Invalid Unit Specified
CEGL004763 Pinus taeda - Quercus alba / Chasmanthium sessiliflorum Forest

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Type Concept Sentence:
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Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Loblolly Pine - White Oak / Longleaf Woodoats Forest
Colloquial Name: East Gulf Coastal Plain Loblolly Pine - White Oak Forest
Hierarchy Level: Association
Type Concept: This forest of the East Gulf Coastal Plain is dominated by Pinus taeda and Quercus alba. It is a naturally occurring community which may bear some resemblance to, but should not be confused with, successional loblolly stands. Examples are most typically found on upper to midslopes in dissected topography both within the range of longleaf pine and north of this range. Pinus taeda and Quercus alba are the most constant and diagnostic species of this association. A number of other hardwoods may be present in stands but they occur in low levels of importance. Woody vines and shrubs may be frequent, and herbs are typically sparse and not very diverse. This forest tends to occur in landscapes affected by frequent fire, but this community is less fire-prone than adjacent upland vegetation.
Diagnostic Characteristics: No Data Available
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: The concept of this type is supported by plot data collected in Mississippi (NatureServe Ecology unpubl. data, R. Wieland unpubl. data). The type concept was originally somewhat broader as suggested by the inclusion of Quercus falcata as a nominal (which tends to occur on slightly drier sites in the region, and infrequently co-occurs with Quercus alba).
Similar NVC Types:
Pinus taeda - (Pinus echinata) - Quercus falcata - Carya texana / Vaccinium arboreum Forest, note: related species composition, but occurs west of the Mississippi River only.
Physiognomy and Structure: No Data Available
Floristics: Stands of this association are dominated by Pinus taeda and Quercus alba, and these two species are the most constant and diagnostic species. Although the relative proportion of the two may vary somewhat between examples, in most cases Pinus taeda is strongly dominant followed by Quercus alba (NatureServe Ecology unpubl. data, R. Wieland unpubl. data). Other important trees recorded in some known examples of this association include Pinus echinata, Liquidambar styraciflua, Carya glabra, Carya alba, and Oxydendrum arboreum. Less commonly encountered species found in some stands currently attributed to this type are Pinus glabra, Magnolia macrophylla, Quercus coccinea, and Fagus grandifolia. Small amounts of other Quercus spp. may also be present (i.e., Quercus falcata and Quercus rubra), but if these are found in high relative abundance, they would be indicative of other associations. A number of subcanopy and shrub species may also be present, but none are considered particularly diagnostic. These can include Cornus florida, Acer rubrum, Ostrya virginiana var. virginiana, Prunus serotina var. serotina, Nyssa sylvatica, Ulmus alata, Hydrangea arborescens, Callicarpa americana, Hamamelis virginiana, Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera), Vaccinium elliottii, and Vaccinium arboreum. Woody vines are frequent; Vitis rotundifolia sometimes dominates the ground layer. Other vines include Berchemia scandens, Gelsemium sempervirens, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Toxicodendron radicans, and Bignonia capreolata. Herbs tend to be sparse and not very diverse; Chasmanthium sessiliflorum may be dominant. Other herbs may include Elephantopus carolinianus, Botrychium dissectum, Polystichum acrostichoides, Sanicula smallii, Mitchella repens, Aristolochia serpentaria, Dichanthelium boscii, Euphorbia corollata, and Hypericum hypericoides.
Dynamics: The natural dominance of Pinus taeda in this community indicates relatively infrequent fire-return intervals at least when compared with upland longleaf and/or shortleaf pine systems of the same region. However, the specific influence and historical importance of fire may vary between examples of this type. The overall fire-return intervals were likely quite low, but many examples may have burned due to proximity to more pyrogenic vegetation. However, Landers (1989) proposed that Pinus taeda habitats did not burn at all.
Environmental Description: Stands have been documented on somewhat moist, moderately well-drained, sandy soils on lower slopes near streams in the Coastal Plain of Mississippi (NatureServe Ecology unpubl. data, R. Wieland unpubl. data). Stands also occur on flat uplands with locally variable microtopography including evident depressional areas (R. Wieland unpubl. data) which are sometimes known as flatwoods.
Geographic Range: This association is found in the East Gulf Coastal Plain of the United States.
Nations: US
States/Provinces: AL, FL?, GA, LA?, MS
US Forest Service Ecoregions (1994/1995)
Domain Name:
Division Name:
Province Name: Southeastern Mixed Forest Province
Province Code: 231    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: Low - Poorly Documented
Confidence Level Comments:
Grank: G3G4
Greasons: This is a naturally occurring forest type confined to the East Gulf Coastal Plain and possibly adjacent areas of the South Atlantic Coastal Plain. Typical stands have been affected by a host of anthropogenic disturbances such as logging and more importantly conversion to plantation pine. In the core range of this type, plantations have been expanding at tremendous rates (McWilliams 1992) often at the expense of natural forests. Intact and mature examples are uncommon and may be largely confined to public lands. Southern Pine Beetles threaten these existing stands and may completely decimate the pine overstory during epidemics.
Concept Lineage:
Obsolete Names:
Obsolete Parents:
Synonomy: < IA6e. Loblolly Pine - Shortleaf Pine - Oak Forest (Allard 1990)
Concept Author(s): M. Pyne and S. Landaal, mod. R.E. Evans
Author of Description: M. Pyne, S. Landaal, R.E. Evans
Version Date: 28Sep2005
  • 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.
  • ALNHP [Alabama Natural Heritage Program]. 2002. Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge: Natural community and rare plant survey. Alabama Natural Heritage Program, The Nature Conservancy, Montgomery.
  • McWilliams, W. H. 1992. Forest resources of Alabama. Resource Bulletin SO-170. USDA Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station, New Orleans, LA. 78 pp.
  • NatureServe Ecology - Southeastern United States. No date. Unpublished data. NatureServe, Durham, NC.
  • Nordman, C., M. Russo, and L. Smart. 2011. Vegetation types of the Natchez Trace Parkway, based on the U.S. National Vegetation Classification. NatureServe Central Databases (International Ecological Classification Standard: Terrestrial Ecological Classifications). Arlington, VA. Data current as of 11 April 2011. 548 pp.
  • Smith, L. M., compiler. 1996a. Natural plant communities in Louisiana currently recognized by the Louisiana Natural Heritage Program. Unpublished document. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Natural Heritage Program, Baton Rouge. 2 pp.
  • Southeastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Durham, NC.
  • Wieland, R. G. 1994b. Mississippi Natural Heritage Program: Ecological communities. Unpublished document. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Museum of Natural Science, Natural Heritage Program, Jackson, MS. 7 pp.
  • Wieland, R. G. 2000b. Ecological communities of Mississippi: Mississippi Natural Heritage Program. Unpublished document. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Museum of Natural Science, Natural Heritage Program, Jackson, MS. 8 pp.
  • Wieland, Ron G. Unpublished data. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Museum of Natural Science, Natural Heritage Program, Jackson, MS.