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Taxodium ascendens / Ilex myrtifolia Swamp Forest
Translated Name: Pond-cypress / Myrtle Dahoon Swamp Forest
Common Name: Pond-cypress / Myrtle Dahoon Depression Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL007418
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This forest, dominated by a moderate to dense canopy of Taxodium ascendens over Ilex myrtifolia, occurs in depressions on the Coastal Plain from southern North Carolina south to panhandle and peninsular Florida, and west to Alabama and Louisiana. Other characteristic species in the canopy, which can occasionally share dominance with Taxodium ascendens are Nyssa biflora and (from southeastern South Carolina south) Pinus elliottii var. elliottii. Typical occurrences have a mostly closed canopy, little understory with shrubs and herbs established on fallen logs, tree bases or areas where the substrate is elevated. Deep areas may have rooted aquatics and surface water will be present for extended periods of the year.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low - Poorly Documented

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 Pond-cypress Basin Swamp
Group Pond-cypress Basin Swamp
Alliance Pond-cypress Mixed Shrub Depression Swamp Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004959 Taxodium ascendens / Ilex myrtifolia / Hypericum myrtifolium / Lobelia floridana - Polygala cymosa Swamp Woodland
CEGL007420 Taxodium ascendens / (Nyssa biflora) / Leucothoe racemosa - Lyonia lucida - Morella cerifera 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These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.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
Alabama Taxodium ascendens / Ilex myrtifolia Depression Forest Equivalent Certain Schotz pers. comm.
Florida Dome Swamp Broader   FNAI 1997
Louisiana Slash Pine-Cypress/Hardwood Forest Broader   Smith 1996
North Carolina Coastal Plain Depression Swamp (Cypress Dome Subtype) Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012
South Carolina Pond Cypress Pond Undetermined   Nelson 1986


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Dome Swamp, Cypress Dome subtype
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 1992b. Natural community classification. Unpublished document. The Nature Conservancy, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee. 16 pp.
Related Concept Name: IIA10a. Pond Cypress Forest
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Allard, D. J. 1990. Southeastern United States ecological community classification. Interim report, Version 1.2. The Nature Conservancy, Southeast Regional Office, Chapel Hill, NC. 96 pp.
Related Concept Name: Oligotrophic Seasonally Flooded Forest
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Rawinski, T. J. 1992. A classification of Virginia's indigenous biotic communities: Vegetated terrestrial, palustrine, and estuarine community classes. Unpublished document. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. Natural Heritage Technical Report No. 92-21. Richmond, VA. 25 pp.
Related Concept Name: Pond Cypress (23)
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: USFS [U.S. Forest Service]. 1988. Silvicultural examination and prescription field book. USDA Forest Service, Southern Region. Atlanta, GA. 35 pp.
Related Concept Name: Pond Cypress Pond Forest
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Oberholster, C. 1993. Preliminary list of natural communities of Alabama. Unpublished document. Alabama Department Conservation and Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Section, Montgomery, AL. 6 pp.
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Ambrose, J. 1990a. Georgia's natural communities--A preliminary list. Unpublished document. Georgia Natural Heritage Inventory. 5 pp.
Related Concept Name: Pondcypress: 100
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
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: Slash Pine-Cypress/Hardwood Forest
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Smith, L. M., compiler. 1996a. Natural plant communities in Louisiana currently recognized by the Louisiana Natural Heritage Program. Unpublished document. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Natural Heritage Program, Baton Rouge. 2 pp.
Related Concept Name: Small Depression Pond
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.
Related Concept Name: Small Depression Swamp (Cypress Dome Subtype)
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Schafale, M. 2000. Fourth approximation guide. Coastal Plain. January 2000 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.251 Southern Coastal Plain Nonriverine Cypress Dome
CES203.262 Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Depression Pond
CES203.558 East Gulf Coastal Plain Depression Pond


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3? (04Oct2004)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Threats to these ponds include intensive forestry for pulpwood production, in which ponds are sometimes drained and often clearcut, treated with herbicide, bedded and planted in Pinus elliottii (slash pine). Also the demand for cypress mulch has created a market incentive for the pond cypress trees to be clearcut. Generally, the natural landscape context for these habitats (i.e., Pinus palustris (longleaf pine) flatwoods) is preserved only on certain U.S. Forest Service lands (for instance, Apalachicola National Forest) and to a lesser extent private conservation and/or hunting preserves. The widespread stocking of these ponds with mosquito fish (Gambusia spp.) for mosquito control has resulted in increased predation of amphibians. The use of off-road vehicles in cypress depressions is also degrading these habitats.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: AL, FL, GA, LApotentially occurs, MS, NC, SC
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This forest occurs in the Coastal Plain from southern North Carolina south to panhandle and peninsular Florida, and west to Alabama and Louisiana.

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
Section Name: Florida Coastal Lowlands (Western) Section
Section Code: 232D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Stands are dominated by a moderate to dense canopy of Taxodium ascendens over Ilex myrtifolia. Other characteristic species in the canopy are Nyssa biflora and (from southeastern South Carolina south) Pinus elliottii var. elliottii. Other common species in this community are Nyssa biflora, Magnolia virginiana, Acer rubrum, Persea palustris, Cephalanthus occidentalis, Cyrilla racemiflora, Clethra alnifolia, Lyonia lucida, Dulichium arundinaceum, Osmunda cinnamomea, Pontederia cordata, Boehmeria cylindrica, Triadenum spp., Rhynchospora macrostachya, Rhynchospora inundata, Carex glaucescens, Carex spp., Juncus spp., Polygonum spp., and Hydrocotyle spp. Floating aquatic species include Brasenia schreberi, Nymphoides spp., Nuphar advena, Cabomba caroliniana, Utricularia spp., and Potamogeton spp. Exotics Ligustrum sinense and Triadica sebifera (= Sapium sebiferum) may be problems in this community. Pinus elliottii is present from southeastern South Carolina south. A typical occurrence will have a mostly closed canopy, little understory with shrubs and herbs established on fallen logs, tree bases or areas where the substrate is elevated. Deep areas will have rooted aquatics, and water will be present on the surface mostly throughout. It should be noted that the crosswalked NC community, Small Depression Pond, is more broadly defined and not all these species may be applicable.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Triadica sebifera G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy      
 
 
Taxodium ascendens G3 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Ilex amelanchier G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Litsea aestivalis G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Ligustrum sinense G3 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Pieris phillyreifolia G3 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Ilex myrtifolia G3 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Agalinis fasciculata G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Drosera filiformis G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Eupatorium leptophyllum G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Habenaria repens G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Hypericum harperi G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Ludwigia linifolia G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Ludwigia suffruticosa G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Polygonum hirsutum G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Rhexia aristosa G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Rhexia cubensis G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Sabatia bartramii G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Coelorachis rugosa G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Cyperus lecontei G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Eleocharis cellulosa G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Eleocharis elongata G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Eleocharis melanocarpa G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Eleocharis robbinsii G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Eleocharis rostellata G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Rhynchospora alba G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Rhynchospora pleiantha G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Rhynchospora tracyi G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Ludwigia peploides ssp. glabrescens G3 Aquatic herb Floating aquatic      
 
 
Nuphar lutea G3 Aquatic herb Floating aquatic    
 
 
Nymphaea odorata G3 Aquatic herb Floating aquatic    
 
 
Nymphoides cordata G3 Aquatic herb Floating aquatic      
 
 
Utricularia cornuta G3 Aquatic herb Floating aquatic      
 
 
Utricularia olivacea G3 Aquatic herb Floating aquatic      
 
 
Myriophyllum laxum G3 Aquatic herb Submerged aquatic      
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Hypericum harperi
  (Sharp-lobe St. John's-wort)
G3G4  
Lithobates capito
  (Carolina Gopher Frog)
G3  
Litsea aestivalis
  (Pondspice)
G3?  
Myriophyllum laxum
  (Loose Water-milfoil)
G3  
Pieris phillyreifolia
  (Climbing Fetterbush)
G3  
Polygonum hirsutum
  (Hairy Smartweed)
G3G4  
Rhexia aristosa
  (Awned Meadowbeauty)
G3G4  
Rhynchospora pleiantha
  (Brown Beakrush)
G2G3  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This forest occurs in depressions on the Coastal Plain from southern North Carolina south to panhandle and peninsular Florida, and west to Alabama and Louisiana. Long hydroperiods (probably exceeding 250 days) are necessary for maintenance of the community; sites usually are underlain by a clay lens. The community occurs in very low topographic positions, almost always in small coastal plain depressions and Carolina bays. Possibly may occur in low spots in a flatwoods environment. Two occurrences in South Carolina were found on Byars loam (clayey kaolinitic thermic Umbric Paleaquult) and Rembert loam (clayey kaolinitic thermic Typic Ochraquult) (C. Aulbach-Smith pers. comm.) soil series, and one in Osceola County, Florida, was on a Typic Humaquept (Huck 1987). Typically the water and soil is peat-influenced and acidic. The following is from Wharton (1978): "The soil of cypress ponds is basic [acidic? -CWN] , pH 5.5. Phosphorus is extremely low. The following are the mean figures for five environmental variables of cypress ponds as given by Monk (1968) in ppm: Calcium 185, magnesium 55.2, potassium 15.8, phosphorus 1.2, moisture 35." Most occurrences probably are underlain by a clay lens, especially when they occur in Carolina bays.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Fires probably are very infrequent since this community is nearly permanently flooded. Water levels probably are fairly steady within occurrences year-round. Succession within this community may lead ultimately to development of some sort of bay forest, i.e., forests dominated by Magnolia virginiana, Persea palustris, and Gordonia lasianthus.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): S. Landaal
Element Description Edition Date: 23May1994
Element Description Author(s): S. Landaal
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 04Oct2004
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): C.W. Nordman

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


References
  • Allard, D. J. 1990. Southeastern United States ecological community classification. Interim report, Version 1.2. The Nature Conservancy, Southeast Regional Office, Chapel Hill, NC. 96 pp.

  • Allard, D. J., K. M. Doyle, S. J. Landaal, and R. S. Martin. 1990. Community characterization abstracts for the southeastern United States. Unpublished manuscript. The Nature Conservancy, Southern Heritage Task Force, Chapel Hill, NC.

  • Ambrose, J. 1990a. Georgia's natural communities--A preliminary list. Unpublished document. Georgia Natural Heritage Inventory. 5 pp.

  • Aulbach-Smith, C. Personal communication. Botanical Services of SC.

  • Bennett, S. H., and J. B. Nelson. 1991. Distribution and status of Carolina bays in South Carolina. South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, Nongame and Heritage Trust Section, Columbia. 88 pp.

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

  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 1992a. Natural communities. Unpublished document. The Nature Conservancy, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee. 6 pp.

  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 1992b. Natural community classification. Unpublished document. The Nature Conservancy, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee. 16 pp.

  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 2010a. Guide to the natural communities of Florida: 2010 edition. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee, FL.

  • Faircloth, W. 1971. The vascular flora of central south Georgia. University microfilms. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Georgia, Athens.

  • Huck, R. B. 1987. Plant communities along an edaphic continuum in a central Florida watershed. Florida Scientist 50:111-128.

  • LNHP [Louisiana Natural Heritage Program]. 2009. Natural communities of Louisiana. Louisiana Natural Heritage Program, Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, Baton Rouge. 46 pp. [http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/page_wildlife/6776-Rare%20Natural%20Communities/LA_NAT_COM.pdf]

  • Monk, C. D. 1968. Successional and environmental relationships of the forest vegetation of north central Florida. The American Midland Naturalist 79:441-457.

  • 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.

  • Oberholster, C. 1993. Preliminary list of natural communities of Alabama. Unpublished document. Alabama Department Conservation and Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Section, Montgomery, AL. 6 pp.

  • Rawinski, T. J. 1992. A classification of Virginia's indigenous biotic communities: Vegetated terrestrial, palustrine, and estuarine community classes. Unpublished document. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. Natural Heritage Technical Report No. 92-21. Richmond, VA. 25 pp.

  • SCWMRD [South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department]. 1984. Inventory of botanical natural areas in Colleton, Dorchester, Horry, and Jasper counties, South Carolina. South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, Columbia. 144 pp.

  • 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.

  • Schotz, Al. Personal communication. Community Ecologist. Alabama Natural Heritage Program. Huntingdon College, Massey Hall, 1500 East Fairview Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36106-2148.

  • Smith, L. M., compiler. 1996a. Natural plant communities in Louisiana currently recognized by the Louisiana Natural Heritage Program. Unpublished document. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Natural Heritage Program, Baton Rouge. 2 pp.

  • Southeastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Durham, NC.

  • USFS [U.S. Forest Service]. 1988. Silvicultural examination and prescription field book. USDA Forest Service, Southern Region. Atlanta, GA. 35 pp.

  • Wharton, C. H. 1978. The natural environments of Georgia. Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta. 227 pp.


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