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Pinus taeda / Hudsonia tomentosa Woodland
Translated Name: Loblolly Pine / Woolly Beach-heather Woodland
Common Name: Loblolly Pine Dune Woodland
Unique Identifier: CEGL006052
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This maritime woodland occurs on large, xeric sand dunes of barrier islands in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. Soils in this community are sandy and rapidly drained. It often occurs directly adjacent to actively shifting foredunes and is exposed to salt spray, winds and storms. The community also occurs on unstable sands of protected backdunes. In the denser woodlands, more pine duff accumulates, and herb diversity and cover are generally higher. Where woodlands are more open and trees sparse, growing conditions are harsh, less duff accumulates, and vast areas of exposed white sand are characteristic. Trees are generally characterized by low spreading branches and multiple trunks. A shrub layer is sparse or lacking; herbaceous cover is usually low. Pinus taeda dominates the canopy, but hardwoods such as Quercus falcata, Quercus nigra, and Ilex opaca are frequent but have low stature and cover. Younger, smaller pines make up a sparse subcanopy. Tall shrubs are also sparse, although an occasional Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera), Pinus taeda sapling, hardwood sapling, or Vaccinium corymbosum can be found. Sparse low shrubs of Hudsonia tomentosa are more common. Smilax glauca, Smilax rotundifolia, and Toxicodendron radicans are typical vines. Herbs are sparse, yet much varied; Schizachyrium littorale is commonly present. The typical pattern of herb distribution is on dry open sand, in direct sunlight. Here, small patches of Dichanthelium ovale, Dichanthelium scoparium, Schizachyrium littorale, Cyperus grayi, Lechea maritima var. virginica, Eupatorium rotundifolium, Erigeron sp., Euthamia caroliniana (= Euthamia tenuifolia), Solidago sempervirens, Aristida tuberculosa, Polygonella articulata, Panicum amarum, and Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium (= Gnaphalium obtusifolium) are typically mixed with scattered Hudsonia tomentosa and Smilax rotundifolia.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: This community gained greater extent in some areas of Virginia barrier beaches following logging (Higgins et al. 1971, Bratton and Davison 1987, Schafale and Weakley 1990).

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-Northeastern Oak - Hardwood - Pine Forest & Woodland
Group North Atlantic Maritime & Coastal Plain Forest
Alliance Maritime Pine Forest & Woodland

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
Delaware Loblolly Pine Dune Woodland Equivalent Certain Coxe 2009


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Pinus taeda / Hudsonia tomentosa Woodland
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.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. 1997a. Vegetation classification of Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Report to the NBS/NPS Vegetation Mapping Program. The Nature Conservancy. Eastern Regional Office, Boston, MA.
Related Concept Name: Dune Woodland
Relationship: I - Intersecting
Reference: Clampitt, C. A. 1991. The upland plant communities of Seashore State Park, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Virginia Journal of Science 42:419-435.
Related Concept Name: Loblolly Pine Dune Woodland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Bowman, P. 2000. Draft classification for Delaware. Unpublished draft. Delaware Natural Heritage Program.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Clancy, K. 1996. Natural communities of Delaware. Unpublished review draft. Delaware Natural Heritage Program, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Delaware Division of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Smyrna, DE. 52 pp.
Related Concept Name: Maritime Dune Woodland
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.
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: Pine woodland
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Higgins, E. A. T., R. D. Rappleye, and R. G. Brown. 1971. The flora and ecology of Assateague Island. University of Maryland Experiment Station Bulletin A-172. 70 pp.
Related Concept Name: Upland forest
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Klotz, L. H. 1986. The vascular flora of Wallops Island and Wallops Mainland, Virginia. Castanea 51:306-326.
Related Concept Name: Woodland community
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Hill, S. R. 1986. An annotated checklist of the vascular flora of Assateague Island (Maryland and Virginia). Castanea 5:265-305.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES203.264 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Dune and Swale
CES203.302 Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain Maritime Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1G2 (02Dec1998)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This maritime woodland community is restricted to major coastal dune systems of the mid-Atlantic region. Only 10-20 occurrences are estimated or known from Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware. Size ranges from about an acre to perhaps 30 acres. The community occurs on a restricted habitat, on back dunes protected from the direct influence of wind and salt spray. This community is threatened by many of the same threats common to coastal dune systems: dune stabilization, commercial and residential development, and road expansion.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: DE, MD, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This maritime woodland occurs on sand dunes of barrier islands in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. The southernmost known occurrence is at False Cape State Park in extreme southeastern Virginia.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Subtropical Division
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
Section Name: Atlantic Coastal Flatwoods Section
Section Code: 232C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This community is characterized by a very open canopy created by sparsely distributed Pinus taeda. Hardwoods such as Quercus falcata, Quercus nigra, and Ilex opaca are frequent but have low stature and cover. At the southern end of the range, small individuals of Quercus virginiana and Quercus incana may be associated. Pines make up a sparse subcanopy. Tall shrubs are also sparse, although an occasional Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera), Pinus taeda sapling, hardwood sapling, or Vaccinium corymbosum can be found. Sparse low shrubs of Hudsonia tomentosa are common. Smilax glauca and Toxicodendron radicans are typical vine species but make up less than 5% cover. Herbs are sparse, yet much varied. Schizachyrium littorale and Smilax rotundifolia are commonly present. The typical pattern of herb distribution is on dry open sand, in direct sunlight. Here, small patches of Dichanthelium ovale, Dichanthelium scoparium, Schizachyrium littorale, Cyperus grayi, Lechea maritima var. virginica, Eupatorium rotundifolium, Erigeron sp., Euthamia caroliniana (= Euthamia tenuifolia), Solidago sempervirens, Aristida tuberculosa, Polygonella articulata, Panicum amarum, and Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium (= Gnaphalium obtusifolium) are typically mixed with scattered Hudsonia tomentosa and Smilax rotundifolia. In total, herb cover ranges from 5-40%, generally near the lower end of the scale.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Pinus taeda G1 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Hudsonia tomentosa G1 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Short shrub/sapling  
 
 
Dichanthelium acuminatum G1 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This community is a maritime woodland of large, xeric sand dunes. Soils in this community are sandy and rapidly drained. This community often occurs directly adjacent to actively shifting foredune and is exposed to salt spray, winds, and storms. The community also occurs on unstable sands of protected backdunes. In the denser woodlands, more pine duff accumulates and herb diversity and cover is generally higher. Where woodlands are more open and trees sparse, growing conditions are harsh, less duff accumulates, and vast areas of exposed white sand are characteristic.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): A. Berdine
Element Description Edition Date: 10Jun2008
Element Description Author(s): A. Berdine and G.P. Fleming
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 09Jan2006
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): L.A. Sneddon

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


References
  • Berdine, M. A. 1998. Maryland vegetation classification. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis, MD.

  • Bowman, P. 2000. Draft classification for Delaware. Unpublished draft. Delaware Natural Heritage Program.

  • Bratton, S. P., and K. Davison. 1987. Disturbance and succession in Buxton Woods, Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Castanea 52:166-179.

  • Brock, J. C., C. W. Wright, M. Patterson, A. Naeghandi, and L. J. Travers. 2007. EAARL bare earth topography - Assateague Island National Seashore. U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2007-1176. [http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1176/start.html]

  • Clampitt, C. A. 1991. The upland plant communities of Seashore State Park, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Virginia Journal of Science 42:419-435.

  • Clancy, K. 1996. Natural communities of Delaware. Unpublished review draft. Delaware Natural Heritage Program, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Delaware Division of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Smyrna, DE. 52 pp.

  • 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., 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. 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.

  • 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.

  • Higgins, E. A. T., R. D. Rappleye, and R. G. Brown. 1971. The flora and ecology of Assateague Island. University of Maryland Experiment Station Bulletin A-172. 70 pp.

  • Hill, S. R. 1986. An annotated checklist of the vascular flora of Assateague Island (Maryland and Virginia). Castanea 5:265-305.

  • Klotz, L. H. 1986. The vascular flora of Wallops Island and Wallops Mainland, Virginia. Castanea 51:306-326.

  • 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.

  • TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. 1995c. NBS/NPS Vegetation Mapping Program: Vegetation classification of Assateague Island National Seashore. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Regional Office, Boston, MA.

  • TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. 1997a. Vegetation classification of Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Report to the NBS/NPS Vegetation Mapping Program. The Nature Conservancy. Eastern Regional Office, Boston, MA.


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