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Classification
Scientific Name: Northeastern Interior Dry-Mesic Oak Forest
Unique Identifier: CES202.592

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Summary: These oak-dominated forests are one of the matrix forest systems in the northeastern and north-central U.S. Occurring in dry-mesic settings, they are typically closed-canopy forests, though there may be areas of patchy-canopy woodlands. They cover large expanses at low to mid elevations, where the topography is flat to gently rolling, occasionally steep. Soils are mostly acidic and relatively infertile but not strongly xeric. Local areas of calcareous bedrock, or colluvial pockets, may support forests typical of richer soils. Oak species characteristic of dry-mesic conditions (e.g., Quercus rubra, Quercus alba, Quercus velutina, and Quercus coccinea) and Carya spp. (particularly Carya tomentosa (= Carya alba), Carya glabra, Carya ovalis, Carya ovata, and Carya pallida) are dominant in mature stands. Quercus montana (= Quercus prinus) may be present but is generally less important than the other oak species. Castanea dentata was a prominent tree before chestnut blight eradicated it as a canopy constituent. Acer rubrum, Betula lenta, and Betula alleghaniensis may be common associates; Acer saccharum is occasional. With a long history of human habitation, many of the forests are early- to mid-successional, where Pinus strobus, Pinus virginiana, or Liriodendron tulipifera may be dominant or codominant. Within these forests, hillslope pockets with impeded drainage may support small isolated wetlands, including non-forested seeps or forested wetlands with Acer rubrum, Quercus bicolor, or Nyssa sylvatica characteristic.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: The oak-dominated forest matrix in this region spans a range of elevational and moisture regimes, reflected in different ecological systems. Those in drier settings, within the general range of this system, are placed in either Allegheny-Cumberland Dry Oak Forest and Woodland (CES202.359) or Central Appalachian Dry Oak-Pine Forest (CES202.591).

Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES202.359 Allegheny-Cumberland Dry Oak Forest and Woodland
CES202.591 Central Appalachian Dry Oak-Pine Forest
CES202.886 Southern Appalachian Oak Forest


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL002059 Quercus alba - Quercus rubra - Quercus montana - Acer saccharum / Lindera benzoin Forest
CEGL002067 Quercus alba - Quercus rubra - Carya tomentosa / Cornus florida Acidic Forest
CEGL002068 Quercus alba - Quercus rubra - Carya ovata Glaciated Forest
CEGL004793 Quercus muehlenbergii - Quercus (alba, rubra) - Carya cordiformis / Viburnum prunifolium Forest
CEGL006057 Quercus montana - Quercus rubra / Hamamelis virginiana Forest
CEGL006216 Quercus alba - Carya glabra - Fraxinus americana / Muhlenbergia sobolifera - Elymus hystrix Forest
CEGL006241 Quercus bicolor / Vaccinium corymbosum / Carex stipata Wet Forest
CEGL006293 Pinus strobus - Quercus (rubra, velutina) - Fagus grandifolia Forest
CEGL006301 Quercus rubra - Carya (glabra, ovata) / Ostrya virginiana / Carex lucorum Forest
CEGL006304 Liriodendron tulipifera - Pinus strobus - Tsuga canadensis - Quercus rubra / Polystichum acrostichoides Forest
CEGL006336 Quercus (alba, rubra, velutina) - Carya spp. / Viburnum acerifolium Forest
CEGL006454 Quercus (rubra, velutina, alba) - Betula lenta - (Pinus strobus) Forest
CEGL006921 Fagus grandifolia - Betula lenta - Quercus (alba, rubra) / Carpinus caroliniana Forest
CEGL008475 Quercus alba - Quercus rubra - Carya tomentosa / Vaccinium stamineum / Desmodium nudiflorum Piedmont Forest
CEGL008514 Quercus rubra - Quercus montana - Carya ovalis / (Cercis canadensis) / Solidago caesia Forest
CEGL008516 Quercus montana - Quercus rubra - Carya ovalis / Carex pensylvanica - (Calamagrostis porteri) Forest
CEGL008517 Quercus rubra - Acer saccharum / Ostrya virginiana / Cardamine concatenata Forest
CEGL008518 Quercus rubra - Carya ovata - Fraxinus americana / Actaea racemosa - Hydrophyllum virginianum Forest
CEGL008528 Tilia americana - Fraxinus americana / Acer pensylvanicum / Parthenocissus quinquefolia - Impatiens pallida Woodland



Classifiers

Land Cover Class: Forest and Woodland
Spatial Pattern: Matrix
Natural/Seminatural: No
Vegetated ( > 10% vascular cover):
Upland: Yes
Wetland: Yes
Isolated Wetland: No

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Lowland  
Forest and Woodland (Treed)  
Acidic Soil  
Quercus - Carya  

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Sideslope  
Toeslope/Valley Bottom  
Mineral: W/ A-Horizon >10 cm  
Loam Soil Texture  
Ustic  
F-Patch/Medium Intensity  
Broad-Leaved Deciduous Tree  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Callophrys irus
  (Frosted Elfin)
G3  
Canis rufus
  (Red Wolf)
G1Q LE, XN: Listed endangered, nonessential experimental population
Carex communis var. amplisquama
  (Fort Mountain Sedge)
G5T3  
Carex polymorpha
  (Variable Sedge)
G3  
Coreopsis delphiniifolia
  (Larkspur Tickseed)
G3?Q  
Fothergilla major
  (Mountain Witch-alder)
G3  
Gaylussacia brachycera
  (Box Huckleberry)
G3  
Melanoplus serrulatus
  (Serrulate Melanoplus)
G1G3  
Puma concolor couguar
  (Eastern Cougar)
G5TXQ  
Taenidia montana
  (Mountain Parsley)
G3  
Thermopsis fraxinifolia
  (Ashleaf Bush-pea)
G3?  
Thermopsis mollis
  (Allegheny Mountain Golden-banner)
G3G4  
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
%
Betula lenta G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Carya alba G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Carya glabra G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Liriodendron tulipifera G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus alba G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus coccinea G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus rubra G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus velutina G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pinus strobus G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pinus virginiana G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Cornus florida G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Castanea dentata G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 


Animal Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status Charact-
eristic
Exotic
Callophrys irus
  (Frosted Elfin)
G3      
Canis rufus
  (Red Wolf)
G1Q LE, XN: Listed endangered, nonessential experimental population    
Cemophora coccinea copei
  (Northern Scarletsnake)
G5T5      
Coccyzus erythropthalmus
  (Black-billed Cuckoo)
G5      
Crotalus horridus
  (Timber Rattlesnake)
G4      
Glaucomys volans
  (Southern Flying Squirrel)
G5      
Melanoplus serrulatus
  (Serrulate Melanoplus)
G1G3      
Mustela nivalis
  (Least Weasel)
G5      
Neotoma floridana haematoreia
  (Southern Appalachian Woodrat)
G5T4Q      
Plestiodon anthracinus anthracinus
  (Northern Coal Skink)
G5T5      
Plestiodon inexpectatus
  (Southeastern Five-lined Skink)
G5      
Plethodon cinereus
  (Redback Salamander)
G5      
Pseudacris brachyphona
  (Mountain Chorus Frog)
G5      
Puma concolor couguar
  (Eastern Cougar)
G5TXQ      
Synanthedon castaneae
  (Chestnut Clearwing Moth)
G3G5      
Tamias striatus
  (Eastern Chipmunk)
G5      
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: MD, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA, WV
Global Range: This system is found from southern New York west through Ohio and Pennsylvania and south to Virginia. It does not extend to the southernmost part of Virginia, except in the Ridge and Valley.

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 Confident or certain
52 Piedmont Confident or certain
59 Central Appalachian Forest Confident or certain
60 High Allegheny Plateau Confident or certain
61 Lower New England / Northern Piedmont Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
53 Appalachia Confident or certain
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 Confident or certain
63 Finger Lakes Confident or certain
64 Northeastern Highlands Confident or certain
65 Connecticut River Basin and Highlands Never was there

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 4109
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1303
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2303

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: Yes

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 20Aug2015
Element Description Author(s): S.C. Gawler 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
  • 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.

  • Cutter, B. E., and R. P. Guyette. 1994. Fire history of an oak-hickory ridge top in the Missouri Ozarks. American Midland Naturalist 132:393-398.

  • 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.

  • Greller, A. M. 1988. Deciduous forest. Pages 288-316 in: M. G. Barbour and W. D. Billings, editors. North American terrestrial vegetation. Cambridge University Press, New York.

  • Landfire [Landfire National Vegetation Dynamics Database]. 2007a. Landfire National Vegetation Dynamics Models. Landfire Project, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Department of Interior. (January - last update) [http://www.LANDFIRE.gov/index.php] (accessed 8 February 2007).

  • ONHD [Ohio Natural Heritage Database]. No date. Vegetation classification of Ohio and unpublished data. Ohio Natural Heritage Database, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Columbus.

  • Schuler, T. M., and W. R. McClain. 2003. Fire history of a Ridge and Valley oak forest. Research Paper NE-724. USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Service, Newtown Square, PA.

  • Sutherland, E. K., T. F. Hutchinson, and D. A. Yaussy. 2003. Introduction, study area description, and experimental design. Pages 1-16 in: E. K. Sutherland and T. F. Hutchinson, editors. Characteristics of mixed-oak forest ecosystems in southern Ohio prior to the reintroduction of fire. General Technical Report NE-299.USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station, Newtown Square, PA.

  • USFS [U.S. Forest Service, Eastern Region]. 1995. Chapter 16. Ecological subregions of the United States: Section 221E--Southern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau. U.S. Forest Service, Eastern Region. [http://www.fs.fed.us/land/pubs/ecoregions/ch16.html#221E]

  • Vanderhorst, J., and B. P. Streets. 2006. Vegetation classification and mapping of Camp Dawson Army Training Site, West Virginia: Second approximation. Natural Heritage Program, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Elkins. 83 pp.


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