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Tsuga canadensis - Halesia tetraptera - Magnolia fraseri / Rhododendron maximum / Dryopteris intermedia Forest
Translated Name: Eastern Hemlock - Mountain Silverbell - Mountain Magnolia / Great Laurel / Intermediate Woodfern Forest
Common Name: Southern Appalachian Acidic Cove Forest (Silverbell Type)
Unique Identifier: CEGL007693
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association includes forests dominated by Tsuga canadensis and Halesia tetraptera var. monticola, occurring in restricted montane areas of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. This forest is found on protected, lower slopes and coves at elevations of 854 to 1403 m (2800-4600 feet). The most important canopy trees are Tsuga canadensis and Halesia tetraptera var. monticola, although Magnolia fraseri or Fagus grandifolia can have high canopy coverage in some examples. Some occurrences have dense, tall-shrub strata dominated by Rhododendron maximum, while other occurrences have a more open shrub stratum with greater herbaceous cover, often dominated by Dryopteris intermedia. Other subcanopy/shrub species may include Acer pensylvanicum, Acer saccharum, Acer rubrum, Amelanchier laevis, Betula alleghaniensis, Betula lenta, and Prunus pensylvanica. Other common herbaceous species include Mitchella repens, Medeola virginiana, Polystichum acrostichoides, Solidago curtisii (= Solidago caesia var. curtisii), Viola blanda, and Viola hastata. Rubus canadensis is also common. This community is distinguished from Liriodendron tulipifera - Betula lenta - Tsuga canadensis / Rhododendron maximum Forest (CEGL007543) by not having Liriodendron tulipifera as an important component and by generally occurring at higher elevations (over 915 m [3000 feet]). This community is distinguished from Betula alleghaniensis - (Tsuga canadensis) / Rhododendron maximum / (Leucothoe fontanesiana) Forest (CEGL007861) by occurring on more protected sites and having more diverse tree and herb strata.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: In an analysis of more than 1100 Southern Appalachian plots for the Appalachian Trail vegetation mapping project, 14 plots from Great Smoky Mountains National Park classified as this type, forming a strong, compositionally cohesive group that was distinct from other cove forest types (Fleming and Patterson 2009a).

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-Interior-Northeastern Mesic Forest
Group Appalachian-Central Interior Mesic Forest
Alliance Southern Hemlock - Tuliptree Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL007543 Liriodendron tulipifera - Betula lenta - Tsuga canadensis / Rhododendron maximum Forest
CEGL007861 Betula alleghaniensis - (Tsuga canadensis) / Rhododendron maximum / (Leucothoe fontanesiana) 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 Acidic Cove Forest (Silverbell Subtype) Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012
Tennessee Tsuga canadensis - Halesia tetraptera - (Fagus grandifolia, Magnolia fraseri) / Rhododendron maximum / Dryopteris intermedia Forest Equivalent Certain TDNH unpubl. data


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Tsuga canadensis-Halesia/Dryopteris intermedia Forest
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Newell, C. L., R. K. Peet, and J. C. Harrod. 1997. Vegetation of Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness, North Carolina. Unpublished report to USDA Forest Service. University of North Carolina, Curriculum in Ecology & Department of Biology, Chapel Hill, NC. 282 pp. plus maps.
Related Concept Name: Tsuga canadensis-Magnolia fraseri Forest, Tsuga canadensis-Fagus-Halesia subtype
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Newell, C. L., R. K. Peet, and J. C. Harrod. 1997. Vegetation of Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness, North Carolina. Unpublished report to USDA Forest Service. University of North Carolina, Curriculum in Ecology & Department of Biology, Chapel Hill, NC. 282 pp. plus maps.
Related Concept Name: Acidic Cove Forest
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: Acidic Cove Forest (Silverbell Subtype)
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Schafale, M. 1998b. Fourth approximation guide. High mountain communities. March 1998 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.
Related Concept Name: Silverbell-hemlock
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Golden, M. S. 1974. Forest vegetation and site relationships in the central portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 275 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.373 Southern and Central Appalachian Cove Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G2 (29Sep2004)
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: This community is uncommon and geographically restricted to the Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee, and to Joyce Kilmer Wilderness in western North Carolina. Occurrences are subject to compositional modification by outbreaks of hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae), an exotic insect pest that causes decline and eventual mortality of Tsuga canadensis.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: NC, TN
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association occurs in restricted montane areas of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
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: The most important canopy trees are Tsuga canadensis and Halesia tetraptera var. monticola, although Magnolia fraseri or Fagus grandifolia can have high canopy coverage in some examples. Some occurrences have dense, tall-shrub strata dominated by Rhododendron maximum, while other occurrences have a more open shrub stratum with greater herbaceous cover, often dominated by Dryopteris intermedia. Other subcanopy/shrub species may include Acer pensylvanicum, Acer saccharum, Acer rubrum, Amelanchier laevis, Betula alleghaniensis, Betula lenta, and Prunus pensylvanica. Other common herbaceous species include Mitchella repens, Medeola virginiana, Polystichum acrostichoides, Solidago curtisii (= Solidago caesia var. curtisii), Viola blanda, and Viola hastata. Rubus canadensis is also common.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Halesia tetraptera var. monticola G2 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Tsuga canadensis G2 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Acer saccharum G2 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Rhododendron maximum G2 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Mitchella repens G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Rugelia nudicaulis G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Dryopteris intermedia G2 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)  
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Rugelia nudicaulis
  (Rugel's Ragwort)
G3  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This association includes forests dominated by Tsuga canadensis and Halesia tetraptera var. monticola, occurring in restricted montane areas of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. This forest is found on protected, lower slopes and coves at elevations of 854 to 1403 m (2800-4600 feet).


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): K.D. Patterson, mod. G. Fleming and P. Coulling
Element Description Edition Date: 15Feb1998
Element Description Author(s): K.D. Patterson, G. Fleming and P. Coulling
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 29Sep2004
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): K.D. Patterson, 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
  • 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.

  • Golden, M. S. 1974. Forest vegetation and site relationships in the central portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 275 pp.

  • Newell, C. L., R. K. Peet, and J. C. Harrod. 1997. Vegetation of Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness, North Carolina. Unpublished report to USDA Forest Service. University of North Carolina, Curriculum in Ecology & Department of Biology, Chapel Hill, NC. 282 pp. plus maps.

  • 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. 1998b. Fourth approximation guide. High mountain communities. March 1998 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.

  • Schafale, Mike P. Personal communication. Ecologist, North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

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

  • TDNH [Tennessee Division of Natural Heritage]. No date. Unpublished data. Tennessee Division of Natural Heritage, Nashville, TN.


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