Invalid Unit Specified
Association Detail Report: CEGL006286
Quercus prinus - Quercus rubra / Rhododendron maximum / Galax urceolata Forest

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Collapse All::Expand All
Translated Name:Chestnut Oak - Northern Red Oak / Great Laurel / Beetleweed Forest
Colloquial Name:Chestnut Oak Forest (Mesic Slope Heath Type)
This forest is known from protected, usually steep slopes in the Southern Blue Ridge and ranges into adjacent areas of the upper Piedmont to the east and the Cumberlands and Southern Ridge and Valley to the west. In the southern portion of its range (Southern Blue Ridge), it usually occurs on north-facing slopes, while in the northern part of its range (the Cumberlands in West Virginia), most sites have southerly to westerly aspects. This is typically a midslope to lower slope type, but it can be found on upper slopes in a more sheltered position. This forest is found at elevations between 760 and 1220 m (2500-4000 feet) in the Southern Blue Ridge and at somewhat lower elevations (200-600 m) in the Cumberland Plateau. Canopies in these forests are dominated by Quercus prinus, usually with lesser amounts of Quercus rubra and/or Acer rubrum, and always occurring over a dense, very tall shrub stratum (2-6 m) of Rhododendron maximum. In some examples, this community may also be codominated or dominated by Quercus velutina, Quercus alba, or Betula lenta. Additional trees with lower constancy and cover in the canopy and subcanopy include Tsuga canadensis, Oxydendrum arboreum, Fagus grandifolia, and Nyssa sylvatica. On some sites, Tsuga canadensis may have dense understory regeneration. In some areas of the Southern Blue Ridge, Rhododendron minus may dominate the shrub layer. Other common shrubs can include Gaylussacia ursina (in the Southern Blue Ridge), Kalmia latifolia, Smilax rotundifolia, Ilex opaca var. opaca, and/or Hamamelis virginiana. Herbs are sparse. The ground cover is dominated by leaf litter, but Galax urceolata is found in most occurrences except at the northern limit of this type's range in West Virginia. Other herb species that can be typical include Chimaphila maculata, Goodyera pubescens, Polystichum acrostichoides, Maianthemum racemosum, Solidago caesia, Mitchella repens, Eurybia divaricata, Dryopteris marginalis, and Dioscorea quaternata. Some examples may have sparse (woodland-like) canopies and occur in association with rock outcroppings. Vascular plant species richness in seven 400-square-meter West Virginia plots ranges from 12 to 49 taxa (mean = 30.1).
No Data Available
This association is more protected and more mesic than Quercus (prinus, coccinea) / Kalmia latifolia / (Galax urceolata, Gaultheria procumbens) Forest (CEGL006271). It occurs at lower elevations and on more protected topographic positions than Quercus rubra / (Kalmia latifolia, Rhododendron catawbiense, Rhododendron maximum) / Galax urceolata Forest (CEGL007299). It is much less diverse than Quercus prinus - (Quercus rubra) - Carya spp. / Oxydendrum arboreum - Cornus florida Forest (CEGL007267), lacking the diverse herbaceous and woody components found in that association. Stands similar to this association but with significant cover by Tsuga canadensis in the canopy layers are classified as Liriodendron tulipifera - Betula lenta - Tsuga canadensis / Rhododendron maximum Forest (CEGL007543).
Synonomy: < Chestnut Oak: 44 (Eyre 1980)
< IA6d. Chestnut Oak Slope and Ridge Forest (Allard 1990)

Related Type Name:At Gauley River National Recreation Area, WV, stands similar to this association but with significant cover by Tsuga canadensis in the canopy layers are classified as Eastern Hemlock - Oak - Sweet Birch / Great Laurel Forest (CEGL007543).

Short Citation:
  • Allard 1990
  • Eyre 1980
  • Fleming and Patterson 2009a
  • Fleming and Patterson 2011a
  • Fleming et al. 2001
  • Fleming et al. 2006
  • NatureServe Ecology - Southeastern U.S. unpubl. data
  • Peet et al. unpubl. data
  • Schafale 1998b
  • Schafale 2012
  • Schafale and Weakley 1990
  • Schafale pers. comm.
  • Simon pers. comm.
  • Southeastern Ecology Working Group n.d.
  • TDNH unpubl. data
  • Vanderhorst et al. 2010
  • White 2003
  • White 2006
States/Provinces:GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV
Nations:US
Range:This community occurs in the Southern Blue Ridge of northeastern Georgia, northwestern South Carolina, north through eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, and southwestern Virginia. It extends into the Cumberlands and Southern Ridge and Valley of Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. Its range also extends into the upper Piedmont of North Carolina.
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
Canopies in these forests are dominated by Quercus prinus, usually with lesser amounts of Quercus rubra and/or Acer rubrum, and always occurring over a dense, very tall shrub stratum (2-6 m) of Rhododendron maximum. In some examples, this community may also be codominated or dominated by Quercus velutina, Quercus alba, or Betula lenta. Additional trees with lower constancy and cover in the canopy and subcanopy include Tsuga canadensis, Oxydendrum arboreum, Fagus grandifolia, and Nyssa sylvatica. On some sites, Tsuga canadensis may have dense understory regeneration. In some areas of the Southern Blue Ridge, Rhododendron minus may dominate the shrub layer. Other common shrubs can include Gaylussacia ursina (in the Southern Blue Ridge), Kalmia latifolia, Smilax rotundifolia, Ilex opaca var. opaca, and/or Hamamelis virginiana. Herbs are sparse. The ground cover is dominated by leaf litter, but Galax urceolata is found in most occurrences except at the northern limit of this type's range in West Virginia. Other herb species that can be typical include Chimaphila maculata, Goodyera pubescens, Polystichum acrostichoides, Maianthemum racemosum, Solidago caesia, Mitchella repens, Eurybia divaricata, Dryopteris marginalis, and Dioscorea quaternata. Some examples may have sparse (woodland-like) canopies and occur in association with rock outcroppings. Vascular plant species richness in seven 400-square-meter WV plots ranges from 12 to 49 taxa (mean = 30.1).

In the Great Smoky Mountains, this community is found consistently as a transitional band of vegetation, downslope from drier Quercus prinus ridgetop forests, ~Quercus (prinus, coccinea) / Kalmia latifolia / (Galax urceolata, Gaultheria procumbens) Forest (CEGL006271)$$, and grading into acidic cove forests, ~Liriodendron tulipifera - Betula lenta - Tsuga canadensis / Rhododendron maximum Forest (CEGL007543)$$, on the steep ravines below. At Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and the Gauley River National Recreation Area, it can grade into mixed mesophytic forests (CEGL005222) as well.
This forest is known from protected, usually steep slopes in the Southern Blue Ridge and ranges into adjacent areas of the upper Piedmont to the east and the Cumberlands and Southern Ridge and Valley to the west. In the southern portion of its range (Southern Blue Ridge), it usually occurs on north-facing slopes, while in the northern part of its range (the Cumberlands in WV), most sites have southerly to westerly aspects. This is typically a midslope to lower slope type, but it can be found on upper slopes in a more sheltered position. This forest is found at elevations between 760 and 1220 m (2500-4000 feet) in the Southern Blue Ridge and at somewhat lower elevations (200-600 m) in the Cumberland Plateau. Soils in WV plots are described as well- to rapidly-drained, dry to somewhat moist sandy loam and sandy clay loam that test very strongly to extremely acidic (mean pH = 4.20). Soils of some sites may be classified as folists, characterized by deep organic horizons (duff) over bouldery colluvium.
Moderate
No Data Available
Authors:
K.D. Patterson, R. White and S.C. Gawler      Version Date: 01Apr2010


References:
  • Allard, D. J. 1990. Southeastern United States ecological community classification. Interim report, Version 1.2. The Nature Conservancy, Southeast Regional Office, Chapel Hill, NC. 96 pp.
  • Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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. [http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/ncTIV.shtml]
  • NatureServe Ecology - Southeastern United States. No date. Unpublished data. NatureServe, Durham, NC.
  • Peet, R. K., T. R. Wentworth, M. P. Schafale, and A.S. Weakley. No date. Unpublished data of the North Carolina Vegetation Survey. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
  • Schafale, M. 1998b. Fourth approximation guide. High mountain communities. March 1998 draft. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.
  • Schafale, M. P. 2012. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina, 4th Approximation. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.
  • Schafale, M. P., and A. S. Weakley. 1990. Classification of the natural communities of North Carolina. Third approximation. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh. 325 pp.
  • Schafale, Mike P. Personal communication. Ecologist, North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.
  • Simon, Steve. Personal communication. Ecologist. USDA Forest Service, National Forests in North Carolina, Asheville, 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.
  • Vanderhorst, J. P., B. P. Streets, Z. Arcaro, and S. C. Gawler. 2010. Vegetation classification and mapping at Gauley River National Recreation Area. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2010/148. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA.
  • White, Jr., R. D. 2003. Vascular plant inventory and plant community classification for Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. NatureServe, Durham, NC. 160 pp.
  • White, R. D., Jr. 2006. Vascular plant inventory and ecological community classification for Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. NatureServe, Durham, NC. 246 pp.


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
  • 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)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
  • U.S. Navy (NAVY)
  • Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
  • Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
  • National Park Service (NPS)
  • U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Non U.S. Government
  • NatureServe (NS)
  • Ecological Society of America (ESA)

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)