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Liriodendron tulipifera - Acer negundo - (Platanus occidentalis) / Carpinus caroliniana / Polygonum virginianum Floodplain Forest
Translated Name: Tuliptree - Box-elder - (American Sycamore) / American Hornbeam / Jumpseed Floodplain Forest
Common Name: Northern Piedmont Small Stream Floodplain Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006492
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This community occupies floodplains and terraces of medium-sized streams (large streams and small rivers) in the Piedmont of Maryland and Virginia. These floodplains are moderately extensive and subject to frequent overflow, but topographically fairly homogeneous. In these habitats, the alluvial landforms (e.g., levees, backswamps) are poorly developed or occur at very small scales. Hydrologic regime is temporarily flooded. Soils are generally alluvial silt loams and sands washed from various metamorphic and igneous rocks. This association is a closed forest with consistent overstory codominance by Liriodendron tulipifera in variable combinations with other trees. Acer negundo, Acer rubrum, or both are characteristic in the overstory or understory. Platanus occidentalis varies from codominant to absent. Other trees that may be important in some stands include Juglans nigra, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Fraxinus americana, Carya cordiformis, Ulmus americana, Betula nigra, and Quercus palustris. Lindera benzoin, Carpinus caroliniana, and, less constantly, Asimina triloba and/or Viburnum prunifolium dominate the shrub layer. Vines of Toxicodendron radicans and other species may occur. Relatively diverse herb layers are composed of both mesophytic and hydrophytic species. Common herbs include Arisaema triphyllum, Geum canadense, Polygonum virginianum, Carex amphibola, Circaea lutetiana ssp. canadensis, Verbesina alternifolia, Carex radiata, Carex blanda, Impatiens capensis, Boehmeria cylindrica, Viola sororia, and Symphyotrichum lateriflorum. Although less constant, Elymus virginicus, Claytonia virginica, and Erythronium americanum form dominance patches in some stands. Because land-use effects (agriculture, grazing, utility corridors in and near the floodplain, excessively frequent flooding and sediment deposition following watershed development) frequently disturb the habitat, the herb layer is often weedy and is commonly dominated by the exotic grass Microstegium vimineum.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: Classification of this type is supported by 15 Virginia and Maryland plot samples analyzed during the Nation Capital Region vegetation mapping project, plus additional observational data. The collection of additional data from across the full range would assist in refining the description of this type and its full range of compositional variation. However, the smaller floodplains supporting this type are typically low priorities for sampling or research, in part because they are highly disturbed and good examples are hard to locate.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 1 - Forest & Woodland
Subclass 1.B - Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland
Formation 1.B.3 - Temperate Flooded & Swamp Forest
Division 1.B.3.Na - Eastern North American-Great Plains Flooded & Swamp Forest
Macrogroup Central Hardwood Floodplain Forest
Group Silver Maple - Sugarberry - Sweetgum Floodplain Forest
Alliance Central Appalachian-Piedmont Sycamore - Green Ash - Tuliptree Floodplain Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004073 Platanus occidentalis - Acer negundo - Juglans nigra / Asimina triloba / Mertensia virginica Floodplain Forest
CEGL004418 Liquidambar styraciflua - Liriodendron tulipifera / Lindera benzoin / Arisaema triphyllum Floodplain Forest
CEGL006036 Platanus occidentalis - Fraxinus pennsylvanica Floodplain Forest
CEGL006458 Platanus occidentalis - Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Carpinus caroliniana / Verbesina alternifolia Floodplain Forest
CEGL007013 Fraxinus pennsylvanica - Platanus occidentalis - Celtis laevigata / Chasmanthium latifolium Piedmont Floodplain Forest
CEGL007184 Liriodendron tulipifera - Acer negundo Ruderal Forest
CEGL007340 Platanus occidentalis - Liquidambar styraciflua / Carpinus caroliniana - Asimina triloba 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
Maryland Liriodendron tulipifera - Acer (rubrum, negundo) - (Platanus occidentalis) / Carpinus caroliniana / Polygonum virginianum Forest Equivalent Certain Harrison 2011


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Liriodendron tulipifera - Fraxinus pennsylvanica - (Platanus occidentalis) / Carpinus caroliniana - Lindera benzoin / Geum canadense Forest
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: 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.
Related Concept Name: Coastal Plain - 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: Piedmont / Mountain Alluvial 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.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.323 Southern Piedmont Small Floodplain and Riparian Forest
CES202.609 Central Appalachian Stream and Riparian


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4 (16Apr2007)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: More information is needed to rank this community.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: DC, MD, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association is known from the Piedmont of Maryland and Virginia. In Virginia, it is the principal small floodplain forest in the northern and western Piedmont.

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 Appalachian Piedmont Section
Section Code: 221D 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 Appalachian Piedmont Section
Section Code: 231A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This association is a closed forest with consistent overstory codominance by Liriodendron tulipifera in variable combinations with other trees. Acer negundo, Acer rubrum, or both are characteristic in the overstory or understory. Platanus occidentalis varies from codominant to absent. Other trees that may be important in some stands include Juglans nigra, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Fraxinus americana, Carya cordiformis, Ulmus americana, Betula nigra, and Quercus palustris. Lindera benzoin, Carpinus caroliniana, and, less constantly, Asimina triloba and/or Viburnum prunifolium dominate the shrub layer. Vines of Toxicodendron radicans and other species may occur. Relatively diverse herb layers are composed of both mesophytic and hydrophytic species. The most constant herbs in 15 Virginia and Maryland plot samples were Arisaema triphyllum, Geum canadense, Polygonum virginianum, Carex amphibola, Circaea lutetiana ssp. canadensis, Verbesina alternifolia, Carex radiata, Carex blanda, Impatiens capensis, Boehmeria cylindrica, Viola sororia, and Symphyotrichum lateriflorum. Although less constant, Elymus virginicus, Claytonia virginica, and Erythronium americanum form dominance patches in some stands. Because land-use effects (agriculture, grazing, utility corridors in and near the floodplain, excessively frequent flooding and sediment deposition following watershed development) frequently disturb the habitat, the herb layer is often weedy and is commonly dominated by the exotic grass Microstegium vimineum.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Betula nigra G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Carya cordiformis G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Fraxinus americana G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Fraxinus pennsylvanica G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Juglans nigra G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Liriodendron tulipifera G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus palustris G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Ulmus americana G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Acer negundo G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Acer rubrum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Toxicodendron radicans G4 Liana Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Carpinus caroliniana G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Lindera benzoin G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Arisaema triphyllum G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Boehmeria cylindrica G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Circaea lutetiana ssp. canadensis G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Geum canadense G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Impatiens capensis G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Phacelia covillei G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Polygonum virginianum G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Symphyotrichum lateriflorum G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Verbesina alternifolia G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Viola sororia G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex amphibola G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex blanda G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Carex radiata G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Microstegium vimineum G4 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Phacelia covillei
  (Buttercup Scorpionweed)
G3  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This community occupies floodplains and terraces of medium-sized streams (large streams and small rivers). These floodplains are moderately extensive and subject to frequent overflow, but topographically fairly homogeneous. In these habitats, the alluvial landforms (e.g., levees, backswamps) are poorly developed or occur at very small scales. Hydrologic regime is temporarily flooded, and the mean flood return interval is thought to be roughly once or twice a year, but may vary with stream order and position in the watershed. Soils are generally alluvial silt loams and sands washed from various metamorphic and igneous rocks. Samples collected from plots have moderately high calcium, magnesium, and total base saturation levels.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): C. Lea, mod. G.P. Fleming
Element Description Edition Date: 07Aug2007
Element Description 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
  • Eastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boston, MA.

  • 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., K. Taverna, and P. P. Coulling. 2007b. Vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks, eastern region. Regional (VA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2007. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.

  • 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. 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. 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.

  • Lea, C. 2004. Draft vegetation types in National Capital Region Parks. Edited by S.C. Gawler and J. Teague. Working draft for review by NatureServe, Virginia Natural Heritage, West Virginia Natural Heritage, Maryland Natural Heritage, and National Park Service. July 2004. 157 pp.

  • NRCS [Natural Resources Conservation Service]. 2006b. Soil Survey Geographic (SSURGO) database for Franklin County, Virginia. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Fort Worth, TX. [http://SoilDataMart.nrc.usda.gov/]

  • Patterson, K. D. 2008a. Vegetation classification and mapping at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Virginia. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2008/125. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Patterson, K. D. 2008b. Vegetation classification and mapping at Booker T. Washington National Monument, Virginia. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2008/100. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 173 pp.


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