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Picea rubens - Acer rubrum / Ilex mucronata Swamp Forest
Translated Name: Red Spruce - Red Maple / Catberry Swamp Forest
Common Name: Red Spruce - Red Maple Acidic Swamp Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006198
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This red spruce - red maple swamp occurs in the glaciated Northeast. It occurs most commonly in basins or low flats with poor drainage, characterized by soils that are poorly drained organic muck or shallow peat over clay loam. The substrate is characterized by pronounced hummock-and-hollow microtopography with abundant slowly decomposing leaf/needle litter. The tree canopy is closed to partly open, and the tall-shrub layer is often well-developed. Dwarf-shrubs are sparse, but herbs typically form high cover. The ground layer features extensive Sphagnum and other bryophytes. The canopy is codominated by Picea rubens and Acer rubrum, in association with other trees such as Betula alleghaniensis, Betula populifolia, Thuja occidentalis, Abies balsamea, and, occasionally, Tsuga canadensis. The most abundant shrubs are Vaccinium corymbosum, Ilex mucronata, Ilex verticillata, Spiraea alba, and Alnus incana. The herbaceous layer is generally dominated by the ferns Osmunda cinnamomea, Osmunda regalis, Onoclea sensibilis, and Thelypteris palustris. Associated herbs include Carex trisperma, Cornus canadensis, Doellingeria umbellata, Trientalis borealis, Oclemena acuminata, Carex intumescens, and others. The bryophyte layer is dominated by Sphagnum spp. including Sphagnum girgensohnii and Sphagnum magellanicum. This association is differentiated from Picea rubens - Abies balsamea / Gaultheria hispidula / Osmunda cinnamomea / Sphagnum spp. Swamp Forest (CEGL006312) of the Northern Appalachian and adjacent ecoregions by its mixed canopy, lack of Abies balsamea and presence of Vaccinium corymbosum and Ilex verticillata. This association is differentiated from Picea rubens - Acer rubrum / Ilex verticillata Swamp Forest (CEGL006556) of the Central Appalachians by the presence of Thuja occidentalis and Cornus canadensis. Although Nyssa sylvatica may be present in some occurrences of the southern range limit, this species is not characteristic of this type. This association is differentiated from those of Thuja occidentalis - Acer rubrum - Larix laricina Swamp Forest Alliance (A3720) by its restriction to acidic wetlands and the lower importance of Thuja occidentalis. It can be compositionally similar to Acer rubrum / Ilex mucronata - Vaccinium corymbosum Swamp Forest (CEGL006220), except in the reduced amount of red maple and the increased amount of conifers in the present type.



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 Laurentian-Acadian Flooded & Swamp Forest
Group Laurentian-Acadian Acidic Swamp
Alliance Northern Appalachian Red Spruce 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
CEGL006220 Acer rubrum / Ilex mucronata - Vaccinium corymbosum Swamp Forest
CEGL006312 Picea rubens - Abies balsamea / Gaultheria hispidula / Osmunda cinnamomea / Sphagnum spp. Swamp Forest
CEGL006556 Picea rubens - Acer rubrum / Ilex verticillata 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
Connecticut Picea mariana / Nemopanthus mucronata community Undetermined   Metzler and Barrett 2006
Connecticut Picea rubens / Nemopanthus mucronata community Equivalent   Metzler and Barrett 2001
Maine Red maple - sensitive fern swamp Broader   Gawler 2002
Maine Spruce - fir - cinnamon fern forest Broader   Gawler 2002
Massachusetts Spruce-Fir Swamp Broader   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Hampshire Red spruce swamp Equivalent   Sperduto and Nichols 2004
New York Spruce-fir swamp Broader   Edinger et al. 2002
Vermont Red Spruce-Cinnamon Fern Swamp Equivalent   Thompson and Sorenson 2000


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Red Spruce 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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES201.574 Northern Appalachian-Acadian Conifer-Hardwood Acidic Swamp


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: GNR (01Dec1997)
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, VT
Canadian Province Distribution: NB, QCpotentially occurs
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This community occurs in New England north to New Brunswick and south to New York.

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: Central Maine Coastal and Embayment Section
Section Code: 212D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: St. Lawrence and Champlain Valley Section
Section Code: 212E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Glaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212G 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
Section Name: Northern Appalachian Piedmont Section
Section Code: 221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Continental) Province
Province Code: 222 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Erie and Ontario Lake Plain Section
Section Code: 222I 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: Confident or certain
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: Confident or certain
Section Name: Catskill Mountain Section
Section Code: M212E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Tug Hill Plateau Section
Section Code: M212F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The tree canopy is closed to partly open, and the tall-shrub layer is often well-developed. Dwarf-shrubs are sparse, but herbs typically form high cover. The ground layer features extensive Sphagnum and other bryophytes. The canopy is codominated by Picea rubens and Acer rubrum, in association with other trees such as Betula alleghaniensis, Betula populifolia, Thuja occidentalis, Abies balsamea, and, occasionally, Tsuga canadensis. The most abundant shrubs are Vaccinium corymbosum, Ilex mucronata (= Nemopanthus mucronatus), Ilex verticillata, Spiraea alba, and Alnus incana. The herbaceous layer is generally dominated by the ferns Osmunda cinnamomea, Osmunda regalis, Onoclea sensibilis, and Thelypteris palustris. Associated herbs include Carex trisperma, Cornus canadensis, Doellingeria umbellata (= Aster umbellatus), Trientalis borealis, Oclemena acuminata (= Aster acuminatus), Carex intumescens, and others. The bryophyte layer is dominated by Sphagnum spp. including Sphagnum girgensohnii and Sphagnum magellanicum.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer rubrum GNR Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)  
 
 
Picea rubens GNR Needle-leaved tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)  
 
 
Nemopanthus mucronatus GNR Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Osmunda cinnamomea GNR Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)  
 
 
Carex trisperma GNR Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This spruce - red maple swamp occurs in the glaciated Northeast. It occurs most commonly in basins or low flats with poor drainage, characterized by soils that are poorly drained organic muck or shallow peat over clay loam. The substrate is characterized by pronounced hummock-and-hollow microtopography with abundant slowly decomposing leaf/needle litter.


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: 27Jan2003
Element Description 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.

  • 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.

  • Küchler, A. W. 1956. Notes on the vegetation of southeastern Mount Desert Island, Maine. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 38:335-392.

  • 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]

  • Metzler, K., and J. Barrett. 2006. The vegetation of Connecticut: A preliminary classification. State Geological and Natural History Survey, Report of Investigations No. 12. Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Hartford, CT.

  • Moore, B., and N. Taylor. 1927. An ecological study of the vegetation of Mount Desert Island, Maine. Brooklyn Botanical Garden Memoirs 3:1-151.

  • 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.


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