Invalid Unit Specified
Macrogroup Detail Report: M008
Fagus grandifolia - Magnolia grandiflora - Quercus alba Forest Macrogroup

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
The southern coastal plain vegetation of these broad-leaved ravine, bluff and slope forests typically includes many tree species such as Fagus grandifolia, Magnolia grandiflora (within its range), Quercus alba, Pinus glabra (east of the Mississippi River), Carya spp., Liriodendron tulipifera, Liquidambar styraciflua, Acer barbatum, Acer rubrum, Nyssa sylvatica, and Fraxinus americana.
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Translated Name:American Beech - Southern Magnolia - White Oak Forest Macrogroup
Colloquial Name:Southern Mesic Mixed Broadleaf Forest
This macrogroup occurs on the Gulf and Atlantic coastal plains on slopes, bluffs, or sheltered ravines where fire is naturally rare. It includes mixed evergreen broad-leaved forests within the warm-temperate climate zone, represented by the codominance of Magnolia grandiflora, within its range. Also included are deciduous broad-leaved forests on the inner coastal plains, north or inland of the range of Magnolia grandiflora. Stands are on mesic or dry-mesic sites on a variety of soils. The vegetation typically includes species such as Fagus grandifolia, Magnolia grandiflora, Quercus alba, Pinus glabra (east of the Mississippi River), Carya spp., Liriodendron tulipifera, Liquidambar styraciflua, Acer barbatum, Acer rubrum, Nyssa sylvatica, Fraxinus americana, Magnolia acuminata, Magnolia macrophylla, Magnolia pyramidata, and Magnolia tripetala (these four occur in scattered areas in the coastal plain). On sites with richer soils there tend to be spring ephemeral wildflowers typical of areas further north, such as Trillium spp. Examples in the Florida Panhandle have among the highest diversity of trees and shrubs of any forests in the United States.
The vegetation of these southern coastal plain forests includes species such as Fagus grandifolia, Quercus alba, Magnolia grandiflora, Acer barbatum, Pinus glabra (east of the Mississippi River), and other species of broadleaf evergreen or deciduous trees and shrubs, such as Nyssa sylvatica, Fraxinus americana, Carya alba, Carya glabra, Ulmus alata, Ulmus americana, Ulmus rubra, Liriodendron tulipifera, and Liquidambar styraciflua.
Fagus grandifolia, Magnolia grandiflora and Quercus alba are often codominant and are characteristic. Magnolia grandiflora does not occur in the northern part of the range of this macrogroup, and in the Carolinas only naturally occurs near the coast, south of the Cape Fear River.
Vegetation Hierarchy
Name:Database Code:Classification Code:
Class 1 Forest & Woodland C01 1
Subclass 1.B Temperate & Boreal Forest & Woodland S15 1.B
Formation 1.B.1 Warm Temperate Forest & Woodland F018 1.B.1
Division 1.B.1.Na Southeastern North American Forest & Woodland D006 1.B.1.Na
Macrogroup M008 Southern Mesic Mixed Broadleaf Forest M008 1.B.1.Na.3
Group G007 Southern Mesic Beech - Magnolia - Oak Forest G007 1.B.1.Na.3.a
Group G166 Southern Mesic Beech - Oak - Mixed Deciduous Forest G166 1.B.1.Na.3.b
The range of this macrogroup includes warm-temperate forests with Magnolia grandiflora as well as coastal plain forests north and inland of the range of Magnolia grandiflora. See Greller (1989) for comments on the definition of this type.
Synonomy: > Beech-Magnolia Forest (Braun 1950)
>< Floodplain Hardwood Pine Forest (Marks and Harcombe 1981)
>< Lower Slope Hardwood Pine Forest (Marks and Harcombe 1981)
= Mesic Slope Forests (Edwards et al. 2013)
> Mesophytic Mixed Hardwoods (Braun 1950)
= Southeastern evergreen forests (Delcourt and Delcourt 2000)
= Southern Mixed Hardwood Forest (Quarterman and Keever 1962)
= Southern Mixed Hardwoods Group (Monk et al. 1989)
= Temperate Hardwood Forest (Platt and Schwartz 1990)
= southern mixed hardwoods (Monk et al. 1990)
= upland mixed hardwoods (Christensen 2000)

Related Type Name:There is some area of overlap between M008 and M016, M882, M883 and M885. More in-depth and quantitative analysis of vegetation plot datasets could help inform and improve the USNVC for these macrogroups in the boundary area between the warm-temperate and cool-temperate climatic zones. The environment of G166 is described as cool-temperate (but includes both warm-temperate and cool-temperate vegetation), while G007 is entirely within the warm-temperate climatic zone.

Short Citation:
  • Barnes 1991
  • Batista and Platt 1997
  • Braun 1950
  • Bryant et al. 1993
  • Christensen 2000
  • Clark 1974
  • Delcourt and Delcourt 1975
  • Delcourt and Delcourt 2000
  • Edwards et al. 2013
  • Faber-Langendoen et al. 2017a
  • FNAI 2010a
  • Fralish and Franklin 2002
  • Franklin and Kupfer 2004
  • Greller 1988
  • Kossuth and Michael 1990
  • Marks and Harcombe 1981
  • Miller and Neiswender 1987
  • Monk et al. 1989
  • Monk et al. 1990
  • Outcalt 1990
  • Platt and Schwartz 1990
  • Quarterman and Keever 1962
  • Ware et al. 1993
States/Provinces:AL, AR, DE?, FL, GA, LA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA
Nations:US
Range:The range of this forest macrogroup is from southeastern Maryland and eastern Virginia to central Florida, and west to Arkansas and eastern Texas. In Mississippi and Tennessee it occurs along the Loess Bluffs on the east side of the Mississippi River Alluvial Plain.
US Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name:
Division Name:
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Province Code:   Occurrence Status:
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Section Code:     Occurrence Status:
These are mesic forests on slopes and in ravines (and less frequently upper stream and river terraces) of the southern coastal plains typically with a combination of broad-leaved evergreen trees, broad-leaved deciduous trees, and evergreen needle-leaved trees. Stands lacking Magnolia grandiflora especially north of its range, are dominated by deciduous broad-leaved trees.
The vegetation of these forests typically includes species such as Fagus grandifolia, Magnolia grandiflora, Quercus alba, Pinus glabra (east of the Mississippi River), Carya spp., Liriodendron tulipifera, Liquidambar styraciflua, Acer barbatum, Acer rubrum, Nyssa sylvatica, and Fraxinus americana. Trees and shrubs include both broad-leaved deciduous and evergreen species. The dominance of evergreen species increases to the south, especially within the range of Magnolia grandiflora. Needle-leaved evergreen species also may be present, such as Pinus glabra or Pinus taeda. North of the range of Magnolia grandiflora, broad-leaved evergreen shrubs and lianas may still be present, such as Prunus caroliniana, Symplocos tinctoria, Persea palustris, Ilex opaca, Decumaria barbara, Smilax tamnoides (= Smilax hispida), Gelsemium sempervirens, Sabal minor, and Viburnum rufidulum. Particularly on richer soil sites, there tend to be spring ephemeral wildflowers typical of areas further north, such as Trillium spp. Examples in the Florida Panhandle have the highest diversity of trees and shrubs of any forests in the United States (Platt and Schwartz 1990).
Sites are often found along slopes, bluffs, or sheltered ravines above perennial streams and rivers in the coastal plain region. This system occurs in limited areas on a variety of mesic to dry-mesic, upland sites. Some examples occur on mesic flats between drier pine-dominated uplands and floodplains or on local high areas within bottomland terraces or nonriverine wet flats. The climate zone is mainly warm-temperate, humid. Average rainfall is 100-150 cm (40-60 inches) annually. Greller (2013) describes the climatic relations of this type to other eastern U.S. and Asian cool-temperate forest types. Soil/substrate/hydrology: These sites mostly have moderate to high fertility and moisture retention. Soils can be quite variable, ranging from coarse to loamy in surface texture. Soils are not saturated for any significant time during the growing season and seldom are extremely dry. Soils developed from calcareous materials or rich alluvium may be basic; others are strongly acidic. Bluffs in Mississippi (such as along the eastern edge of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain) generally have loess soil, which is fine-textured. Richer and more mesic stands occur in more strongly concave areas with fine textured soil, including loess.
Moderate
In these forests, natural disturbance occurs in in the form of canopy gaps. These forests occur in ravines and on slopes near rivers or creeks, and are naturally protected from wildland fire. Wind and heavy rain from hurricanes can cause canopy gaps where trees are toppled or broken. Certain trees particularly benefit from canopy gaps and other canopy disturbances, these include Liquidambar styraciflua, Pinus glabra, and Pinus taeda.
Authors:
C.W. Nordman and R.K. Peet      Version Date: 15Oct2014


References:
  • Barnes, B. V. 1991. Deciduous forests of North America. Pages 219-344 in: E. Röhrig and B. Ulrich, editors. Ecosystems of the World 7: Temperate deciduous forests. Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company, New York.
  • Batista, W. B., and W. J. Platt. 1997. An old-growth definition for southern mixed hardwood forests. General Technical Report SRS-9. USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Asheville, NC. 11 pp.
  • Braun, E. L. 1950. Deciduous forests of eastern North America. Hafner Press, New York. 596 pp.
  • Bryant, W. S., W. C. McComb, and J. S. Fralish. 1993. Oak-hickory forests (western mesophytic/oak-hickory forests). Pages 143-201 in: W. H. Martin, S. G. Boyce, and A. C. Echternacht, editors. Biodiversity of the southeastern United States. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York.
  • Christensen, N. L. 2000. Vegetation of the Southeastern Coastal Plain. Pages 398-448 in: M. G. Barbour and W. D. Billings, editors. North American terrestrial vegetation. Second edition. Cambridge University Press, New York. 434 pp.
  • Clark, G. T. 1974. A preliminary ecological study of Crowley's Ridge. Pages 213-241 in: Arkansas Department of Planning. Arkansas natural area plan. Arkansas Department of Planning. Little Rock. 248 pp.
  • Delcourt, H. R., and P. A. Delcourt. 1975. The blufflands: Pleistocene pathway into the Tunica Hills. The American Midland Naturalist 94:385-400.
  • Delcourt, H. R., and P. A. Delcourt. 2000. Eastern deciduous forests. Pages 357-395 in: Barbour, M. G., and W. D. Billings, editors. North American terrestrial vegetation. Second edition. Cambridge University Press, New York. 434 pp.
  • Edwards, L., J. Ambrose, and K. Kirkman. 2013. The natural communities of Georgia. University of Georgia Press, Athens, GA. 675 pp.
  • Faber-Langendoen, D., J. Drake, S. Gawler, M. Hall, C. Josse, G. Kittel, S. Menard, C. Nordman, M. Pyne, M. Reid, L. Sneddon, K. Schulz, J. Teague, M. Russo, K. Snow, and P. Comer, editors. 2010-2017a. Divisions, Macrogroups and Groups for the Revised U.S. National Vegetation Classification. NatureServe, Arlington, VA. plus appendices. [in preparation]
  • FNAI [Florida Natural Areas Inventory]. 2010a. Guide to the natural communities of Florida: 2010 edition. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee, FL.
  • Fralish, J. S., and S. B. Franklin. 2002. Taxonomy and ecology of woody plants of North America (excluding Mexico and subtropical Florida). John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York.
  • Franklin, S. B., and J. A. Kupfer. 2004. Forest communities of Natchez Trace State Forest, western Tennessee Coastal Plain. Castanea 69(1):15-29.
  • Greller, A. M. 1988. Deciduous forest. Pages 288-316 in: M. G. Barbour and W. D. Billings, editors. North American terrestrial vegetation. Cambridge University Press, New York.
  • Kossuth, S. V., and J. L. Michael. 1990. Pinus glabra Walt., spruce pine. Pages 355-358 in: R. M. Burns and B. H. Honkala, editors. Silvics of North America. Volume 1, Conifers. USDA Forest Service, Agriculture Handbook 654, Washington, DC.
  • Marks, P. L., and P. A. Harcombe. 1981. Forest vegetation of the Big Thicket, southeast Texas. Ecological Monographs 51:287-305.
  • Miller, N. A., and J. B. Neiswender. 1987. Plant communities of the Third Chickasaw Loess Bluff and Mississippi River Alluvial Plain, Shelby County, Tennessee. Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Sciences 62:1-6.
  • Monk, C. D., D. W. Imm, and R. L. Potter. 1990. Oak forests of eastern North America. Castanea 55(2):77-96.
  • Monk, C. D., D. W. Imm, R. L. Potter, and G. G. Parker. 1989. A classification of the deciduous forest of eastern North America. Vegetatio 80:167-181.
  • Outcalt, K. W. 1990. Magnolia grandiflora L., southern magnolia. Pages 445-448 in: R. M. Burns and B. H. Honkala, editors. Silvics of North America. Volume 2, Hardwoods. USDA Forest Service, Agriculture Handbook 654, Washington, DC.
  • Platt, W. J., and M. W. Schwartz. 1990. Temperate hardwood forests. Pages 194-229 in: R. L. Myers and J. J. Ewel, editors. Ecosystems of Florida. University of Central Florida Press, Orlando.
  • Quarterman, E., and C. Keever. 1962. Southern mixed hardwood forests: Climax in the southeastern Coastal Plain, USA. Ecological Monographs 32:167-185.
  • Ware, S., C. C. Frost, and P. D. Doerr. 1993. Southern mixed hardwood forest: The former longleaf pine forest. Pages 447-493 in: W. H. Martin, S. G. Boyce, and A. C. Echternacht, editors. Biotic communities of the southeastern United States: Lowland terrestrial communities. John Wiley & Sons, New York.


USNVC Credits: Detailed Description of the National Vegetation Classification Types

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To cite a description:
Author(s). publicationYear. Description Title [last revised revisionDate]. United States National Vegetation Classification. Federal Geographic Data Committee, Washington, D.C.

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About this document
This document contains type descriptions at the Macrogroup 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)
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  • U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
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Non U.S. Government
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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)