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Quercus rubra - Quercus prinus - Carya ovalis / (Cercis canadensis) / Solidago caesia Forest
Translated Name: Northern Red Oak - Chestnut Oak - Red Hickory / (Eastern Redbud) / Wreath Goldenrod Forest
Common Name: Central Appalachian Basic Oak - Hickory Forest (Western Piedmont / Lower Blue Ridge Type)
Unique Identifier: CEGL008514
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This community is currently known from a narrow range in the Northern Blue Ridge and adjacent inner Piedmont of Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia. It is restricted to the western Piedmont foothills and lower- to middle-elevation slopes and spurs of the main Blue Ridge. Elevation ranges from 140 to 950 m (450-3100 feet). The type is generally associated with base-rich soils weathered from mafic igneous and metamorphic rocks, including metabasalt, amphibolite, pyroxene-bearing granulite, charnockite, and actinolite schist. It also occurs less frequently on granitic rocks and calcareous metasiltones and phyllites. Habitats are more-or-less rocky, gentle to steep, submesic to subxeric slopes with a wide range of aspects. Midslope topographic positions are typical, but stands occasionally occur on lower or upper slopes and crests. This association is a true oak-hickory forest with mixed canopy dominance by several Quercus spp. and Carya spp. In particular, Carya ovalis, Quercus rubra, and Quercus prinus are consistent codominants and have the highest importance values based on standard forestry statistics generated from stem-diameter measurements. Quercus alba, Quercus velutina, Carya alba, Carya glabra, Fraxinus americana, and Liriodendron tulipifera are less constant canopy species but achieve codominance in some stands. Carya spp., Quercus spp., Acer rubrum, Nyssa sylvatica, Fraxinus americana, and Sassafras albidum are well-represented in lower tree strata. Cercis canadensis (at lower elevations) and, to a lesser extent, Cornus florida dominate the shrub and lowest tree layers, while Viburnum acerifolium is a common low shrub. A large number of herbaceous species occur in the type.



Classification

Classification Confidence: High
Classification Comments: In the context of the VDNH George Washington / Jefferson National Forest dataset (VDNH unpubl. data), Desmodium nudiflorum has the highest unscaled adjusted Indicator Value among herbs of this community type. However, plots representing this association were also analyzed in a 477-plot dataset of Piedmont and Inner Coastal Plain vegetation, where Desmodium nudiflorum attained much higher indicator status in other vegetation types. Because of these results, Solidago caesia was chosen as a nominal herb for this community, instead of Desmodium nudiflorum.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 1 - Forest & Woodland
Subclass 1.B - Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland
Formation 1.B.2 - Cool Temperate Forest & Woodland
Division 1.B.2.Na - Eastern North American Forest & Woodland
Macrogroup Appalachian-Northeastern Oak - Hardwood - Pine Forest & Woodland
Group Northeastern Oak - Hickory Forest & Woodland
Alliance Northeastern Oak - Hickory Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006057 Quercus prinus - Quercus rubra / Hamamelis virginiana Forest
CEGL006216 Quercus alba - Carya glabra - Fraxinus americana / Muhlenbergia sobolifera - Elymus hystrix Forest
CEGL008515 Quercus alba - Quercus prinus - Carya glabra / Cornus florida / Vaccinium pallidum Forest
CEGL008516 Quercus prinus - Quercus rubra - Carya ovalis / Carex pensylvanica - (Calamagrostis porteri) Forest
CEGL008518 Quercus rubra - Carya ovata - Fraxinus americana / Actaea racemosa - Hydrophyllum virginianum Forest
CEGL008523 Quercus prinus - Quercus rubra / Vaccinium pallidum - (Rhododendron periclymenoides) 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
Maryland Quercus rubra - Quercus prinus - Carya ovalis / Cercis canadensis / Solidago caesia Forest Equivalent Certain Harrison 2011


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Quercus montana - Quercus rubra - Carya ovalis / Desmodium nudiflorum - Dichanthelium boscii Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P. 2002b. Preliminary classification of Piedmont & Inner Coastal Plain vegetation types in Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 02-14. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 29 pp.
Related Concept Name: Quercus rubra - Quercus montana - Carya ovalis / (Cercis canadensis) / Solidago caesia Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and K. Taverna. 2006. Vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks, western region. Regional (VA-WVA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2006. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.
Related Concept Name: Quercus rubra - Quercus montana - Carya ovalis / Solidago caesia - Desmodium nudiflorum Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Young, J., G. Fleming, P. Townsend, and J. Foster. 2007a. Vegetation of Shenandoah National Park in relation to environmental gradients. Final Report, volume 1.1. Unpublished report submitted to the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. 103 pp. plus appendices and GIS products.
Related Concept Name: Quercus rubra - Quercus prinus - Carya ovalis / Cercis canadensis / Solidago caesia Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and P. P. Coulling. 2001. Ecological communities of the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Preliminary classification and description of vegetation types. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 317 pp.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Harrison, J. W., compiler. 2004. Classification of vegetation communities of Maryland: First iteration. A subset of the International Classification of Ecological Communities: Terrestrial Vegetation of the United States, NatureServe. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis. 243 pp.
Related Concept Name: Basic Oak - Hickory 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.
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Harrison, J. W., compiler. 2004. Classification of vegetation communities of Maryland: First iteration. A subset of the International Classification of Ecological Communities: Terrestrial Vegetation of the United States, NatureServe. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis. 243 pp.
Related Concept Name: Central Appalachian Basic Oak - Hickory Forest (Submontane / Foothills Type)
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Young, J., G. Fleming, P. Townsend, and J. Foster. 2006. Vegetation of Shenandoah National Park in relation to environmental gradients. Final Report (v.1.1). Research technical report prepared for USDI, National Park Service. USGS/NPS Vegetation Mapping Program. 92 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: White Oak - Black Oak - Northern Red Oak: 52
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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.592 Northeastern Interior Dry-Mesic Oak Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3G4 (23Feb2004)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Although currently known from a relatively small geographic range, this community type covers large areas at low elevations on the Northern Blue Ridge and some of its Piedmont foothills. In recent years, the abundance of Cornus florida has been significantly reduced by mortality resulting from dogwood anthracnose. Stands are threatened by removal of commercially valuable timber species (e.g., Quercus rubra, Quercus prinus, Quercus alba, Carya spp.). Some stands of this association have been modified by repeated cutting and are now heavily dominated by Liriodendron tulipifera. Symphoricarpos orbiculatus, Polygonum caespitosum var. longisetum, and exotics such as Ailanthus altissima, Rubus phoenicolasius, and Celastrus orbiculata often become established in canopy gaps following timber harvests or gypsy moth damage.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: MD, VA, WV
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community type is currently known from a narrow range in the Northern Blue Ridge and adjacent inner Piedmont of Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia, extending into the northern periphery of the Southern Blue Ridge. The type appears to be co-extensive with several mafic, igneous and metamorphic rocks, but also occurs on granitic substrates, metasiltstone and phyllite.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Subtropical Division
Province Name: Southeastern Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 231 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Appalachian Piedmont Section
Section Code: 231A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Hot Continental Regime Mountains
Province Name: Central Appalachian Broadleaf Forest - Coniferous Forest - Meadow Province
Province Code: M221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Blue Ridge Mountains Section
Section Code: M221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This association is a true oak-hickory forest with variable mixed canopy dominance by several Quercus spp. and Carya spp. Carya ovalis, Quercus rubra, and Quercus prinus are consistent codominants and have the highest importance values (IV) based on standard forestry statistics generated from stem-diameter measurements. Quercus alba, Quercus velutina, Carya alba, Carya glabra, Fraxinus americana, and Liriodendron tulipifera are less constant canopy species but achieve codominance in some stands. Carya spp., Quercus spp., Acer rubrum, Nyssa sylvatica, Fraxinus americana, and Sassafras albidum are well-represented in lower tree strata. Cercis canadensis and, to a lesser extent, Cornus florida dominate the shrub and lowest tree layers, while Viburnum acerifolium is a common low shrub. Cercis canadensis, however, is elevation-limited in this region and is commonly absent from stands on the main Blue Ridge. Small patches of Vaccinium pallidum and Vaccinium stamineum may be present, but as a rule, ericads are sparse. Additional shrubs and small trees of irregular but local importance include Ostrya virginiana, Asimina triloba, Ulmus rubra, Amelanchier arborea, and Hamamelis virginiana. Climbing lianas of Toxicodendron radicans, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, and Vitis spp. are common. The herb layer varies from somewhat sparse to fairly dense. A large number of herbaceous species occur in the type, but Desmodium nudiflorum, Solidago caesia, Dioscorea quaternata, Galium circaezans, Circaea lutetiana ssp. canadensis, Amphicarpaea bracteata, Botrychium virginianum, Geum virginianum, Phryma leptostachya, Actaea racemosa (= Cimicifuga racemosa), Aristolochia serpentaria, and Cardamine concatenata are particularly characteristic. The latter species, Thalictrum thalictroides, and Claytonia virginica completely dominate the early spring herbaceous aspect, carpeting the ground with their small white flowers. Solidago curtisii usually replaces Solidago caesia at the higher end of the elevational range. Herbs that may be locally common or abundant include Dryopteris marginalis, Desmodium glutinosum, and Aralia nudicaulis. Species richness of plot-sampled stands ranges from 43 to 103 taxa per 400 square meters (mean = 70).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Carya ovalis G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)  
 
 
Liriodendron tulipifera G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus alba G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus prinus G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus rubra G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Carya alba G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Carya glabra G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Fraxinus americana G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Ostrya virginiana G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Cercis canadensis G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Cornus florida G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Viburnum acerifolium G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Actaea racemosa G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Amphicarpaea bracteata G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Aristolochia serpentaria G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Desmodium nudiflorum G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Galium circaezans G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Maianthemum racemosum G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Panax quinquefolius G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Phryma leptostachya G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Scutellaria saxatilis G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Solidago caesia G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Uvularia perfoliata G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Panax quinquefolius
  (American Ginseng)
G3G4  
Scutellaria saxatilis
  (Rock Skullcap)
G3  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This association is restricted to the western Piedmont foothills and lower- to middle-elevation slopes and spurs of the main Blue Ridge. Elevation ranges from 140 to 950 m (450-3100 feet). The type is generally associated with base-rich soils weathered from mafic igneous and metamorphic rocks, including metabasalt, amphibolite, pyroxene-bearing granulite, charnockite, and actinolite schist. It also less frequently occurs on granitic rocks and calcareous metasiltones and phyllites. In 75 plot-sampled stands, elevation ranges from 140 to 950 m (450-3100 feet), with a mean of 485 m (1590 feet). Occurrences above 850 m (2800 feet) are uncommon and restricted to warm, south- to west-facing slopes. Habitats are more-or-less rocky, gentle to steep (mean = 17), submesic to subxeric slopes with a wide range of aspects. Middle-slope topographic positions are typical, but stands occasionally occur on lower or upper slopes and crests. Surficial cover of outcrops and boulders in plots averages about 10%. Soils are dark, very stony, clay, silt, or silty-clay loams. Although pH ranges from extremely acidic to circumneutral, these soils consistently have moderately high levels of calcium, magnesium, and manganese.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: The proportion of Liriodendron tulipifera increases with canopy disturbance. Consequently, in many stands logged during the 20th century, Liriodendron is codominant with the oaks and hickories. Some stands of this association have been modified by repeated cutting and are now heavily dominated by Liriodendron tulipifera. Symphoricarpos orbiculatus, Polygonum caespitosum var. longisetum, and exotics such as Ailanthus altissima, Rubus phoenicolasius, and Celastrus orbiculata often become established in canopy gaps following timber harvests or gypsy moth damage. In recent years, the abundance of Cornus florida has been significantly reduced by mortality resulting from dogwood anthracnose.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): K.D. Patterson and G.P. Fleming
Element Description Edition Date: 23Feb2010
Element Description Author(s): G.P. Fleming
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 19Aug2004
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): G.P. Fleming, mod. M. Pyne

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


References
  • Eastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boston, MA.

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

  • Fleming, G. P. 2002a. Ecological communities of the Bull Run Mountains, Virginia: Baseline vegetation and floristic data for conservation planning and natural area stewardship. Natural Heritage Technical Report 02-12. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 274 pp. plus appendices.

  • Fleming, G. P. 2002b. Preliminary classification of Piedmont & Inner Coastal Plain vegetation types in Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 02-14. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 29 pp.

  • 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. M. McCoy. 2004. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Natural Heritage Technical Report 04-01. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/dnh/ncintro.htm]

  • 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. 2009a. A vegetation classification for the Appalachian Trail: Virginia south to Georgia. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. In-house analysis, March 2009.

  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2009b. Classification of selected Virginia montane wetland groups. In-house analysis, December 2009. 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. Taverna. 2006. Vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks, western region. Regional (VA-WVA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2006. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • Fleming, G. P., and P. P. Coulling. 2001. Ecological communities of the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Preliminary classification and description of vegetation types. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 317 pp.

  • Harrison, J. W. 2011. The natural communities of Maryland: 2011 working list of ecological community groups and community types. Unpublished report. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Service, Natural Heritage Program, Annapolis. 33 pp.

  • Harrison, J. W., compiler. 2004. Classification of vegetation communities of Maryland: First iteration. A subset of the International Classification of Ecological Communities: Terrestrial Vegetation of the United States, NatureServe. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis. 243 pp.

  • Lea, C. 2003. Vegetation types in the National Capital Region Parks. Draft for review by NatureServe, Virginia Natural Heritage, West Virginia Natural Heritage, Maryland Natural Heritage, and National Park Service. March 2003. 140 pp.

  • Lea, C. 2004. Draft vegetation types in National Capital Region Parks. Edited by S.C. Gawler and J. Teague. Working draft for review by NatureServe, Virginia Natural Heritage, West Virginia Natural Heritage, Maryland Natural Heritage, and National Park Service. July 2004. 157 pp.

  • Young, J., G. Fleming, P. Townsend, and J. Foster. 2006. Vegetation of Shenandoah National Park in relation to environmental gradients. Final Report (v.1.1). Research technical report prepared for USDI, National Park Service. USGS/NPS Vegetation Mapping Program. 92 pp. plus appendices.

  • Young, J., G. Fleming, P. Townsend, and J. Foster. 2007a. Vegetation of Shenandoah National Park in relation to environmental gradients. Final Report, volume 1.1. Unpublished report submitted to the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. 103 pp. plus appendices and GIS products.

  • Young, J., G. Fleming, W. Cass, and C. Lea. 2009. Vegetation of Shenandoah National Park in relation to environmental gradients, Version 2.0. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2009/142. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 389 pp.


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