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Alnus serrulata - Magnolia virginiana / Eupatorium pilosum - Rhynchospora gracilenta - Xyris torta Shrubland
Translated Name: Hazel Alder - Sweetbay / Rough Boneset - Slender Beaksedge - Slender Yellow-eyed-grass Shrubland
Common Name: Inner Coastal Plain Mid-Atlantic Seepage Bog
Unique Identifier: CEGL006499
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This seepage bog is currently known from the inner Coastal Plain from central and southern Maryland to southeastern Virginia. It occurs in saturated swales and headwater streams with extremely acidic, infertile soils, through which a constant supply of groundwater is discharged. The most "natural" occurrences of this vegetation are now restricted to military base impact areas and dedicated natural areas that are burned frequently. Compositionally identical vegetation is more common where artificially maintained powerline rights-of-way intersect small streams and swales. The vegetation is usually a patchy shrubland, although scattered small trees of Acer rubrum, Nyssa sylvatica, and Pinus taeda occur at a few sites. The principal shrubs are Alnus serrulata, Magnolia virginiana, Toxicodendron vernix, Viburnum nudum var. nudum, Clethra alnifolia, and Photinia pyrifolia (= Aronia arbutifolia). Small to large, graminoid-dominated herbaceous openings occur among the shrubs. Characteristic herbaceous patch-dominants are Rhynchospora gracilenta, Rhynchospora capitellata, Andropogon glomeratus, Dichanthelium dichotomum var. dichotomum (= Dichanthelium lucidum), Scleria muehlenbergii, Eleocharis tortilis, Calamagrostis coarctata, Xyris torta, Fuirena squarrosa, Juncus canadensis, and Juncus longii. Characteristic ferns and forbs include Lycopodiella alopecuroides, Osmunda cinnamomea, Eupatorium pilosum, Viola x primulifolia, Rhexia spp., Triadenum virginicum, Polygala lutea, Polygala cruciata, and Pogonia ophioglossoides. Areas of bare mineral soil are frequently carpeted by Drosera rotundifolia var. rotundifolia, Drosera capillaris, and Utricularia subulata.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: This community was originally described based on a classification of Virginia Coastal Plain and Piedmont data (468 plots). Its current classification is based on analysis of a 1250-plot regional dataset for the NCR and Mid-Atlantic national parks vegetation mapping projects. It was represented by 7 Virginia plots and one Maryland plot; however, in Maryland, this association is artificially maintained (J. Harrison pers. comm. 2016).

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.Ne - Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Marsh, Wet Meadow & Shrubland
Macrogroup Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Plain Wet Prairie & Marsh
Group Atlantic & Gulf Coastal Plain Seep
Alliance Coastal Plain Hillside Seep

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL004781 Acer rubrum var. trilobum / Morella caroliniensis - Gaylussacia frondosa / Andropogon glomeratus - (Sarracenia flava) Seep Woodland



Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Alnus serrulata - Magnolia virginiana / Andropogon glomeratus - Eupatorium pilosum - Rhynchospora gracilenta - Xyris torta Shrubland
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: 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.
Related Concept Name: Alnus serrulata - Magnolia virginiana / Rhynchospora gracilenta - Andropogon glomeratus - Eupatorium pilosum - Xyris torta Shrub Herbaceous Vegetation
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: Alnus serrulata - Magnolia virginiana / Rhynchospora gracilenta - Andropogon glomeratus - Xyris torta Shrub Herbaceous Vegetation
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P. 2002a. Ecological communities of the Bull Run Mountains, Virginia: Baseline vegetation and floristic data for conservation planning and natural area stewardship. Natural Heritage Technical Report 02-12. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 274 pp. plus appendices.
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: Fleming, G. P. 2002b. Preliminary classification of Piedmont & Inner Coastal Plain vegetation types in Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 02-14. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 29 pp.
Related Concept Name: Coastal Plain - Piedmont Acidic Seepage Fen
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: Coastal Plain / Piedmont Seepage Bog
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2004. Natural community inventory of selected areas in the Northern Virginia Culpeper Basin, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Fauquier, and Culpeper counties. Unpublished report submitted to the Virginia Native Plant Society, Potowmack Chapter. Natural Heritage Technical Report 04-07. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 21 pp. plus appendices.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES202.298 Piedmont Seepage Wetland


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1 (15Oct2014)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This association is on the verge of extirpation, with a very small number of occurrences and no fully "natural " occurrences remaining. All remaining examples are dependent on prescribed or military incendiary burning. It once ranged throughout the Coastal Plain and outer southeast Piedmont of Virginia and Maryland and continues to persist in powerline rights-of-way. Due to fire exclusion and hydrologic alterations, it only persists in a few highly managed areas.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: MD, VA
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association is currently known from the inner Coastal Plain from central and southern Maryland to southeastern Virginia.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
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
Province Name: Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 232 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Coastal Plains and Flatwoods, Lower Section
Section Code: 232B Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: This association is usually a patchy shrubland, although scattered small trees of Acer rubrum, Nyssa sylvatica, and Pinus taeda occur at a few sites. The principal shrubs are Alnus serrulata, Magnolia virginiana, Toxicodendron vernix, Viburnum nudum var. nudum, Clethra alnifolia, and Photinia pyrifolia (= Aronia arbutifolia). Small to large, graminoid-dominated herbaceous openings occur among the shrubs. Characteristic herbaceous patch-dominants are Rhynchospora gracilenta, Rhynchospora capitellata, Andropogon glomeratus, Dichanthelium dichotomum var. dichotomum (= Dichanthelium lucidum), Scleria muehlenbergii, Eleocharis tortilis, Calamagrostis coarctata, Xyris torta, Fuirena squarrosa, Juncus canadensis, and Juncus longii. Characteristic ferns and forbs include Lycopodiella alopecuroides, Osmunda cinnamomea, Eupatorium pilosum, Viola x primulifolia, Rhexia spp., Triadenum virginicum, Polygala lutea, Polygala cruciata, and Pogonia ophioglossoides. Areas of bare mineral soil are frequently carpeted by Drosera rotundifolia var. rotundifolia, Drosera capillaris, and Utricularia subulata. Among the less frequent plants that are strongly or exclusively associated with this vegetation in Virginia are Asclepias rubra, Calamovilfa brevipilis, Carex venusta, Cleistes divaricata, Ctenium aromaticum, Eriocaulon decangulare, Juncus caesariensis, Lobelia amoena var. glandulifera (= Lobelia georgiana), Ludwigia hirtella, Platanthera blephariglottis var. conspicua, Rhynchospora cephalantha, Rhynchospora rariflora, Sarracenia flava, Sarracenia purpurea, and Xyris platylepis.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Alnus serrulata G1 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Magnolia virginiana G1 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Tall shrub/sapling  
 
 
Eupatorium pilosum G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Xyris torta G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Andropogon glomeratus G1 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 
Juncus caesariensis G1 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Rhynchospora gracilenta G1 Graminoid Herb (field)  
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Juncus caesariensis
  (New Jersey Rush)
G2G3  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: Y
Environmental Summary: This seepage "bog" occurs in saturated swales and headwater streams of the inner Coastal Plain and outer Piedmont. It is associated with extremely acidic, infertile soils through which a constant supply of groundwater is discharged. The most "natural" occurrences of this vegetation are now restricted to military base impact areas and dedicated natural areas that are burned frequently. Compositionally identical vegetation is more common where artificially maintained powerline rights-of-way intersect small streams and swales.


Dynamic Processes

Dynamics: The remarkably consistent composition of this community type in scattered powerlines over much of eastern Virginia suggests that this vegetation is a close analogue to natural bogs that occurred in the presettlement landscape. This hypothesis is supported by the extraordinarily large patches that are found in frequently burned "impact areas" at Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Pickett, and the Quantico Marine Base. Several sites at which similar bog communities were reported by Fernald and others in the early to mid-20th century are now entirely overgrown by forests. Most remaining occurrences of this type are now "semi-natural" and maintained by mowing and herbicide treatment.


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): G.P. Fleming (2002b)
Element Description Edition Date: 31May2007
Element Description Author(s): G.P. Fleming
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 15Oct2014

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. 2002a. Ecological communities of the Bull Run Mountains, Virginia: Baseline vegetation and floristic data for conservation planning and natural area stewardship. Natural Heritage Technical Report 02-12. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 274 pp. plus appendices.

  • Fleming, G. P. 2002b. Preliminary classification of Piedmont & Inner Coastal Plain vegetation types in Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 02-14. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 29 pp.

  • 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., 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. 2004. Natural community inventory of selected areas in the Northern Virginia Culpeper Basin, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Fauquier, and Culpeper counties. Unpublished report submitted to the Virginia Native Plant Society, Potowmack Chapter. Natural Heritage Technical Report 04-07. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 21 pp. plus appendices.

  • 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., 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.


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