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Classification
Scientific Name: Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Dry and Dry-Mesic Oak Forest
Unique Identifier: CES203.241
Classification Confidence: 2 - Moderate

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Summary: This system encompasses oak-dominated forests of somewhat fire-sheltered dry to dry-mesic sites in the Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic coastal plains from southeastern Virginia to Georgia. Sites where this system occurs are somewhat protected from most natural fires by some combination of steeper topography, isolation from the spread of fire, and limited flammability of the vegetation. If fires were more frequent, the vegetation would likely be replaced by more fire-tolerant southern pines, especially Pinus palustris.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: There remains some uncertainty how this system and other dry and dry-mesic hardwood systems should be divided. There is a broad gradient in climate and species composition from north to south and west. The boundaries at the north edge of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain ecoregion and at the break between the South Atlantic Coastal Plain and East Gulf Coastal Plain ecoregions are boundaries of convenience to create breaks in this broad gradient. Better boundaries may be possible. Differences from comparable systems in the Piedmont are sometimes fairly subtle, and species that differentiate them in one part of the range many not work in other parts. In particular, some species that are excluded from the Coastal Plain farther south are common components farther north. The boundary with Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain Mesic Hardwood Forest (CES203.242) and with adjacent Pinus palustris-dominated systems may be blurred by fire suppression.

Should there be a separate system for calcareous elements, comparable to Southern Coastal Plain Limestone Forest (CES203.502)? An example association for this base-rich phase (or system) is Carya glabra - Tilia americana var. caroliniana - Acer floridanum / Trillium maculatum Forest (CEGL004747).


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL004091 Pinus taeda - Quercus falcata - Quercus alba / Chasmanthium sessiliflorum - Piptochaetium avenaceum Forest
CEGL004095 Quercus virginiana - Pinus taeda / Ilex vomitoria / Chasmanthium sessiliflorum Forest
CEGL004321 Quercus alba - Carya tomentosa / Oxydendrum arboreum / Gaylussacia frondosa Coastal Plain Forest
CEGL004747 Carya glabra - Tilia americana var. caroliniana - Acer floridanum / Trillium maculatum Forest
CEGL004788 Quercus hemisphaerica - Magnolia grandiflora - Carya pallida / Vaccinium arboreum / Chasmanthium sessiliflorum Forest
CEGL007022 Quercus hemisphaerica - Pinus taeda - (Quercus nigra) / Osmanthus americanus var. americanus / Ilex glabra Forest
CEGL007225 Quercus alba - Carya glabra - Carya tomentosa / Aesculus pavia Forest
CEGL007226 Quercus alba - Carya glabra / Mixed Herbs Coastal Plain Forest
CEGL007246 Quercus falcata - Quercus stellata - Carya tomentosa / Vaccinium spp. Coastal Plain Forest
CEGL007766 Quercus alba - Quercus (margarettae, rubra, stellata) / Vaccinium pallidum Sandhill Forest
CEGL007862 Quercus alba - Quercus nigra / Ilex opaca / Clethra alnifolia - Arundinaria tecta 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
Long Disturbance Interval  
Broad-Leaved Tree  

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
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
Agrimonia incisa
  (Incised Groovebur)
G3  
Allium sp. 1
  (Savanna Onion)
G1G2  
Ambystoma cingulatum
  (Frosted Flatwoods Salamander)
G2 LT: Listed threatened
Amorpha georgiana var. georgiana
  (Georgia Leadplant)
G3T2  
Brickellia cordifolia
  (Flyr's Brickell-bush)
G3  
Calopogon multiflorus
  (Many-flower Grass-pink)
G2G3  
Canis rufus
  (Red Wolf)
G1Q LE, XN: Listed endangered, nonessential experimental population
Carex impressinervia
  (Impressed-nerved Sedge)
G2  
Carex lutea
  (Golden Sedge)
G2 LE: Listed endangered
Carex thornei
  (Thorne's Sedge)
G2G3  
Cirsium lecontei
  (Le Conte's Thistle)
G3  
Croton elliottii
  (Elliott's Croton)
G3  
Dichanthelium cryptanthum
  (Hidden-flower Witchgrass)
G3G4Q  
Echinacea laevigata
  (Smooth Purple Coneflower)
G2G3 LE: Listed endangered
Elliottia racemosa
  (Georgia Plume)
G2?  
Eupatorium anomalum
  (Florida Thoroughwort)
G2G3  
Eurybia mirabilis
  (Dwarf Aster)
G3  
Fissidens hallii
  (Hall's Pocket Moss)
G2  
Fissidens neonii
  (Neon Fissidens Moss)
G2?  
Heterodon simus
  (Southern Hog-nosed Snake)
G2  
Ilex cuthbertii
  (Cuthbert's Holly)
G1?  
Lilium pyrophilum
  (Sandhills Lily)
G2  
Lindera subcoriacea
  (Bog Spicebush)
G3  
Lobelia boykinii
  (Boykin's Lobelia)
G2G3  
Ludwigia ravenii
  (Raven's Seedbox)
G1G2  
Ludwigia spathulata
  (Spathulate Seedbox)
G2  
Macbridea caroliniana
  (Carolina Birds-in-a-nest)
G2G3  
Magnolia ashei
  (Ashe's Magnolia)
G2  
Matelea alabamensis
  (Alabama Anglepod)
G2  
Matelea floridana
  (Florida Milkvine)
G2  
Melanoplus mirus
  (Weldon Short-wing Grasshopper)
GH  
Melanoplus querneus
  (Larger Sandhill Grasshopper)
G2G3  
Monotropsis odorata
  (Sweet Pinesap)
G3  
Oxypolis canbyi
  (Canby's Dropwort)
G2 LE: Listed endangered
Peromyscus leucopus buxtoni
  (White-footed Deermouse - Buxton Woods)
G5T1  
Plethodon savannah
  (Savannah Slimy Salamander)
G2G3  
Pseudobranchus striatus striatus
  (Broad-striped Dwarf Siren)
G5T1T3  
Pteroglossaspis ecristata
  (Giant Orchid)
G2G3  
Pycnanthemum clinopodioides
  (Basil Mountainmint)
G1G2  
Rhododendron eastmanii
  (Eastman's Rhododendron)
G2  
Rhus michauxii
  (Michaux's Sumac)
G2G3 LE: Listed endangered
Rudbeckia heliopsidis
  (Sun-facing Coneflower)
G2  
Schwalbea americana
  (Chaffseed)
G2 LE: Listed endangered
Silene ovata
  (Ovate Catchfly)
G3  
Silene polypetala
  (Fringed Campion)
G2 LE: Listed endangered
Solidago villosicarpa
  (Coastal Goldenrod)
G1  
Sorex sp. 1
  (a shrew)
G2Q  
Sporobolus teretifolius
  (Wireleaf Dropseed)
G2  
Thalictrum macrostylum
  (Small-leaf Meadowrue)
G3G4  
Trillium pusillum var. pusillum
  (Least Trillium)
G3T2Q  
Waldsteinia lobata
  (Lobed Barren-strawberry)
G3  
Zephyranthes simpsonii
  (Rain Lily)
G2G3  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Carya alba G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Carya glabra G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Liquidambar styraciflua G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus alba G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus falcata G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus nigra G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Quercus stellata G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Cornus florida G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree subcanopy    
 
 
Elliottia racemosa G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Ilex cuthbertii G1 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Lindera subcoriacea G3 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)      
 
 
Ilex opaca G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Amorpha georgiana var. georgiana T2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling      
 
 
Rhus michauxii G2 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Short shrub/sapling      
 
 
Allium sp. 1 G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Brickellia cordifolia G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Calopogon multiflorus G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Cirsium lecontei G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Croton elliottii G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Echinacea laevigata G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Eupatorium anomalum G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Eurybia mirabilis G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Lilium pyrophilum G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Lobelia boykinii G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Ludwigia ravenii G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Ludwigia spathulata G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Macbridea caroliniana G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Matelea alabamensis G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Matelea floridana G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Oxypolis canbyi G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Pteroglossaspis ecristata G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Pycnanthemum clinopodioides G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Schwalbea americana G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Silene polypetala G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Solidago villosicarpa G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Thalictrum macrostylum G3 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Trillium pusillum var. pusillum T2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Zephyranthes simpsonii G2 Flowering forb Herb (field)      
 
 
Carex impressinervia G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Carex lutea G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Carex thornei G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Dichanthelium cryptanthum G3 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Sporobolus teretifolius G2 Graminoid Herb (field)      
 
 
Fissidens hallii G2 Moss 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
Ambystoma cingulatum
  (Frosted Flatwoods Salamander)
G2 LT: Listed threatened    
Canis rufus
  (Red Wolf)
G1Q LE, XN: Listed endangered, nonessential experimental population    
Heterodon simus
  (Southern Hog-nosed Snake)
G2      
Melanoplus mirus
  (Weldon Short-wing Grasshopper)
GH      
Melanoplus querneus
  (Larger Sandhill Grasshopper)
G2G3      
Ophisaurus attenuatus
  (Slender Glass Lizard)
G5      
Pantherophis obsoletus
  (Eastern Ratsnake)
G5      
Peromyscus leucopus buxtoni
  (White-footed Deermouse - Buxton Woods)
G5T1      
Plestiodon inexpectatus
  (Southeastern Five-lined Skink)
G5      
Plethodon savannah
  (Savannah Slimy Salamander)
G2G3      
Pseudobranchus striatus striatus
  (Broad-striped Dwarf Siren)
G5T1T3      
Sciurus carolinensis
  (Eastern Gray Squirrel)
G5      
Sorex sp. 1
  (a shrew)
G2Q      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: GA, NC, SC, VA
Global Range: This system ranges from southeastern Virginia (south of the James River) south to southeastern Georgia in the Atlantic Coastal Plain.

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
57 Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
55 Southeastern Coastal Plain Confident or certain
58 Eastern Coastal Plain Confident or certain
60 Chesapeake Bay Confident or certain
61 Northern Appalachia Never was there

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 4141
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1335
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2335

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: Yes

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 14Jan2014
Element Description Author(s): R. Evans, M. Schafale, 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
  • Bennett, S. H., and J. B. Nelson. 1991. Distribution and status of Carolina bays in South Carolina. South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, Nongame and Heritage Trust Section, Columbia. 88 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.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • Rehn, J. A., and M. Hebard. 1916. Studies in the Dermaptera and Orthoptera of the Coastal Plain and Piedmont Region of the southeastern United States. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 1916: 87-214.

  • Schafale, M. P. 2012. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina, 4th Approximation. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

  • Schafale, M. P., and A. S. Weakley. 1990. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina. Third approximation. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh. 325 pp.

  • 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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