Invalid Unit Specified
Association Detail Report: CEGL008407
Tsuga canadensis - (Fagus grandifolia, Tilia americana var. heterophylla) / Magnolia tripetala Forest

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
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Translated Name:Eastern Hemlock - (American Beech, Appalachian Basswood) / Umbrella-tree Forest
Colloquial Name:Cumberland-Appalachian Hemlock - Hardwood Cove Forest
This association represents mixed forests of lower slopes, coves, etc. dominated by Tsuga canadensis and mesic hardwood species, occurring in the Cumberland Mountains and Cumberland Plateau of Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia, the Southern Ridge and Valley of Tennessee, and the Western Allegheny Plateau of West Virginia and potentially southwestern Pennsylvania. It may range into extreme northwestern Georgia and northeastern Alabama, Deciduous associates, which may vary widely in relative frequency, include Fagus grandifolia, Tilia americana var. heterophylla, Liriodendron tulipifera, Betula alleghaniensis, Betula lenta, Quercus rubra, Fraxinus americana, Carya ovata, and Magnolia acuminata. The relative proportion of Tsuga and the various hardwood species may vary greatly; individual stands may be strongly dominated by Tsuga, or Tsuga may share dominance with one or more of the hardwoods. Aesculus flava and/or Magnolia tripetala may be present in the canopy or subcanopy, respectively, but these characteristic species may not be dominant in the particular stratum. Some important shrubs include Rhododendron maximum (which may dominate shrub layers of some stands), Rhododendron catawbiense (within its range), Ribes cynosbati, Asimina triloba, Hydrangea arborescens, Viburnum acerifolium, and the lianas Aristolochia macrophylla and Smilax rotundifolia. Ferns are diverse and abundant. Mesic herbaceous components include Dryopteris marginalis, Dryopteris intermedia, Thelypteris noveboracensis, Polystichum acrostichoides, Asplenium rhizophyllum, Athyrium filix-femina, Arisaema triphyllum, Asarum canadense, Carex plantaginea, Chimaphila maculata, Goodyera pubescens, Hepatica nobilis var. acuta, Maianthemum racemosum, Mitchella repens, Phacelia bipinnatifida, Sanguinaria canadensis, Tiarella cordifolia, and Trillium spp.
No Data Available
Vegetation Hierarchy
Name:Database Code:Classification Code:
Class 1 Forest & Woodland C01 1
Subclass 1.B Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland S15 1.B
Formation 1.B.2 Cool Temperate Forest & Woodland F008 1.B.2
Division 1.B.2.Na Eastern North American Forest & Woodland D008 1.B.2.Na
Macrogroup M883 Appalachian-Interior-Northeastern Mesic Forest M883 1.B.2.Na.3
Group G020 Appalachian-Central Interior Mesic Forest G020 1.B.2.Na.3.a
Alliance A3304 Southern Hemlock - Tuliptree Forest A3304
Association CEGL008407 Cumberland-Appalachian Hemlock - Hardwood Cove Forest CEGL008407
This forest is known from the Rock Creek Research Natural Area in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky (Winstead and Nicely 1976). It is also found at Lilley Cornet Woods in eastern Kentucky (Martin 1975). Some Tennessee occurrences include Fall Creek Falls State Park (Caplenor 1965) and Savage Gulf in the South Cumberland Recreation Area (Quarterman et al. 1972). There is at least one disjunct occurrence of a mesic ravine with Tsuga canadensis in the Eastern Highland Rim of DeKalb County, Tennessee (222Eb), which would be accommodated here. The substrate at this site is siliceous limestone of the Mississippian Fort Payne Formation, immediately underlain by upper Ordovician limestones. This association is better defined in the southern part of its range. In the Western Allegheny Plateau of West Virginia, there is some conceptual overlap with Tsuga canadensis - Fagus grandifolia - Acer saccharum / (Hamamelis virginiana, Kalmia latifolia) Forest (CEGL005043). Classification difficulties may be encountered where the potential ranges of these two types could overlap (e.g., in parts of Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia).
Synonomy: = Tsuga canadensis - (Fagus grandifolia, Tilia americana var. heterophylla) / Magnolia tripetala Forest (Fleming and Patterson 2009a)
< Hemlock Type (Schmalzer and DeSelm 1982)
= Hemlock-basswood Community (Caplenor 1965)
? Hemlock-yellow birch Community (Caplenor 1965)
? Sugar Maple - Northern Red Oak - Eastern Hemlock (Rentch et al. 2005)

Related Type Name:

Short Citation:
  • Caplenor 1965
  • Fike 1999
  • Fike pers. comm.
  • Fleming and Patterson 2009a
  • Fleming and Patterson 2009b
  • Fleming and Patterson 2011a
  • Fleming et al. 2001
  • Martin 1975
  • Perez pers. comm.
  • Perles et al. 2006d
  • Quarterman et al. 1972
  • Rentch et al. 2005
  • Schmalzer and DeSelm 1982
  • Southeastern Ecology Working Group n.d.
  • TDNH unpubl. data
  • Vanderhorst et al. 2008
  • White 2006
  • Winstead and Nicely 1976
  • WVNHP unpubl. data b
States/Provinces:AL?, GA, KY, PA, TN, VA, WV
Nations:US
Range:This association occurs in the Cumberland Mountains and Cumberland Plateau of Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia, the Southern Ridge and Valley of Tennessee, and the Western Allegheny Plateau of West Virginia and possibly southwestern Pennsylvania. It may range into extreme northwestern Georgia and northeastern Alabama. Occurrences in the Interior Low Plateau are rare and of limited extent.
US Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name:
Division Name:
Province Name:Southeastern Mixed Forest Province
Province Code:231   Occurrence Status:Predicted or probable
Section Name:Southern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code:221E     Occurrence Status:Predicted or probable
No Data Available
This association is dominated by Tsuga canadensis and mesic hardwood species, often including Tilia americana. Deciduous associates, which may vary widely in relative frequency, include Fagus grandifolia, Liriodendron tulipifera, Betula alleghaniensis, Betula lenta, Quercus rubra, Fraxinus americana, Carya ovata, Magnolia acuminata, Quercus prinus, Acer saccharum, and Acer rubrum. The relative proportion of Tsuga canadensis and the various hardwood species may vary greatly; individual stands may be strongly dominated by Tsuga, or Tsuga may share dominance with one or more of the hardwoods. Aesculus flava and/or Magnolia tripetala may be present in the canopy or subcanopy, respectively, but these characteristic species may not be dominant in the particular stratum. Vines which may reach the canopy include Aristolochia macrophylla and Vitis aestivalis var. bicolor. Regeneration of Tsuga canadensis, Acer saccharum, and Tilia americana in the shrub layer is often evident. Some important shrubs include Rhododendron maximum (which may dominate shrub layers of some stands but be very low in others), Rhododendron catawbiense (within its range), Ribes cynosbati, Asimina triloba, Viburnum acerifolium, Acer pensylvanicum, Hydrangea arborescens, and Hamamelis virginiana, and the lianas Parthenocissus quinquefolia and Smilax rotundifolia. Ferns are diverse and abundant. The herbaceous component includes some nutrient-demanding plants such as Actaea racemosa var. racemosa, Adiantum pedatum, Sanguinaria canadensis, Asarum canadense, Caulophyllum thalictroides, and Laportea canadensis. Additional herbaceous species include Dryopteris marginalis, Dryopteris intermedia, Thelypteris noveboracensis, Polystichum acrostichoides, Asplenium rhizophyllum, Athyrium filix-femina, Ageratina altissima var. altissima, Arisaema triphyllum, Carex digitalis var. digitalis, Carex plantaginea, Chimaphila maculata, Dioscorea quaternata, Goodyera pubescens, Hepatica nobilis var. acuta, Maianthemum racemosum, Mitchella repens, Osmorhiza claytonii, Phacelia bipinnatifida, Polygonatum pubescens, Prosartes lanuginosa, Sanguinaria canadensis, Sedum ternatum, Solidago caesia, Tiarella cordifolia, and Trillium spp. Across eight plots sampled in West Virginia, vascular plant richness ranged from 37 to 58 species (mean = 42.8) per 400-square-meter plot. At the northern limit of this association, some more southern species will be absent (e.g., Rhododendron catawbiense, Phacelia bipinnatifida, Halesia tetraptera) (J. Fike pers. comm.). One variant of this association is apparently dominated by Tsuga canadensis and Betula alleghaniensis, with Tilia americana var. heterophylla and Oxydendrum arboreum (Caplenor 1965).
This forest occurs in coves, valleys, bases of cliffs, and lower slopes, usually in somewhat protected settings. Soils are typically derived from slope alluvium and colluvium, composed of acidic shales, siltstones, and sandstones; the soils typically have a high stone content (Martin 1975). Soils in eight West Virginia plots near the Bluestone River are described as somewhat moist to moist, well-drained, stony silt loam and sandy loam. They tested extremely to medium acidic (mean pH = 4.7) with relatively high levels of organic matter, estimated N release, S, Al, B, Ca, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, and P, and relatively low levels of Cu, Na, and Zn compared to average values in the area.
Low
No Data Available
Authors:
M. Pyne, R. White and S.C. Gawler      Version Date: 29Jan2008


References:
  • Caplenor, D. 1965. The vegetation of the gorges of the Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee. Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science 40:27-39.
  • Fike, J. 1999. Terrestrial and palustrine plant communities of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Recreation, Bureau of Forestry, Harrisburg, PA. 86 pp.
  • Fike, Jean. Personal communication. Ecologist, Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Recreation. Bureau of Forestry. Harrisburg, PA.
  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2009a. A vegetation classification for the Appalachian Trail: Virginia south to Georgia. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. In-house analysis, March 2009.
  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2009b. Classification of selected Virginia montane wetland groups. In-house analysis, December 2009. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.
  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2011a. Natural communities of Virginia: Ecological groups and community types. Natural Heritage Technical Report 11-07. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 34 pp.
  • Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, D. P. Walton, K. M. McCoy, and M. R. Parrish. 2001. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. First approximation. Natural Heritage Technical Report 01-1. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 76 pp.
  • Martin, W. H. 1975. The Lilley Cornett Woods: A stable mixed mesophytic forest in Kentucky. Botanical Gazette 136:171-183.
  • Perez, John. Personal communication. Biologist, USDI National Park Service, Glen Jean, WV.
  • Perles, S. J., G. S. Podniesinski, E. A. Zimmerman, E. Eastman, and L. A. Sneddon. 2006d. Vegetation classification and mapping at Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2006/079. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Quarterman, E., B. H. Turner, and T. E. Hemmerly. 1972. Analysis of virgin mixed mesophytic forests in Savage Gulf, Tennessee. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 99:228-232.
  • Rentch, J. S., R. H. Forney, S. L. Stephenson, H. S. Adams, W. N. Grafton, R. B. Coxe, and H. H. Mills. 2005. Vegetation patterns within the lower Bluestone River gorge in southern West Virginia. Castanea 70:170-183.
  • Schmalzer, P. A., and H. R. DeSelm. 1982. Vegetation, endangered and threatened plants, critical plant habitats and vascular flora of the Obed Wild and Scenic River. Unpublished report. USDI National Park Service, Obed Wild and Scenic River. 2 volumes. 369 pp.
  • Southeastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Durham, NC.
  • TDNH [Tennessee Division of Natural Heritage]. No date. Unpublished data. Tennessee Division of Natural Heritage, Nashville, TN.
  • Vanderhorst, J. P., B. P. Streets, J. Jeuck, and S. C. Gawler. 2008. Vegetation classification and mapping of Bluestone National Scenic River, West Virginia. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2008/106. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA.
  • White, R. D., Jr. 2006. Vascular plant inventory and ecological community classification for Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. NatureServe, Durham, NC. 246 pp.
  • Winstead, J. E., and K. A. Nicely. 1976. A preliminary study of a virgin forest tract of the Cumberland Plateau in Laurel County, Kentucky. Transactions of the Kentucky Academy of Science 37:29-32.
  • WVNHP [West Virginia Natural Heritage Program]. No date (b). Unpublished data. West Virginia Natural Heritage Program, Elkins.


USNVC Credits: Detailed Description of the National Vegetation Classification Types

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To cite a description:
Author(s). publicationYear. Description Title [last revised revisionDate]. United States National Vegetation Classification. Federal Geographic Data Committee, Washington, D.C.

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About this document
This document contains type descriptions at the Association level of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification. These descriptions were primarily written by NatureServe ecologists in collaboration with Federal Geographic Data Committee Vegetation Subcommittee and a wide variety of state, federal and private partners as a part of the implementation of the National Vegetation Classification. Formation descriptions were written by the Hierarchy Revisions Working Group. The descriptions are based on consultation with natural resource professionals, published literature, and other vegetation classification systems. The Ecological Society of America's Panel on Vegetation Classification is responsible for managing the review and formal adoption of these types into the National Vegetation Classification. Partners involved in the implementation of the USNVC include:

U.S. Government
  • Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Department of Commerce (DOC)
  • Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Department of the Interior (USDI)
  • Forest Service (FS) - Chair
  • National Agriculture Statistical Service (NASS)
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
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Non U.S. Government
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Disclaimer:
Given the dynamic nature of the standard, it is possible a type description is incomplete or in revision at the time of download; therefore, users of the data should track the date of access and read the revisions section of the USNVC.org website to understand the current status of the classification. While USNVC data have undergone substantial review prior to posting, it is possible that some errors or inaccuracies have remained undetected.

For information on the process used to develop these descriptions see:

Faber-Langendoen, D., T. Keeler-Wolf, D. Meidinger, D. Tart, B. Hoagland, C. Josse, G. Navarro, S. Ponomarenko, J.-P. Saucier, A. Weakley, P. Comer. 2014. EcoVeg: A new approach to vegetation description and classification. Ecological Monographs 84:533-561 (erratum 85:473).

Franklin, S., D. Faber-Langendoen, M. Jennings, T. Keeler-Wolf, O. Loucks, A. McKerrow, R.K. Peet, and D. Roberts. 2012. Building the United States National Vegetation Classification. Annali di Botanica 2: 1-9.

Jennings, M. D., D. Faber-Langendoen, O. L. Louckes, R. K. Peet, and D. Roberts. 2009. Standards for associations and alliances of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification. Ecological Monographs 79(2):173-199.

FGDC [Federal Geographic Data Committee]. 2008. Vegetation Classification Standard, FGDC-STD-005, Version 2. Washington, DC., USA. [http://www.fgdc.gov/standards/projects/FGDC-standards-projects/vegetation/NVCS_V2_FINAL_2008-02.pdf]

For additional information contact:

  • Implementation of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification Standard - Alexa McKerrow (amckerrow@usgs.gov)
  • NatureServe's Development of NVC Type Descriptions - Don Faber-Langendoen (don_faber- langendoen@natureserve.org)
  • Ecological Society of America's Review of the Type Descriptions Scott.Franklin@unco.edu
  • Federal Geographic Data Committee - Vegetation Subcommittee's Activities - Marianne Burke (mburke@fs.fed.us)