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Classification
Scientific Name: Central Appalachian Alkaline Glade and Woodland
Unique Identifier: CES202.602

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Summary: This system occurs at low to moderate elevations from the Central Appalachians (with a few northward incursions into southernmost New York and New England possible) south to the Ridge and Valley and Piedmont. It consists of woodlands and open glades on thin soils over limestone, dolostone or similar calcareous rock. Juniperus virginiana is a common tree, often increasing in the absence of fire, and Quercus muehlenbergii is indicative of the limestone substrate. Rhus aromatica, Cercis canadensis, and Ostrya virginiana may occur. Prairie grasses are the dominant herbs (Andropogon gerardii, Schizachyrium scoparium, Bouteloua spp.). Forb richness is often high; characteristic forbs include Asclepias verticillata, Brickellia eupatorioides, Erigeron pulchellus, Monarda fistulosa, Packera obovata, Salvia lyrata, and Symphyotrichum oblongifolium. Fire is sometimes an important natural disturbance factor, but open physiognomies may also be maintained by drought.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)


Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES201.572 Laurentian-Acadian Calcareous Rocky Outcrop
CES202.024 Southern Ridge and Valley Calcareous Glade and Woodland
CES202.457 Southern Ridge and Valley / Cumberland Dry Calcareous Forest
CES202.603 North-Central Appalachian Circumneutral Cliff and Talus
CES202.691 Central Interior Highlands Calcareous Glade and Barrens


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL004793 Quercus muehlenbergii - Quercus (alba, rubra) - Carya cordiformis / Viburnum prunifolium Forest
CEGL006017 Acer saccharum - Quercus muehlenbergii / Cercis canadensis Forest
CEGL006030 Quercus muehlenbergii / Packera plattensis - Parthenium auriculatum - Schizachyrium scoparium Woodland
CEGL006047 Juniperus virginiana / Bouteloua curtipendula - Carex eburnea Wooded Grassland
CEGL006231 Quercus muehlenbergii - Cercis canadensis / Packera obovata - Lithospermum canescens Woodland
CEGL006301 Quercus rubra - Carya (glabra, ovata) / Ostrya virginiana / Carex lucorum Forest



Classifiers

Land Cover Class: Steppe/Savanna
Spatial Pattern: Small patch
Natural/Seminatural: No
Vegetated ( > 10% vascular cover):
Upland: Yes
Wetland: No
Isolated Wetland: No

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Woody-Herbaceous  
Ridge/Summit/Upper Slope  
Unglaciated  
Alkaline Soil  
Shallow Soil  

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Lowland  
Forest and Woodland (Treed)  
Temperate  
Mesotrophic Soil  
Circumneutral Soil  
Ustic  
Intermediate Disturbance Interval  
F-Patch/Medium Intensity  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Canis rufus
  (Red Wolf)
G1Q LE, XN: Listed endangered, nonessential experimental population
Castilleja kraliana
  (Kral's Indian-paintbrush)
G2  
Clematis coactilis
  (Virginia White-hair Leatherflower)
G3  
Delphinium exaltatum
  (Tall Larkspur)
G3  
Echinacea laevigata
  (Smooth Purple Coneflower)
G2G3 LE: Listed endangered
Melanoplus divergens
  (Divergent Melanoplus)
G2G3  
Monarda fistulosa ssp. 1
  (Smoke Hole Bergamot)
G5T1T2  
Puma concolor couguar
  (Eastern Cougar)
G5TXQ  
Rhynchospora thornei
  (Thorne's Beakrush)
G3  
Taenidia montana
  (Mountain Parsley)
G3  
Thaspium pinnatifidum
  (Cutleaf Meadow-parsnip)
G2G3  
Virginia valeriae pulchra
  (Mountain Earthsnake)
G5T3T4  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer saccharum var. saccharum T5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Celtis occidentalis G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Fraxinus americana G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus muehlenbergii G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Juniperus virginiana G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Cercis canadensis G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Castilleja kraliana G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Echinacea laevigata G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Monarda fistulosa G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Symphyotrichum oblongifolium G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Thaspium pinnatifidum G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Andropogon gerardii G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Schizachyrium scoparium G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Animal Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status Charact-
eristic
Exotic
Agkistrodon contortrix
  (Copperhead)
G5      
Anolis carolinensis
  (Green Anole)
G5      
Canis rufus
  (Red Wolf)
G1Q LE, XN: Listed endangered, nonessential experimental population    
Coluber constrictor
  (North American Racer)
G5      
Euchloe olympia
  (Olympia Marble)
G5      
Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum
  (Eastern Milksnake)
G5T5      
Melanoplus divergens
  (Divergent Melanoplus)
G2G3      
Mustela nivalis
  (Least Weasel)
G5      
Neotoma floridana haematoreia
  (Southern Appalachian Woodrat)
G5T4Q      
Plestiodon inexpectatus
  (Southeastern Five-lined Skink)
G5      
Puma concolor couguar
  (Eastern Cougar)
G5TXQ      
Tantilla coronata
  (Southeastern Crowned Snake)
G5      
Thamnophis sirtalis
  (Common Gartersnake)
G5      
Virginia valeriae pulchra
  (Mountain Earthsnake)
G5T3T4      
Virginia valeriae valeriae
  (Eastern Earthsnake)
G5T5      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: CTpotentially occurs, MD, NJ, NYpotentially occurs, OH, PA, VA, WV
Global Range: This system is known from Pennsylvania and northwestern New Jersey south through the Ridge and Valley to western Virginia, possibly extending to southeasternmost New York and the marble valleys of northwestern Connecticut.

Biogeographic Divisions
Division Code and Name Primary Occurrence Status
202-Central Interior and Appalachian C: Confident or certain

The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Ecoregions
Code Name Occurrence Status
49 Western Allegheny Plateau Predicted or probable
51 Southern Blue Ridge Confident or certain
59 Central Appalachian Forest Confident or certain
61 Lower New England / Northern Piedmont Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
54 Southern Piedmont Never was there
57 Southern Appalachia Confident or certain
59 Northeastern Piedmont Never was there
60 Chesapeake Bay Confident or certain
61 Northern Appalachia Confident or certain
62 Allegheny Plateau Never was there
64 Northeastern Highlands Confident or certain
65 Connecticut River Basin and Highlands Predicted or probable

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 5416
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1400
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2400

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: Yes

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 14Jan2014
Element Description Author(s): S.C. Gawler, G. Fleming, R. Evans, M. Pyne and L.A. Sneddon

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


References
  • Bartgis, R. L. 1993. The limestone glades and barrens of West Virginia. Castanea 58:69-89.

  • Berg, T. M., W. E. Edmunds, A. R. Geyer, and others. 1980. Geologic map of Pennsylvania. Fourth Series, Map 1. Pennsylvania Geological Survey. [http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/publications/pgspub/map/map1/index.htm]

  • Braun, E. L. 1950. Deciduous forests of eastern North America. Hafner Press, New York. 596 pp.

  • Comer, P., D. Faber-Langendoen, R. Evans, S. Gawler, C. Josse, G. Kittel, S. Menard, C. Nordman, M. Pyne, M. Reid, M. Russo, K. Schulz, K. Snow, J. Teague, and R. White. 2003-present. Ecological systems of the United States: A working classification of U.S. terrestrial systems. NatureServe, Arlington, VA.

  • Dreese, D. N. 2010. America's natural places: East and Northeast. Greenwood Publishing Group, Westport, CT.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Laughlin, D. C. 2004. Woody invasion and the importance of anthropogenic disturbance within xeric limestone prairies. Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science 78:12-28.

  • Ludwig, J. C. 1999. The flora of dolomite and limestone barrens in southwestern Virginia. Castanea 64(3):209-230.

  • McPherson, J. I. 2013. Conservation assessment of calcareous ecosystems. Report to Wild Resources Conservation Program, Grant #10391. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program at Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Pittsburgh, PA. 152 pp.


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