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Acer rubrum / Ilex mucronata - Vaccinium corymbosum Swamp Forest
Translated Name: Red Maple / Catberry - Highbush Blueberry Swamp Forest
Common Name: Northern Red Maple Swamp Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006220
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This forested red maple swamp of stream drainages and wetland borders occurs in northern to central New England and New York, extending sporadically south to New Jersey. The hydrologic regime is variable among occurrences, generally influenced by seasonal flooding and often limited groundwater seepage. This association may occur in basins with little drainage, or on stream floodplains that remain saturated throughout most of the growing season. Soils vary according to setting; generally the substrate is mineral soil, acidic to weakly minerotrophic, but in some settings organic soil may be well-developed. The deciduous canopy ranges from closed to patchy, but the overall cover is that of a closed-canopy forest. The shrub layer, particularly in openings, is generally well-developed. The herb layer is usually fairly well-developed and may be extensive. The canopy is characteristically dominated by Acer rubrum with associates of Fraxinus nigra, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Betula alleghaniensis, and Ulmus americana. Tsuga canadensis, Picea rubens, and Abies balsamea, while not abundant, characterize this association as one of cooler climates. (The Picea and Abies drop out in the southernmost occurrences of this type.) Typical shrubs include Vaccinium corymbosum (often dominant), Ilex verticillata, Ilex mucronata, Lindera benzoin, Rosa palustris, Alnus incana, Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides, and Viburnum recognitum. There is north-to-south variability in the shrub component as well, with Ilex mucronata characteristic of all but the southernmost occurrences, and Lindera absent from more northerly occurrences. The herbaceous layer is often dominated by ferns, including Osmunda cinnamomea, Osmunda regalis, and Osmunda claytoniana. Onoclea sensibilis, Dryopteris cristata, and Thelypteris palustris are often present, though less abundant. Carex stricta may be locally dominant. Other species frequent in the herbaceous layer include Impatiens capensis, Caltha palustris, Calamagrostis canadensis, Carex intumescens, Carex trisperma, and Arisaema triphyllum. The bryophyte flora is not well documented; Sphagnum spp. and Mnium spp. are frequent, although not necessarily abundant. Acer rubrum - Fraxinus (pennsylvanica, americana) / Lindera benzoin / Symplocarpus foetidus Swamp Forest (CEGL006406) is distinguished by its greater abundance and extent of seepage indicators and its lacks lack of northern species such as Picea rubens, Abies balsamea, and Ilex mucronata. Acer rubrum / Carex stricta - Onoclea sensibilis Wet Woodland (CEGL006119) is also similar but has a more open canopy and typically a graminoid-dominated herbaceous layer. This association is also related to Acer rubrum - Prunus serotina / Cornus amomum Floodplain Forest (CEGL006503), which occurs along floodplains of major streams and minor rivers. While both can be dominated by red maple in the canopy, the understory vegetation differs somewhat, with species more typical of floodplains (Carpinus caroliniana, Cornus amomum, Prunus serotina) in that type, and species typical of more constantly saturated conditions in this type.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: A continuum of Northern Appalachian acidic swamps, with very similar floristics, is expressed through three associations: the coniferous Picea rubens - Abies balsamea / Gaultheria hispidula / Osmunda cinnamomea / Sphagnum spp. Swamp Forest (CEGL006312), the mixed Picea rubens - Acer rubrum / Ilex mucronata Swamp Forest (CEGL006198), and the present type (deciduous), with all gradations of coniferous to deciduous evident.

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 Central Appalachian-Northeast Acidic Swamp
Alliance Northeastern Red Maple - Green Ash Swamp Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006119 Acer rubrum / Carex stricta - Onoclea sensibilis Wet Woodland
CEGL006156 Acer rubrum / Rhododendron viscosum - Clethra alnifolia Swamp Forest
CEGL006198 Picea rubens - Acer rubrum / Ilex mucronata Swamp Forest
CEGL006406 Acer rubrum - Fraxinus (pennsylvanica, americana) / Lindera benzoin / Symplocarpus foetidus Swamp Forest
CEGL006502 Acer rubrum - Fraxinus nigra - (Tsuga canadensis) / Tiarella cordifolia Swamp Forest
CEGL006503 Acer rubrum - Prunus serotina / Cornus amomum 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
Maine Red maple - sensitive fern swamp Broader   Gawler 2002
Massachusetts Spruce-Fir Swamp Finer   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Hampshire Red maple - Sphagnum basin swamp Finer   Sperduto 2000
New York Red maple-hardwood swamp Broader   Edinger et al. 2002
Vermont Red Maple-Black Ash Seepage Swamp Intersects   Thompson and Sorenson 2000
Vermont Red Maple-Sphagnum Acidic Basin Swamp Intersects   Thompson and Sorenson 2000


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: NNE Acidic Seepage Swamp
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.
Related Concept Name: Northern red maple swamp
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: NAP [Northern Appalachian-Boreal Forest Working Group]. 1998. Northern Appalachian-Boreal Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.
Related Concept Name: Red Maple - Sphagnum Basin Swamp
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Sperduto, D. D., and W. F. Nichols. 2004. Natural communities of New Hampshire: A guide and classification. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord. 242 pp.
Related Concept Name: Red Maple: 108
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.
Related Concept Name: Seasonally flooded basin swamps (Zone I)
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Golet, F. C., A. J. K. Calhoun, W. R. DeRagon, D. J. Lowry, and A. J. Gold. 1993. Ecology of red maple swamps in the glaciated Northeast: A community profile. USDI Fish & Wildlife Service, Washington, DC. 151 pp.
Related Concept Name: Southern New England acidic seepage swamp, black ash swamp
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
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
CES201.574 Northern Appalachian-Acadian Conifer-Hardwood Acidic Swamp
CES202.604 North-Central Appalachian Acidic Swamp


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4G5 (20Jun2006)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Type is well-distributed in the glaciated Northeast.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: MApotentially occurs, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, VT
Canadian Province Distribution: NB, QCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This forest of stream drainages and wetland borders occurs from northern New England south sporadically to northern New Jersey.

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: Fundy Coastal and Interior Section
Section Code: 212C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Glaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212F 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
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: White Mountain Section
Section Code: M212A Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Section Name: Vermont-New Hampshire Upland Section
Section Code: M212B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Green, Taconic, Berkshire Mountain Section
Section Code: M212C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Adirondack Mountain Section
Section Code: M212D Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The deciduous canopy ranges from closed to patchy, but the overall cover is that of a closed-canopy forest. The shrub layer, particularly in openings, is generally well-developed. The herb layer is usually fairly well-developed and may be extensive. The canopy is characteristically dominated by Acer rubrum with associates of Fraxinus nigra, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Betula alleghaniensis, and Ulmus americana. Tsuga canadensis, Picea rubens, and Abies balsamea, while not abundant, characterize this association as one of cooler climates. (The Picea and Abies drop out in the southernmost occurrences of this type.) Typical shrubs include Vaccinium corymbosum (often dominant), Ilex verticillata, Ilex mucronata (= Nemopanthus mucronatus), Lindera benzoin, Rosa palustris, Alnus incana, Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides, and Viburnum recognitum. There is north-to-south variability in the shrub component as well, with Ilex mucronata characteristic of all but the southernmost occurrences, and Lindera absent from more northerly occurrences. The herbaceous layer is often dominated by ferns, including Osmunda cinnamomea, Osmunda regalis, and Osmunda claytoniana. Onoclea sensibilis, Dryopteris cristata, and Thelypteris palustris are often present, though less abundant. Carex stricta may be locally dominant. Other species frequent in the herbaceous layer include Impatiens capensis, Caltha palustris, Calamagrostis canadensis, Carex intumescens, Carex trisperma, and Arisaema triphyllum. The bryophyte flora is not well-documented; Sphagnum spp. and Mnium spp. are frequent, although not necessarily abundant.

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)  
 
 
Ilex verticillata G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Vaccinium corymbosum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Arisaema triphyllum G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Impatiens capensis G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Dryopteris cristata G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Onoclea sensibilis G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Osmunda cinnamomea G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)  
 
 
Osmunda claytoniana G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)  
 
 
Osmunda regalis G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)  
 
 
Thelypteris palustris G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex stricta G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This forested red maple swamp occupies stream drainages and wetland borders. The hydrologic regime is variable among occurrences, generally influenced both by groundwater seepage and seasonal flooding. This association may occur in basins with little drainage, or on stream floodplains that remain saturated throughout most of the growing season. Soils vary according to setting; generally the substrate is mineral soil, acidic to (less commonly) circumneutral, but in some settings organic soil may be well-developed.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): D.D. Sperduto and W.F. Nichols (2004)
Element Description Edition Date: 20Jun2006
Element Description Author(s): S.C. Gawler and S.L. Neid
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 20Jun2006
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): S.C. Gawler

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


References
  • CDPNQ [Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec]. No date. Unpublished data. Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec, Québec.

  • 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.

  • Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.

  • Gawler, S. C. 2002. Natural landscapes of Maine: A guide to vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta, ME.

  • Gawler, S. C., and A. Cutko. 2010. Natural landscapes of Maine: A classification of vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta.

  • Golet, F. C., A. J. K. Calhoun, W. R. DeRagon, D. J. Lowry, and A. J. Gold. 1993. Ecology of red maple swamps in the glaciated Northeast: A community profile. USDI Fish & Wildlife Service, Washington, DC. 151 pp.

  • Lubinski, S., K. Hop, and S. Gawler. 2003. Vegetation Mapping Program: Acadia National Park, Maine. Report produced by U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, and Maine Natural Areas Program in conjunction with M. Story (NPS Vegetation Mapping Coordinator) NPS, Natural Resources Information Division, Inventory and Monitoring Program, and K. Brown (USGS Vegetation Mapping Coordinator), USGS, Center for Biological Informatics and NatureServe. [http://biology.usgs.gov/npsveg/ftp/vegmapping/acad/reports/acadrpt.pdf]

  • NAP [Northern Appalachian-Boreal Forest Working Group]. 1998. Northern Appalachian-Boreal Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.

  • 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.

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

  • Sperduto, D. D., and W. F. Nichols. 2004. Natural communities of New Hampshire: A guide and classification. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord. 242 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]

  • Thompson, E. H., and E. R. Sorenson. 2005. Wetland, woodland, wildland: A guide to the natural communities of Vermont. The Nature Conservancy and the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. University Press of New England, Hanover, NH. 456 pp.

  • Zika, P. F., and K. T. Dann. 1985. Rare plants on ultramafic soils in Vermont. Rhodora 87:293-304.


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