Invalid Unit Specified
Association Detail Report: CEGL008473
Quercus alba - Nyssa sylvatica Wet Forest

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
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Translated Name:White Oak - Blackgum Wet Forest
Colloquial Name:White Oak - Blackgum Wet Forest
This type includes forests in Virginia and Kentucky. These are seasonally flooded shallow depressions dominated by Quercus alba and Nyssa sylvatica. The documented Virginia site is located near Frozen Knob on Peters Mountain, Alleghany County, in the Ridge and Valley province. More information is needed.
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.3 Temperate Flooded & Swamp Forest F026 1.B.3
Division 1.B.3.Na Eastern North American-Great Plains Flooded & Swamp Forest D011 1.B.3.Na
Macrogroup M503 Central Hardwood Swamp Forest M503 1.B.3.Na.2
Group G654 South-Central Flatwoods & Pond Forest G654 1.B.3.Na.2.b
Alliance A1996 White Oak Wet Depression & Pond Forest A1996
Association CEGL008473 White Oak - Blackgum Wet Forest CEGL008473
Classification of this association is supported by only two plots from the Peters Mountain, Virginia, stand (Fleming and Coulling 2001). The group, however, has proven distinct from other montane depression wetlands in in-house quantitative analyses by Virginia Division of Natural Heritage. This vegetation type is an enigmatic unit that requires further inventory and research. Similar environments have been documented from sinkhole ponds developed on deep alluvial fans along the foot of the Blue Ridge in Rockingham and Augusta counties, Virginia (Fleming and Van Alstine 1999), but the vegetation of the Peters Mountain wetland is unique in the experience of Virginia ecologists.
Synonomy: = Quercus alba - Acer rubrum / Polygonum hydropiperoides - Lysimachia lanceolata Woodland (Fleming and Moorhead 2000)

Related Type Name:

Short Citation:
  • Fleming and Coulling 2001
  • Fleming and Moorhead 2000
  • Fleming and Patterson 2009b
  • Fleming and Patterson 2011a
  • Fleming and Van Alstine 1999
  • Fleming et al. 2001
  • Fleming et al. 2006
  • Southeastern Ecology Working Group n.d.
States/Provinces:KY, VA
Range:This provisional association accommodates the states and/or ecoregions in the portion of the alliance's range not covered in other existing associations. This presently (February 2001) includes Virginia and Kentucky.
US Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name:
Division Name:
Province Name:Central Appalachian Broadleaf Forest - Coniferous Forest - Meadow Province
Province Code:M221   Occurrence Status:Confident or certain
Section Name:Northern Ridge and Valley Section
Section Code:M221A     Occurrence Status:Confident or certain
No Data Available
Physiognomic characterization of this association is problematic. The wetland grades from an open herbaceous center through a Quercus alba-dominated woodland to surrounding mixed oak and oak-hickory forest. The overall or "average" expression is a woodland. Individuals of Quercus alba up to 81 cm (32 inches) dbh and 204 years old overwhelmingly dominate the stand. Acer rubrum is a constant but minor canopy and subcanopy associate. Malus coronaria and Nyssa sylvatica comprise most of the very open understory and shrub layers. The herbaceous flora is relatively homogeneous throughout the wetland, although total herb cover drops from 25-40% in the open center to <5% in the canopied portion. The most characteristic herbaceous species are Agrostis perennans, Carex annectens, Dichanthelium villosissimum, Hypoxis hirsuta, Lysimachia lanceolata, Oxalis grandis, Polygonum hydropiperoides, Smilax glauca, and Viola hirsutula.
At the Peters Mountain site, a sag in the underlying bedrock, probably related to ancient catastrophic slope failure and landsliding (Harbor 1996), is expressed as a broad, concave, midslope bench at 863 m (2830 feet) elevation. The lowest portion of the bench supports a seasonally flooded, semi-forested depression wetland covering about 0.2 hectare (0.5 acre). High water marks on trees (32, 44, and 50 cm [13, 17, and 20 inches]) indicate periodic flooding of significant depth, and aerial photographs taken in early spring clearly show such inundation. However, no surface water was observed during growing season field visits to this site, and it is not clear whether the flooding regime is regular but very short duration, or irregular and intermittent. We suspect that growing season inundation of this wetland is highly irregular and intermittent. Moreover, hydrophytic plants are nearly lacking, suggesting that the very strongly acidic (mean pH = 4.6) grayish to yellow-gray silt loam substrate is a non-hydric soil with reasonable internal drainage during most of the growing season. Most likely, this habitat represents a former "sag pond" that has filled with sediment over geologic time.
Low - Poorly Documented
Heavy grazing, presumably by deer and/or turkey, was noted on both woody seedlings and herbaceous plants at the Peters Mountain site.
G.P. Fleming      Version Date: 18Feb2010

  • 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., and N. E. Van Alstine. 1999. Plant communities and floristic features of sinkhole ponds and seepage wetlands in southeastern Augusta County, Virginia. Banisteria 13:67-94.
  • Fleming, G. P., and P. P. Coulling. 2001. Ecological communities of the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Preliminary classification and description of vegetation types. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 317 pp.
  • Fleming, G. P., and W. H. Moorhead, III. 2000. Plant communities and ecological land units of the Peter's Mountain area, James River Ranger District, George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 00-07. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. Unpublished report submitted to the USDA Forest Service. 195 pp. plus appendices.
  • 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.
  • Fleming, G. P., P. P. Coulling, K. D. Patterson, and K. Taverna. 2006. The natural communities of Virginia: Classification of ecological community groups. Second approximation. Version 2.2. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. []
  • Southeastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Durham, NC.

USNVC Credits: Detailed Description of the National Vegetation Classification Types

Date Accessed:

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

About spatial standards:
The United States Federal Geographic Data Committee (hereafter called the FGDC) is tasked to develop geospatial data standards that will enable sharing of spatial data among producers and users and support the growing National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), acting under the Office of Management Budget (OMB) Circular A-16 (OMB 1990, 2000) and Executive Order #12906 (Clinton 1994) as amended by Executive Order #13286 (Bush 2003). FGDC subcommittees and working groups, in consultation and cooperation with state, local, tribal, private, academic, and international communities, develop standards for the content, quality, and transferability of geospatial data. FGDC standards are developed through a structured process, integrated with one another to the extent possible, supportable by the current vendor community (but are independent of specific technologies), and publicly available.

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
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  • Department of Commerce (DOC)
  • Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Department of the Interior (USDI)
  • Forest Service (FS) - Chair
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Non U.S. Government
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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 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. []

For additional information contact:

  • Implementation of the U.S. National Vegetation Classification Standard - Alexa McKerrow (
  • NatureServe's Development of NVC Type Descriptions - Don Faber-Langendoen (don_faber-
  • Ecological Society of America's Review of the Type Descriptions
  • Federal Geographic Data Committee - Vegetation Subcommittee's Activities - Marianne Burke (