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CEGL007211 Fagus grandifolia - Quercus nigra Forest

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Type Concept Sentence:
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Common (Translated Scientific) Name: American Beech - Water Oak Forest
Colloquial Name: Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain Mesic Beech - Water Oak Forest
Hierarchy Level: Association
Type Concept: Mesic mixed hardwood forests of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain dominated by Fagus grandifolia and Quercus nigra with limited Quercus alba. This community grades into drier zones in which Quercus falcata, Pinus echinata, and Pinus taeda are common. Vaccinium sp. and Arundinaria gigantea are important in the shrub layer. An additional example has a canopy dominated by Fagus grandifolia, Liriodendron tulipifera, and Quercus nigra. The understory is diverse and contains Ostrya virginiana, Carpinus caroliniana, and Cornus florida. Symplocos tinctoria and Callicarpa americana are common shrubs in this example. Another occurrence of this vegetation which has been documented from Richland County in South Carolina is dominated by Fagus grandifolia, Quercus nigra, and Liquidambar styraciflua. Other canopy species that may be present include Nyssa sylvatica, Quercus alba, Quercus laurifolia, Quercus michauxii, Quercus pagoda, Ulmus alata, Acer rubrum, and Liriodendron tulipifera. Pinus taeda may also be present particularly in occurrences with a history of disturbance. Ilex opaca dominates the subcanopy with Carpinus caroliniana and Cornus florida present. The well-developed shrub layer contains a variety of species, including Euonymus americanus, Rhododendron canescens, Vaccinium elliottii, Vaccinium pallidum, Gaylussacia dumosa, Gaylussacia frondosa, Symplocos tinctoria, Arundinaria gigantea, Asimina triloba, Callicarpa americana, and others. The herbaceous layer ranges from sparse to moderately well-developed and among the species that occur are Osmunda cinnamomea, Polystichum acrostichoides, Mitchella repens, Chasmanthium sessiliflorum (= Chasmanthium laxum var. sessiliflorum), Malaxis unifolia, Arisaema triphyllum, Athyrium filix-femina ssp. asplenioides, Dichanthelium boscii, Goodyera pubescens, Carex debilis, Carex abscondita, and Tipularia discolor. The vine/liana stratum is sparse and can contain Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Smilax bona-nox, Toxicodendron radicans, Bignonia capreolata, and Smilax tamnoides (= Smilax hispida) among others. The South Carolina example occurs on middle to lower convex slopes. Examples of this association seem to be extremely limited, as most similar sites have substantial amounts of Quercus alba. Vegetation which may pertain to this association from Chowan and Gates counties in North Carolina is described as being dominated by Fagus grandifolia, with Quercus nigra important on the moister sands.
Diagnostic Characteristics: No Data Available
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: Examples of this association seem to be extremely limited, as most similar sites have substantial amounts of Quercus alba.
Similar NVC Types:
Fagus grandifolia - Quercus alba - Quercus laurifolia / Galax urceolata Forest, note:
Fagus grandifolia - Quercus alba - (Acer barbatum) / Mixed Herbs Forest, note:
Physiognomy and Structure: No Data Available
Floristics: Stands of these mesic mixed hardwood forests are dominated by Fagus grandifolia and Quercus nigra, with limited Quercus alba. Other canopy species that may be present include Nyssa sylvatica, Quercus alba, Quercus laurifolia, Quercus michauxii, Quercus pagoda, Quercus falcata, Ulmus alata, Acer rubrum, Liquidambar styraciflua, and Liriodendron tulipifera, the latter two of which may share dominance. Pinus taeda may also be present particularly in occurrences with a history of disturbance. The understory is diverse and may contain Ilex opaca (which may dominate), Ostrya virginiana, Carpinus caroliniana, Oxydendrum arboreum, and Cornus florida. The well-developed shrub layer contains a variety of species, including Symplocos tinctoria, Callicarpa americana, Arundinaria gigantea, Euonymus americanus, Rhododendron canescens, Vaccinium elliottii, Vaccinium pallidum, Gaylussacia dumosa, Gaylussacia frondosa, Stewartia malacodendron, Styrax grandifolius, Asimina triloba, and others. The herbaceous layer ranges from sparse to moderately well-developed and among the species that occur are Osmunda cinnamomea, Polystichum acrostichoides, Mitchella repens, Chasmanthium sessiliflorum (= Chasmanthium laxum var. sessiliflorum), Malaxis unifolia, Arisaema triphyllum, Athyrium filix-femina ssp. asplenioides, Dichanthelium boscii, Goodyera pubescens, Carex debilis, Carex abscondita, and Tipularia discolor. The vine/liana stratum is sparse and can contain Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Smilax bona-nox, Toxicodendron radicans, Bignonia capreolata, and Smilax tamnoides (= Smilax hispida), among others. The exotic species Lonicera japonica may be present in examples of these forests. Vegetation which may pertain to this association from Chowan and Gates counties in North Carolina is described as being dominated by Fagus grandifolia, with Quercus nigra important on the moister sands.
Dynamics: In Virginia, this type often grades into nonriverine wet hardwood forests with more hydrophytic oaks (G.P. Fleming pers. comm. 2004).
Environmental Description: These forests occur on mesic slopes and upland flats in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain (TNC 1998b). In Congaree Swamp National Monument, this forest type occurs in the uplands of the northwestern portion of the park, on middle to lower convex slopes (TNC 1998b). This community grades into drier zones in which Quercus falcata, Pinus echinata, and Pinus taeda are common. This vegetation occurs on slight rises in nonriverine swamps (swamp islands). These small-patch occurrences range throughout eastern North Carolina and Virginia. Examples are documented at Great Dismal Swamp NWR and Northwest River, Virginia.
Geographic Range: These forests are currently known from the Coastal Plain of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
Nations: US
States/Provinces: NC, SC, VA
US Forest Service Ecoregions (1994/1995)
Domain Name:
Division Name:
Province Name: Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 232    Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Coastal Plains and Flatwoods, Lower Section
Section Code: 232B     Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Omernik Ecoregions:
Confidence Level: Moderate
Confidence Level Comments:
Grank: G3
Greasons:
Concept Lineage:
Predecessors:
Obsolete Names:
Obsolete Parents:
Synonomy: = Fagus grandifolia - Quercus (alba, michauxii, pagoda) / Stewartia malacodendron Forest (Fleming and Patterson 2003)
= Fagus grandifolia - Quercus nigra Forest (TNC 1998b) [Plots 1-45; 1-51; 2-17; 2-23; 2-37; 2-55; 2-56]
Concept Author(s): M.P. Schafale and A.S. Weakley
Author of Description: J. Teague
Acknowledgements:
Version Date: 31Jan2005
References:
  • Fleming, G. P., and K. D. Patterson. 2003. Preliminary vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks. Regional (VA-WVA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2003. 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 K. D. Patterson. 2011b. Analysis of Coastal Plain / Outer Piedmont bottomlands and non-alluvial wetlands in Virginia, 400 plots. In-house analysis, January 2011. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.
  • Fleming, G. P., K. Taverna, and P. P. Coulling. 2007b. Vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks, eastern region. Regional (VA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2007. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.
  • 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]
  • Fleming, Gary P. Personal communication. Ecologist, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA.
  • Frost, C. C., H. E. LeGrand, Jr., and R. E. Schneider. 1990. Regional inventory for critical natural areas, wetland ecosystems, and endangered species habitats of the Albemarle-Pamlico estuarine region: Phase 1. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh, NC. 454 pp.
  • Nelson, J. B. 1986. The natural communities of South Carolina: Initial classification and description. South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Columbia, SC. 55 pp.
  • 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. 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.
  • Southeastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Durham, NC.
  • TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. [1998]b. Classification of the vegetation of Congaree Swamp National Monument. Report to BRD-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program. The Nature Conservancy, Southern Conservation Science, Chapel Hill, NC. 67 pp.