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Quercus rubra - Acer saccharum / Viburnum acerifolium - Lindera benzoin Forest
Translated Name: Northern Red Oak - Sugar Maple / Mapleleaf Viburnum - Northern Spicebush Forest
Common Name: Red Oak - Transitional Northern Hardwood Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006635
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: These mesic forests of oak and northern hardwoods, sometimes mixed with hemlock or pine, are distributed across the Allegheny Plateau, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie plains and Lower New England regions of the northeastern United States. They occur on slightly acidic, well-drained loamy and often rocky soils of intermediate fertility, most often positioned on midslopes and coves. Soil depth is often shallow, but some stands occur on deep tills. Most are at low to mid elevations, usually under 520 m (1700 feet), but they may range up to 765 m (2500 feet). The deciduous-to-mixed canopy is mostly closed, and the lower layers are variable in extent. Tall shrubs are well-represented, although scattered, with occasional denser patches. Herbs are sparse and bryoids are nearly absent. Ericads and other dwarf-shrubs are also nearly absent, a characteristic that distinguishes this association from most other red oak forests in the Northeast. Canopy composition is a variable mixture of Quercus rubra (usually at least 30% of the canopy), Fagus grandifolia, Acer saccharum, Acer rubrum, and in some stands Pinus strobus or Tsuga canadensis. Conifers generally make up less than 20% of the canopy cover, and even in mixed stands the cover of deciduous trees exceeds that of conifers. Minor canopy associates include Fraxinus americana, Tilia americana, Betula lenta, Juglans cinerea, and Ulmus americana. Acer pensylvanicum is common as a small tree; in the central and southern portions of the distribution, Cornus florida and Prunus serotina are common small trees as well. Corylus cornuta, Viburnum acerifolium, and Hamamelis virginiana are typical shrubs, with Kalmia latifolia and Lindera benzoin occasional in all but the northern portions of the range. Typical species in the herb layer include Gaultheria procumbens, Maianthemum canadense, Aralia nudicaulis, Trientalis borealis, Uvularia sessilifolia, Medeola virginiana, Brachyelytrum erectum, Dryopteris intermedia, Polystichum acrostichoides, Dennstaedtia punctilobula, Pteridium aquilinum, and Thelypteris noveboracensis. On more nutrient-rich soils, the herb layer may contain Solidago caesia, Caulophyllum thalictroides, Dryopteris marginalis, and Eurybia divaricata. This association is distinguished from other transitional northern hardwood forests by its greater amount of oak, from other oak forests by its greater prominence of northern hardwoods and lack of dwarf-shrub ericads, and from hemlock-hardwoods by the relatively low importance of hemlock.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: This type was formerly included in CEGL006173. It was separated from Quercus rubra - Acer saccharum - Fagus grandifolia / Viburnum acerifolium Forest (CEGL006633) to more clearly distinguish the Allegheny Plateau and Lower New England characteristics from the Northern Appalachian region stands.

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 Northern Red Oak - Sugar Maple - Sweet Birch Forest

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

Similar Associations
Unique Identifier Name
CEGL002461 Quercus rubra - Acer saccharum - (Betula alleghaniensis) Forest
CEGL002462 Quercus rubra - Quercus alba - (Quercus velutina, Acer rubrum) / Viburnum acerifolium Forest
CEGL005005 Acer saccharum - Pinus strobus / Acer pensylvanicum Forest
CEGL006088 Tsuga canadensis - Fagus grandifolia - Quercus rubra Forest
CEGL006293 Pinus strobus - Quercus (rubra, velutina) - Fagus grandifolia Forest
CEGL006506 Quercus rubra - Acer rubrum - Betula spp. - Pinus strobus Ruderal Forest
CEGL006632 Acer saccharum - Fagus grandifolia - Fraxinus americana / Arisaema triphyllum Forest
CEGL006633 Quercus rubra - Acer saccharum - Fagus grandifolia / Viburnum acerifolium Forest
CEGL007698 Quercus rubra - Acer saccharum - Tilia americana var. heterophylla - Aesculus flava - (Cladrastis kentukea) 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
Massachusetts Red Oak - Sugar Maple Transition Forest Broader   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Hampshire Semi-rich oak - sugar maple forest Broader   Sperduto and Nichols 2004
New York Beech-maple mesic forest Broader   Edinger et al. 2002
Pennsylvania Northern hardwood forest Broader   Fike 1999
Rhode Island Mesic Beech - Maple - Red Oak Forest Broader   Enser 1999


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: CNE mesic hardwood forest on acidic bedrock/till
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.
Related Concept Name: Northern Red Oak: 55
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
CES201.563 Laurentian-Acadian Pine-Hemlock-Hardwood Forest
CES202.593 Appalachian (Hemlock)-Northern Hardwood Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4? (02Dec2014)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: This association is well-distributed, but patchy throughout its range.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI
Canadian Province Distribution: ON
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This association occurs in the Allegheny Plateau, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie plains and Lower New England regions and south to New Jersey.

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: Predicted or probable
Division Name: Hot Continental Division
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Oceanic) Province
Province Code: 221 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Lower New England Section
Section Code: 221A 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
Section Name: Southern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 221E Occurrence Status: Possible
Section Name: Western Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 221F Occurrence Status: Predicted or probable
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Continental) Province
Province Code: 222 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Erie and Ontario Lake Plain Section
Section Code: 222I Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation

Vegetation Summary: The deciduous-to-mixed canopy is mostly closed, and the lower layers are variable in extent. Tall shrubs are well represented, although scattered, with occasional denser patches. Herbs are sparse, and bryoids are nearly absent. Ericads and other dwarf-shrubs are also nearly absent, a characteristic that distinguishes this association from most other red oak forests in the Northeast. Canopy composition is a variable mixture of Quercus rubra (usually at least 30% of the canopy), Fagus grandifolia, Acer saccharum, Acer rubrum, and, in some stands, Pinus strobus or Tsuga canadensis. In mixed stands, the cover of deciduous trees exceeds that of conifers. Minor canopy associates include Fraxinus americana, Tilia americana, Betula lenta, Juglans cinerea, and Ulmus americana. Acer pensylvanicum is common as a small tree; in the central and southern portions of the distribution, Cornus florida and Prunus serotina are common small trees as well. Corylus cornuta, Viburnum acerifolium, and Hamamelis virginiana are typical shrubs, with Kalmia latifolia and Lindera benzoin occasional in all but the northern portions of the range. Typical species in the herb layer include Gaultheria procumbens, Maianthemum canadense, Aralia nudicaulis, Trientalis borealis, Uvularia sessilifolia, Medeola virginiana, Brachyelytrum erectum, Dryopteris intermedia, Polystichum acrostichoides, Dennstaedtia punctilobula, Pteridium aquilinum, and Thelypteris noveboracensis. On more nutrient-rich soils, the herb layer may contain Solidago caesia, Caulophyllum thalictroides, and Eurybia divaricata (= Aster divaricatus).

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer rubrum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Acer saccharum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Fagus grandifolia G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus rubra G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Acer pensylvanicum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy  
 
 
Cornus florida G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy  
 
 
Prunus serotina G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy  
 
 
Hamamelis virginiana G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Viburnum acerifolium G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Corylus cornuta G4 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)  
 
 
Aralia nudicaulis G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Panax quinquefolius G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Trientalis borealis G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
 
 
Dennstaedtia punctilobula G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)  
 
 
Polystichum acrostichoides G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Pteridium aquilinum G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 


At-Risk Species Reported for this Association
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Panax quinquefolius
  (American Ginseng)
G3G4  


Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N
Environmental Summary: These forests occur on slightly acidic, well-drained loamy and often rocky soils of intermediate fertility, most often positioned on midslopes and coves. Soil depth is often shallow, but some occur on deep tills. Stands often occur at low to mid elevations, usually under 520 m (1700 feet), but in the southern portion of their distribution they may range up to 760 m (2500 feet).


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): D. Faber-Langendoen
Element Description Edition Date: 02Dec2014
Element Description Author(s): S.C. Gawler and D. Faber-Langendoen
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 02Dec2014
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): D. Faber-Langendoen

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


References
  • Breden, T. F., Y. R. Alger, K. S. Walz, and A. G. Windisch. 2001. Classification of vegetation communities of New Jersey: Second iteration. Association for Biodiversity Information and New Jersey Natural Heritage Program, Office of Natural Lands Management, Division of Parks and Forestry, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Trenton.

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

  • Edinger, G. J., A. L. Feldmann, T. G. Howard, J. J. Schmid, F. C. Sechler, E. Eastman, E. Largay, L. A. Sneddon, C. Lea, and J. Von Loh. 2014b. Vegetation inventory: Saratoga National Historical Park, New York. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NETN/NRTR--2014/869, National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO.

  • Edinger, G. J., D. J. Evans, S. Gebauer, T. G. Howard, D. M. Hunt, and A. M. Olivero, editors. 2014a. Ecological communities of New York state. Second edition. A revised and expanded edition of Carol Reschke's ecological communities of New York state. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, NY.

  • Enser, R. W., and J. A. Lundgren. 2006. Natural communities of Rhode Island. A joint project of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Natural Heritage Program and The Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island. Rhode Island Natural History Survey, Kingston. 40 pp. [www.rinhs.org]

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

  • Fike, J. 1999. Terrestrial and palustrine plant communities of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Recreation, Bureau of Forestry, Harrisburg, PA. 86 pp.

  • Gawler, S. C., R. E. Zaremba, and Cogan Technology, Inc. 2017. Vegetation mapping inventory project: Minute Man National Historical Park, Massachusetts. Natural Resource Report NPS/MIMA/NRR--2017/1450. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO.

  • Metzler, K. J., and J. P. Barrett. 2001. Vegetation classification for Connecticut. Draft 5/21/2001. Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources Center, Natural Diversity Database, Hartford.

  • NRCS [Natural Resources Conservation Service]. 2004a. Soil survey of Saratoga County, New York. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. 590 pp.

  • Rawinski, T. 1984a. Natural community description abstract - southern New England calcareous seepage swamp. Unpublished report. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA. 6 pp.

  • Sechler, F. C., G. J. Edinger, T. G. Howard, J. J. Schmid, E. Eastman, E. Largay, L. A. Sneddon, C. Lea, and J. Von Loh. 2014. Vegetation classification and mapping at Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites, New York. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NETN/NRTR--2014/873, National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 392 pp.

  • Sperduto, D. D., and W. F. Nichols. 2004. Natural communities of New Hampshire: A guide and classification. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau, DRED Division of Forests and Lands, Concord. 242 pp.

  • Swain, P. C., and J. B. Kearsley. 2014. Classification of the natural communities of Massachusetts. Version 2.0. Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Westborough, MA. [http://www.mass.gov/nhesp/http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/natural-heritage/natural-communities/classification-of-natural-communities.html]


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