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Acer saccharum - Tilia americana / Acer pensylvanicum / Caulophyllum thalictroides Forest
Translated Name: Sugar Maple - American Basswood / Striped Maple / Blue Cohosh Forest
Common Name: Transitional Northern Sugar Maple - Ash Rich Mesic Forest
Unique Identifier: CEGL006637
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This rich sugar maple - white ash - basswood forest is found from the Allegheny Plateau of Pennsylvania and New York, the Lake Ontario and Lake Erie plains and Lower New England, south to the Central Appalachian region of western Virginia and eastern West Virginia. Stands occur on nutrient-rich, mesic or wet-mesic settings on sloped to rolling terrain. Slope bottoms, where colluvium collects, are a common landscape position. The surface soils are deep sand, loamy sand, or loam and may be underlain by sandy clay loam to clay loam. The sites are somewhat poorly drained to well-drained and can have a water table 0.4-2 m below the surface. Small (<1 ha) seep areas that may occur within these forests have soils that are usually saturated. This forest community has a well-developed tree canopy composed of deciduous species. Shrubs are scattered, but the herbaceous stratum is generally extensive. Bryoids are only a minor component of the ground layer, which is predominantly nitrogen-rich sugar maple leaves. Acer saccharum and Tilia americana are the dominant trees; Fraxinus americana is frequent but not necessarily abundant. Ostrya virginiana is very common as a small tree. Acer rubrum, Fagus grandifolia, and Prunus serotina are typical associates, in small amounts. Ulmus rubra and Juglans cinerea are occasional, Magnolia acuminata infrequent. Shrubs that may be found in this community include Cornus alternifolia, Hamamelis virginiana, and Lonicera canadensis. The ground flora, including many spring ephemerals, is diverse and consists primarily of nutrient- and light-requiring species. Many of these flower and fruit early in the spring before the tree canopy has fully leafed out. Fern richness is often high. Various sedges are present (particularly the Laxiflorae). These forests are differentiated from less-rich northern hardwood forests, e.g., Acer saccharum - Fagus grandifolia - Fraxinus americana / Arisaema triphyllum Forest (CEGL006632), primarily by their abundant and diverse herbaceous layer, as well as by the greater prominence of sugar maple, basswood and ash in the canopy and reduced importance of beech.



Classification

Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: The attribution of this type to the Ridge and Valley subsection is based on the location of a single stand on the westernmost scarp slope of the Ridge Valley (east slope of Middle Mountain) at the Allegheny Front. The status of this association in Maryland is uncertain. This type was formerly included in CEGL005008. It is separated from Acer saccharum - Fraxinus americana / Acer spicatum / Caulophyllum thalictroides Forest (CEGL006636) to better highlight the transitional character of these rich hardwoods in the Allegheny Plateau and adjacent regions, as compared to the rich mesic northern hardwoods in the Laurentian-Acadian region.

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
CEGL002457 Acer saccharum - Betula alleghaniensis - Tilia americana Forest
CEGL005004 Acer saccharum - Fagus grandifolia - Betula spp. / Maianthemum canadense Forest
CEGL006211 Acer saccharum - (Fraxinus americana) / Arisaema triphyllum Forest
CEGL006632 Acer saccharum - Fagus grandifolia - Fraxinus americana / Arisaema triphyllum Forest
CEGL006636 Acer saccharum - Fraxinus americana / Acer spicatum / 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
Connecticut Sugar maple - White ash / Blue cohosh (Acer saccharum - Fraxinus americana / Caulophyllum thalictroides) community Broader   Metzler and Barrett 2006
Connecticut Sugar maple - White ash / Silver false spleenwort (Acer saccharum - Fraxinus americana / Deparia acrostichoides) community Broader   Metzler and Barrett 2006
Maryland Acer saccharum - Fraxinus americana - Tilia americana / Acer spicatum / Allium tricoccum - Caulophyllum thalictroides Forest Equivalent Certain Harrison 2011
Massachusetts Rich, Mesic Forest Broader   Swain and Kearsley 2001
New Jersey Acer saccharum - Fraxinus spp. - Tilia americana/Osmorhiza claytonii - Caulophyllum thalictroides Forest Equivalent Certain Breden et al. 2001
New York Maple-Basswood Rich Mesic Forest Broader   Edinger et al. 2002
Pennsylvania Sugar Maple - Basswood Forest Broader   Fike 1999


Other Related Concepts
Related Concept Name: Acer saccharum - Fraxinus americana / Deparia acrostichoides community
Relationship: = - Equivalent
Reference: 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.
Related Concept Name: Acer saccharum - Tilia americana - Fagus grandifolia / Caulophyllum thalictroides - Viola blanda - (Allium tricoccum) Forest
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: 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.
Related Concept Name: Acer saccharum - Tilia americana / Caulophyllum thalictroides - Laportea canadensis Association
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: Fleming, G. P., and W. H. Moorhead, III. 1996. Ecological land units of the Laurel Fork Area, Highland County, Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 96-08. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 114 pp. plus appendices.
Related Concept Name: Beech-Maple Forest
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Enser, R. 1999. Natural communities of Rhode Island. Unpublished draft, December 1999. 22 pp.
Related Concept Name: Dry - Fresh Sugar Maple - Basswood Deciduous Forest Type
Relationship: F - Finer
Reference: Lee, H., W. Bakowsky, J. Riley, J. Bowles, M. Puddister, P. Uhlig, and S. McMurray. 1998. Ecological land classification for southern Ontario: First approximation and its application. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Southcentral Science Section, Science Development and Transfer Branch. SCSS Field Guide FG-02.
Related Concept Name: Dry - Fresh Sugar Maple - Black Cherry Forest Type
Relationship: F - Finer
Reference: Lee, H., W. Bakowsky, J. Riley, J. Bowles, M. Puddister, P. Uhlig, and S. McMurray. 1998. Ecological land classification for southern Ontario: First approximation and its application. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Southcentral Science Section, Science Development and Transfer Branch. SCSS Field Guide FG-02.
Related Concept Name: Dry - Fresh Sugar Maple - Hickory Deciduous Forest Type
Relationship: F - Finer
Reference: Lee, H., W. Bakowsky, J. Riley, J. Bowles, M. Puddister, P. Uhlig, and S. McMurray. 1998. Ecological land classification for southern Ontario: First approximation and its application. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Southcentral Science Section, Science Development and Transfer Branch. SCSS Field Guide FG-02.
Related Concept Name: Dry - Fresh Sugar Maple - Ironwood Deciduous Forest Type
Relationship: F - Finer
Reference: Lee, H., W. Bakowsky, J. Riley, J. Bowles, M. Puddister, P. Uhlig, and S. McMurray. 1998. Ecological land classification for southern Ontario: First approximation and its application. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Southcentral Science Section, Science Development and Transfer Branch. SCSS Field Guide FG-02.
Related Concept Name: Dry - Fresh White Ash Deciduous Forest Type
Relationship: F - Finer
Reference: Lee, H., W. Bakowsky, J. Riley, J. Bowles, M. Puddister, P. Uhlig, and S. McMurray. 1998. Ecological land classification for southern Ontario: First approximation and its application. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Southcentral Science Section, Science Development and Transfer Branch. SCSS Field Guide FG-02.
Related Concept Name: Dry-Mesic Calcareous Forest
Relationship: B - Broader
Reference: Breden, T. F. 1989. A preliminary natural community classification for New Jersey. Pages 157-191 in: E. F. Karlin, editor. New Jersey's rare and endangered plants and animals. Institute for Environmental Studies, Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ. 280 pp.
Related Concept Name: High-Elevation Cove 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: SNE rich mesic forest (circumneutral to basic)
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
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: 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.
Related Concept Name: Sugar maple-white ash-basswood-bluebead cove forest
Relationship: ? - Undetermined
Reference: CAP [Central Appalachian Forest Working Group]. 1998. Central Appalachian Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES201.564 Laurentian-Acadian Northern Hardwood Forest


NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G4? (03Dec2014)
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: This community has a wide geographic distribution, but is locally distributed within its range due to specific requirements for mesic sites with fertile soils. In gentler topographic regions, many examples of this community have probably been destroyed for agriculture, and most remaining examples elsewhere have been altered by past logging. Consequently much of the remaining acreage is of variable quality.

Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: CT, MA, MDpotentially occurs, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA, WV
Canadian Province Distribution: ON
Global Distribution: Canada, United States
Global Range: This forest association ranges generally from the Allegheny Plateau of Pennsylvania and New York to the Lake Ontario and Lake Erie plains and Lower New England to the Central Appalachian region of western Virginia and eastern West 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
Section Name: Northern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 212G Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Northern Great Lakes Section
Section Code: 212H Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Southern Superior Uplands Section
Section Code: 212J 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
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: This forest community has a well-developed tree canopy composed of deciduous species. Shrubs are scattered, but the herbaceous stratum is well-represented. Acer saccharum and Tilia americana are the dominant trees; Fraxinus americana is frequent but not necessarily abundant. Ostrya virginiana is very common as a small tree. Acer rubrum, Fagus grandifolia, and Prunus serotina are typical associates, in small amounts. Ulmus rubra and Juglans cinerea are occasional, Magnolia acuminata infrequent. Shrubs that may be found in this community include Cornus alternifolia, , Hamamelis virginiana, and Lonicera canadensis. The ground flora, much of which is spring ephemerals, is diverse and consists primarily of nutrient- and light-requiring species. Many of these flower and fruit early in the spring before the tree canopy has fully leafed out; Dicentra cucullaria, Dicentra canadensis, Hepatica spp., Asarum canadense, Caulophyllum thalictroides, Viola canadensis, Viola rotundifolia, Actaea pachypoda, Osmorhiza claytonii, Panax quinquefolius, Sanguinaria canadensis, and Erythronium americanum are typical. Fern richness is often high, with characteristic species including Adiantum pedatum, Cystopteris bulbifera, Deparia acrostichoides (= Athyrium thelypterioides), Dryopteris goldiana, Dryopteris filix-mas, Dryopteris marginalis, Botrychium virginianum, Athyrium filix-femina, Phegopteris hexagonoptera (= Thelypteris hexagonoptera), and, especially in seepy spots, Matteuccia struthiopteris. Various sedges are present (particularly the Laxiflorae group) such as Carex laxiflora, Carex platyphylla, Carex plantaginea, Carex leptonervia, Carex hitchcockiana, Carex aestivalis, Carex davisii, Carex bebbii, and others. The herbaceous flora in seeps often contains Carex scabrata, Ageratina altissima (= Eupatorium rugosum), Impatiens capensis (sometimes Impatiens pallida as well), and Solidago flexicaulis. One state-rare plant species, Cuscuta rostrata, is associated with this vegetation type.

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
eristic
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer saccharum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree (canopy & subcanopy)  
 
 
Fraxinus americana G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Tilia americana G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Ostrya virginiana G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Cornus alternifolia G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Dirca palustris G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Hamamelis virginiana G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Lonicera canadensis G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Viburnum lantanoides G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Allium tricoccum G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Cardamine diphylla G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Caulophyllum thalictroides G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Claytonia caroliniana G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Cuscuta rostrata G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Panax quinquefolius G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Phlox stolonifera G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Tiarella cordifolia G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Viola blanda G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Viola canadensis G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Adiantum pedatum G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)  
 
 
Botrychium virginianum G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)  
 
 
Dryopteris goldiana G4 Fern (Spore-bearing forb) Herb (field)    
 
 
Milium effusum G4 Graminoid 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: In Virginia, stands occur on nutrient-rich, mesic or, sometimes, wet-mesic situations on flat to rolling terrain. The surface soils are deep sand, loamy sand, or loam and underlain by sandy clay loam to clay loam. The sites are somewhat poorly drained to well-drained and can have a water table 0.4-2 m below the surface. The elevation of known examples ranges from 115-830 m (380-2700 feet). Ground cover is deciduous litter, predominantly of nitrogen-rich sugar maple leaves.


Dynamic Processes


Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank


Authors/Contributors
Concept Author(s): D. Faber-Langendoen, mod. L. Sneddon and G. Fleming
Element Description Edition Date: 03Dec2014
Element Description Author(s): D. Faber-Langendoen, L. Sneddon, G. Fleming and S.C. Gawler
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 28Sep2001
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): G. Fleming

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. 1989. A preliminary natural community classification for New Jersey. Pages 157-191 in: E. F. Karlin, editor. New Jersey's rare and endangered plants and animals. Institute for Environmental Studies, Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ. 280 pp.

  • 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.

  • CAP [Central Appalachian Forest Working Group]. 1998. Central Appalachian Working group discussions. The Nature Conservancy, Boston, MA.

  • 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.

  • Enser, R. 1999. Natural communities of Rhode Island. Unpublished draft, December 1999. 22 pp.

  • 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.

  • 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., 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 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.

  • Fleming, G. P., and W. H. Moorhead, III. 1996. Ecological land units of the Laurel Fork Area, Highland County, Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 96-08. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 114 pp. plus appendices.

  • 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.

  • Lee, H., W. Bakowsky, J. Riley, J. Bowles, M. Puddister, P. Uhlig, and S. McMurray. 1998. Ecological land classification for southern Ontario: First approximation and its application. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Southcentral Science Section, Science Development and Transfer Branch. SCSS Field Guide FG-02.

  • 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.

  • Metzler, K. J., and J. P. Barrett. 2004. Vegetation classification for Connecticut. Draft. State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, Department of Environmental Protection, Hartford, CT.

  • Metzler, K., and J. Barrett. 2006. The vegetation of Connecticut: A preliminary classification. State Geological and Natural History Survey, Report of Investigations No. 12. Connecticut Natural Diversity Database, Hartford.

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

  • Swain, P. C., and J. B. Kearsley. 2001. Classification of natural communities of Massachusetts. September 2001 draft. Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Westborough, MA.

  • WVNHP [West Virginia Natural Heritage Program]. No date (b). Unpublished data. West Virginia Natural Heritage Program, Elkins.


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