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Classification
Scientific Name: Allegheny-Cumberland Dry Oak Forest and Woodland
Unique Identifier: CES202.359

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Summary: This system encompasses dry hardwood forests on predominately acidic substrates in the Allegheny and Cumberland plateaus, as well as acidic sandstone ridges in the southern Ridge and Valley. Its range is more-or-less consistent with the "Mixed Mesophytic Forest Region" of Braun (1950) and Greller (1988), although it is not a mesic forest type. These forests are typically dominated by Quercus alba, Quercus falcata, Quercus montana (= Quercus prinus), Quercus coccinea, with lesser amounts of Acer rubrum, Carya glabra, and Carya tomentosa (= Carya alba). Small inclusions of Pinus echinata and/or Pinus virginiana may occur, particularly adjacent to escarpments or following fire. In addition, Pinus strobus may be prominent in some stands in the absence of fire. It occurs in a variety of situations, including on nutrient-poor or acidic soils. Sprouts of Castanea dentata can often be found where it was formerly a common tree.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: Related forests on more base-rich substrates may be classified as examples of Southern Ridge and Valley / Cumberland Dry Calcareous Forest (CES202.457), where this distinction may be made. Eastward and northward, this system transitions into Central Appalachian Dry Oak-Pine Forest (CES202.591). The dividing line between them in West Virginia is the Allegheny Front.

Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES202.332 Southern Appalachian Low-Elevation Pine Forest
CES202.457 Southern Ridge and Valley / Cumberland Dry Calcareous Forest
CES202.591 Central Appalachian Dry Oak-Pine Forest
CES202.592 Northeastern Interior Dry-Mesic Oak Forest
CES202.886 Southern Appalachian Oak Forest
CES202.898 Southern Interior Low Plateau Dry-Mesic Oak Forest


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL004761 Pinus echinata - Quercus montana - Quercus (coccinea, velutina) Forest
CEGL004786 Quercus montana - Carya (tomentosa, glabra, ovata) / Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana Forest
CEGL005023 Quercus montana - Quercus (alba, coccinea) / Viburnum acerifolium - (Kalmia latifolia) Forest
CEGL006557 Pinus rigida - Quercus coccinea / Vaccinium angustifolium Woodland
CEGL007119 Pinus virginiana - Pinus (rigida, echinata) - (Quercus montana) / Vaccinium pallidum Forest
CEGL007231 Quercus alba - Quercus velutina - Carya (ovata, tomentosa) - Pinus sp. Forest
CEGL007240 Quercus alba - Quercus rubra - Carya ovata / Cercis canadensis - Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana Forest
CEGL007244 Quercus falcata - Quercus alba - Carya tomentosa / Oxydendrum arboreum / Vaccinium stamineum Forest
CEGL007247 Quercus falcata - Quercus (coccinea, stellata) / Vaccinium (pallidum, stamineum) Forest
CEGL007261 Quercus montana - Carya spp. - Quercus velutina / Vaccinium arboreum / Iris verna var. smalliana Forest
CEGL007269 Quercus montana - Quercus rubra - Carya (ovata, glabra) - Pinus virginiana Forest
CEGL007517 Pinus strobus - Quercus alba - (Carya tomentosa) / Gaylussacia ursina Forest
CEGL007519 Pinus strobus - Quercus (coccinea, montana) / (Gaylussacia ursina, Vaccinium stamineum) Forest
CEGL007700 Quercus montana - Quercus spp. / Vaccinium arboreum - (Kalmia latifolia, Styrax grandifolius) Forest
CEGL007795 Quercus alba - Carya tomentosa - (Quercus velutina) / Desmodium nudiflorum - (Carex picta) Forest
CEGL008406 Quercus stellata - Pinus virginiana / (Schizachyrium scoparium, Piptochaetium avenaceum) Woodland
CEGL008430 Quercus alba - (Quercus montana) / (Hydrangea quercifolia) - Viburnum acerifolium / Carex picta Forest
CEGL008431 Quercus montana - (Quercus coccinea) / Carya pallida / Vaccinium arboreum - Vaccinium pallidum Forest
CEGL008443 Quercus alba - Quercus stellata / Ostrya virginiana - Acer floridanum / Chasmanthium sessiliflorum Forest
CEGL008521 Quercus alba - Quercus (coccinea, velutina, montana) / Gaylussacia baccata Forest
CEGL008567 Quercus alba - Quercus falcata / Vaccinium (arboreum, hirsutum, pallidum) 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
Acidic Soil  
Broad-Leaved Tree  

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Lowland  
Forest and Woodland (Treed)  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Callophrys irus
  (Frosted Elfin)
G3  
Canis rufus
  (Red Wolf)
G1Q LE, XN: Listed endangered, nonessential experimental population
Carex communis var. amplisquama
  (Fort Mountain Sedge)
G5T3  
Carex polymorpha
  (Variable Sedge)
G3  
Coreopsis delphiniifolia
  (Larkspur Tickseed)
G3?Q  
Desmodium ochroleucum
  (Cream Tick-trefoil)
G2  
Fothergilla major
  (Mountain Witch-alder)
G3  
Gaylussacia brachycera
  (Box Huckleberry)
G3  
Lesquerella globosa
  (Globe Bladderpod)
G2 LE: Listed endangered
Melanoplus serrulatus
  (Serrulate Melanoplus)
G1G3  
Puma concolor couguar
  (Eastern Cougar)
G5TXQ  
Taenidia montana
  (Mountain Parsley)
G3  
Thermopsis fraxinifolia
  (Ashleaf Bush-pea)
G3?  
Thermopsis mollis
  (Allegheny Mountain Golden-banner)
G3G4  
Trillium pusillum
  (Least Trillium)
G3  
Virginia valeriae pulchra
  (Mountain Earthsnake)
G5T3T4  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Acer rubrum G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Carya alba G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Carya glabra G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Oxydendrum arboreum G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus alba G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus coccinea G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus falcata G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus prinus G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Pinus virginiana G5 Needle-leaved tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Castanea dentata G4 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Amelanchier arborea G5 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Gaultheria procumbens G5 Dwarf-shrub Short shrub/sapling    
 
 
Desmodium ochroleucum G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Lesquerella globosa G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Scutellaria montana G4 Flowering forb Herb (field)    
 
 


Animal Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status Charact-
eristic
Exotic
Anolis carolinensis
  (Green Anole)
G5      
Autochton cellus
  (Gold-banded Skipper)
G4      
Callophrys irus
  (Frosted Elfin)
G3      
Canis rufus
  (Red Wolf)
G1Q LE, XN: Listed endangered, nonessential experimental population    
Cemophora coccinea copei
  (Northern Scarletsnake)
G5T5      
Coccyzus erythropthalmus
  (Black-billed Cuckoo)
G5      
Coluber constrictor
  (North American Racer)
G5      
Crotalus horridus
  (Timber Rattlesnake)
G4      
Heterodon platirhinos
  (Eastern Hog-nosed Snake)
G5      
Melanoplus serrulatus
  (Serrulate Melanoplus)
G1G3      
Mustela nivalis
  (Least Weasel)
G5      
Neotoma floridana haematoreia
  (Southern Appalachian Woodrat)
G5T4Q      
Plestiodon anthracinus anthracinus
  (Northern Coal Skink)
G5T5      
Plestiodon inexpectatus
  (Southeastern Five-lined Skink)
G5      
Pseudacris brachyphona
  (Mountain Chorus Frog)
G5      
Puma concolor couguar
  (Eastern Cougar)
G5TXQ      
Sceloporus undulatus
  (Eastern Fence Lizard)
G5      
Synanthedon castaneae
  (Chestnut Clearwing Moth)
G3G5      
Tantilla coronata
  (Southeastern Crowned Snake)
G5      
Virginia valeriae pulchra
  (Mountain Earthsnake)
G5T3T4      
Virginia valeriae valeriae
  (Eastern Earthsnake)
G5T5      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: AL, GA, KY, OH, PApotentially occurs, TN, VA, WV
Global Range: This system is centered on the Allegheny and Cumberland plateaus from northern Alabama north to Ohio, West Virginia, and possibly western Pennsylvania.

Biogeographic Divisions
Division Code and Name Primary Occurrence Status
202-Central Interior and Appalachian C: Confident or certain

The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Ecoregions
Code Name Occurrence Status
49 Western Allegheny Plateau Confident or certain
50 Cumberlands and Southern Ridge and Valley Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
48 Cumberland Highlands Confident or certain
53 Appalachia Confident or certain
57 Southern Appalachia Confident or certain
60 Chesapeake Bay Never was there
61 Northern Appalachia Confident or certain
62 Allegheny Plateau Confident or certain

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 4123
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1317
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2317

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: Yes

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 06Jun2017
Element Description Author(s): R. Evans, M. Pyne, C. Nordman, J. Teague, S.C. Gawler

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


References
  • Braun, E. L. 1950. Deciduous forests of eastern North America. Hafner Press, New York. 596 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.

  • Evans, M., B. Yahn, and M. Hines. 2009. Natural communities of Kentucky 2009. Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission, Frankfort, KY. 22 pp.

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

  • Greller, A. M. 1988. Deciduous forest. Pages 288-316 in: M. G. Barbour and W. D. Billings, editors. North American terrestrial vegetation. Cambridge University Press, New York.

  • ONHD [Ohio Natural Heritage Database]. No date. Vegetation classification of Ohio and unpublished data. Ohio Natural Heritage Database, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Columbus.


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