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Classification
Scientific Name: Southern Coastal Plain Mesic Slope Forest
Unique Identifier: CES203.476

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Summary: This forested system of the southern East Gulf and Atlantic coastal plains occurs on steep slopes, bluffs, or sheltered ravines where fire is naturally rare, generally within the natural range of Pinus glabra and Magnolia grandiflora. Stands are mesic, and vegetation typically includes species such as Fagus grandifolia, Magnolia grandiflora, Illicium floridanum, and other species rarely encountered outside this system in the region. Related forests which occur on deep loess soils along the western margin of the region are classified as East Gulf Coastal Plain Southern Loess Bluff Forest (CES203.556). Some component associations are also found in temporarily flooded floodplains adjacent to these slopes, but this is primarily an upland system. The system also includes essentially upland vegetation of Pleistocene terraces, although these are conceptually transitional to creek floodplain systems.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: East Gulf Coastal Plain Northern Mesic Hardwood Slope Forest (CES203.477) is a similar mesic forest system to the north of this one in the Upper East Gulf Coastal Plain that has greater dominance by deciduous trees. The systems of the loess bluffs to the west of this one, bordering the Mississippi River Alluvial Plain, are treated as distinct and are more extensive and continuous in their extent both vertically and latitudinally [see East Gulf Coastal Plain Northern Loess Bluff Forest (CES203.481) and East Gulf Coastal Plain Southern Loess Bluff Forest (CES203.556)]. To the north of the combined ranges of Pinus glabra and Magnolia grandiflora in the Atlantic Coastal Plain, this system is replaced by Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Mesic Hardwood Forest (CES203.242).

Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES203.242 Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Mesic Hardwood Forest
CES203.398 Southeastern Coastal Plain Cliff
CES203.477 East Gulf Coastal Plain Northern Mesic Hardwood Slope Forest
CES203.481 East Gulf Coastal Plain Northern Loess Bluff Forest
CES203.556 East Gulf Coastal Plain Southern Loess Bluff Forest


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL003859 Fagus grandifolia - Quercus alba / Symplocos tinctoria East Gulf Coastal Plain Forest
CEGL004763 Pinus taeda - Quercus alba / Chasmanthium sessiliflorum Forest
CEGL004775 Quercus alba - Quercus nigra - Carya pallida / Magnolia grandiflora Forest
CEGL004963 Fagus grandifolia - Magnolia grandiflora - Quercus pagoda - Acer floridanum - Pinus taeda Forest
CEGL004965 Fagus grandifolia - Magnolia grandiflora - Quercus michauxii - Quercus nigra / Rhododendron canescens Forest
CEGL004977 Fagus grandifolia - Pinus glabra - Magnolia grandiflora / Serenoa repens Forest
CEGL007210 Fagus grandifolia - Quercus alba - Liquidambar styraciflua / Magnolia grandiflora / Smilax pumila Forest
CEGL007225 Quercus alba - Carya glabra - Carya tomentosa / Aesculus pavia Forest
CEGL007458 Fagus grandifolia - Magnolia grandiflora - Fraxinus americana / Acer floridanum - Ostrya virginiana Forest
CEGL007459 Fagus grandifolia - Magnolia grandiflora / Ilex opaca - (Persea borbonia) / Mitchella repens Forest
CEGL007460 Fagus grandifolia - Magnolia grandiflora - Pinus glabra - (Magnolia macrophylla) / (Illicium floridanum) Forest
CEGL007461 Quercus pagoda - Magnolia grandiflora - Fagus grandifolia / Hydrangea quercifolia / Thelypteris kunthii Forest
CEGL007712 Quercus pagoda - Quercus michauxii - Magnolia grandiflora - (Tilia americana var. caroliniana) / Sabal minor Forest
CEGL008554 Fagus grandifolia - Magnolia grandiflora / Ostrya virginiana / Aesculus parviflora Forest
CEGL008557 Tilia americana - Acer floridanum - Fraxinus americana / Arundinaria gigantea / Tillandsia usneoides Forest
CEGL008585 Quercus (pagoda, shumardii) - Liquidambar styraciflua / Verbesina virginica - Solidago auriculata 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)  
Slope  
Long Disturbance Interval  
Broad-Leaved Evergreen Tree  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Asplenium x heteroresiliens
  (Wagner's Spleenwort)
G2  
Baptisia megacarpa
  (Apalachicola Wild Indigo)
G2  
Cambarus pyronotus
  (Fireback Crayfish)
G2  
Carex acidicola
  (Acid-loving Sedge)
G2G3  
Carex chapmanii
  (Chapman's Sedge)
G3  
Carex impressinervia
  (Impressed-nerved Sedge)
G2  
Carex thornei
  (Thorne's Sedge)
G2G3  
Crataegus triflora
  (Three-flowered Hawthorn)
G2G3  
Eurycea wallacei
  (Georgia Blind Salamander)
G2  
Fissidens neonii
  (Neon Fissidens Moss)
G2?  
Hypericum lissophloeus
  (Smooth-barked St. John's-wort)
G2  
Magnolia ashei
  (Ashe's Magnolia)
G2  
Matelea flavidula
  (Carolina Milkvine)
G3?  
Plagiochila floridana
  (a liverwort)
G2?  
Plagiochila sullivantii
  (Sullivant's Leafy Liverwort)
G2  
Rhexia salicifolia
  (Panhandle Meadowbeauty)
G2  
Rhododendron austrinum
  (Orange Azalea)
G3  
Riccardia jugata
  (a liverwort)
G2  
Schisandra glabra
  (Bay Starvine)
G3  
Torreya taxifolia
  (Florida Torreya)
G1 LE: Listed endangered
Triphora trianthophora
  (Nodding Pogonia)
G3G4  
Xyris isoetifolia
  (Quillwort Yellow-eyed-grass)
G1  
Xyris longisepala
  (Kral's Yellow-eyed-grass)
G2G3  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Crataegus triflora G2 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy      
 
 
Fagus grandifolia G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy  
 
 
Liquidambar styraciflua 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 pagoda G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Magnolia grandiflora G5 Broad-leaved evergreen tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Torreya taxifolia G1 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy      
 
 
Ilex opaca G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Illicium floridanum G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Baptisia megacarpa G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Rhexia salicifolia G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Carex acidicola G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Carex impressinervia G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Carex thornei G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Plagiochila floridana G2 Liverwort/hornwort Nonvascular      
 
 
Plagiochila sullivantii G2 Liverwort/hornwort Nonvascular      
 
 
Riccardia jugata G2 Liverwort/hornwort Nonvascular      
 
 
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
Cambarus pyronotus
  (Fireback Crayfish)
G2      
Eurycea wallacei
  (Georgia Blind Salamander)
G2      
Glaucomys volans
  (Southern Flying Squirrel)
G5      
Plethodon grobmani
  (Southeastern Slimy Salamander)
G5      
Plethodon mississippi
  (Mississippi Slimy Salamander)
G5      
Sciurus carolinensis
  (Eastern Gray Squirrel)
G5      
Tamias striatus
  (Eastern Chipmunk)
G5      
Terrapene carolina
  (Eastern Box Turtle)
G5      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, SC
Global Range: This mesic upland system of the southern (Atlantic and Gulf) coastal plains is found in suitable conditions from southern South Carolina south to northern Florida and west to (and including) the loessal plains of Mississippi and Louisiana. Its range is generally congruent with the natural range of Pinus glabra as mapped by Kossuth and Michael (1990) and Magnolia grandiflora as mapped by Outcalt (1990).

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 Predicted or probable
56 South Atlantic Coastal Plain 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 Possible
58 Eastern Coastal Plain Confident or certain
99 Southern Gulf Plains Confident or certain

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 4260
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1357
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2357

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: Yes

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 23Apr2015
Element Description Author(s): A. Schotz, R. Evans, M. Pyne and C. Nordman

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


References
  • Batista, W. B., and W. J. Platt. 1997. An old-growth definition for southern mixed hardwood forests. General Technical Report SRS-9. USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Asheville, NC. 11 pp.

  • Christensen, N. L. 2000. Vegetation of the Southeastern Coastal Plain. Pages 398-448 in: M. G. Barbour and W. D. Billings, editors. North American terrestrial vegetation. Second edition. Cambridge University Press, New York. 434 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.

  • 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.

  • Flynn, J. 1994. The falling forest. Amicus Journal Winter:34-38.

  • Kossuth, S. V., and J. L. Michael. 1990. Pinus glabra Walt., spruce pine. Pages 355-358 in: R. M. Burns and B. H. Honkala, editors. Silvics of North America. Volume 1, Conifers. USDA Forest Service, Agriculture Handbook 654, Washington, DC.

  • 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).

  • NatureServe Ecology - Southeastern United States. No date. Unpublished data. NatureServe, Durham, NC.

  • Nelson, J. B. 1986. The natural communities of South Carolina: Initial classification and description. South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Columbia, SC. 55 pp.

  • Nordman, C. 2013. Ecological systems of Francis Marion National Forest. Subset of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification, with dynamic processes and threats. Draft report to the USDA Forest Service. NatureServe, Durham, NC.

  • Outcalt, K. W. 1990. Magnolia grandiflora L., southern magnolia. Pages 445-448 in: R. M. Burns and B. H. Honkala, editors. Silvics of North America. Volume 2, Hardwoods. USDA Forest Service, Agriculture Handbook 654, Washington, DC.

  • Quarterman, E., and C. Keever. 1962. Southern mixed hardwood forests: Climax in the southeastern Coastal Plain, USA. Ecological Monographs 32:167-185.

  • 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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