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Classification
Scientific Name: East Gulf Coastal Plain Near-Coast Pine Flatwoods
Unique Identifier: CES203.375

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Summary: This ecological system of open forests or woodlands occupies broad, sandy flatlands in a relatively narrow band along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast east of the Mississippi River. This range corresponds roughly to the Gulf Coast Flatwoods (EPA Ecoregion 75a). These areas predominantly occur on poorly drained acidic Spodosol soils, which are subject to seasonal inundation as well as droughty conditions. Often called "flatwoods" or "flatlands," they are subject to short fire-return intervals and seasonally high water tables. Overstory vegetation is characterized by Pinus palustris and, to a lesser degree, by Pinus elliottii var. elliottii. Understory structure ranges from densely shrubby to open and herbaceous-dominated, with variation in soils and drainage. The variation includes Scrubby Flatwoods, Mesic Flatwoods, Wet Flatwoods, and Maritime Flatwoods. Fire is naturally frequent; many sites have a fire-return time of from one to four years.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: There was some consideration of splitting out the slash pine flatwoods from this system due to presumed differences in both moisture status and fire history when compared with typical longleaf. There is considerable variation between wet and "non-wet" flatwoods implied in this system.

Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES203.382 Central Florida Pine Flatwoods
CES203.496 East Gulf Coastal Plain Interior Upland Longleaf Pine Woodland
CES203.536 Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Wet Pine Savanna and Flatwoods


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL003643 Pinus elliottii var. elliottii / Serenoa repens - Ilex glabra Woodland
CEGL003645 Pinus palustris - (Pinus elliottii var. elliottii) / Ctenium aromaticum - Carphephorus pseudoliatris - (Sarracenia alata) Woodland
CEGL003653 Pinus palustris / Serenoa repens - Ilex glabra Woodland
CEGL003656 Pinus palustris - (Pinus elliottii var. elliottii) / Ilex coriacea - Cyrilla racemiflora Woodland
CEGL003673 Pinus elliottii var. elliottii - (Pinus serotina) / Aristida beyrichiana - Rhynchospora oligantha - Sarracenia spp. Woodland
CEGL003797 Pinus serotina / Sporobolus floridanus - Aristida beyrichiana Woodland
CEGL003808 Pinus palustris / Quercus minima - Quercus pumila / Aristida beyrichiana Woodland
CEGL004556 Pinus elliottii var. elliottii - Taxodium ascendens / Polygala cymosa - Rhynchospora spp. Woodland
CEGL004658 Pinus elliottii var. elliottii - (Pinus palustris) / Ilex vomitoria - Serenoa repens - Morella cerifera Woodland
CEGL004791 Pinus palustris - Pinus serotina / Ilex glabra - Lyonia lucida - (Serenoa repens) Woodland
CEGL004792 Pinus palustris - (Pinus elliottii var. elliottii) / Ilex vomitoria / Muhlenbergia expansa - Agalinis filicaulis Woodland
CEGL004956 Pinus palustris / Schizachyrium scoparium - Muhlenbergia expansa - Helianthus radula Woodland
CEGL007714 Pinus (palustris, elliottii var. elliottii) / (Quercus geminata) / Serenoa repens / Aristida beyrichiana Woodland



Classifiers

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

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Forest and Woodland (Treed)  
Extensive Wet Flat  
Short Disturbance Interval  
Needle-Leaved Tree  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Agalinis aphylla
  (Coastal Plain False Foxglove)
G3G4  
Agalinis filicaulis
  (Thread-stem False Foxglove)
G3G4  
Ambystoma bishopi
  (Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander)
G2 LE: Listed endangered
Ambystoma cingulatum
  (Frosted Flatwoods Salamander)
G2 LT: Listed threatened
Andropogon arctatus
  (Pinewoods Bluestem)
G3  
Angelica dentata
  (Coastal Plain Angelica)
G2G3  
Aphelocoma coerulescens
  (Florida Scrub Jay)
G2 LT: Listed threatened
Archidium minus
  (Small Archidium Moss)
G2?  
Aristida patula
  (Tall Three-awn Grass)
G3  
Arnoglossum album
  (Bay County Indian-plantain)
G1  
Asclepias viridula
  (Southern Milkweed)
G2  
Atrytonopsis loammi
  (Loammi Skipper)
G1  
Balduina atropurpurea
  (Purple Balduina)
G2  
Baptisia simplicifolia
  (Coastal Plain Wild Indigo)
G3  
Bruchia hallii
  (Hall's Bruchia Moss)
G2  
Calamovilfa curtissii
  (Curtiss' Sandgrass)
G3  
Callophrys gryneus sweadneri
  (Florida Olive Hairstreak)
G5T2  
Calopogon multiflorus
  (Many-flower Grass-pink)
G2G3  
Campylopus carolinae
  (Savanna Campylopus)
G2  
Cirsium lecontei
  (Le Conte's Thistle)
G3  
Coelorachis tuberculosa
  (Florida Jointgrass)
G3  
Coreopsis floridana
  (Florida Tickseed)
G3G4  
Ctenium floridanum
  (Florida Orange-grass)
G2  
Cuphea aspera
  (Tropical Waxweed)
G2  
Daedalochila hausmani
  (Dixie Liptooth)
G2  
Drymaeus dormani
  (Manatee Treesnail)
G2G3  
Drymarchon couperi
  (Eastern Indigo Snake)
G3Q LT: Listed threatened
Eriocaulon nigrobracteatum
  (Black-bract Pipewort)
G1  
Euphorbia telephioides
  (Telephus Spurge)
G1 LT: Listed threatened
Eurybia chapmanii
  (Chapman's Aster)
G2G3  
Eurybia eryngiifolia
  (Coyote-thistle Aster)
G3G4  
Eurybia spinulosa
  (Pinewoods Aster)
G1  
Fothergilla gardenii
  (Dwarf Witch-alder)
G3G4  
Gentiana pennelliana
  (Wiregrass Gentian)
G3  
Gopherus polyphemus
  (Gopher Tortoise)
G3  
Harperocallis flava
  (Harper's Beauty)
G1 LE: Listed endangered
Hasteola robertiorum
  (Hammockherb)
G1  
Hydroptila wakulla
  (Wakulla Springs Vari-colored Microcaddisfly)
G2  
Hymenocallis henryae
  (Henry's Spider-lily)
G2  
Hypericum exile
  (Florida Sands St. John's-wort)
G2G3  
Justicia crassifolia
  (Thickleaf Water-willow)
G3  
Liatris provincialis
  (Godfrey's Blazingstar)
G2  
Lilium iridollae
  (Panhandle Lily)
G2  
Linum floridanum var. chrysocarpum
  (Yellow-fruit Flax)
G5?T3?  
Linum macrocarpum
  (Spring Hill Flax)
G2  
Linum westii
  (West's Flax)
G1  
Lithobates capito
  (Carolina Gopher Frog)
G3  
Lithobates sevosus
  (Dusky Gopher Frog)
G1 LE: Listed endangered
Lobelia boykinii
  (Boykin's Lobelia)
G2G3  
Ludwigia curtissii
  (Curtiss' Seedbox)
G3G4  
Lythrum curtissii
  (Curtiss' Loosestrife)
G1  
Macbridea alba
  (White Birds-in-a-nest)
G2 LT: Listed threatened
Melanoplus apalachicolae
  (Apalachicola Grasshopper)
G1  
Mycotrupes gaigei
  (North Peninsular Mycotrupes Beetle)
G2G3  
Nolina atopocarpa
  (Florida Bear-grass)
G3  
Notophthalmus perstriatus
  (Striped Newt)
G2G3 C: Candidate
Nyssa ursina
  (Bear Tupelo)
G2  
Ophisaurus mimicus
  (Mimic Glass Lizard)
G3  
Oxypolis greenmanii
  (Giant Water-dropwort)
G3  
Oxypolis ternata
  (Savanna Cowbane)
G3  
Parnassia caroliniana
  (Carolina Grass-of-Parnassus)
G3  
Parnassia grandifolia
  (Largeleaf Grass-of-Parnassus)
G3  
Paronychia rugelii
  (Rugel's Nailwort)
G2?  
Paronychia rugelii var. interior
  (Rugel's Nailwort)
G2?T2?Q  
Paronychia rugelii var. rugelii
  (Rugel's Nailwort)
G2?T2?  
Phyllanthus liebmannianus ssp. platylepis
  (Florida Leaf-flower)
G4T2  
Physostegia godfreyi
  (Godfrey's False Dragonhead)
G3  
Picoides borealis
  (Red-cockaded Woodpecker)
G3 LE: Listed endangered
Pinguicula ionantha
  (Violet-flowered Butterwort)
G2 LT: Listed threatened
Pinguicula planifolia
  (Chapman's Butterwort)
G3?  
Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus
  (Florida Pinesnake)
G4T3  
Platanthera blephariglottis var. conspicua
  (Large White Fringed Orchid)
G4G5T3T4  
Platanthera chapmanii
  (Chapman's Fringed Orchid)
G2  
Platanthera integra
  (Yellow Fringeless Orchid)
G3G4  
Polygala hookeri
  (Hooker's Milkwort)
G3  
Procambarus econfinae
  (Panama City Crayfish)
G1G2 PT: Proposed threatened
Pteroglossaspis ecristata
  (Giant Orchid)
G2G3  
Rhexia parviflora
  (Small-flower Meadowbeauty)
G2  
Rhododendron chapmanii
  (Chapman's Rhododendron)
G1 LE: Listed endangered
Rhynchospora crinipes
  (Hairy-peduncled Beakrush)
G2G3  
Rhynchospora culixa
  (Georgia Beakrush)
G1Q  
Rhynchospora galeana
  (Short-bristle Baldrush)
G3G4  
Rhynchospora globularis var. pinetorum
  (Small's Beakrush)
G5?T3?  
Rhynchospora thornei
  (Thorne's Beakrush)
G3  
Ruellia noctiflora
  (Night-flowering Wild Petunia)
G3?  
Sabatia brevifolia
  (Shortleaf Pink)
G3G4  
Sarracenia leucophylla
  (Whitetop Pitcherplant)
G3  
Sarracenia purpurea var. burkii
  (Purple Pitcherplant)
G5T3  
Sarracenia rubra ssp. wherryi
  (Wherry's Sweet Pitcherplant)
G4T3  
Schoenolirion albiflorum
  (White Sunnybell)
G3  
Scutellaria floridana
  (Florida Skullcap)
G2 LT: Listed threatened
Selonodon ferrugineus
  (Rusty Cebrionid Beetle)
G2  
Spigelia gentianoides
  (Gentian Pinkroot)
G1 LE: Listed endangered
Spigelia loganioides
  (Florida Pinkroot)
G2Q  
Spiranthes brevilabris
  (Texas Ladies'-tresses)
G1G2  
Spiranthes floridana
  (Florida Ladies'-tresses)
G1  
Spiranthes longilabris
  (Giant-spiral Ladies'-tresses)
G3  
Sporobolus curtissii
  (Pineland Dropseed)
G3  
Sporobolus floridanus
  (Florida Dropseed)
G3  
Sporobolus teretifolius
  (Wireleaf Dropseed)
G2  
Stachydeoma graveolens
  (Mock Pennyroyal)
G2G3  
Thalictrum cooleyi
  (Cooley's Meadowrue)
G1 LE: Listed endangered
Tridens carolinianus
  (Carolina Fluffgrass)
G3G4  
Ursus americanus floridanus
  (Florida Black Bear)
G5T2  
Xyris chapmanii
  (Chapman's Yellow-eyed-grass)
G3  
Xyris drummondii
  (Drummond's Yellow-eyed-grass)
G3  
Xyris isoetifolia
  (Quillwort Yellow-eyed-grass)
G1  
Xyris louisianica
  (Kral's Yellow-eyed-grass)
G3  
Xyris scabrifolia
  (Harper's Yellow-eyed-grass)
G3  
Xyris serotina
  (Acid-swamp Yellow-eyed-grass)
G3G4  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Pinus elliottii G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pinus palustris G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Cyrilla racemiflora G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Ilex coriacea G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Ilex glabra G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Lyonia lucida G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Serenoa repens G4 Palm shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Angelica dentata G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Balduina atropurpurea G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Calopogon multiflorus G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Cirsium lecontei G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Lilium iridollae G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Linum macrocarpum G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Lobelia boykinii G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Lythrum curtissii G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Paronychia rugelii G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Paronychia rugelii var. interior T2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Paronychia rugelii var. rugelii T2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Platanthera chapmanii G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Pteroglossaspis ecristata G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Rhexia parviflora G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Ruellia noctiflora G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Sarracenia rubra ssp. wherryi T3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Spiranthes brevilabris G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Spiranthes floridana G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Thalictrum cooleyi G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Aristida beyrichiana G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Ctenium floridanum G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Rhynchospora crinipes G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Rhynchospora culixa G1 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Sporobolus teretifolius G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Archidium minus G2 Moss Nonvascular      
 
 
Bruchia hallii G2 Moss Nonvascular      
 
 
Campylopus carolinae 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
Ambystoma bishopi
  (Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander)
G2 LE: Listed endangered    
Ambystoma cingulatum
  (Frosted Flatwoods Salamander)
G2 LT: Listed threatened    
Ammodramus leconteii
  (LeConte's Sparrow)
G5      
Aphelocoma coerulescens
  (Florida Scrub Jay)
G2 LT: Listed threatened    
Atrytonopsis loammi
  (Loammi Skipper)
G1      
Callophrys gryneus sweadneri
  (Florida Olive Hairstreak)
G5T2      
Daedalochila hausmani
  (Dixie Liptooth)
G2      
Drymaeus dormani
  (Manatee Treesnail)
G2G3      
Drymarchon couperi
  (Eastern Indigo Snake)
G3Q LT: Listed threatened    
Gopherus polyphemus
  (Gopher Tortoise)
G3      
Hydroptila wakulla
  (Wakulla Springs Vari-colored Microcaddisfly)
G2      
Lanius ludovicianus
  (Loggerhead Shrike)
G4      
Lithobates capito
  (Carolina Gopher Frog)
G3      
Lithobates sevosus
  (Dusky Gopher Frog)
G1 LE: Listed endangered    
Melanoplus apalachicolae
  (Apalachicola Grasshopper)
G1      
Mycotrupes gaigei
  (North Peninsular Mycotrupes Beetle)
G2G3      
Notophthalmus perstriatus
  (Striped Newt)
G2G3 C: Candidate    
Ophisaurus mimicus
  (Mimic Glass Lizard)
G3      
Picoides borealis
  (Red-cockaded Woodpecker)
G3 LE: Listed endangered    
Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus
  (Florida Pinesnake)
G4T3      
Pituophis melanoleucus
  (Pinesnake)
G4      
Plestiodon fasciatus
  (Five-lined Skink)
G5      
Procambarus econfinae
  (Panama City Crayfish)
G1G2 PT: Proposed threatened    
Pseudacris ocularis
  (Little Grass Frog)
G5      
Selonodon ferrugineus
  (Rusty Cebrionid Beetle)
G2      
Sitta pusilla
  (Brown-headed Nuthatch)
G4      
Ursus americanus floridanus
  (Florida Black Bear)
G5T2      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: AL, FL, GA, LA, MS
Global Range: This system is conceived of as including wet and dry pine flatwoods of the near-coastal zone of the East Gulf Coastal Plain, mainly south of the Cody Scarp (Peet and Allard 1993). It corresponds roughly to the Gulf Coast Flatwoods, Ecoregion 75a (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): 9123
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1454
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2454

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: Yes

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 21May2014
Element Description Author(s): 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
  • Brewer, S. 2008. Declines in plant species richness and endemic plant species in longleaf pine savannas invaded by Imperata cylindrica. Biological Invasions 10:1257-1264.

  • Carr, S. C., K. M. Robertson, and R. K. Peet. 2010. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75(2):153-189.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Griffith, G. E., J. M. Omernik, J. A. Comstock, S. Lawrence, G. Martin, A. Goddard, V. J. Hulcher, and T. Foster. 2001. Ecoregions of Alabama and Georgia. (Two-sided color poster with map, descriptive text, summary tables, and photographs). U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA. Scale 1:1,700,000.

  • 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]

  • Peet, R. K. 2006. Ecological classification of longleaf pine woodlands. Pages 51-93 in: S. Jose, E. J. Jokela, and D. L. Miller, editors. The Longleaf Pine Ecosystem: Ecology, Silviculture, and Restoration. Springer Science Business Media, LLC, New York.

  • Peet, R. K., and D. J. Allard. 1993. Longleaf pine vegetation of the Southern Atlantic and Eastern Gulf Coast regions: A preliminary classification. Pages 45-81 in: S. M. Hermann, editor. The Longleaf Pine Ecosystem: Ecology, restoration and management. Proceedings of the eighteenth Tall Timbers fire ecology conference. Tall Timbers Research Station, Tallahassee, FL.

  • Van Lear, D. H., W. D. Carroll, P. R. Kapeluck, and R. Johnson. 2005. History and restoration of the longleaf pine-grassland ecosystem: Implications for species at risk. Forest Ecology and Management 211:150-165.

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


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