedar association
Relationship: B - Broader
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
CES203.070 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Riparian and Floodplain
CES203.522 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Basin Peat Swamp


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3 (10Dec1998)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: There are an estimated 100-200 occurrences of this community covering perhaps 2500 to 7500 acres rangewide. The range is limited to the Atlantic Coastal Plain from Massachusetts to New Jersey and Delaware. Although naturally limited by the range of Atlantic white-cedar, it is likely that this community has declined from historic abundances as a result of logging.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, DE, MA, NJ, NY, RI
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association occurs on the Atlantic Coastal Plain from Massachusetts to New Jersey.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
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
Division Name: Subtropical Division
Province Name: Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 232 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain Section
Section Code: 232A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This Atlantic white-cedar swamp is dominated by Chamaecyparis thyoides or codominated with Acer rubrum. Less frequent canopy associates include Pinus rigida, Nyssa sylvatica, and sometimes Tsuga canadensis and Pinus strobus. The shrub layer is very dense and diverse with Clethra alnifolia, Ilex glabra, Morella pensylvanica (= Myrica pensylvanica), Gaylussacia frondosa (= var. frondosa), Leucothoe racemosa, Rhododendron viscosum, Ilex laevigata, Ilex verticillata, Aronia melanocarpa, and Vaccinium corymbosum. The herbaceous layer tends to be sparse or patchy and limited to sunny openings with Osmunda cinnamomea, Thelypteris palustris, Woodwardia virginica, Woodwardia areolata, Thelypteris simulata, Gaultheria procumbens, Drosera spp., Sarracenia purpurea, Pogonia ophioglossoides, Mitchella repens, Carex striata, Carex collinsii, Carex atlantica, and Toxicodendron radicans. The nonvascular layer includes several species of Sphagnum, commonly Sphagnum fallax, Sphagnum flavicomans, Sphagnum magellanicum, Sphagnum pulchrum, Sphagnum recurvum, and Sphagnum palustre.

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    
 
 
Chamaecyparis thyoides G3 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Clethra alnifolia G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Leucothoe racemosa G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Vaccinium corymbosum G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Narthecium americanum G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Osmunda cinnamomea G3 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Narthecium americanum
  (Bog Asphodel)
G2  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: Generally occurs in basins overlying sand and gravel deposits or occasionally over glacial lake sediments. Water-saturated peat overlies mineral sediments. Standing water is usually present for at least half the growing season. Water and soil are nutrient-poor, especially low in nitrogen and phosphorus, and high in iron.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Eastern Ecology Group
Element Description Edition Date: 20Mar2003
Element Description Author(s): S.L. Neid
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 10Dec1998
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): L.A. Sneddon

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


References
  • Barrett, N. E. 1996. Chamaecyparis thyoides wetlands: An overview of the community-types. Submitted to the Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. The Nature Conservancy, Middletown, CT.

  • 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.

  • Enser, R. W., and J. A. Lundgren. 2006. Natural communities of Rhode Island. A joint project of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Natural Heritage Program and The Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island. Rhode Island Natural History Survey, Kingston. 40 pp. [www.rinhs.org]

  • Laderman, A. D. 1989. The ecology of the Atlantic white cedar wetlands: A community profile. USDI Fish and Wildlife Service. Biological Report 85(7.21). 114 pp.

  • McCormick, J. 1979. The vegetation of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. In: R. T. T. Formann, editor. Pine Barrens: Ecosystem and landscape. Academic Press, New York.

  • Motzkin, G. 1991. Atlantic white cedar wetlands of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Massachusetts. Research Bulletin 731. 53 pp.

  • NatureServe. 2009. Vegetation of the E.B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. International Ecological Classification Standard: Terrestrial Ecological Classifications. NatureServe Central Databases. Arlington, VA. U.S.A. Data current as of 1 December 2009.

  • Olsson, H. 1979. Vegetation of the New Jersey Pine Barrens: A phytosociological classification. Pages 245-263 in: R. T. T. Forman, editor. Pine Barrens: Ecosystem and landscape. Academic Press, New York.

  • Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 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.

  • Sneddon, L. A., Zaremba, R. E., and M. Adams. 2010. Vegetation classification and mapping at Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts. Natural Resources Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2010/147. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 481 pp. [http://biology.usgs.gov/npsveg/caco/cacorpt.pdf]

  • Sperduto, D. A., and K. F. Crowley. 2002b. Atlantic white cedar in New England: Analysis and proposed classification. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Inventory. DRED Division of Forests & Lands and The Nature Conservancy, Concord, NH.

  • 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]

  • Windisch, A .G. 2014a. Pinelands ecological communities and higher level groups with crosswalk / proposed 2008 revisions to NVC. November 16, 2014 draft. New Jersey Natural Heritage Program, Trenton.


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