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Classification
Scientific Name: Southern Coastal Plain Dry Upland Hardwood Forest
Unique Identifier: CES203.560

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Summary: This is one of three hardwood-dominated systems found in the East Gulf Coastal Plain and adjacent areas of central Florida. This type is found in the Southern Coastal Plain and Southeastern Plains (EPA Level III Ecoregion 75 and parts of 65). Examples attributable to this type are typically deciduous or mixed evergreen oak-dominated forests, often with a pine component present. Although the southern portion of the range of this system overlaps Southern Coastal Plain Oak Dome and Hammock (CES203.494), the latter is dominated by evergreen oak species, and the two should not be confused. The core range of this type extends northward to the approximate historical range of Pinus palustris; although most deciduous species do not mimic this range, this boundary does appear to be a reasonable demarcation boundary north of which Quercus alba becomes more abundant and south of which Quercus hemisphaerica is more diagnostic. Like all hardwood systems of this region, examples occur within a landscape matrix historically occupied by pine-dominated uplands and consequently this system only occurred in fire-sheltered locations in naturally small to large patches. Examples of this system tend to occur on sites intermediate in moisture status (mostly dry to dry-mesic), although occasionally very dry (xeric) stands may also be included. Toward the northern range limits of this system, it may have been less restricted to small patches in fire-protected locations, and may have been formerly more prevalent on the landscape even in areas heavily influenced by fire.

Important tree species vary geographically and according to previous disturbance. Quercus hemisphaerica is a typical species in many examples, with Quercus stellata, Quercus falcata, and Quercus alba less frequently encountered, but dominant in some stands. The overstory of some examples may be quite diverse, with hickories and other hardwood species often present. Typically mesic sites, as indicated by species indicative of these conditions (e.g., Fagus grandifolia), are covered under other systems. Pinus taeda is sometimes present, but it is unclear if it is a natural component or has entered only as a result of past cutting. Pinus glabra or Pinus echinata may also be present in some examples. Stands may be found on slopes above rivers and adjacent to sinkholes, as well as other fire-infrequent habitats including narrow bands between mesic slopes below and pine-dominated flats above.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: As currently conceived, the Alabama range of this type extends throughout the Southern Hilly Gulf Coastal Plain (Ecoregion 65d), as mapped by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA 2004) northward across the Black Belt and into the Fall Line Hills (Ecoregion 65i) to approximately Tuscaloosa (A. Schotz pers. comm.). To the north it is eventually replaced by East Gulf Coastal Plain Northern Dry Upland Hardwood Forest (CES203.483), but along this northern range it occurs in a mosaic with CES203.483 as well as East Gulf Coastal Plain Interior Shortleaf Pine-Oak Forest (CES203.506). In Mississippi the range extends almost to the same latitude, but this range is confined to Ecoregion 65d.

Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES203.494 Southern Coastal Plain Oak Dome and Hammock


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL003792 Quercus hemisphaerica - Carya glabra - Magnolia grandiflora / Sabal etonia Forest
CEGL004788 Quercus hemisphaerica - Magnolia grandiflora - Carya pallida / Vaccinium arboreum / Chasmanthium sessiliflorum Forest
CEGL007023 Quercus hemisphaerica - Carya glabra / Oxydendrum arboreum / Ditrysinia fruticosa / Carex baltzellii Forest
CEGL007246 Quercus falcata - Quercus stellata - Carya tomentosa / Vaccinium spp. Coastal Plain Forest
CEGL007751 Quercus hemisphaerica - Quercus (falcata, nigra) / Vaccinium arboreum / Cnidoscolus urens var. stimulosus Forest
CEGL008553 Quercus velutina - Carya pallida - (Pinus echinata) / Vaccinium arboreum / Yucca filamentosa Forest



Classifiers

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

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Forest and Woodland (Treed)  
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
Brickellia cordifolia
  (Flyr's Brickell-bush)
G3  
Carex impressinervia
  (Impressed-nerved Sedge)
G2  
Crataegus triflora
  (Three-flowered Hawthorn)
G2G3  
Desmodium ochroleucum
  (Cream Tick-trefoil)
G2  
Fissidens neonii
  (Neon Fissidens Moss)
G2?  
Matelea alabamensis
  (Alabama Anglepod)
G2  
Pieris phillyreifolia
  (Climbing Fetterbush)
G3  
Rhododendron austrinum
  (Orange Azalea)
G3  
Ursus americanus floridanus
  (Florida Black Bear)
G5T2  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Carya glabra G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Crataegus triflora G2 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy      
 
 
Quercus alba G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus falcata G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus margarettiae G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus stellata G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Ulmus alata G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus hemisphaerica G5 Broad-leaved evergreen tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Brickellia cordifolia G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Desmodium ochroleucum G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Matelea alabamensis G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Carex impressinervia G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Danthonia sericea G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Vitis rotundifolia G5 Liana Herb (field)    
 
 
Fissidens neonii G2 Moss Nonvascular      
 
 


Animal Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status Charact-
eristic
Exotic
Glaucomys volans
  (Southern Flying Squirrel)
G5      
Lampropeltis triangulum
  (Milksnake)
G5      
Pantherophis obsoletus
  (Eastern Ratsnake)
G5      
Sciurus carolinensis
  (Eastern Gray Squirrel)
G5      
Ursus americanus floridanus
  (Florida Black Bear)
G5T2      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: AL, FL, GA, MS
Global Range: This system is found in the East Gulf Coastal Plain and adjacent areas of central Florida ranging northward into central Mississippi and Alabama.

Biogeographic Divisions
Division Code and Name Primary Occurrence Status
203-Gulf and Atlantic Coastal Plain C: Confident or certain

The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Ecoregions
Code Name Occurrence Status
43 Upper East Gulf Coastal Plain Confident or certain
53 East Gulf Coastal Plain Confident or certain
55 Florida Peninsula Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
46 Northern Gulf Plains Confident or certain
55 Southeastern Coastal Plain Confident or certain
56 Floridian Coastal Plain Confident or certain
99 Southern Gulf Plains Confident or certain

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 4136
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1330
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2330

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: Yes

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 14Jan2014
Element Description Author(s): M. Pyne and R. Evans

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.

  • EPA [Environmental Protection Agency]. 2004. Level III and IV Ecoregions of EPA Region 4. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Western Ecology Division, Corvallis, OR. Scale 1:2,000,000.

  • Edwards, L., J. Ambrose, and K. Kirkman. 2013. The natural communities of Georgia. University of Georgia Press, Athens, GA. 675 pp.

  • Engeman, R. M., A. Stevens, J. Allen, J. Dunlap, M. Daniel, D. Teague, and B. Constantin. 2007. Feral swine management for conservation of an imperiled wetland habitat: Florida's vanishing seepage slopes. Biological Conservation 134:440-446.

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

  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 2010a. Guide to the natural communities of Florida: 2010 edition. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee, FL. 228 pp.

  • 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).

  • Schotz, Al. Personal communication. Community Ecologist. Alabama Natural Heritage Program. Huntingdon College, Massey Hall, 1500 East Fairview Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36106-2148.

  • Ware, S., C. C. Frost, and P. D. Doerr. 1993. Southern mixed hardwood forest: The former longleaf pine forest. Pages 447-493 in: W. H. Martin, S. G. Boyce, and A. C. Echternacht, editors. Biotic communities of the southeastern United States: Lowland terrestrial communities. John Wiley & Sons, New York.


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