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Classification
Scientific Name: Acadian Low-Elevation Spruce-Fir-Hardwood Forest
Unique Identifier: CES201.565

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Summary: This system represents the Acadian and northern Appalachian red spruce-fir forest that extends to the southern boreal region of southeastern Canada. The low- to mid-elevation forests are dominated by Picea rubens and Abies balsamea. Picea mariana and Picea glauca may be present. Betula alleghaniensis is the most common codominant, and Acer rubrum, Acer saccharum, and Fagus grandifolia are sometimes present. The upland soils are acidic and usually rocky, mostly well- to moderately well-drained but with some somewhat poorly drained patches at the slope bottoms. This is the matrix forest type in the lower-elevation northern portions of this division. This system may include earlier successional patches in which Populus spp. and Betula spp. are dominant or mixed with Picea and Abies that will develop into spruce-fir forests. Blowdowns with subsequent gap regeneration are the most frequent form of natural disturbance, with large-scale fires important at longer return intervals.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: Differences between this and the seasonally flooded Acadian Sub-boreal Spruce Flat (CES201.562) are not well-defined; data from Canada may help to resolve this.

Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES103.020 Laurentian-Acadian Sub-boreal Aspen-Birch Forest
CES201.562 Acadian Sub-boreal Spruce Flat
CES201.564 Laurentian-Acadian Northern Hardwood Forest


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL006151 Picea rubens - Picea glauca Forest
CEGL006273 Picea rubens - Abies balsamea - Betula papyrifera Forest
CEGL006292 Picea mariana / Kalmia angustifolia Woodland
CEGL006361 Picea mariana - Picea rubens / Pleurozium schreberi Swamp Forest
CEGL006505 Picea rubens - Abies balsamea - Betula spp. - Acer rubrum Forest



Classifiers

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

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Lowland  
Forest and Woodland (Treed)  
Mesotrophic Soil  
Oligotrophic Soil  
Picea (glauca, mariana, rubens) - Abies  

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Sideslope  
Toeslope/Valley Bottom  
Glaciated  
Acidic Soil  
Mineral: W/ A-Horizon >10 cm  
Loam Soil Texture  
Sand Soil Texture  
Udic  
Long Disturbance Interval  
W-Patch/Medium Intensity  
Needle-Leaved Tree  
Moderate (100-500 yrs) Persistence  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Betula papyrifera G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Abies balsamea G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Picea glauca G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Picea rubens G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Tsuga canadensis G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Corylus cornuta G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Maianthemum canadense G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 
Oclemena acuminata G5 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: ME, NH, NY, PA, VT
Nation: Canada
Canadian Province Distribution: NB, QCpotentially occurs
Global Range: This system is found in northern New England, northern New York and adjacent Canada and is occasional southwards.

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

The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Ecoregions
Code Name Occurrence Status
60 High Allegheny Plateau Confident or certain
61 Lower New England / Northern Piedmont Confident or certain
63 Northern Appalachian-Boreal Forest Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
64 Northeastern Highlands Confident or certain
65 Connecticut River Basin and Highlands Confident or certain
66 The North Woods Confident or certain

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 4316
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1373
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2373

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: Yes

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 20Aug2007
Element Description Author(s): S.C. Gawler

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


References
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Gawler, S. C., and A. Cutko. 2010. Natural landscapes of Maine: A classification of vegetated natural communities and ecosystems. Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Conservation, Augusta.

  • Lorimer, C. G. 1977. The presettlement forest and natural disturbance cycle of northeastern Maine. Ecology 58:139-148.

  • 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.


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