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Alnus serrulata - Xanthorhiza simplicissima Wet Shrubland
Translated Name: Hazel Alder - Yellowroot Wet Shrubland
Common Name: Rocky Bar and Shore (Alder - Yellowroot Type)
Unique Identifier: CEGL003895
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association includes shrublands on rocky or gravelly substrates along narrow river margins in the southeastern Blue Ridge Escarpment gorges, ranging elsewhere on the Southern Blue Ridge and into the Cumberland Plateau. Vegetation composition, density, and height vary with frequency of flooding, substrate, and soil depth. Alnus serrulata and Xanthorhiza simplicissima are common and characteristic but not always dominant. Other shrubs may include Arundinaria gigantea, Diervilla sessilifolia, Salix nigra, Salix sericea, Rhododendron arborescens, Rhododendron viscosum, Rhododendron maximum, Rhododendron periclymenoides, Kalmia latifolia, Leucothoe fontanesiana, Cornus foemina, Cornus amomum, Physocarpus opulifolius, Itea virginica, and Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides. Arborescent species that occur as tall shrubs (or as occasional trees, less than 10% cover) include Acer rubrum, Carpinus caroliniana, Diospyros virginiana, Liquidambar styraciflua, Liriodendron tulipifera, Platanus occidentalis, and Tsuga canadensis. Open areas dominated by grasses and forbs include species such as Agrostis perennans, Boykinia aconitifolia, Carex torta, Eupatorium fistulosum, Lycopus virginicus, Trautvetteria caroliniensis, Houstonia serpyllifolia, Impatiens capensis, Hypericum mutilum, Viola x primulifolia, and Holcus lanatus (exotic). Adjacent alluvial forests in the Blue Ridge are dominated by Tsuga canadensis, Liriodendron tulipifera, Betula lenta, and, at lower elevations, below 610 m (2000 feet), Platanus occidentalis and Liquidambar styraciflua.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: This association is known from the Bankhead National Forest, Alabama, but further inventory is needed to fully describe the variation of this type on the Bankhead and elsewhere in the Cumberland Plateau. In the Appalachian Trail study (Fleming and Patterson 2009a), four plots from North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia were classified as this association. Species that are 100% constant are Alnus serrulata, Apios americana, Dichanthelium clandestinum, Rudbeckia laciniata, Solidago rugosa, Toxicodendron radicans, Verbesina alternifolia, and Viola sororia; species that are 75% constant include Ambrosia artemisiifolia, Amphicarpaea bracteata, Carpinus caroliniana, Clematis virginiana, Cryptotaenia canadensis, Impatiens capensis, and Xanthorhiza simplicissima. Exotic species that may be present (at 75% constancy) include Holcus lanatus, Microstegium vimineum, and Rosa multiflora.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 2 - Shrub & Herb Vegetation
Subclass 2.C - Shrub & Herb Wetland
Formation 2.C.4 - Temperate to Polar Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Division 2.C.4.Nd - Eastern North American Temperate & Boreal Freshwater Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Macrogroup Eastern North American Wet Shoreline Vegetation
Group Eastern North American Riverine Wetland Vegetation
Alliance Hazel Alder Riverscour Shrubland

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004031 Platanus occidentalis / Dichanthelium clandestinum - Festuca subverticillata 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
Alabama Alnus serrulata - Xanthorhiza simplicissima Shrubland Equivalent Certain Schotz pers. comm.
North Carolina Rocky Bar and Shore (Alder-Yellowroot Subtype) Equivalent Certain Schafale 2012
South Carolina Shoal and Stream Bar Broader   Nelson 1986
Tennessee Alnus serrulata - Xanthorhiza simplicissima Shrubland Equivalent Certain TDNH unpubl. data


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Alnus/Xanthorhiza rocky stream margin
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Newell, C. L., and R. K. Peet. 1995. Vegetation of Linville Gorge Wilderness, North Carolina. Unpublished report. to USDA Forest Service. University of North Carolina, Department of Biology, Chapel Hill. 211 pp.
Related Concept Name: IIE3a. Riverside Shoal and Stream Bar Complex
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Allard, D. J. 1990. Southeastern United States ecological community classification. Interim report, Version 1.2. The Nature Conservancy, Southeast Regional Office, Chapel Hill, NC. 96 pp.
Related Concept Name: River Sandbar
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Patterson, K. D. 1994. Classification of vegetation in Ellicott Rock Wilderness, Southeastern Blue Ridge Escarpment. M.S. thesis, North Carolina State University, Raleigh. 91 pp.
Related Concept Name: Rocky Bar And Shore (Alder-Yellowwood 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: Rocky Bar and Shore
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]
Relationship: I - Intersecting
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.
Related Concept Name: Rocky Bar and Shore (Alder-Yellowwood Subtype)
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Schafale, M. 2002. Fourth approximation guide. Mountain communities. November 2002 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.
Related Concept Name: Sand and Mud Bar
Relationship: I - Intersecting
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
CES202.036 Cumberland Riverscour
CES202.705 South-Central Interior Large Floodplain
CES202.706 South-Central Interior Small Stream and Riparian


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3G4 (17Dec1999)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This community is naturally restricted in terms of geography and habitat, thus could be vulnerable to elimination. However, this community is often overlooked in inventories or not separately distinguished, and is likely much more common than the number of documented occurrences suggests. Threats to this community include alteration of the natural flooding regime due to damming of rivers and invasion by exotic species carried on river courses.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: AL, GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association is found along montane rivers in the Southern Blue Ridge and Cumberlands. Occurrences in adjacent regions are possible.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Hot Continental Division
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Oceanic) Province
Province Code: 221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Cumberland Plateau Section
Section Code: 221H 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 Cumberland Plateau Section
Section Code: 231C 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: Blue Ridge Mountains Section
Section Code: M221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: Alnus serrulata and Xanthorhiza simplicissima are common shrubs and characteristic but not always dominant. Other shrubs may include Arundinaria gigantea, Diervilla sessilifolia, Salix nigra, Salix sericea, Rhododendron arborescens, Rhododendron viscosum, Rhododendron maximum, Rhododendron periclymenoides, Kalmia latifolia, Leucothoe fontanesiana, Cornus foemina, Cornus amomum, Physocarpus opulifolius, Itea virginica, and Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides. Arborescent species that occur as tall shrubs (or as occasional trees, less than 10% cover) include Acer rubrum, Carpinus caroliniana, Diospyros virginiana, Liquidambar styraciflua, Liriodendron tulipifera, Platanus occidentalis, and Tsuga canadensis. Open areas dominated by grasses and forbs include species such as Agrostis perennans, Boykinia aconitifolia, Carex torta, Eupatorium fistulosum, Lycopus virginicus, Trautvetteria caroliniensis, Houstonia serpyllifolia, Impatiens capensis, Hypericum mutilum, Viola x primulifolia, and Holcus lanatus (exotic). Adjacent alluvial forests in the Blue Ridge are dominated by Tsuga canadensis, Liriodendron tulipifera, Betula lenta, and, at lower elevations, below 610 m (2000 feet), Platanus occidentalis and Liquidambar styraciflua

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Diervilla rivularis G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Spiraea virginiana G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Alnus serrulata G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Carpinus caroliniana G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Diospyros virginiana G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Liquidambar styraciflua G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Liriodendron tulipifera G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Platanus occidentalis G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Tsuga canadensis G3 Needle-leaved tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Leucothoe fontanesiana G3 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Xanthorhiza simplicissima G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Holcus lanatus G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Diervilla rivularis
  (Mountain Bush-honeysuckle)
G3  
Spiraea virginiana
  (Virginia Spiraea)
G2 LT: Listed threatened


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This association includes shrublands on rocky or gravelly substrates along narrow river margins in the southeastern Blue Ridge Escarpment gorges, ranging elsewhere on the Southern Blue Ridge and into the Cumberland Plateau. Vegetation composition, density, and height vary with frequency of flooding, substrate, and soil depth. The occurrences can be in very narrow bands of 1-2 m or wider bars of up to 10-20 m wide adjacent to large creeks and small rivers.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): K.D. Patterson
Element Description Edition Date: 24Feb2010
Element Description Author(s): R. White and K.D. Patterson
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 17Dec1999
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): K.D. Patterson

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


References
  • Allard, D. J. 1990. Southeastern United States ecological community classification. Interim report, Version 1.2. The Nature Conservancy, Southeast Regional Office, Chapel Hill, NC. 96 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. 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. 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.

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

  • Nelson, J. B. 1986. The natural communities of South Carolina: Initial classification and description. South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Columbia, SC. 55 pp.

  • Newell, C. L., and R. K. Peet. 1995. Vegetation of Linville Gorge Wilderness, North Carolina. Unpublished report. to USDA Forest Service. University of North Carolina, Department of Biology, Chapel Hill. 211 pp.

  • Patterson, K. D. 1994. Classification of vegetation in Ellicott Rock Wilderness, Southeastern Blue Ridge Escarpment. M.S. thesis, North Carolina State University, Raleigh. 91 pp.

  • Peet, R. K., T. R. Wentworth, M. P. Schafale, and A.S. Weakley. No date. Unpublished data of the North Carolina Vegetation Survey. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

  • Schafale, M. 1998b. Fourth approximation guide. High mountain communities. March 1998 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

  • Schafale, M. 2002. Fourth approximation guide. Mountain communities. November 2002 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.

  • Schotz, A., H. Summer, and R. White, Jr. 2008. Vascular plant inventory and ecological community classification for Little River Canyon National Preserve. NatureServe, Durham, NC. 244 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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