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

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Type Concept Sentence:
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Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Eastern Hemlock - (American Beech, Appalachian Basswood) / Umbrella-tree Forest
Colloquial Name: Cumberland-Appalachian Hemlock - Hardwood Cove Forest
Hierarchy Level: Association
Type Concept: 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.
Diagnostic Characteristics: No Data Available
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: 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).
Similar NVC Types:
Liriodendron tulipifera - Betula lenta - Tsuga canadensis / Rhododendron maximum Forest, note:
Tsuga canadensis - (Liriodendron tulipifera, Fagus grandifolia) / Magnolia macrophylla / Polystichum acrostichoides Forest, note:
Tsuga canadensis - Fagus grandifolia - Acer saccharum / (Hamamelis virginiana, Kalmia latifolia) Forest, note:
Pinus strobus - Tsuga canadensis / Rhododendron maximum - (Leucothoe fontanesiana) Forest, note:
Physiognomy and Structure: No Data Available
Floristics: 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).
Dynamics: No Data Available
Environmental Description: 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.
Geographic 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.
Nations: US
States/Provinces: AL?, GA, KY, PA, TN, VA, WV
US Forest Service Ecoregions (1994/1995)
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
Omernik Ecoregions:
Confidence Level: Low
Confidence Level Comments:
Grank: G4
Greasons: Occurrences are threatened by the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae), an exotic insect pest.
Concept Lineage: Split out of a more broadly defined CEGL004767, this now confined to the Bankhead National Forest of Alabama.
Predecessors:
Obsolete Names:
Obsolete Parents:
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)
Concept Author(s): M. Pyne
Author of Description: M. Pyne, R. White and S.C. Gawler
Acknowledgements:
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.