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Fagus grandifolia - Liriodendron tulipifera / Euonymus americanus / Athyrium filix-femina ssp. asplenioides Forest
Translated Name: American Beech - Tuliptree / American Strawberry-bush / Southern Ladyfern Forest
Common Name: Southern Mesic Beech - Tuliptree Slopes
Unique Identifier: CEGL007201
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association includes mesic hardwood forests dominated by Fagus grandifolia and Liriodendron tulipifera generally lacking an oak component. This forest occurs on slopes in the "lower Piedmont" of Alabama, and related habitats of adjacent and ecologically related provinces (Ridge and Valley, Cumberland Plateau, Interior Low Plateau, and Upper East Gulf Coastal Plain). This type is described from narrow, moderately well-drained floodplains and sheltered coves which have had little or no severe recent disturbance. In addition to the dominants, other important canopy/subcanopy species include Acer rubrum, Liquidambar styraciflua, Fraxinus americana, Quercus rubra, Carpinus caroliniana, Magnolia virginiana, Nyssa sylvatica, Diospyros virginiana, Oxydendrum arboreum, and Cornus florida. Shrubs and woody vines include Decumaria barbara, Euonymus americanus, Rhododendron canescens, Toxicodendron radicans, Vitis rotundifolia, Smilax glauca, and the exotic Lonicera japonica. Important herbs include Athyrium filix-femina ssp. asplenioides, Polystichum acrostichoides, Woodwardia areolata, Osmunda cinnamomea, Mitchella repens, and Hexastylis arifolia.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low
Classification Comments: The original concept of this association was defined based on four plots from work in the Piedmont of east-central Alabama (Golden 1979; "Small Streambottoms") and later expanded with information from Alabama's Cumberland Plateau (e.g., Bankhead National Forest).

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 Interior Highlands Basic Mesic Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL007213 Quercus alba - Fagus grandifolia / Hydrangea quercifolia - Viburnum acerifolium / Carex picta Forest
CEGL007881 Fagus grandifolia - Quercus alba / Cornus florida Forest
CEGL008488 Quercus rubra - Tilia americana var. heterophylla - Carya carolinae-septentrionalis / Acer barbatum / Hydrangea quercifolia Forest



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Small Streambottoms
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Golden, M. S. 1979. Forest vegetation of the lower Alabama Piedmont. Ecology 60:770-782.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.342 Southern Piedmont Mesic Forest
CES202.887 South-Central Interior Mesophytic Forest
CES203.477 East Gulf Coastal Plain Northern Mesic Hardwood Slope Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4 (09Oct2001)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: While this is not an inherently rare type, and some examples are protected on public land, and it has a wide distribution, mature examples are uncommon and vulnerable to timber removal. Many examples are poorly buffered because of upslope land-use change, timber removal, or conversion of upslope forests to managed forest types. Grank changed from G5 to G4, as it is not globally abundant and secure throughout its range.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: AL, GA, KY, MS, TN
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association is known from the lower Piedmont and Cumberland Plateau of Alabama, but may range into adjacent and related provinces (Ridge and Valley, Cumberland Plateau, Interior Low Plateau, and Upper East Gulf Coastal Plain) in Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Hot Continental Division
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Continental) Province
Province Code: 222 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Upper Gulf Coastal Plain Section
Section Code: 222C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Interior Low Plateau, Highland Rim Section
Section Code: 222E Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
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
Section Name: Coastal Plain Middle Section
Section Code: 231B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Cumberland Plateau Section
Section Code: 231C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Province Name: Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 232 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Coastal Plains and Flatwoods, Lower Section
Section Code: 232B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: These mesic slope forests are dominated by Fagus grandifolia and Liriodendron tulipifera. According to Golden (1979), other important canopy/subcanopy species include Acer rubrum, Liquidambar styraciflua, Fraxinus americana, Quercus rubra, Carpinus caroliniana, Magnolia virginiana, Nyssa sylvatica, Diospyros virginiana, Oxydendrum arboreum, and Cornus florida. Shrubs and woody vines include Decumaria barbara, Euonymus americanus, Rhododendron canescens, Toxicodendron radicans, Vitis rotundifolia, Smilax glauca, and the exotic Lonicera japonica. Important herbs include Athyrium filix-femina ssp. asplenioides, Polystichum acrostichoides, Woodwardia areolata, Osmunda cinnamomea, Mitchella repens, and Hexastylis arifolia.

At Shiloh National Military Park the canopy of this association is dominated by Fagus grandifolia, Liriodendron tulipifera, and Fraxinus americana. Quercus rubra and Juglans nigra are also common in the canopy. In the subcanopy, Fagus grandifolia and Liriodendron tulipifera are dominant, with Carya glabra, Tilia americana var. heterophylla, Halesia tetraptera var. tetraptera, Ostrya virginiana, Oxydendrum arboreum, Prunus serotina, Carya cordiformis, and Carya alba. The dominant shrubs are Asimina triloba and Lindera benzoin. Other shrubs (tall and short) are Ulmus alata, Halesia tetraptera var. tetraptera, Ostrya virginiana, Oxydendrum arboreum, Toxicodendron radicans, Smilax rotundifolia, Hydrangea arborescens, Vitis rotundifolia, Carpinus caroliniana, Lonicera japonica, Conopholis americana, Euonymus americanus, and Celtis laevigata. Polystichum acrostichoides is the most common herbaceous plant. Other herbs are Polygonum virginianum, Phegopteris hexagonoptera, Asarum canadense, Athyrium filix-femina ssp. asplenioides, Pilea pumila, Scutellaria ovata, Phryma leptostachya, Circaea lutetiana ssp. canadensis, Passiflora lutea, Epifagus virginiana, Sedum ternatum, Brachyelytrum erectum (= var. erectum), Sanicula canadensis, Rubus argutus, Phytolacca americana, Mitchella repens, Stellaria pubera, Maianthemum racemosum, Arisaema triphyllum, Microstegium vimineum, and Prenanthes altissima.

In the Cumberland Plateau of Alabama (Bankhead National Forest), this forest is dominated by Fagus grandifolia and Liriodendron tulipifera (NatureServe Ecology unpubl. data). Other canopy trees may include Fraxinus americana, Magnolia acuminata, and Pinus taeda. Oaks can be present in the canopy, but are not dominant (Quercus alba, Quercus rubra, Quercus prinus). The most common subcanopy trees are Acer barbatum, Magnolia macrophylla, Ostrya virginiana, Ulmus alata, and Ilex opaca. The shrub stratum is open to dense, with the most common species being Euonymus americanus and Ostrya virginiana, although many other species occur. Bignonia capreolata and Decumaria barbara are typical vines in this forest. The herb layer is dense and diverse, and not dominated by any single species. In the range of this association, the "sugar maple" in the stands, if present, may be Acer barbatum and/or Acer leucoderme, not Acer saccharum.


Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Fagus grandifolia G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Liriodendron tulipifera G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Euonymus americanus G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Trillium rugelii G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Athyrium filix-femina ssp. asplenioides G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex brysonii G4 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Lonicera japonica G4 Liana Herb (field)      
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Carex brysonii
  (Bryson's Sedge)
G1  
Trillium rugelii
  (Southern Nodding Trillium)
G3  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This mesic forest occurs on slopes in association with small streams, on narrow, well-drained floodplains and sheltered coves. This type is described from "narrow, moderately well-drained floodplains and sheltered coves which have had little or no severe recent disturbance" (Golden 1979). At Shiloh National Military Park, it occurs on a mesic steep north-facing slope on silt loam soil with some small (river) rocks exposed and includes some small seepage areas.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): D.J. Allard after Golden (1979)
Element Description Edition Date: 18Mar2008
Element Description Author(s): M.S. Golden, D.J. Allard, C.W. Nordman and M. Pyne
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 09Oct2001
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
  • Golden, M. S. 1979. Forest vegetation of the lower Alabama Piedmont. Ecology 60:770-782.

  • NatureServe Ecology - Southeastern United States. No date. Unpublished data. NatureServe, Durham, NC.

  • Nordman, C., M. Russo, and L. Smart. 2011. Vegetation types of the Natchez Trace Parkway, based on the U.S. National Vegetation Classification. NatureServe Central Databases (International Ecological Classification Standard: Terrestrial Ecological Classifications). Arlington, VA. Data current as of 11 April 2011. 548 pp.

  • Schotz, Al. Personal communication. Community Ecologist. Alabama Natural Heritage Program. Huntingdon College, Massey Hall, 1500 East Fairview Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36106-2148.

  • 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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