Invalid Unit Specified
CEGL005043 Tsuga canadensis - Fagus grandifolia - Acer saccharum / (Hamamelis virginiana, Kalmia latifolia) Forest

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Type Concept Sentence:
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Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Eastern Hemlock - American Beech - Sugar Maple / (American Witch-hazel, Mountain Laurel) Forest
Colloquial Name: Interior Plateaus Hemlock-Hardwood Forest
Hierarchy Level: Association
Type Concept: This community is found in parts of the Interior Low Plateau, the Western Allegheny Plateau, and the Cumberland Mountains in the northeastern and east-central United States. Stands occur on dry-mesic to mesic slopes, sometimes in steep-sloped valleys. Soils are typically acidic silty to sandy loams, with a sandstone or shale parent material. The overstory is dominated by Tsuga canadensis, Acer saccharum, Acer rubrum, and Fagus grandifolia. Rarely does any one of these comprise more than 50% of the mature trees in a stand. Other trees are common in the canopy, among them Betula alleghaniensis, Betula lenta, Carya spp., Liriodendron tulipifera, Nyssa sylvatica, Pinus strobus, Prunus serotina, Quercus alba, Quercus rubra, and Tilia americana. The shrub layer, occasionally sparse, contains Hamamelis virginiana, Lindera benzoin, and Viburnum acerifolium, as well as ericaceous shrubs, including Kalmia latifolia (except in the northern portion of the Western Allegheny Plateau) and Rhododendron maximum. The ground layer contains the ferns Botrychium virginianum, Dryopteris intermedia, Dryopteris marginalis, Polystichum acrostichoides, and the herbs Arisaema triphyllum, Maianthemum canadense, Mitchella repens, Podophyllum peltatum, Viola blanda, and Viola rotundifolia, among others. Three subtypes are possible: (1) steep-walled sandstone gorges and talus, where Hydrangea arborescens, Kalmia latifolia, and Dryopteris marginalis may be indicative; (2) more gently sloped valleys, with shrubs such as Hamamelis virginiana, Viburnum acerifolium; and (3) rolling lakeplain ridges. The Kentucky examples, which are mesic rather than dry-mesic, may lack Acer saccharum, Maianthemum canadense, and several other species, and may contain Magnolia spp. (e.g., Magnolia tripetala, Magnolia acuminata, and Magnolia macrophylla) (J. Campbell pers. comm. 2000). In addition, Betula lenta (widespread on Appalachian plateaus) is replaced by Betula alleghaniensis (var. macrolepis?) in western Kentucky and southern Indiana.
Diagnostic Characteristics: No Data Available
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: This type appears to vary from pure evergreen to mixed evergreen-deciduous. Black and Mack (1976) suggest that this type contains more temperate species, such as several Dryopteris spp. (Dryopteris intermedia, Dryopteris marginalis) and Viburnum acerifolium when compared to more northern/boreal types, such as Tsuga canadensis - Fagus grandifolia - (Acer saccharum) Great Lakes Forest (CEGL005042), which contains Clintonia borealis, Coptis trifolia, and Cornus canadensis. One of their subtypes, the steep-walled sandstone gorges and talus, where Hydrangea arborescens, Kalmia latifolia, and Dryopteris marginalis may be indicative, has some conceptual and environmental overlap with Tsuga canadensis - (Fagus grandifolia, Tilia americana var. heterophylla) / Magnolia tripetala Forest (CEGL008407) of the southern Cumberland Plateau and Central Appalachians. Related vegetation in Virginia is covered by various other associations.

In West Virginia, 24 plots from the Western Allegheny Plateau, the Cumberland Mountains, and western foothills of the Allegheny Mountains are classified to the association. In these western parts of the state, Tsuga canadensis is locally common in suitable habitat but is missing from large areas where deciduous forests predominate. The association differs from other hemlock-hardwood associations in the state by commonly having oaks (especially Quercus alba and Quercus rubra) in the canopy and, usually, by lacking Rhododendron maximum in the shrub layers. Following a statewide analysis of hemlock-hardwood forests, plots previously classified as Liriodendron tulipifera - Pinus strobus - Tsuga canadensis - Quercus rubra / Polystichum acrostichoides Forest (CEGL006304) at Gauley River National Recreation Area (Vanderhorst et al. 2010) and one plot classified as Tsuga canadensis - Quercus montana - Betula lenta Forest (CEGL006923) at Bluestone National Scenic River (Vanderhorst et al. 2008) were reclassified as this association (CEGL005043).
Similar NVC Types:
Liriodendron tulipifera - Betula lenta - Tsuga canadensis / Rhododendron maximum Forest, note:
Tsuga canadensis - (Fagus grandifolia, Tilia americana var. heterophylla) / Magnolia tripetala Forest, note:
Liriodendron tulipifera - Tilia americana var. heterophylla - Aesculus flava - Acer saccharum / (Magnolia tripetala) Forest, note:
Liriodendron tulipifera - Quercus montana - (Tsuga canadensis) / Kalmia latifolia - (Rhododendron catawbiense) Forest, note:
Tsuga canadensis - Betula alleghaniensis - Prunus serotina / Rhododendron maximum Forest, note:
Tsuga canadensis - Fagus grandifolia - Quercus rubra Forest, note:
Tsuga canadensis - (Liriodendron tulipifera, Fagus grandifolia) / Magnolia macrophylla / Polystichum acrostichoides Forest, note:
Tsuga canadensis - Fagus grandifolia - (Acer saccharum) Great Lakes Forest, note:
Tsuga canadensis - Betula alleghaniensis - Acer saccharum / Dryopteris intermedia Forest, note:
Tsuga canadensis - Acer saccharum - Fagus grandifolia / Dryopteris intermedia Forest, note:
Physiognomy and Structure: No Data Available
Floristics: The overstory is dominated by Tsuga canadensis, Acer saccharum, Acer rubrum, and Fagus grandifolia. Rarely does any one of these comprise more than 50% of the mature trees in a stand. Other trees are common in the canopy, among them Betula alleghaniensis, Betula lenta, Carya spp., Liriodendron tulipifera, Nyssa sylvatica, Pinus strobus, Prunus serotina, Quercus alba, Quercus rubra, and Tilia americana. The shrub layer, occasionally sparse, contains Hamamelis virginiana, Lindera benzoin, and Viburnum acerifolium, as well as ericaceous shrubs, including Kalmia latifolia and Rhododendron maximum. The ground layer contains the ferns Botrychium virginianum, Dryopteris intermedia, Dryopteris marginalis, Polystichum acrostichoides, and the herbs Arisaema triphyllum, Maianthemum canadense, Mitchella repens, Podophyllum peltatum, Viola blanda, and Viola rotundifolia, among others. Three subtypes are possible: (1) steep-walled sandstone gorges and talus, where Hydrangea arborescens, Kalmia latifolia, and Dryopteris marginalis may be indicative; (2) more gently sloped valleys, with shrubs such as Hamamelis virginiana, Viburnum acerifolium; and (3) rolling lakeplain ridges (Black and Mack 1976, Anderson 1982). The Kentucky examples, which are mesic rather than dry-mesic, may lack Acer saccharum, Maianthemum canadense, and several other species, and may contain Magnolia spp., (e.g., Magnolia tripetala, Magnolia acuminata, and Magnolia macrophylla) (J. Campbell pers. comm. 2000). In addition, Betula lenta (widespread on Appalachian Plateaus) is replaced by Betula alleghaniensis (var. macrolepis?) in western Kentucky and southern Indiana.
Dynamics: No Data Available
Environmental Description: Stands occur on dry-mesic to mesic slopes, sometimes in steep-sloped valleys, but also in more gently sloped valleys and rolling lakeplain ridges. Soils are typically acidic, silty to sandy loams, with a sandstone or shale parent material (Anderson 1982). Some Indiana stands occur on limestone (M. Homoya pers. comm. 1999).
Geographic Range: This community is found in parts of the Interior Low Plateau and the Western Allegheny Plateau of the northeastern and east-central United States, ranging from Pennsylvania and Ohio, south to Maryland and West Virginia, and westward to a few stands in Indiana and Kentucky. Stands in Indiana and ones in western Kentucky are not part of the continuous range of Tsuga canadensis.
Nations: US
States/Provinces: IN, KY, MD, OH, PA, WV
US Forest Service Ecoregions (1994/1995)
Domain Name:
Division Name:
Province Name: Laurentian Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 212    Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Western Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 221F     Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
US Forest Service Ecoregions (2007)
Domain Name:
Division Name:
Province Name: Midwest Broadleaf Forest Province
Province Code: 222    Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Western Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau Section
Section Code: 221F     Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Omernik Ecoregions:
Confidence Level: Low
Confidence Level Comments:
Grank: G3?
Greasons: Occurrences are subject to compositional modification by outbreaks of hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae), an exotic insect pest that causes decline and eventual mortality of Tsuga canadensis.
Concept Lineage:
Predecessors:
Obsolete Names:
Obsolete Parents:
Synonomy: = Tsuga canadensis - Fagus grandifolia - Acer saccharum / (Hamamelis virginiana, Kalmia latifolia) Forest (Faber-Langendoen 2001)
> Tsuga canadensis - Fagus grandifolia - Quercus alba / Polystichum acrostichoides Forest [Western Plateaus Hemlock - Hardwood Forest] (Vanderhorst 2017c)
= CT VIII Tsuga canadensis, Fagus grandifolia, Liriodendron tulipifera, Acer saccharum (Badger et al. 1997)
Concept Author(s): D. Faber-Langendoen
Author of Description: D. Faber-Langendoen
Acknowledgements:
Version Date: 20Dec2018
References:
  • Anderson, D. M. 1982. Plant communities of Ohio: A preliminary classification and description. Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Columbus, OH. 182 pp.
  • Badger, K. S., J. Taylor, B. Jones, and M. Shell. 1997. Mammoth Cave National Park forest vegetation study. Cooperative Agreement No. CA-5530-3-9001, Subagreement No. CA-5530-3-9003. Ball State University, Muncie, IN.
  • Black, R. A., and R. N. Mack. 1976. Tsuga canadensis in Ohio: Synecological and phytogeographical relationships. Vegetatio 32(1):11-19.
  • Campbell, Julian J. N. Personal communication. Kentucky Field Office, The Nature Conservancy.
  • Eastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boston, MA.
  • Faber-Langendoen, D., editor. 2001. Plant communities of the Midwest: Classification in an ecological context. Association for Biodiversity Information, Arlington, VA. 61 pp. plus appendix (705 pp.).
  • 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.
  • Harrison, J. W. 2011. The natural communities of Maryland: 2011 working list of ecological community groups and community types. Unpublished report. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Service, Natural Heritage Program, Annapolis. 33 pp.
  • Harrison, J. W., compiler. 2004. Classification of vegetation communities of Maryland: First iteration. A subset of the International Classification of Ecological Communities: Terrestrial Vegetation of the United States, NatureServe. Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis. 243 pp.
  • Homoya, M. A., J. Aldrich, J. Bacone, L. Casebere, and T. Post. 1988. Indiana natural community classification. Indiana Natural Heritage Program, Indianapolis, IN. Unpublished manuscript.
  • Homoya, Michael. Personal communication. Indiana Natural Heritage Data Center. Division of Nature Preserves, Department of Natural Resources, Indianapolis, IN.
  • Hop, K., J. Drake, A. Strassman, E. Hoy, J. Jakusz, S. Menard, and J. Dieck. 2013. National Park Service Vegetation Inventory Program: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/HTLN/NRT--2013/792. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO. 302 pp.
  • ONHD [Ohio Natural Heritage Database]. No date. Vegetation classification of Ohio and unpublished data. Ohio Natural Heritage Database, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Columbus.
  • Pyne, M., E. Lunsford Jones, and R. White. 2010. Vascular plant inventory and plant community classification for Mammoth Cave National Park. NatureServe, Durham, NC. 334 pp.
  • Vanderhorst, J. 2017c. Wild vegetation of West Virginia: Upland hemlock hardwood forests. West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program. [http://wvdnr.gov/Wildlife/Factsheets/Hemlock.shtm]
  • WVNHP [West Virginia Natural Heritage Program]. No date. Unpublished data. West Virginia Natural Heritage Program, Elkins.