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Fagus grandifolia - Quercus nigra Forest
Translated Name: American Beech - Water Oak Forest
Common Name: Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain Mesic Beech - Water Oak Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL007211
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: Mesic mixed hardwood forests of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain dominated by Fagus grandifolia and Quercus nigra with limited Quercus alba. This community grades into drier zones in which Quercus falcata, Pinus echinata, and Pinus taeda are common. Vaccinium sp. and Arundinaria gigantea are important in the shrub layer. An additional example has a canopy dominated by Fagus grandifolia, Liriodendron tulipifera, and Quercus nigra. The understory is diverse and contains Ostrya virginiana, Carpinus caroliniana, and Cornus florida. Symplocos tinctoria and Callicarpa americana are common shrubs in this example. Another occurrence of this vegetation which has been documented from Richland County in South Carolina is dominated by Fagus grandifolia, Quercus nigra, and Liquidambar styraciflua. Other canopy species that may be present include Nyssa sylvatica, Quercus alba, Quercus laurifolia, Quercus michauxii, Quercus pagoda, Ulmus alata, Acer rubrum, and Liriodendron tulipifera. Pinus taeda may also be present particularly in occurrences with a history of disturbance. Ilex opaca dominates the subcanopy with Carpinus caroliniana and Cornus florida present. The well-developed shrub layer contains a variety of species, including Euonymus americanus, Rhododendron canescens, Vaccinium elliottii, Vaccinium pallidum, Gaylussacia dumosa, Gaylussacia frondosa, Symplocos tinctoria, Arundinaria gigantea, Asimina triloba, Callicarpa americana, and others. The herbaceous layer ranges from sparse to moderately well-developed and among the species that occur are Osmunda cinnamomea, Polystichum acrostichoides, Mitchella repens, Chasmanthium sessiliflorum (= Chasmanthium laxum var. sessiliflorum), Malaxis unifolia, Arisaema triphyllum, Athyrium filix-femina ssp. asplenioides, Dichanthelium boscii, Goodyera pubescens, Carex debilis, Carex abscondita, and Tipularia discolor. The vine/liana stratum is sparse and can contain Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Smilax bona-nox, Toxicodendron radicans, Bignonia capreolata, and Smilax tamnoides (= Smilax hispida) among others. The South Carolina example occurs on middle to lower convex slopes. Examples of this association seem to be extremely limited, as most similar sites have substantial amounts of Quercus alba. Vegetation which may pertain to this association from Chowan and Gates counties in North Carolina is described as being dominated by Fagus grandifolia, with Quercus nigra important on the moister sands.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: Examples of this association seem to be extremely limited, as most similar sites have substantial amounts of Quercus alba.

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 Southern Mesic Mixed Broadleaf Forest
Group Southern Mesic Beech - Oak - Mixed Deciduous Forest
Alliance Mesic Southern Coastal Plain Deciduous Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL007206 Fagus grandifolia - Quercus alba - (Acer barbatum) / Mixed Herbs Forest
CEGL007863 Fagus grandifolia - Quercus alba - Quercus laurifolia / Galax urceolata 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 Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest (Coastal Plain Subtype) Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Fagus grandifolia - Quercus (alba, michauxii, pagoda) / Stewartia malacodendron Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, K. D. Patterson, and K. Taverna. 2006. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Version 2.2. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/ncTIV.shtml]
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2003. Preliminary vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks. Regional (VA-WVA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2003. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.
Related Concept Name: Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest
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
CES203.242 Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Mesic Hardwood Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3 (27Mar1998)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: NC, SC, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: These forests are currently known from the Coastal Plain of North Carolina, South Carolina, and 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: 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: Stands of these mesic mixed hardwood forests are dominated by Fagus grandifolia and Quercus nigra, with limited Quercus alba. Other canopy species that may be present include Nyssa sylvatica, Quercus alba, Quercus laurifolia, Quercus michauxii, Quercus pagoda, Quercus falcata, Ulmus alata, Acer rubrum, Liquidambar styraciflua, and Liriodendron tulipifera, the latter two of which may share dominance. Pinus taeda may also be present particularly in occurrences with a history of disturbance. The understory is diverse and may contain Ilex opaca (which may dominate), Ostrya virginiana, Carpinus caroliniana, Oxydendrum arboreum, and Cornus florida. The well-developed shrub layer contains a variety of species, including Symplocos tinctoria, Callicarpa americana, Arundinaria gigantea, Euonymus americanus, Rhododendron canescens, Vaccinium elliottii, Vaccinium pallidum, Gaylussacia dumosa, Gaylussacia frondosa, Stewartia malacodendron, Styrax grandifolius, Asimina triloba, and others. The herbaceous layer ranges from sparse to moderately well-developed and among the species that occur are Osmunda cinnamomea, Polystichum acrostichoides, Mitchella repens, Chasmanthium sessiliflorum (= Chasmanthium laxum var. sessiliflorum), Malaxis unifolia, Arisaema triphyllum, Athyrium filix-femina ssp. asplenioides, Dichanthelium boscii, Goodyera pubescens, Carex debilis, Carex abscondita, and Tipularia discolor. The vine/liana stratum is sparse and can contain Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Smilax bona-nox, Toxicodendron radicans, Bignonia capreolata, and Smilax tamnoides (= Smilax hispida), among others. The exotic species Lonicera japonica may be present in examples of these forests. Vegetation which may pertain to this association from Chowan and Gates counties in North Carolina is described as being dominated by Fagus grandifolia, with Quercus nigra important on the moister sands.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Fagus grandifolia G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus nigra G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Lonicera japonica G3 Liana Herb (field)      
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: These forests occur on mesic slopes and upland flats in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain (TNC 1998b). In Congaree Swamp National Monument, this forest type occurs in the uplands of the northwestern portion of the park, on middle to lower convex slopes (TNC 1998b). This community grades into drier zones in which Quercus falcata, Pinus echinata, and Pinus taeda are common. This vegetation occurs on slight rises in nonriverine swamps (swamp islands). These small-patch occurrences range throughout eastern North Carolina and Virginia. Examples are documented at Great Dismal Swamp NWR and Northwest River, Virginia.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: In Virginia, this type often grades into nonriverine wet hardwood forests with more hydrophytic oaks (G.P. Fleming pers. comm. 2004).


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): M.P. Schafale and A.S. Weakley
Element Description Edition Date: 31Jan2005
Element Description Author(s): J. Teague
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 27Mar1998

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


References
  • Fleming, G. P., K. Taverna, and P. P. Coulling. 2007b. Vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks, eastern region. Regional (VA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2007. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • 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., P. P. Coulling, K. D. Patterson, and K. Taverna. 2006. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Version 2.2. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/ncTIV.shtml]

  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2003. Preliminary vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks. Regional (VA-WVA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2003. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • 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.

  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2011b. Analysis of Coastal Plain / Outer Piedmont bottomlands and non-alluvial wetlands in Virginia, 400 plots. In-house analysis, January 2011. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • Fleming, Gary P. Personal communication. Ecologist, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA.

  • Frost, C. C., H. E. LeGrand, Jr., and R. E. Schneider. 1990. Regional inventory for critical natural areas, wetland ecosystems, and endangered species habitats of the Albemarle-Pamlico estuarine region: Phase 1. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh, NC. 454 pp.

  • Nelson, J. B. 1986. The natural communities of South Carolina: Initial classification and description. South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Columbia, SC. 55 pp.

  • 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. 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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