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Classification
Scientific Name: East Gulf Coastal Plain Maritime Forest
Unique Identifier: CES203.503

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Summary: This system encompasses a mosaic of woody vegetation present on barrier islands and near-coastal strands along the northern Gulf of Mexico, from the Florida panhandle to southern Mississippi. Examples may include forests and/or shrublands that are found in somewhat more protected environments than East Gulf Coastal Plain Dune and Coastal Grassland (CES203.500). Such areas include relatively stabilized coastal dunes, sometimes with a substantial shell component. Vegetation structure and composition are influenced by salt spray, extreme disturbance events, and the distinctive climate of the immediate coast. Stands may be dominated by a variety of needle-leaved and broad-leaved evergreen trees, including Pinus clausa, Pinus elliottii var. elliottii, Pinus palustris, Quercus virginiana, Sabal palmetto, Carya glabra, and Carya pallida. Wetland inclusions may be dominated by Taxodium ascendens and Magnolia virginiana. The most heavily salt-influenced examples may appear pruned or sculpted.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)


Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES203.500 East Gulf Coastal Plain Dune and Coastal Grassland


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL003523 Quercus virginiana - (Juniperus virginiana) - Zanthoxylum clava-herculis / Sideroxylon lanuginosum Woodland
CEGL003554 Pinus clausa / Quercus geminata - Quercus myrtifolia - Conradina canescens Woodland
CEGL004658 Pinus elliottii var. elliottii - (Pinus palustris) / Ilex vomitoria - Serenoa repens - Morella cerifera Woodland
CEGL004668 Pinus clausa / Ceratiola ericoides / Cladonia spp. Scrub
CEGL004680 Pinus elliottii var. elliottii / Serenoa repens - Ilex glabra - Morella cerifera - Ilex vomitoria Woodland
CEGL004914 Taxodium ascendens / Magnolia virginiana / Cladium mariscus ssp. jamaicense Swamp Forest
CEGL004942 Pinus clausa - Quercus geminata - Quercus hemisphaerica / Quercus myrtifolia Forest
CEGL004958 Pinus elliottii var. elliottii / Spartina patens - Juncus roemerianus - (Panicum virgatum) Tidal Woodland
CEGL004976 Quercus virginiana - Pinus clausa / Carya (glabra, pallida) / Serenoa repens Forest
CEGL007019 Quercus geminata / Serenoa repens - Ilex vomitoria - (Sideroxylon lanuginosum) Forest
CEGL007028 Quercus virginiana / Vaccinium arboreum - Ilex vomitoria Forest
CEGL007032 Quercus virginiana - (Pinus elliottii var. elliottii, Sabal palmetto) / Persea borbonia - Callicarpa americana 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)  
Coast  
East Gulf Coastal Plain  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Acroporium smallii
  (Small's Acroporium Moss)
G1?  
Asclepias viridula
  (Southern Milkweed)
G2  
Chrysopsis godfreyi
  (Godfrey's Goldenaster)
G2  
Ctenium floridanum
  (Florida Orange-grass)
G2  
Cuphea aspera
  (Tropical Waxweed)
G2  
Eccremidium floridanum
  (Florida Eccremidium Moss)
G1?  
Euphorbia telephioides
  (Telephus Spurge)
G1 LT: Listed threatened
Eurycea wallacei
  (Georgia Blind Salamander)
G2  
Geopsammodius subpedalis
  (Underfoot Tiny Sand-loving Scarab)
G2G3  
Graptemys barbouri
  (Barbour's Map Turtle)
G2  
Harperocallis flava
  (Harper's Beauty)
G1 LE: Listed endangered
Hymenocallis henryae
  (Henry's Spider-lily)
G2  
Liatris provincialis
  (Godfrey's Blazingstar)
G2  
Macbridea alba
  (White Birds-in-a-nest)
G2 LT: Listed threatened
Nyssa ursina
  (Bear Tupelo)
G2  
Pinguicula ionantha
  (Violet-flowered Butterwort)
G2 LT: Listed threatened
Plagiochila sullivantii
  (Sullivant's Leafy Liverwort)
G2  
Rhexia salicifolia
  (Panhandle Meadowbeauty)
G2  
Rhododendron chapmanii
  (Chapman's Rhododendron)
G1 LE: Listed endangered
Scutellaria floridana
  (Florida Skullcap)
G2 LT: Listed threatened
Staurolemma carolinianum
  (a lichen)
G1G3  

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    
 
 
Carya pallida G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus nigra G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Magnolia virginiana G5 Broad-leaved evergreen tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus virginiana G5 Broad-leaved evergreen tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pinus clausa G4 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pinus elliottii var. elliottii T5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pinus palustris G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Taxodium ascendens G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Sabal palmetto G5 Palm tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Tillandsia usneoides G5 Epiphyte Tree canopy    
 
 
Ilex vomitoria G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Morella cerifera G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Serenoa repens G4 Palm shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Rhexia salicifolia G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Ctenium floridanum G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Plagiochila sullivantii G2 Liverwort/hornwort Nonvascular      
 
 
Acroporium smallii G1 Moss Nonvascular      
 
 
Eccremidium floridanum G1 Moss Nonvascular      
 
 
Staurolemma carolinianum G2 Lichen Nonvascular      
 
 


Animal Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status Charact-
eristic
Exotic
Eurycea wallacei
  (Georgia Blind Salamander)
G2      
Geopsammodius subpedalis
  (Underfoot Tiny Sand-loving Scarab)
G2G3      
Graptemys barbouri
  (Barbour's Map Turtle)
G2      
Lampropeltis triangulum
  (Milksnake)
G5      
Pituophis melanoleucus
  (Pinesnake)
G4      
Scalopus aquaticus
  (Eastern Mole)
G5      
Sorex longirostris
  (Southeastern Shrew)
G5      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: AL, FL, MS
Global Range: This system is found along the northern Gulf of Mexico, from the Florida panhandle to southern Mississippi, restricted to the most coastward part of the "Gulf Coast Flatwoods" (Ecoregion 75a of EPA (2004)).

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
53 East Gulf Coastal Plain Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
46 Northern Gulf Plains Never was there
55 Southeastern Coastal Plain Confident or certain
99 Southern Gulf Plains Confident or certain

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 4323
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1380
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2380

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: Yes

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

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


References
  • Bellis, V. J. 1995. Ecology of maritime forests of the southern Atlantic coast: A community profile. Biological report 30, May 1995. National Biological Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC. 89 pp.

  • Blake, E. S., E. N. Rappaport, J. D. Jarell, and C. W. Landsea. 2005. The deadliest, costliest, and most intense United States hurricanes from 1851 to 2004 (and other frequently requested hurricane facts). NOAA Technical Memorandum NWS-TPC-4. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 48 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.

  • Drehle, W. F. 1973. Anomalous beach ridges of Sangamon Age. Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions 23:333-340.

  • 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.

  • Eaton, T. E. 1979. Natural and artificially altered patterns of salt spray across a forested barrier island. Atmospheric Environment 13:705-709.

  • 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.

  • Gaddy, L. L., and T. L. Kohlsaat. 1987. Recreational impact on the natural vegetation, avifauna, and herpetofauna of four South Carolina barrier islands. Natural Areas Journal 7:55-64.

  • Huffman, J. M., and W. J. Platt. 2004. Fire history of a barrier island slash pine (Pinus elliottii) savanna. Natural Areas Journal 24:258-268.

  • Jarrell, J. D., P. J. Herbert, and M. Mayfield. 1992. Hurricane experience levels of coastal county populations from Texas to Maine. Data from NOAA/ National Weather Service, National Hurricane Center. [http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pdf/strikes_egulf.pdf]

  • Johnson, A. F., and M. G. Barbour. 1990. Dunes and maritime forests. Pages 429-480 in: R. L. Myers and J. J. Ewel, editors. Ecosystems of Florida. University of Central Florida Press, Orlando.

  • 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).

  • Liu, K., H. Lu, and C. Shen. 2003. Assessing the vulnerability of the Alabama Gulf Coast to intense hurricane strikes and forest fires in the light of long-term climatic changes. Chapter 12 in: Z. H. Ning, R. E. Turner, T. Doyle, and K. K. Abdollahi, lead authors. Integrated assessment of the climate change impacts on the Gulf Coast Region. Gulf Coast Climate Change Assessment Council and Louisiana State University. 236 pp. [http://www.usgcrp.gov/usgcrp/Library/nationalassessment/gulfcoast/]

  • Meyers, R. K., and D. H. van Lear. 1998. Hurricane fire interactions in coastal forests of the South. Forest Ecology and Management 103:265-276.

  • NCDENR [North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources]. 2010. North Carolina ecosystem response to climate change: DENR assessment of effects and adaptation measures. Maritime upland forests. Draft. North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Raleigh. 5 pp.

  • Seneca, E. D., and S. W. Broome. 1981. The effect of highway construction on maritime vegetation in North Carolina. A research report submitted to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Division of Highways, Raleigh, NC. 73 pp.

  • Stalter, R. S., and W. E. Odum. 1993. Maritime communities. Pages 117-163 in: W. H. Martin, S. G. Boyce, and A. C. Echternacht, editors. Biodiversity of the southeastern United States: Lowland terrestrial communities. John Wiley and Sons, New York.

  • Ward, R. C. 1975. Principles of hydrology. McGraw-Hill Ltd., Maidenhead, Berkshire, UK. 367 pp.

  • Winner, M. D., Jr. 1975. Groundwater resources of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina. U.S. Geological Survey, Atlas HA-540, Reston, VA. 2 maps.

  • Winner, M. D., Jr. 1979. Freshwater availability of an offshore barrier island. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1150, U.S. Geological Survey. 117 pp.


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