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Selaginella rupestris - Croton willdenowii - Cheilanthes tomentosa - (Allium cuthbertii) Granitic Glade Vegetation
Translated Name: Rock Spikemoss - Willdenow's Croton - Woolly Lipfern - (Striped Garlic) Granitic Glade Vegetation
Common Name: Low-Elevation Basic Glade (Brushy Mountain Type)
Unique Identifier: CEGL004992
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This community includes vegetation of North Carolina's upper Piedmont, on gently to moderately sloping, low-elevation outcrops, with irregular or undulating surfaces but few crevices, and containing plants characteristic of higher pH conditions. This community occurs as small patches (approx. 5-20 acres) in the Brushy Mountains of North Carolina at elevations below 1220 m (4000 feet). Vegetation consists of shallow mats dominated by Selaginella rupestris and deeper grassy mats, interspersed with areas of smooth rock or rock with few crevices or fractures. This community has few deep-rooted forbs, shrubs, or trees. The flora is diverse and characterized by the presence of plants indicative of higher pH soils. Woody species may be scattered, rooted in crevices or in marginal zones between exposed rock and adjacent forests. This association is distinguished by a suite of distinctive plant species, including Croton willdenowii (= Crotonopsis elliptica), Allium cuthbertii, Cheilanthes tomentosa, Coreopsis pubescens, Hypericum denticulatum (actually an unnamed taxon), Senna marilandica (= Cassia marilandica), and Diodia teres. This community often grades into woodlands dominated by Juniperus virginiana and deciduous trees (Quercus prinus, Carya spp., Fraxinus spp.) [see Carya (glabra, alba) - Fraxinus americana - (Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana) Woodland (CEGL003752)].



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 2 - Shrub & Herb Vegetation
Subclass 2.B - Temperate & Boreal Grassland & Shrubland
Formation 2.B.2 - Temperate Grassland & Shrubland
Division 2.B.2.Nc - Eastern North American Grassland & Shrubland
Macrogroup Appalachian Rocky Felsic & Mafic Scrub & Grassland
Group Appalachian Mafic Glade
Alliance Appalachian Low-Elevation Basic Rock Spikemoss Glade

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



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 Low Elevation Basic Glade (Brushy Mountain Subtype) Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Low Elevation Basic Glade (Brushy Mountain 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: Low Elevation Granitic Dome (Brushy Mountain Subtype)
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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.348 Southern and Central Appalachian Mafic Glade and Barrens


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1 (16Sep2003)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This community type is limited to exposures of granitic rocks in the upper Piedmont of North Carolina. Fewer than 10 occurrences are known, and most are of 20 acres or less. This community is naturally rare, but is somewhat self-protecting. Some occurrences have been negatively impacted by recreational use (off-road vehicles), trash dumping, grazing by cattle, logging of adjacent forests, and mining.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: NC
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community type is limited to exposures of granitic rocks in the upper Piedmont of North Carolina. Its possible occurrence in South Carolina and Virginia is not known at this time.

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


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Vegetation consists of shallow mats dominated by Selaginella rupestris and deeper grassy mats, interspersed with areas of smooth rock or rock with few crevices or fractures. This community has few deep-rooted forbs, shrubs, or trees. The flora is diverse and characterized by the presence of plants indicative of higher pH soils. Woody species may be scattered, rooted in crevices or in marginal zones between exposed rock and adjacent forests. This association is distinguished by a suite of distinctive plant species, including Croton willdenowii (= Crotonopsis elliptica), Allium cuthbertii, Cheilanthes tomentosa, Coreopsis pubescens, Hypericum denticulatum (actually an unnamed taxon), Senna marilandica (= Cassia marilandica), and Diodia teres (M. Schafale pers. comm.). This community often grades into woodlands dominated by Juniperus virginiana and deciduous trees (Quercus prinus, Carya spp., Fraxinus spp.).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Allium cuthbertii G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Croton willdenowii G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Cheilanthes tomentosa G1 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)  
 
 
Selaginella rupestris G1 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)  
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This small-scale community occurs on gently to moderately sloping, low-elevation outcrops, with irregular or undulating surfaces but few crevices. This community occurs as small patches (approx. 5-50 acres) at elevations below 1220 m (4000 feet).


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): M.P. Schafale and K.D. Patterson
Element Description Edition Date: 20Oct2003
Element Description Author(s): M. Pyne
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 20Oct2003
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): M. Schafale/Milo Pyne

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


References
  • Dellinger, B. 1992. Natural areas survey, Nantahala National Forest, Highlands Ranger District: Site survey reports. Unpublished data. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

  • 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.


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