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Quercus (phellos, palustris, michauxii) - Liquidambar styraciflua / Cinna arundinacea Floodplain Forest
Translated Name: (Willow Oak, Pin Oak, Swamp Chestnut Oak) - Sweetgum / Sweet Woodreed Floodplain Forest
Common Name: Coastal Plain Oak Floodplain Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006605
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This floodplain swamp forest occurs in backswamps and topographic depressions within alluvial floodplains of large streams and small rivers. Along smaller headwater streams, it may occur in low, poorly drained floodplains with braided channels and depressions. Standing water is present for much of the year on loam or clay loam soils. The overstory is dominated by variable mixtures of Quercus phellos, Quercus palustris, Quercus michauxii, Liquidambar styraciflua, and Acer rubrum. The proportion of the latter two species typically increases with disturbance. The understory is commonly quite open and contains young Acer rubrum, several climbing vines, Carpinus caroliniana, Ilex opaca var. opaca, Asimina triloba, Viburnum dentatum, Ilex verticillata, and other species. The herb layer is usually well-developed, with a prominent graminoid component. Common herbaceous patch-dominants include Cinna arundinacea, Carex debilis var. debilis, Carex intumescens, Glyceria striata, and Carex tribuloides.



Classification

Classification Confidence: High
Classification Comments: This association is supported by analysis of a 1250-plot regional dataset assembled for the NCR and Mid-Atlantic national parks vegetation mapping project. In that analysis, this type was represented by a group of 37 Maryland and 10 northern Virginia plots.

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 Southern Coastal Plain Floodplain Forest
Group Oak - Sweetgum Floodplain Forest
Alliance Piedmont Willow Oak Floodplain Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006498 Quercus phellos - Quercus (palustris, lyrata) / Ilex decidua / Carex typhina Floodplain 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 Coastal Plain Oak Floodplain Swamp Equivalent Certain Coxe 2009
Maryland Quercus (palustris, phellos) - Acer rubrum / Cinna arundinacea Forest Equivalent Certain Harrison 2011


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Acer rubrum - Liquidambar styraciflua - Quercus (palustris, phellos) 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: Acer rubrum - Liquidambar styraciflua - Quercus (palustris, phellos) Seasonally Flooded Forest
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Patterson, Karen D. Personal communication. Ecologist, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA.
Related Concept Name: Acer rubrum - Quercus (phellos, palustris) / Cinna arundinacea 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 (palustris, phellos) - Acer rubrum - Cinna arundinacea Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Thomson, D., A. M. Gould, and M. A. Berdine. 1999. Identification and protection of reference wetland natural communities in Maryland: Potomac watershed floodplain forests. The Biodiversity Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Division. Annapolis. 119 pp.
Related Concept Name: Quercus (palustris, phellos) - Acer rubrum / Campsis radicans - Aster lateriflorus Seasonally Flooded Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: McCoy, K. M., and G. P. Fleming. 2000. Ecological communities of U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Belvoir, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Unpublished report submitted to the U.S. Army. Natural Heritage Technical Report 00-08. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 156 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Quercus (palustris, phellos) - Acer rubrum / Cinna arundinacea 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 michauxii - Ulmus americana / Bignonia capreolata / Athyrium filix-femina - Rubus flagellaris - Carex tribuloides Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Walton, D. P., P. P. Coulling, J. Weber, A. Belden, Jr., and A. C. Chazal. 2001. A plant community classification and natural heritage inventory of the Pamunkey River floodplain. Unpublished report submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Natural Heritage Technical Report 01-19. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 200 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Coastal Plain - Piedmont Bottomland 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: Coastal Plain / Piedmont Swamp Forest
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, K. D. Patterson, and K. Taverna. 2006. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Version 2.2. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/ncTIV.shtml]

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.070 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Riparian and Floodplain
CES203.248 Atlantic Coastal Plain Brownwater Stream Floodplain Forest
CES203.250 Atlantic Coastal Plain Small Brownwater River Floodplain Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3G4 (23Feb2007)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This is a moderately well-distributed forest type. Some examples are at least partly protected in national parks. More information on threats is needed but include logging, deer grazing/browsing, and the presence of exotic plants.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: DC, DE, MD, NJ, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community is found in the Chesapeake Bay region. It is most characteristic of the Coastal Plain but also extends into the extreme eastern part 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


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The overstory is dominated by variable mixtures of Quercus phellos, Quercus palustris, Quercus michauxii, Liquidambar styraciflua, and Acer rubrum. The proportion of the latter two species typically increases with disturbance. Other canopy associates include Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Nyssa sylvatica, Ulmus americana, Quercus pagoda, Quercus lyrata, and Betula nigra. Climbing vines of Smilax rotundifolia, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Toxicodendron radicans, and Campsis radicans are common and characteristic. The subcanopy and shrub layers tend to be open and composed of young recruitment of Acer rubrum, along with Carpinus caroliniana (usually dominant), Ilex opaca var. opaca, Asimina triloba, Euonymus americanus, Viburnum dentatum, Ilex verticillata, and Lindera benzoin. The herb layer is usually well-developed, with a prominent graminoid component. Common herbaceous patch-dominants include Cinna arundinacea, Carex debilis var. debilis, Carex intumescens, Glyceria striata, and Carex tribuloides. Additional characteristic herbs include Boehmeria cylindrica, Arisaema triphyllum, Lycopus virginicus, Athyrium filix-femina ssp. asplenioides, Impatiens capensis, Leersia virginica, Onoclea sensibilis, Symphyotrichum lateriflorum, and Rubus hispidus. Many other species occur at low constancy and cover. Mean species richness of 47 Maryland and Virginia plot samples was 38 taxa per 400 square meters.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer rubrum G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Liquidambar styraciflua G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus michauxii G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus palustris G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Quercus phellos G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Acer rubrum G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy  
 
 
Carpinus caroliniana G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy  
 
 
Campsis radicans G3 Liana Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Parthenocissus quinquefolia G3 Liana Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Smilax rotundifolia G3 Liana Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Toxicodendron radicans G3 Liana Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Carex debilis var. debilis G3 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Carex intumescens G3 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Carex tribuloides G3 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Cinna arundinacea G3 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Glyceria striata G3 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This floodplain swamp forest occurs in backswamps and topographic depressions within alluvial floodplains of large streams and small rivers. Along smaller headwater streams, it may occur in low, poorly drained floodplains with braided channels and depressions. Sites are probably overflowed annually, and depressions retain standing water well into the growing season. Soils are somewhat to very poorly drained loams or clay loams that are strongly to extremely acidic and infertile.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): D. Thomson and L.A. Sneddon
Element Description Edition Date: 15Feb2007
Element Description Author(s): D. Thomson, L.A. Sneddon, G.P. Fleming
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 24Apr2012
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): 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
  • 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., P. P. Coulling, K. D. Patterson, and K. Taverna. 2006. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Version 2.2. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/ncTIV.shtml]

  • 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, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2011b. Analysis of Coastal Plain / Outer Piedmont bottomlands and non-alluvial wetlands in Virginia, 400 plots. In-house analysis, January 2011. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • 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., and P. Stango, III. 2003. Shrubland tidal wetland communities of Maryland's Eastern Shore: Identification, assessment and monitoring. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis. 118 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.

  • McCoy, K. M., and G. P. Fleming. 2000. Ecological communities of U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Belvoir, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Unpublished report submitted to the U.S. Army. Natural Heritage Technical Report 00-08. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 156 pp. plus appendices.

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

  • 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.

  • Thomson, D., A. M. Gould, and M. A. Berdine. 1999. Identification and protection of reference wetland natural communities in Maryland: Potomac watershed floodplain forests. The Biodiversity Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Division. Annapolis. 119 pp.

  • Walton, D. P., P. P. Coulling, J. Weber, A. Belden, Jr., and A. C. Chazal. 2001. A plant community classification and natural heritage inventory of the Pamunkey River floodplain. Unpublished report submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Natural Heritage Technical Report 01-19. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 200 pp. plus appendices.


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