Invalid Unit Specified
CEGL007210 Fagus grandifolia - Quercus alba - Liquidambar styraciflua / Magnolia grandiflora / Smilax pumila Forest

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Type Concept Sentence:
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Common (Translated Scientific) Name: American Beech - White Oak - Sweetgum / Southern Magnolia / Sarsaparilla-vine Forest
Colloquial Name: East Gulf Coastal Plain Rich Beech - White Oak Forest
Hierarchy Level: Association
Type Concept: This association includes mesic mixed hardwood forests of the Gulf Coastal Plain east of the Mississippi River. Within this region, examples are found within the range of Magnolia grandiflora, and stands typically include a diagnostic component of this species. Stands of this association contain a canopy dominated by Fagus grandifolia and Quercus alba, with Nyssa sylvatica, Liquidambar styraciflua, and Quercus hemisphaerica (more prevalent on upper slopes). The more-or-less open subcanopy contains Magnolia grandiflora, Magnolia macrophylla, Ostrya virginiana, Liriodendron tulipifera, Acer rubrum, and Cornus florida. Shrubs and woody vines are relatively sparse; shrubs include Aesculus pavia, Arundinaria gigantea, Hamamelis virginiana, Vaccinium elliottii, Ilex decidua, Symplocos tinctoria, Asimina parviflora, and Hypericum hypericoides. Woody vines include Vitis rotundifolia, Gelsemium sempervirens, and Toxicodendron radicans. The herbaceous stratum includes Smilax pumila, Polystichum acrostichoides, Mitchella repens, Arisaema triphyllum, Aristolochia serpentaria, Hexastylis arifolia var. callifolia?, Euphorbia corollata, Scutellaria elliptica, Dichanthelium boscii, Chasmanthium sessiliflorum, Carex spp., Dioscorea villosa, and the epiphyte Pleopeltis polypodioides (= Polypodium polypodioides).
Diagnostic Characteristics: No Data Available
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: This type was originally based on the work of Monk et al. (1989), but the association concept has since been narrowed considerably. This association has been documented from steep slopes of loess-derived soils in the Homochitto National Forest of Mississippi where it grades upslope into forests on upper slopes and ridges which contain Quercus falcata, Quercus stellata, Pinus taeda, and Juniperus virginiana. Stands have also been attributed to this type in Alabama and north Florida (NatureServe Ecology unpubl. data). Some stands in the Talladega National Forest, Oakmulgee Ranger District, are clearly related to this type, but do not contain any Magnolia grandiflora and have dense shrub layers composed of Illicium floridanum. They are placed here tentatively, but may be worthy of separate recognition.
Similar NVC Types:
Fagus grandifolia - Quercus alba / Ilex opaca var. opaca / Athyrium filix-femina ssp. asplenioides Forest, note: is presumably the analogous West Gulf Coastal Plain type; possibly the most significant difference between the West Gulf Coastal Plain and East Gulf Coastal Plain types is the occurrence of Hexastylis arifolia which is not known from either Texas (Hatch et al. 1990) or western Louisiana (Thomas and Allen 1996).
Fagus grandifolia - Magnolia grandiflora / Ostrya virginiana / Aesculus parviflora Forest, note:
Fagus grandifolia - Quercus alba / Symplocos tinctoria East Gulf Coastal Plain Forest, note:
Fagus grandifolia - Magnolia grandiflora - Pinus glabra - (Magnolia macrophylla) / (Illicium floridanum) Forest, note: is a beech-magnolia forest rather than a beech-white oak forest.
Fagus grandifolia - Quercus (alba, rubra) / Acer barbatum / Asimina triloba Forest, note:
Physiognomy and Structure: No Data Available
Floristics: This association differs from genuine beech-magnolia forests (of farther south or of more mesic environments) by having Magnolia grandiflora, if present at all, confined to the lower woody strata and not present in the canopy. Typical stands of this association contain a canopy dominated by Fagus grandifolia and Quercus alba, with Nyssa sylvatica, Liquidambar styraciflua, and Quercus hemisphaerica (this more prevalent on upper slopes). The more-or-less open subcanopy contains Magnolia grandiflora, Magnolia macrophylla, Ostrya virginiana, Liriodendron tulipifera, Acer rubrum, and Cornus florida. Shrubs and woody vines are relatively sparse; the shrub stratum may be more diverse than the herbaceous one. Shrubs include Aesculus pavia, Arundinaria gigantea, Hamamelis virginiana, Vaccinium elliottii, Ilex decidua, Symplocos tinctoria, Asimina parviflora, and Hypericum hypericoides. Woody vines include Vitis rotundifolia, Gelsemium sempervirens, and Toxicodendron radicans. The herbaceous stratum includes Smilax pumila, Polystichum acrostichoides, Mitchella repens, Arisaema triphyllum, Aristolochia serpentaria, Hexastylis arifolia var. callifolia?, Euphorbia corollata, Scutellaria elliptica, Dichanthelium boscii, Chasmanthium sessiliflorum, Sanguinaria canadensis, Trillium sp., Carex spp., Dioscorea villosa, and the epiphyte Pleopeltis polypodioides (= Polypodium polypodioides).
Dynamics: No Data Available
Environmental Description: These forests are found in ravines, slopes, and other sheltered, shaded, concave environments of the Coastal Plain. In some areas this association grades up into forests dominated or codominated by Quercus hemisphaerica, or which contain Quercus falcata, Quercus stellata, Pinus taeda, and Juniperus virginiana.
Geographic Range: This forest is known from the East Gulf Coastal Plain and Upper East Gulf Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States. Its possible status assignment to the South Atlantic Coastal Plain is questionable.
Nations: US
States/Provinces: AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, SC
US Forest Service Ecoregions (1994/1995)
Domain Name:
Division Name:
Province Name: Southeastern Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 231    Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Coastal Plains and Flatwoods, Lower Section
Section Code: 232B     Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Omernik Ecoregions:
Confidence Level: Moderate
Confidence Level Comments:
Grank: G4
Greasons: This is not an inherently rare forest type, even though it is restricted in its environment and its position on the landscape. Many examples have escaped environmental damage due to their relative inaccessibility. These forests are more widely distributed than true beech-magnolia forests. Threats include removal of the more valuable timber species (e.g., Quercus alba) and erosion from timber removal activities, as well as the conversion of adjacent areas to planted pine stands. Some examples are protected on national forests and military bases. The remaining examples on private land are highly vulnerable to canopy removal and conversion to other forest types.
Concept Lineage:
Predecessors:
Obsolete Names:
Obsolete Parents:
Synonomy: < IA8d. Southern Mixed Hardwood Forest (Allard 1990)
< Southern Mixed Hardwood Forest (type 7) (Monk et al. 1989)
Concept Author(s): Monk et al. (1989), mod. S. Landaal and M. Pyne
Author of Description: S. Landaal and M. Pyne
Acknowledgements:
Version Date: 24Oct2002
References:
  • Allard, D. J. 1990. Southeastern United States ecological community classification. Interim report, Version 1.2. The Nature Conservancy, Southeast Regional Office, Chapel Hill, NC. 96 pp.
  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 1992a. Natural communities. Unpublished document. The Nature Conservancy, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee. 6 pp.
  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 1992b. Natural community classification. Unpublished document. The Nature Conservancy, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee. 16 pp.
  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 2010a. Guide to the natural communities of Florida: 2010 edition. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee, FL.
  • Hatch, S. L., K. N. Gandhi, and L. E. Brown. 1990. Checklist of the vascular plants of Texas. Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Texas A&M University System, College Station. 158 pp.
  • Monk, C. D., D. W. Imm, R. L. Potter, and G. G. Parker. 1989. A classification of the deciduous forest of eastern North America. Vegetatio 80:167-181.
  • NatureServe Ecology - Southeastern United States. No date. Unpublished data. NatureServe, Durham, NC.
  • Peet, R. K., T. R. Wentworth, M. P. Schafale, and A.S. Weakley. No date. Unpublished data of the North Carolina Vegetation Survey. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
  • Southeastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Durham, NC.
  • Thomas, R. D., and C. M. Allen. 1996. Atlas of the vascular flora of Louisiana. Volume II: Dicotyledons Acanthaceae - Euphorbiaceae. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Natural Heritage Program, Baton Rouge, LA. 213 pp.