NatureServe Explorer logo.An Online Encyclopedia of Life
Search
Ecological Association Comprehensive Report: Record 1 of 1 selected.
See All Search Results    View Glossary
<< Previous | Next >>

Acer saccharum - Fraxinus americana / Carpinus caroliniana / Podophyllum peltatum Forest
Translated Name: Sugar Maple - White Ash / American Hornbeam / Mayapple Forest
Common Name: Mid-Atlantic High Terrace Hardwood Floodplain Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006459
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: These rich floodplain forests are found on slightly elevated alluvial terraces and active floodplains of larger rivers in the mid-Atlantic states, interior to the Coastal Plain. The setting is a raised river terrace; however, this forest may occur very close to the riverbank if the water channel is well-entrenched. The alluvial soils are slightly acidic to alkaline and less regularly inundated than the soils supporting floodplain forests dominated by silver maple or sycamore. Stands on lower terraces may flood occasionally, but the period of inundation is short. The canopy is closed to somewhat open, and a subcanopy is often present. Shrubs are typically sparse but may range up to about 30% cover. The herb layer is well-developed, fairly diverse, and seasonally variable, with spring ephemerals giving way to taller ferns, graminoids and forbs. Bryoids are very minor. The canopy dominants are usually some combination of Acer saccharum, Fraxinus americana, and sometimes Carya cordiformis. Canopy associates include Quercus rubra, Juglans nigra, Prunus serotina, Fraxinus nigra, Liriodendron tulipifera, Ulmus americana, Tilia americana, and Fagus grandifolia. Carpinus caroliniana is often present as a small tree, along with Acer saccharum. Lindera benzoin is the most common shrub; Asimina triloba is characteristic in the southern portion of this type's range. Vines such as Toxicodendron radicans and Parthenocissus quinquefolia are frequent but usually at low cover. The herb layer usually features spring ephemerals, including Claytonia virginica, Dicentra canadensis, and Erythronium americanum, followed by a mixture of ferns, forbs and graminoids. Characteristic species include Arisaema triphyllum, Caulophyllum thalictroides, Carex laxiculmis, Deparia acrostichoides, Elymus virginicus, Elymus riparius, Onoclea sensibilis, and Podophyllum peltatum. Exotic species, such as Microstegium vimineum, Glechoma hederacea, and Alliaria petiolata, may be abundant, especially in disturbed areas. These terrace forests are related to lower floodplain forests, e.g. Platanus occidentalis - Acer negundo - Juglans nigra / Asimina triloba / Mertensia virginica Floodplain Forest (CEGL004073), but distinguished by the reduced importance of Acer saccharinum and Platanus occidentalis; they differ from enriched upland hardwood forests, e.g., Acer saccharum - Tilia americana / Asimina triloba / Jeffersonia diphylla - Caulophyllum thalictroides Forest (CEGL008412), in their alluvial soils and flooding regime.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: This community has been drastically reduced from its original extent, as it makes excellent fertile farmland. Originally it was probably a large-patch type.

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-Allegheny Northern Hardwood - Conifer Forest
Alliance Central & Southern Appalachian Rich Northern Hardwood Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL006114 Acer saccharum - Fraxinus spp. - Tilia americana / Matteuccia struthiopteris - Ageratina altissima Floodplain Forest
CEGL006314 Liriodendron tulipifera - Fraxinus spp. / Lindera benzoin - Viburnum prunifolium / Podophyllum peltatum Floodplain Forest
CEGL006405 Tilia americana - Acer saccharum - Acer nigrum / Laportea canadensis Floodplain Forest
CEGL008412 Acer saccharum - Tilia americana / Asimina triloba / Jeffersonia diphylla - Caulophyllum thalictroides 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
New York Floodplain forest Broader Certain Edinger et al. 2002


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Acer saccharum - Fraxinus americana - Carya cordiformis / Erythronium americanum Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
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]
Related Concept Name: Acer saccharum / Ptelea trifoliata / Uniola latifolia Association
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Rawinski, T. J., K. N. Hickman, J. Waller-Eling, G. P. Fleming, C. S. Austin, S. D. Helmick, C. Huber, G. Kappesser, F. C. Huber, Jr., T. Bailey, and T. K. Collins. 1996. Plant communities and ecological land units of the Glenwood Ranger District, George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. Natural Heritage Technical Report 96-20. Richmond. 65 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Montane - Piedmont Bottomland Forest
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: Palustrine Broad-leaved Deciduous Forested Wetland, Seasonally Flooded (PFO1C)
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Cowardin, L. M., V. Carter, F. C. Golet, and E. T. LaRoe. 1979. Classification of wetlands and deepwater habitats of the United States. FWS/OBS-79/31. USDI Fish & Wildlife Service, Office of Biological Services, Washington, DC. 103 pp.
Related Concept Name: Piedmont / Mountain Floodplain 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: Sugar Maple - Basswood: 26
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.608 Central Appalachian River Floodplain


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G3? (05Oct2006)
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This type is fairly widely distributed in the mid-Atlantic states, but it occurs in small patches in restricted environmental settings that are typically cleared for agriculture, and intact examples are not well-documented.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: MD, NJ, NY, PA, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association is known from the mid-Atlantic states from New York south to the James River in Virginia.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Warm Continental Division
Province Name: Laurentian Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 212 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Glaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212F Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Division Name: Hot Continental Division
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Oceanic) Province
Province Code: 221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Hudson Valley Section
Section Code: 221B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Appalachian Piedmont Section
Section Code: 221D Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The canopy is closed to somewhat open, and a subcanopy is often present. Shrubs are typically sparse but may range up to about 30% cover. The herb layer is well-developed, fairly diverse, and seasonally variable, with spring ephemerals giving way to taller ferns, graminoids and forbs. Bryoids are very minor. The canopy dominants are usually some combination of Acer saccharum, Fraxinus americana, and sometimes Carya cordiformis. Canopy associates include Quercus rubra, Juglans nigra, Prunus serotina, Fraxinus nigra, Liriodendron tulipifera, Ulmus americana, Tilia americana, Celtis occidentalis, and Fagus grandifolia. Carpinus caroliniana is often present as a small tree, along with Acer saccharum and Acer negundo. Lindera benzoin is the most common shrub; Asimina triloba is characteristic in the southern portion of this type's range. Vines such as Toxicodendron radicans and Parthenocissus quinquefolia are frequent but usually at low cover. The herb layer usually features spring ephemerals, including Claytonia virginica, Dicentra canadensis, and Erythronium americanum, followed by a mixture of ferns, forbs and graminoids. Characteristic species include Arisaema triphyllum, Caulophyllum thalictroides, Carex laxiculmis, Deparia acrostichoides, Elymus virginicus, Elymus riparius, Onoclea sensibilis, and Podophyllum peltatum. Matteuccia struthiopteris may form local dominance patches in this type along the Potomac River in Maryland and Virginia. Exotic species, such as Microstegium vimineum, Glechoma hederacea, and Alliaria petiolata, may be abundant, especially in disturbed areas.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer saccharum G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)  
 
 
Fraxinus americana G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Lindera benzoin G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Acer saccharum G3 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Alliaria petiolata G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Arisaema triphyllum G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Glechoma hederacea G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Podophyllum peltatum G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Onoclea sensibilis G3 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Microstegium vimineum G3 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: These rich floodplain forests are found on slightly elevated alluvial terraces of mid-sized to larger rivers. The setting is a raised river terrace; however, this forest may occur very close to the riverbank if the water channel is well-entrenched. The alluvial soils are slightly acidic to alkaline. Stands on lower terraces may flood occasionally, but the period of inundation is short. Along the Potomac River west of Washington, DC, this community occupies alluvial fill overlying terraces interpreted as the Penholoway and Wicomico. It is often the higher of paired alluvial benches downstream of defending bedrock outcrops on major islands, with Platanus occidentalis - Acer negundo - Juglans nigra / Asimina triloba / Mertensia virginica Floodplain Forest (CEGL004073) occupying the lower bench. Soils are generally deep sandy loams, loamy sands or sands and are likely Inceptisols. The mean flooding recurrence interval along the Potomac is 15 to 30 years.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): S.C. Gawler
Element Description Edition Date: 05Oct2006
Element Description Author(s): S.C. Gawler and G.P. Fleming
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 05Oct2006
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
  • Cowardin, L. M., V. Carter, F. C. Golet, and E. T. LaRoe. 1979. Classification of wetlands and deepwater habitats of the United States. FWS/OBS-79/31. USDI Fish & Wildlife Service, Office of Biological Services, Washington, DC. 103 pp.

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

  • Edinger, G. J., D. J. Evans, S. Gebauer, T. G. Howard, D. M. Hunt, and A. M. Olivero, editors. 2002. Ecological communities of New York state. Second edition. A revised and expanded edition of Carol Reschke's ecological communities of New York state. (Draft for review). New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY.

  • Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.

  • Fleming, G. P. 2007. Ecological communities of the Potomac Gorge in Virginia: Composition, floristics, and environmental dynamics. Natural Heritage Technical Report 07-12. Unpublished report submitted to the National Park Service. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 341 pp. plus appendices.

  • 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., 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. 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., and P. Stango, III. 2003. Shrubland tidal wetland communities of Maryland's Eastern Shore: Identification, assessment and monitoring. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis. 118 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.

  • Lea, C. 2000. Plant communities of the Potomac Gorge and their relationship to fluvial factors. M.S. thesis, George Mason University. Fairfax, VA. 219 pp.

  • Perles, S. J., G. S. Podniesinski, E. Eastman, L. A. Sneddon, and S. C. Gawler. 2007. Classification and mapping of vegetation and fire fuel models at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2007/076. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 2 volumes.

  • Perles, S. J., G. S. Podniesinski, M. Furedi, B. A. Eichelberger, A. Feldmann, G. Edinger, E. Eastman, and L. A. Sneddon. 2008. Vegetation classification and mapping at Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2008/133. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 370 pp.

  • Rawinski, T. J., K. N. Hickman, J. Waller-Eling, G. P. Fleming, C. S. Austin, S. D. Helmick, C. Huber, G. Kappesser, F. C. Huber, Jr., T. Bailey, and T. K. Collins. 1996. Plant communities and ecological land units of the Glenwood Ranger District, George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. Natural Heritage Technical Report 96-20. Richmond. 65 pp. plus appendices.

  • Thomson, D., A. M. Gould, and M. A. Berdine. 1999. Identification and protection of reference wetland natural communities in Maryland: Potomac watershed floodplain forests. The Biodiversity Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Division. Annapolis. 119 pp.


Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of November 2016.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2017 NatureServe, 4600 N. Fairfax Dr., 7th Floor, Arlington Virginia 22203, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2017. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.

Copyright 2017
NatureServe
Version 7.1 (2 February 2009)
Data last updated: November 2016