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Classification
Scientific Name: Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Xeric River Dune
Unique Identifier: CES203.497

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Summary: This system encompasses a range of vegetation present on inland sand dunes of the Atlantic Coastal Plain of Georgia. These dunes are associated with certain rivers such as the Ohoopee and Canoochee and are apparently eolian in origin, formed of riverine alluvial sands. The sandy soils are deep, coarse, and xeric in nature. The vegetation consists of an assemblage of xeric communities that also occur in other xeric habitats in the Coastal Plain. These include Pinus palustris - Quercus laevis communities and a scrub community akin to Inland Florida Scrub, but lacking Pinus clausa. This system is distinguished from more typical xeric sandhills of the Coastal Plain by its occurrence on the deep sands of river dunes. Xeric river dunes have a similar fire-return interval to other upland systems of which Pinus palustris is a component, but the fuels are fires tend to be patchy, leaving some unburned areas.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL003864 Ceratiola ericoides - (Chrysoma pauciflosculosa) / Polygonella polygama / Cladonia leporina Shrubland
CEGL003946 Chrysoma pauciflosculosa - (Clinopodium coccineum) Dwarf-shrubland
CEGL004715 Quercus myrtifolia - Quercus geminata - Hamamelis virginiana - (Elliottia racemosa) Shrubland



Classifiers

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

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Dune (Substrate)  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Archidium minus
  (Small Archidium Moss)
G2?  
Cordulegaster sayi
  (Say's Spiketail)
G3  
Dicerandra radfordiana
  (Radford's Dicerandra)
G1Q  
Elliottia racemosa
  (Georgia Plume)
G2?  
Fernaldella georgiana
  (Georgia Geometer)
G1G3  
Heterodon simus
  (Southern Hog-nosed Snake)
G2  
Lindera melissifolia
  (Pondberry)
G3 LE: Listed endangered
Melanoplus stegocercus
  (Stegocercus Short-wing Grasshopper)
G1G3  
Notophthalmus perstriatus
  (Striped Newt)
G2G3 C: Candidate
Pseudobranchus striatus striatus
  (Broad-striped Dwarf Siren)
G5T1T3  
Stylisma pickeringii var. pickeringii
  (Pickering's Morning-glory)
G4T3  
Trichostema suffrutescens
  (Florida Scrub Bluecurls)
G1G2  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Quercus laevis G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus geminata G5 Broad-leaved evergreen tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus myrtifolia G5 Broad-leaved evergreen tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Clinopodium coccineum G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Elliottia racemosa G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Lindera melissifolia G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Ceratiola ericoides G4 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Chrysoma pauciflosculosa G4 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Polygonella polygama G4 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Dicerandra radfordiana G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Archidium minus 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
Aspidoscelis sexlineata
  (Six-lined Racerunner)
G5      
Coluber constrictor
  (North American Racer)
G5      
Coluber flagellum
  (Coachwhip)
G5      
Cordulegaster sayi
  (Say's Spiketail)
G3      
Fernaldella georgiana
  (Georgia Geometer)
G1G3      
Heterodon platirhinos
  (Eastern Hog-nosed Snake)
G5      
Heterodon simus
  (Southern Hog-nosed Snake)
G2      
Melanoplus stegocercus
  (Stegocercus Short-wing Grasshopper)
G1G3      
Notophthalmus perstriatus
  (Striped Newt)
G2G3 C: Candidate    
Ophisaurus attenuatus
  (Slender Glass Lizard)
G5      
Peromyscus polionotus
  (Oldfield Deermouse)
G5      
Plestiodon egregius
  (Mole Skink)
G5      
Plestiodon inexpectatus
  (Southeastern Five-lined Skink)
G5      
Pseudobranchus striatus striatus
  (Broad-striped Dwarf Siren)
G5T1T3      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: GA
Global Range: This system is endemic to river-associated dunes in the South Atlantic Coastal Plain of Georgia, such as along the Ohoopee and Canoochee rivers (Wharton 1978), as well as other watersheds. Reports of similar or related vegetation from North and South Carolina are being investigated.

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
56 South Atlantic Coastal Plain Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
55 Southeastern Coastal Plain Confident or certain

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 5319
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1388
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2388

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: Yes

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 21May2014
Element Description Author(s): R. Evans, C.W. Nordman 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
  • Ambrose, Jon. Personal communication. Georgia Natural Heritage Program, Wildlife Resources Division, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Social Circle.

  • Bozeman, J. R. 1971. A sociologic and geographic study of the sand ridge vegetation of the Coastal Plain of Georgia. Ph.D. dissertation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

  • 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.

  • Covell, C. V., I. L. Finkelstein, and A. A. Towers. 1984. A new species of Narraga Walker (Geometridae, Ennominae) from Georgia, with biological notes. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 23(2):161-168.

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

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

  • Harper, R. M. 1906. A phytogeographic sketch of the Altamaha Grit region of the Coastal Plain of Georgia. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 7:1-415.

  • Johnson, A. F. 1982. Some demographic characteristics of the Florida rosemary, Ceratiola ericoides Michx. The American Midland Naturalist 108:170-174.

  • NatureServe. 2011a. Metrics for rapid assessment of the ecological integrity of longleaf pine-dominated communities in the southeastern United States. Report conducted by NatureServe for USDA Forest Service, Region 8. NatureServe, Durham, NC.

  • Oswalt, C. M., J. A. Cooper, D. G. Brockway, H. W. Brooks, J. L. Walker, K. F. Connor, S. N. Oswalt, and R. C. Conner. 2012. History and current condition of longleaf pine in the southern United States. General Technical Report SRS-166. USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Asheville, NC. 51 pp. [http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/pubs/42259]

  • Schafale, Mike P. Personal communication. Ecologist, North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

  • Schmidt, J. P. 2006. Population ecology of a sandhill endemic shrub, Ceratiola ericoides. Dissertation, University of Georgia, Athens.

  • Thompson, Jacob. Personal communication. Natural Resources Biologist. Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta.

  • Wahlenberg, W. G. 1946. Longleaf pine, its use, ecology, regeneration, protection, growth and management. Charles Lathrop Pack Forestry Foundation, Washington, DC. 429 pp.

  • Wharton, C. H. 1978. The natural environments of Georgia. Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta. 227 pp.


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