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Quercus alba - Quercus falcata - (Carya pallida) / Gaylussacia frondosa Forest
Translated Name: White Oak - Southern Red Oak - (Sand Hickory) / Blue Huckleberry Forest
Common Name: Northeastern Coastal Plain Mixed Oak / Heath Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006269
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This oak forest of the unglaciated northeastern Coastal Plain generally occurs on well-drained acidic soils, primarily loamy sands, sandy loams and silty/clay loams. Occasional stands occur on imperfectly drained, alternately wet and dry upland flats with hardpan subsoils. The canopy is dominated by a mixture of oaks, especially Quercus alba, Quercus falcata, and Quercus velutina. Associates include Sassafras albidum, Quercus coccinea, Quercus stellata, Liquidambar styraciflua, and Nyssa sylvatica, with Acer rubrum, Ilex opaca, and Cornus florida often forming a subcanopy. Liriodendron tulipifera may be a canopy component in mature, fire-suppressed stands. Pines such as Pinus taeda, Pinus rigida (in the Inner Coastal Plain of Maryland and the Outer Coastal Plain of the Cape May peninsula in New Jersey), or Pinus virginiana may be present in successional stands. Carya pallida may also be present in the canopy, especially in stands occurring on sandy soils. Other hickories such as Carya alba and Carya glabra are also present in some stands. The shrub layer is well-developed and dominated by the deciduous ericads Gaylussacia frondosa, Gaylussacia baccata, Vaccinium pallidum, Vaccinium stamineum, and occasionally Lyonia mariana. The vines Smilax rotundifolia and Vitis rotundifolia may be important in some stands. The herbaceous layer is generally sparse and characterized by dry-site species such as Pteridium aquilinum, Cypripedium acaule, Chimaphila maculata, and Gaultheria procumbens.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: Classification is supported by analysis of a 1250-plot regional dataset assembled for the NCR and Mid-Atlantic national parks vegetation mapping projects. In that classification, this association was represented by 18 plots. (Pinus taeda) - Quercus falcata / Gaylussacia frondosa Forest (CEGL006169) has been archived and incorporated into this type by Gary Fleming.

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 North Atlantic Maritime & Coastal Plain Forest
Alliance Coastal Plain Oak - Pitch Pine Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006329 Pinus rigida - Quercus coccinea - Quercus falcata / (Quercus marilandica) / Gaylussacia frondosa Woodland
CEGL008521 Quercus alba - Quercus (coccinea, velutina, prinus) / Gaylussacia baccata 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
Delaware Southern Red Oak/Heath Forest Equivalent Certain Coxe 2009
Maryland Quercus (falcata, alba, velutina) / Gaylussacia baccata - Vaccinium pallidum Forest Equivalent Certain Harrison 2011
New Jersey Quercus (falcata, alba, velutina) / Gaylussacia baccata - Vaccinium pallidum Forest Equivalent Certain Breden et al. 2001


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Quercus (falcata, alba, velutina) / Gaylussacia baccata - Vaccinium pallidum Forest
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: Quercus alba - Quercus falcata - (Carya pallida) / Gaylussacia frondosa Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: 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.
Related Concept Name: Quercus alba - Quercus falcata - (Pinus taeda) / Gaylussacia frondosa Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, Gary P. Personal communication. Ecologist, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA.
Related Concept Name: Quercus alba - Quercus falcata - Pinus taeda / Gaylussacia frondosa Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: 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.
Related Concept Name: Quercus alba - Quercus falcata / Gaylussacia frondosa Forest
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: Quercus alba - Quercus velutina - Quercus coccinea / Gaylussacia baccata - Vaccinium stamineum Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: VDNH [Virginia Division of Natural Heritage]. 2003. The natural communities of Virginia: Hierarchical classification of community types. Unpublished document, working list of November 2003. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Ecology Group, Richmond.
Related Concept Name: Quercus falcata - Pinus taeda / Gaylussacia frondosa Forest
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Clancy, K. 1996. Natural communities of Delaware. Unpublished review draft. Delaware Natural Heritage Program, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Delaware Division of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Smyrna, DE. 52 pp.
Related Concept Name: Dry Oak-Pine Forest, mixed oak-pine forest subtype
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Breden, T. F. 1989. A preliminary natural community classification for New Jersey. Pages 157-191 in: E. F. Karlin, editor. New Jersey's rare and endangered plants and animals. Institute for Environmental Studies, Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ. 280 pp.
Related Concept Name: Mixed Oak - Heath Forest
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: Oak - Loblolly Pine Forest (OP2)
Relationship: I - Intersecting
Reference: Windisch, A .G. 2014a. Pinelands ecological communities and higher level groups with crosswalk / proposed 2008 revisions to NVC. November 16, 2014 draft. New Jersey Natural Heritage Program, Trenton.
Related Concept Name: Oak / Heath 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.
Related Concept Name: Pine - oak association
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Shreve, F., M. A. Chrysler, F. H. Blodgett, and F. W. Besley. 1910. The plant life of Maryland. Maryland Weather Service. Special Publication, Volume III. The Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, MD. 533 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.475 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Hardwood Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4G5 (01Dec1997)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: The type is common and widespread on the Coastal Plain from New Jersey to Virginia. Mature examples are uncommon, and all stands are vulnerable to logging disturbances and fire suppression.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: DE, MD, NCpotentially occurs, NJ, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association occurs on the Coastal Plain from New Jersey to Virginia and possibly northeastern North Carolina. In central and southeastern Virginia, it extends slightly into the eastern portion of the Piedmont.

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
Province Name: Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 232 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain Section
Section Code: 232A 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: Physiognomy is generally a closed to somewhat open forest. The overstory of mid- to late-successional stands is dominated by a mixture of oaks, especially Quercus alba, Quercus falcata, and Quercus velutina. Early-successional stands recovering from recent logging or agricultural conversion usually have a strong admixture of Pinus taeda, Pinus rigida, or Pinus virginiana. Other canopy associates include Sassafras albidum, Quercus coccinea (occasionally codominant), Quercus stellata, Liquidambar styraciflua, Nyssa sylvatica, Carya alba, Carya glabra, and Carya pallida (occasionally codominant). Acer rubrum, Ilex opaca, and Cornus florida are the principal subcanopy trees. In the southern part of the range, Oxydendrum arboreum and scrambling vines of Vitis rotundifolia can be important in the understory. The shrub layer is well-developed and dominated by the deciduous ericads Gaylussacia frondosa, Gaylussacia baccata, Vaccinium pallidum, Vaccinium stamineum, and occasionally Lyonia mariana. The herbaceous layer is generally sparse and characterized by dry-site species such as Pteridium aquilinum, Cypripedium acaule, Chimaphila maculata, and Gaultheria procumbens.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Carya pallida G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Nyssa sylvatica G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus alba G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy
 
 
Quercus coccinea G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus falcata G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus stellata G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus velutina G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pinus taeda G4 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Acer rubrum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Cornus florida G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Ilex opaca G4 Broad-leaved evergreen tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Gaylussacia baccata G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Gaylussacia frondosa G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Vaccinium pallidum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Vaccinium stamineum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Smilax rotundifolia G4 Liana Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Vitis rotundifolia G4 Liana Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Chimaphila maculata G4 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Gaultheria procumbens G4 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Cypripedium acaule G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Pteridium aquilinum G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This community generally occurs on well-drained acidic soils, primarily loamy sands, sandy loams and silty/clay loams. Occasional stands occur on imperfectly drained, alternately wet and dry, upland flats with hardpan subsoils. Even on the latter, moisture potential of most sites supporting this vegetation can be characterized as subxeric to xeric. Soil samples collected from plots of this vegetation type in Virginia are extremely acidic, with very low base cation levels and total base saturation.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Periodic fire is presumably an important natural disturbance in this type that encourages oak regeneration. Many Virginia stands of this type now have poor oak recruitment and understories dominated by young Acer rubrum and/or Fagus grandifolia, presumably because of fire exclusion. The relative cover of Pinus taeda is likely related to disturbance history, with higher pine cover suggesting more recent disturbance.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): Eastern Ecology Group, mod. G.P. Fleming
Element Description Edition Date: 15Feb2012
Element Description Author(s): G.P. Fleming and L.A. Sneddon
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 24Jan2005
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): G.P. Fleming

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


References
  • Breden, T. F. 1989. A preliminary natural community classification for New Jersey. Pages 157-191 in: E. F. Karlin, editor. New Jersey's rare and endangered plants and animals. Institute for Environmental Studies, Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ. 280 pp.

  • Breden, T. F., Y. R. Alger, K. S. Walz, and A. G. Windisch. 2001. Classification of vegetation communities of New Jersey: Second iteration. Association for Biodiversity Information and New Jersey Natural Heritage Program, Office of Natural Lands Management, Division of Parks and Forestry, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Trenton.

  • Clancy, K. 1996. Natural communities of Delaware. Unpublished review draft. Delaware Natural Heritage Program, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Delaware Division of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Smyrna, DE. 52 pp.

  • Coxe, R. 2009. Guide to Delaware vegetation communities. Spring 2009 edition. State of Delaware, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Delaware Natural Heritage Program, Smyrna.

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

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

  • 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.

  • NatureServe. 2009. Vegetation of the E.B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. International Ecological Classification Standard: Terrestrial Ecological Classifications. NatureServe Central Databases. Arlington, VA. U.S.A. Data current as of 1 December 2009.

  • Patterson, K. D. 2008e. Vegetation classification and mapping at Petersburg National Battlefield, Virginia. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2008/127. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 235 pp.

  • Patterson, K. D. 2008f. Vegetation classification and mapping at Richmond National Battlefield Park, Virginia. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2008/128. National Park Service. Philadelphia, PA. 244 pp.

  • Shreve, F., M. A. Chrysler, F. H. Blodgett, and F. W. Besley. 1910. The plant life of Maryland. Maryland Weather Service. Special Publication, Volume III. The Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, MD. 533 pp.

  • Sneddon, L., M. Anderson, and K. Metzler. 1996. Community alliances and elements of the Eastern Region. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Heritage Task Force, Boston, MA. 235 pp.

  • Taverna, K. and K. D. Patterson. 2008. Vegetation classification and mapping at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Virginia. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR-2008/126. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 277 pp.

  • VDNH [Virginia Division of Natural Heritage]. 2003. The natural communities of Virginia: Hierarchical classification of community types. Unpublished document, working list of November 2003. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Ecology Group, Richmond.

  • Windisch, A .G. 2014a. Pinelands ecological communities and higher level groups with crosswalk / proposed 2008 revisions to NVC. November 16, 2014 draft. New Jersey Natural Heritage Program, Trenton.


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