Invalid Unit Specified
Association Detail Report: CEGL006299
Quercus prinus - (Quercus coccinea, Quercus rubra) / Kalmia latifolia / Vaccinium pallidum Forest

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Collapse All::Expand All
Translated Name:Chestnut Oak - (Scarlet Oak, Northern Red Oak) / Mountain Laurel / Blue Ridge Blueberry Forest
Colloquial Name:Central Appalachian-Northern Piedmont Chestnut Oak Forest
This chestnut oak forest occurs at relatively low elevations (mostly <900 m) in the Central Appalachians and adjacent areas (e.g., northern Piedmont), in association with dry, acidic, infertile soils on middle and upper slopes. The canopy, which may be rather short, is strongly dominated by Quercus prinus. The most characteristic canopy associates are Quercus coccinea, which varies from sparse to codominant, and Quercus rubra. Minor associates frequently include Quercus velutina, Quercus alba, Nyssa sylvatica, Sassafras albidum, and/or Robinia pseudoacacia. Root sprouts of Castanea dentata are present in some areas. Acer rubrum and Nyssa sylvatica are often abundant in the understory tree layers. Tall shrubs include Kalmia latifolia (usually dominant), Viburnum acerifolium, and Rhododendron periclymenoides. The short-shrub layer is well-developed and includes Vaccinium pallidum, Vaccinium stamineum, and Gaylussacia baccata, any one of which can exhibit patch-dominance. The herb layer generally has sparse cover but sometimes includes scattered individuals of Aureolaria laevigata, Chimaphila maculata, Comandra umbellata, Cypripedium acaule, Danthonia spicata, Epigaea repens, Gaultheria procumbens, Hieracium venosum, Lysimachia quadrifolia, Medeola virginiana, Monotropa uniflora, Pteridium aquilinum, and/or Uvularia puberula. Strong dominance of Quercus prinus in the canopy, strong dominance of Kalmia latifolia in the tall-shrub layer, and Vaccinium pallidum present and often abundant as a short shrub are diagnostics for this type.
No Data Available
This community can be readily identified by its dry, infertile sites and quite species-poor vegetation overwhelmingly dominated by Quercus prinus and Kalmia latifolia (each averaging 25 to 50% cover in more than 80 Virginia and Maryland plot samples), with Acer rubrum and Nyssa sylvatica abundant in the subcanopy. Two variants of the type have been detected in quantitative analyses: (1) a variant with Quercus rubra as the principal associate of Quercus prinus, with Betula lenta and Hamamelis virginiana often important in the subcanopy and shrub layers, typically occurring on sheltered slopes, often with northerly aspects; and (2) a variant with Quercus coccinea as the principal associate of Quercus prinus, occurring with Gaylussacia baccata and Rhododendron periclymenoides, typically on warmer, more open and exposed sites, especially those with a more discernible history of heavy cutting and fire within the last 100 years. However, these variants and their habitats are fully intergradational and have few other floristic attributes that could be considered reliably "diagnostic." This association is the Central Appalachian analogue of Quercus (prinus, coccinea) / Kalmia latifolia / (Galax urceolata, Gaultheria procumbens) Forest (CEGL006271). It is compositionally similar but generally lacks Southern Appalachian species such as Galax urceolata, Oxydendrum arboreum, and Leucothoe recurva. At the southern end of its range, there is a transition zone and many stands could be assigned equally well to either type.
Synonomy: = Quercus montana - (Quercus coccinea, Quercus velutina) / Kalmia latifolia - Vaccinium pallidum Forest (Fleming 2002b)
= Quercus montana - (Quercus coccinea, Quercus velutina) / Kalmia latifolia / Vaccinium pallidum Forest (Fleming 2002a)
> Quercus montana / Kalmia latifolia / Gaultheria procumbens Association (Rawinski et al. 1994)
> Quercus montana / Kalmia latifolia / Gaylussacia baccata Forest (Fleming and Moorhead 2000)
> Quercus montana / Kalmia latifolia / Vaccinium pallidum Association, pro parte (Rawinski et al. 1996)
= Quercus montana / Kalmia latifolia / Vaccinium pallidum Forest (Fleming and Patterson 2003)
= Quercus prinus - (Quercus coccinea, Quercus rubra) / Kalmia latifolia / Vaccinium pallidum Forest (Fleming 2007)
= Quercus prinus - (Quercus coccinea, Quercus rubra) / Kalmia latifolia / Vaccinium pallidum Forest (Vanderhorst and Streets 2006)
= Quercus prinus - (Quercus coccinea, Quercus rubra) / Kalmia latifolia / Vaccinium pallidum Forest (Fleming and Taverna 2006)
= Quercus prinus - (Quercus coccinea, Quercus rubra) / Kalmia latifolia / Vaccinium pallidum Forest (Fleming and Patterson 2009a)
= Quercus prinus - (Quercus coccinea, Quercus rubra) / Kalmia latifolia / Vaccinium pallidum Forest (Fleming et al. 2007b)
> Quercus prinus / Kalmia latifolia - Rhododendron periclymenoides Forest (Fleming and Coulling 2001) [VA Srank = S5]
= Quercus prinus / Kalmia latifolia / Vaccinium pallidum Forest (Fleming and Patterson 2003)
> Quercus prinus / Smilax rotundifolia - Polypodium virginianum Subassociation (Fleming and Moorhead 1996)
= Xeric oak - evergreen heath forest (Vanderhorst 2001a)

Related Type Name:This chestnut oak forest type (CEGL006299) is distinguished from Quercus prinus - Quercus (rubra, velutina) / Vaccinium (angustifolium, pallidum) Forest (CEGL006282) by the lesser importance of Quercus rubra and the infrequence or absence of northern and higher elevation Appalachian species such as Vaccinium angustifolium, Kalmia angustifolia, Aralia nudicaulis, Ilex montana, and Acer pensylvanicum. It is distinguished from Quercus (prinus, coccinea) / Kalmia latifolia / (Galax urceolata, Gaultheria procumbens) Forest (CEGL006271) by the infrequence or absence of southern Appalachian species such as Galax urceolata, Oxydendrum arboreum, Rhododendron maximum, Gaylussacia ursina, Leucothoe recurva, Magnolia fraseri, and Symplocos tinctoria. This type differs from Quercus prinus - Quercus rubra / Hamamelis virginiana Forest (CEGL006057) in its subxeric sites, Quercus prinus overstory dominance, strongly ericaceous shrub layer, and very sparse herbaceous flora (versus sheltered mesic sites, codominance by Quercus rubra, shrub dominance by non-ericaceous species, and moderately diverse herbaceous flora in CEGL006057). This type is similar to Quercus prinus - Quercus rubra / Vaccinium pallidum - (Rhododendron periclymenoides) Forest (CEGL008523) of subxeric habitats but has much lower overall species richness, less constant and abundant Quercus rubra, denser ericaceous shrub cover (particularly of Kalmia latifolia), and sparser representation of herbaceous species.

Short Citation:
  • Allard and Leonard 1943
  • Coxe 2009
  • Eastern Ecology Working Group n.d.
  • Fike 1999
  • Fleming 2002a
  • Fleming 2002b
  • Fleming 2007
  • Fleming and Coulling 2001
  • Fleming and Moorhead 1996
  • Fleming and Moorhead 2000
  • Fleming and Patterson 2003
  • Fleming and Patterson 2009a
  • Fleming and Patterson 2009b
  • Fleming and Patterson 2011a
  • Fleming and Taverna 2006
  • Fleming et al. 2001
  • Fleming et al. 2007b
  • Harrison 2004
  • Harrison 2011
  • Lea 2003
  • Lea 2004
  • Rawinski et al. 1994
  • Rawinski et al. 1996
  • Vanderhorst 2001a
  • Vanderhorst and Streets 2006
  • Young et al. 2006
  • Young et al. 2009
States/Provinces:DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, WV
Nations:US
Range:This association is currently described from the Central Appalachians and northern part of the Piedmont in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia. In northern Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland, it occasionally occurs at the extreme western edge of the Coastal Plain on steep ravine slopes of the fall zone. It also occurs at the northern periphery of the Southern Blue Ridge near Roanoke, Virginia.
US Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name:
Division Name:
Province Name:Southeastern Mixed Forest Province
Province Code:231   Occurrence Status:Confident or certain
Section Name:Southern Appalachian Piedmont Section
Section Code:231A     Occurrence Status:Confident or certain
No Data Available
The canopy is strongly dominated by Quercus prinus or, less frequently, by combinations of Quercus prinus and other oaks. The most frequent canopy associates are Quercus coccinea, which varies from sparse to codominant, and Quercus rubra. Minor associates frequently include Quercus velutina, Quercus alba, Nyssa sylvatica, Betula lenta, and Sassafras albidum. Acer rubrum and Nyssa sylvatica are usually abundant in the understory tree layers. Tall shrubs Kalmia latifolia (usually dominant), Viburnum acerifolium, and Rhododendron periclymenoides are often associated, sometimes at low cover. The short-shrub layer is well-developed and includes Vaccinium pallidum, Vaccinium stamineum, and Gaylussacia baccata, any one of which can exhibit patch-dominance. Occasional stands lack Kalmia latifolia and have an entirely deciduous, ericaceous shrub layer. The herb layer generally has sparse cover but sometimes includes Aureolaria laevigata, Chimaphila maculata, Comandra umbellata, Cypripedium acaule, Danthonia spicata, Epigaea repens, Gaultheria procumbens, Hieracium venosum, Lysimachia quadrifolia, Medeola virginiana, Monotropa uniflora, Pteridium aquilinum, and Uvularia puberula. Strong dominance of Quercus prinus in the canopy, strong dominance of Kalmia latifolia in the tall-shrub layer, and Vaccinium pallidum present and often abundant as a short shrub are diagnostics for this type.
This association is found on acidic, infertile soils on low-elevation (mostly <900 m), middle and upper slopes (occasionally on lower slopes). Sites are often exposed, or at least on convex slopes, and moisture potential is typically subxeric to xeric. Sandy loam soils, often stony, are typical. Some exposed bedrock is often present. Many sites have a history of occasional or frequent fires.
High
Windthrow, fire, and ice storms are common natural disturbances in these habitats. Evidence of past fires is present at many sites, and periodic fire appears to be an important ecological factor in oak regeneration. Development of Acer rubrum-dominated understories in these forests is widely considered to be the result of drastic reductions of fire frequencies or exclusion of fire altogether. Castanea dentata was formerly an important canopy species in these forests prior to chestnut blight.
Authors:
S. Neid, G.P. Fleming, E. Largay and S.C. Gawler      Version Date: 22Feb2010


References:
  • Allard, H. A., and E. C. Leonard. 1943. The vegetation and floristics of Bull Run Mountain, Virginia. Castanea 8:1-64.
  • Coxe, R. 2009. Guide to Delaware vegetation communities. Spring 2009 edition. State of Delaware, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Delaware Natural Heritage Program, Smyrna.
  • Eastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boston, MA.
  • 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.
  • Fleming, G. P. 2002a. Ecological communities of the Bull Run Mountains, Virginia: Baseline vegetation and floristic data for conservation planning and natural area stewardship. Natural Heritage Technical Report 02-12. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 274 pp. plus appendices.
  • Fleming, G. P. 2002b. Preliminary classification of Piedmont & Inner Coastal Plain vegetation types in Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 02-14. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 29 pp.
  • Fleming, G. P. 2007. Ecological communities of the Potomac Gorge in Virginia: Composition, floristics, and environmental dynamics. Natural Heritage Technical Report 07-12. Unpublished report submitted to the National Park Service. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 341 pp. plus appendices.
  • 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. 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. 2009b. Classification of selected Virginia montane wetland groups. In-house analysis, December 2009. 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. Taverna. 2006. Vegetation classification for the National Capitol Region parks, western region. Regional (VA-WVA-MD-DC) analysis prepared for NatureServe and USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program, March 2006. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond.
  • Fleming, G. P., and P. P. Coulling. 2001. Ecological communities of the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Preliminary classification and description of vegetation types. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA. 317 pp.
  • Fleming, G. P., and W. H. Moorhead, III. 1996. Ecological land units of the Laurel Fork Area, Highland County, Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 96-08. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 114 pp. plus appendices.
  • Fleming, G. P., and W. H. Moorhead, III. 2000. Plant communities and ecological land units of the Peter's Mountain area, James River Ranger District, George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Natural Heritage Technical Report 00-07. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. Unpublished report submitted to the USDA Forest Service. 195 pp. plus appendices.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lea, C. 2003. Vegetation types in the National Capital Region Parks. Draft for review by NatureServe, Virginia Natural Heritage, West Virginia Natural Heritage, Maryland Natural Heritage, and National Park Service. March 2003. 140 pp.
  • Lea, C. 2004. Draft vegetation types in National Capital Region Parks. Edited by S.C. Gawler and J. Teague. Working draft for review by NatureServe, Virginia Natural Heritage, West Virginia Natural Heritage, Maryland Natural Heritage, and National Park Service. July 2004. 157 pp.
  • Rawinski, T. J., G. P. Fleming, and F. V. Judge. 1994. Forest vegetation of the Ramsey's Draft and Little Laurel Run Research Natural Areas, Virginia: Baseline ecological monitoring and classification. Natural Heritage Technical Report 94-14. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond. 45 pp. plus appendices.
  • Rawinski, T. J., K. N. Hickman, J. Waller-Eling, G. P. Fleming, C. S. Austin, S. D. Helmick, C. Huber, G. Kappesser, F. C. Huber, Jr., T. Bailey, and T. K. Collins. 1996. Plant communities and ecological land units of the Glenwood Ranger District, George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Virginia. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage. Natural Heritage Technical Report 96-20. Richmond. 65 pp. plus appendices.
  • Vanderhorst, J. 2001a. Plant community classification and mapping of the Camp Dawson Collective Training Area, Preston County, West Virginia. West Virginia Natural Heritage Program, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Elkins. 101 pp.
  • Vanderhorst, J., and B. P. Streets. 2006. Vegetation classification and mapping of Camp Dawson Army Training Site, West Virginia: Second approximation. Natural Heritage Program, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Elkins. 83 pp.
  • Young, J., G. Fleming, P. Townsend, and J. Foster. 2006. Vegetation of Shenandoah National Park in relation to environmental gradients. Final Report (v.1.1). Research technical report prepared for USDI, National Park Service. USGS/NPS Vegetation Mapping Program. 92 pp. plus appendices.
  • Young, J., G. Fleming, W. Cass, and C. Lea. 2009. Vegetation of Shenandoah National Park in relation to environmental gradients, Version 2.0. Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2009/142. National Park Service, Philadelphia, PA. 389 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)