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CEGL007364 Quercus phellos - Quercus alba / Vaccinium fuscatum - (Viburnum nudum) / Carex barrattii Wet Forest

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Type Concept Sentence:
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Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Willow Oak - White Oak / Black Highbush Blueberry - (Possumhaw) / Barratt's Sedge Wet Forest
Colloquial Name: Highland Rim Barrens Depression Willow Oak Forest
Hierarchy Level: Association
Type Concept: This association encompasses forests of poorly drained shallow upland depressions on very flat landscapes of loess soils overlying Fort Payne Formation cherty limestone in the Eastern Highland Rim of Tennessee. These shallow depressions, often found at streamheads, are seasonally wet (mostly during winter and early spring) with a shallow, perched water table but tend to be dry in late summer and early fall. The canopy is dominated by Quercus phellos and Quercus nigra, and Quercus alba in varying amounts depending on position. Also present are Liquidambar styraciflua, Acer rubrum var. trilobum, and Nyssa sylvatica. The subcanopy is composed of the canopy species, with Acer rubrum var. trilobum being the most prominent. The shrub stratum is characteristically dense (ranging from 20-90% cover in a 20x20-m plot), with Vaccinium fuscatum, Viburnum nudum var. nudum, Photinia pyrifolia (= Aronia arbutifolia), Rhododendron canescens, and Hypericum hypericoides. Herbaceous density and diversity are largely regulated by the duration and depth of seasonal flooding and summer drought. The herb layer typically contains Carex spp. (Carex joorii, Carex debilis, Carex intumescens, Carex caroliniana, Carex complanata), including the disjunct Carex barrattii in some examples. Also found are Osmunda cinnamomea, Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis, Thelypteris noveboracensis, Chimaphila maculata, and Mitchella repens. Polytrichum commune and Sphagnum spp. are common.
Diagnostic Characteristics: No Data Available
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: This community is likely endemic to the Eastern Highland Rim of Coffee and adjacent counties, Tennessee. It is not found in Kentucky.
Similar NVC Types:
Quercus phellos - Quercus nigra - (Nyssa biflora) Wet Forest, note:
Liquidambar styraciflua - (Liriodendron tulipifera) Ruderal Wet Forest, note:
Physiognomy and Structure: No Data Available
Floristics: The canopy is dominated by Quercus phellos and Quercus nigra, and Quercus alba in varying amounts depending on position. Also present are Liquidambar styraciflua, Acer rubrum var. trilobum, and Nyssa sylvatica. The subcanopy is composed of the canopy species, with Acer rubrum var. trilobum being the most prominent. The shrub stratum is characteristically dense (ranging from 20-90% cover in a 20x20-m plot), with Vaccinium fuscatum, Viburnum nudum var. nudum, Photinia pyrifolia (= Aronia arbutifolia), Rhododendron canescens, and Hypericum hypericoides. Herbaceous density and diversity are largely regulated by the duration and depth of seasonal flooding and summer drought. The herb layer typically contains Carex spp. (Carex joorii, Carex debilis, Carex intumescens, Carex caroliniana, Carex complanata), including the disjunct Carex barrattii in some examples. Also found are Osmunda cinnamomea, Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis, Thelypteris noveboracensis, Chimaphila maculata, and Mitchella repens. Polytrichum commune and Sphagnum spp. are common. Two variants of this association exist at Arnold Air Force Base. The first occurs on somewhat drier sites or on the outer borders of the depressions. The canopy is dominated by Quercus alba, with or without Quercus phellos and Quercus nigra. Oxydendrum arboreum is a common subcanopy species. The tall-shrub stratum includes more Rhododendron canescens and Vaccinium fuscatum than Viburnum nudum. This variant tends to have a denser herbaceous layer with higher diversity and commonly includes the aforementioned species along with Bartonia virginica, Chasmanthium laxum, and Chasmanthium sessiliflorum. The second variant of this community is found along Hunt Creek in the northern section of Arnold Air Force Base. Its canopy is dominated by Quercus palustris and Quercus pagoda. Liquidambar styraciflua is prominent in the subcanopy; its prominence is likely due to past logging in the vicinity. The shrub and herbaceous layers include the above species in addition to Cornus foemina and Triadenum walteri.
Dynamics: These poorly drained upland flats or shallow depressions on loess overlying Fort Payne Formation cherty limestone are seasonally wet (mostly during winter and early spring) with a shallow, perched water table but tend to be dry in late summer and early fall.
Environmental Description: This wetland forest association is found in poorly drained shallow upland depressions on very flat landscapes of loess soils overlying Fort Payne Formation cherty limestone in the Eastern Highland Rim of Tennessee. These shallow depressions, often found at streamheads, are seasonally wet (mostly during winter and early spring) with a shallow, perched water table but tend to be dry in late summer and early fall.
Geographic Range: This wetland forest type is restricted to The Barrens of Tennessee's southeastern Highland Rim. This area (the "Sango" polygon TN48 in STATSGO) comprises about 1250 square km (Pyne 2000).
Nations: US
States/Provinces: TN
US Forest Service Ecoregions (1994/1995)
Domain Name:
Division Name:
Province Name: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Continental) Province
Province Code: 222    Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Interior Low Plateau, Highland Rim Section
Section Code: 222E     Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Omernik Ecoregions:
Confidence Level: Low - Poorly Documented
Confidence Level Comments:
Grank: G2
Greasons: This wetland forest type is restricted to the barrens of Tennessee's southeastern Highland Rim, where this vegetation develops in upland depressions over loess where hardpans have formed in the soil. This flat to gently sloping landscape was probably affected by frequent fire, which would have carried through these shallow upland depressions. Most remaining high quality examples are conserved on Arnold Air Force Base, State Natural Areas, and other preserves. Unprotected examples in this rapidly developing landscape are threatened by ditching, draining, and filling, hydrologic alteration of adjacent lands, as well as timber removal and conversion to other land uses, including agriculture or residential development. Until recently, these poorly drained lands were avoided for intensive use, but increased population pressures put them at risk.
Concept Lineage:
Predecessors:
Obsolete Names:
Obsolete Parents:
Synonomy: = Quercus phellos - Quercus alba / Vaccinium fuscatum - (Viburnum nudum) / Carex (barrattii, intumescens) Forest (TNC 1998a)
Concept Author(s): M. Pyne and A.S. Weakley
Author of Description: M. Pyne and A.S. Weakley
Acknowledgements:
Version Date: 01Feb1995
References:
  • Pyne, M. 1994. Tennessee natural communities. Unpublished document. Tennessee Department of Conservation, Ecology Service Division, Nashville. 7 pp.
  • Pyne, M. 2000. Biogeographic study of The Barrens of the southeastern Highland Rim of Tennessee. Revised final draft to Arnold Engineering Development Center, Arnold Air Force Base. Southeast Community Ecology Group, Association of Biodiversity Information, Durham, NC.
  • 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.
  • TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. 1998a. An investigation and assessment of the vegetation of Arnold Air Force Base. Coffee and Franklin counties, Tennessee. The Nature Conservancy, Tennessee Field Office, Nashville. 37 pp. plus appendices.