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Sassafras albidum - Quercus spp. Ruderal Forest
Translated Name: Sassafras - Oak species Ruderal Forest
Common Name: Southern Blue Ridge Ruderal Sassafras Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL004096
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This community consists of deciduous forests dominated or codominated by Sassafras albidum. Most occurrences developed through catastrophic disturbance such as fire and/or partial clearcuts. These upland forests are found in patches along exposed slopes. Forests are primarily below 915 m (3000 feet) elevation and are usually associated with acidic slopes heavily disturbed by catastrophic fire. Forests occur primarily in the Southern Blue Ridge and Cumberland Mountains. This community includes pure, often even-aged stands of Sassafras albidum, as well as forests with Liriodendron tulipifera and Quercus spp. Throughout most of the range, Carya alba and Castanea dentata are often subcanopy dominants. The herbaceous layer varies widely depending upon geology but is often sparse.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Low - Poorly Documented

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 Eastern North American Ruderal Forest
Group Eastern North American Native Ruderal Forest
Alliance Ruderal Tuliptree - Black Walnut - Black Locust Forest

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These data are subject to substantial ongoing revision and may be out of date for some states.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
Tennessee Sassafras albidum - Quercus spp. Successional Forest Equivalent Certain TDNH unpubl. data



Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.886 Southern Appalachian Oak Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: GNA (18Feb2015)
Rounded Global Status: GNA - Not Applicable
Reasons: Although this forest is a successional type, it is most likely caused by natural and/or anthropogenic catastrophic fire and probably has existed on the landscape in some form or another for quiet a while. As a consequence, this vegetation type is considered to be a common natural type.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: KYpotentially occurs, NCpotentially occurs, TNpotentially occurs, VApotentially occurs
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association is known from the Southern Blue Ridge and Cumberland Mountains of the southeastern U.S. It is known from Virginia and may also occur in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
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: Cumberland Mountains Section
Section Code: M221C Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This community includes pure, often even-aged stands of Sassafras albidum, as well as forests with Liriodendron tulipifera and Quercus spp. Throughout most of the range, Carya alba and Castanea dentata are often subcanopy dominants. The herbaceous layer is often sparse and varies, depending upon the underlying geology.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Sassafras albidum GNA Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: This community consists of deciduous forests dominated or codominated by Sassafras albidum. Most examples are heavily impacted by natural catastrophic fire and/or partial clearcuts. These upland forests are found in patches along exposed slopes. Examples are found primarily below 915 m (3000 feet) elevation and are usually associated with acidic slopes heavily disturbed by catastrophic fire. Forests occur primarily in the Southern Blue Ridge and Cumberland Mountains.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: A short-lived community type, this forest develops after catastrophic fire on some dry slopes and may exist for 10-30 years before the Sassafras canopy is overtopped by other taller forest trees.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): R. White
Element Description Edition Date: 01Feb2006
Element Description Author(s): R. White
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 31Jan2006
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): R. White

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


References
  • 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.

  • White, R. D., Jr. 2006. Vascular plant inventory and ecological community classification for Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. NatureServe, Durham, NC. 246 pp.


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