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Liriodendron tulipifera - Pinus strobus - Tsuga canadensis - Quercus rubra / Polystichum acrostichoides Forest
Translated Name: Tuliptree - Eastern White Pine - Eastern Hemlock - Northern Red Oak / Christmas Fern Forest
Common Name: Central Appalachian Acidic Cove Forest (White Pine - Hemlock - Mixed Hardwoods Type)
Unique Identifier: CEGL006304
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This mixed hardwood - white pine - hemlock cove forest is widely but locally distributed in the southern part of the Central Appalachians in Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. It occurs on the lower slopes and bottoms of ravines and coves at lower elevations, generally below 915 m (3000 feet). Sites may be underlain by bedrock or colluvial and alluvial deposits of various sedimentary and metasedimentary rocks, granitic rocks, or metabasalt. Habitats are generally mesic with acidic soils of moderate or intermediate fertility. The overstory is codominated by variable mixtures of Liriodendron tulipifera, Pinus strobus, Tsuga canadensis, Quercus rubra, and Quercus alba. This forest generally has a moderate to strong evergreen component, but Pinus strobus varies from widely scattered to codominant, and Tsuga canadensis has been greatly reduced by recent outbreaks of the hemlock woolly adelgid and may be restricted to the understory. Less frequent overstory associates include Acer rubrum, Betula lenta, Carya spp., Fagus grandifolia, Fraxinus americana, Nyssa sylvatica, and Quercus prinus. Characteristic understory species include Acer pensylvanicum, Amelanchier arborea, Cercis canadensis, Cornus florida, Ostrya virginiana, Oxydendrum arboreum, Viburnum acerifolium, Rubus spp., Corylus americana, Hamamelis virginiana, Hydrangea arborescens, and Lindera benzoin. The herb layer is usually patchy to moderately dense. Frequent patch-dominants include Amphicarpaea bracteata, Dennstaedtia punctilobula, Eurybia divaricata, and Polystichum acrostichoides. Other constant but low-cover herbs include Botrychium virginianum, Desmodium nudiflorum, Dioscorea quaternata, Galium triflorum, Maianthemum racemosum ssp. racemosum, Mitchella repens, and Stellaria pubera. Many additional herbs occur at low constancy.



Classification

Classification Confidence: High
Classification Comments: This association is represented by 35 Virginia plots, all of which have been analyzed in a statewide classification (>1300 plots) of montane upland forests and woodlands (Fleming and Patterson 2009b). Ten plots from the southern part of the Central Appalachians were classified as this association in the Appalachian Trail classification project (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
CEGL006019 Pinus strobus - Tsuga canadensis / Acer pensylvanicum / Polystichum acrostichoides Forest
CEGL008405 Liriodendron tulipifera - Pinus strobus - (Tsuga canadensis) / Carpinus caroliniana / Amphicarpaea bracteata Forest
CEGL008512 Tsuga canadensis - Quercus prinus - Liriodendron tulipifera / Kalmia latifolia - (Rhododendron catawbiense) Forest
CEGL008539 Pinus strobus - Quercus alba - Quercus prinus / Vaccinium stamineum 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
Maryland Pinus strobus - Quercus rubra - Liriodendron tulipifera Forest Equivalent Certain Harrison 2011


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Liriodendron tulipifera - Pinus strobus - Tsuga canadensis - Quercus (rubra, alba) / Polystichum acrostichoides Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and K. Taverna. 2006. Vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks, western region. Regional (VA-WVA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2006. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.
Related Concept Name: Pinus strobus - Quercus rubra - Liriodendron tulipifera 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 - Liriodendron tulipifera - Pinus strobus / Hepatica americana Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Young, J., G. Fleming, P. Townsend, and J. Foster. 2007a. Vegetation of Shenandoah National Park in relation to environmental gradients. Final Report, volume 1.1. Unpublished report submitted to the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. 103 pp. plus appendices and GIS products.
Related Concept Name: Tsuga canadensis - Pinus strobus - Fagus grandifolia / Polystichum acrostichoides Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and P. P. Coulling. 2001. Ecological communities of the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Preliminary classification and description of vegetation types. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 317 pp.
Related Concept Name: Acidic Cove 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: White pine-oak-tuliptree dry forest
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: CAP [Central Appalachian Forest Working Group]. 1998. Central Appalachian Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.373 Southern and Central Appalachian Cove Forest
CES202.592 Northeastern Interior Dry-Mesic Oak Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4? (25Jan2008)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: This community appears to be widely but locally distributed over a large part of the Central Appalachians in Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. The type frequently forms large patches in suitable mesic habitats, but mature, high-quality stands are uncommon due to extensive past logging and more recent biotic disturbances (e.g., hemlock woolly adelgid).

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: MD, OH, VA, WV
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This community occurs in the southern portion of the Central Appalachians of Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia, extending to the adjacent Cumberland Plateau in West Virginia. It is rare in the western Piedmont foothills of Virginia, adjacent to the Blue Ridge.

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
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: Northern Ridge and Valley Section
Section Code: M221A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Allegheny Mountains Section
Section Code: M221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Cumberland Mountains Section
Section Code: M221C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Blue Ridge Mountains Section
Section Code: M221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The overstory is codominated by variable mixtures of Liriodendron tulipifera, Pinus strobus, Tsuga canadensis, Quercus rubra, Quercus velutina, and Quercus alba. This forest generally has a moderate to strong evergreen component, but Pinus strobus varies from absent to widely scattered to codominant, and Tsuga canadensis has been greatly reduced in many areas by recent outbreaks of the hemlock woolly adelgid and may be restricted to the understory. Less frequent overstory associates include Acer rubrum, Betula lenta, Carya alba, Carya glabra, Fagus grandifolia, Fraxinus americana, Nyssa sylvatica, and Quercus prinus. The subcanopy is of variable cover and may include Acer pensylvanicum, Acer rubrum, Amelanchier arborea, Cercis canadensis, Cornus florida, Ostrya virginiana, Oxydendrum arboreum, Nyssa sylvatica, Pinus strobus, and Tsuga canadensis. The shrub layer is typically patchy or open and characterized by Viburnum acerifolium, Rubus spp., Corylus americana, Hamamelis virginiana, Hydrangea arborescens, Ilex opaca, and Lindera benzoin. The herb layer is usually patchy to moderately dense. Frequent patch-dominants include Amphicarpaea bracteata, Dennstaedtia punctilobula, Eurybia divaricata, and Polystichum acrostichoides. Other constant but low-cover herbs include Botrychium virginianum, Desmodium nudiflorum, Dioscorea quaternata, Galium triflorum, Maianthemum racemosum ssp. racemosum, Medeola virginiana, Mitchella repens, Stellaria pubera, Viola hastata, and Dryopteris intermedia. Many additional herbs occur at low constancy. Species richness of 34 Virginia and West Virginia plot samples ranges from 21 to 98 taxa per 400 square meters (mean = 57), with the WV plots decidedly less species-rich (WV mean=28.5 spp.; VA mean = 64 spp.).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Pinus strobus G4 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Tsuga canadensis G4 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Panax quinquefolius G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Panax quinquefolius
  (American Ginseng)
G3G4  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This community occurs at lower elevations, generally below 915 m (3000 feet), on the lower slopes and bottoms of ravines and coves, extending to upper slopes, ridgetops, and rolling plateaus on parts of the Cumberland Plateau. Sites may be underlain by bedrock or colluvial and alluvial deposits of various metasedimentary rocks, granitic rocks, or metabasalt. Habitats are generally mesic with acidic soils of moderate or intermediate fertility. Soils are mostly well-drained, dry to moist sandy loam, sandy clay loam, silt loam, loam, and silty clay.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: Compositional variation in Central Appalachian mesic cove forests is strongly correlated with variation in soil chemistry, particularly calcium, magnesium, and total base saturation levels. Analyses of extensive regional plot data indicate that this community type occupies an intermediate position on the soil fertility gradient, on sites with acidic, moderately infertile to moderately fertile substrates.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): L.A. Sneddon, M. Anderson, and K. Metzler, mod. L.A. Sneddon and G.P. Fleming
Element Description Edition Date: 02Apr2010
Element Description Author(s): G.P. Fleming and S.C. Gawler
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 25Jan2008
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
  • CAP [Central Appalachian Forest Working Group]. 1998. Central Appalachian Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.

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

  • 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., 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. 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.

  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2009b. Classification of selected Virginia montane wetland groups. In-house analysis, December 2009. 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. Taverna. 2006. Vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks, western region. Regional (VA-WVA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2006. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • Fleming, G. P., and P. P. Coulling. 2001. Ecological communities of the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Preliminary classification and description of vegetation types. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 317 pp.

  • 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.

  • Vanderhorst, J. P., B. P. Streets, Z. Arcaro, and S. C. Gawler. 2010. Vegetation classification and mapping at Gauley River National Recreation Area. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2010/148. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Young, J., G. Fleming, P. Townsend, and J. Foster. 2006. Vegetation of Shenandoah National Park in relation to environmental gradients. Final Report (v.1.1). Research technical report prepared for USDI, National Park Service. USGS/NPS Vegetation Mapping Program. 92 pp. plus appendices.

  • Young, J., G. Fleming, P. Townsend, and J. Foster. 2007a. Vegetation of Shenandoah National Park in relation to environmental gradients. Final Report, volume 1.1. Unpublished report submitted to the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. 103 pp. plus appendices and GIS products.

  • Young, J., G. Fleming, W. Cass, and C. Lea. 2009. Vegetation of Shenandoah National Park in relation to environmental gradients, Version 2.0. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2009/142. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 389 pp.


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