Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Sweetgum - Loblolly Pine - Chinese Tallow Ruderal Forest Macrogroup
Colloquial Name: Southeastern North American Ruderal Forest
Hierarchy Level: Macrogroup
Type Concept: This ruderal vegetation occurs in human-disturbed sites across the southeastern United States. This includes sites that were formerly cultivated ("old fields") as well as other areas where either the soil has been disturbed (primary succession) or where repeated removal of the natural forest cover for wood products has created conditions for a mixture of tree species which would be unlikely to occur under purely natural conditions of plant succession. The pathway to ruderal forest may be favored by a lack of fire which would favor fire-intolerant and exotic species. Some typical ruderal species include the evergreens Pinus clausa, Pinus elliottii, and Pinus taeda as well as the deciduous trees Acer rubrum var. rubrum, Catalpa bignonioides, Catalpa speciosa, Celtis laevigata, Liquidambar styraciflua, Maclura pomifera, Quercus hemisphaerica, Quercus nigra, and the exotics Albizia julibrissin, Broussonetia papyrifera, Quercus acutissima, and Triadica sebifera. Maclura pomifera is native to a narrow region of the south-central U.S., but is so widely planted outside of this range that it is effectively exotic. These species may form monodominant stands or variable mixes, and typically have associated understory shrub and herb species that are also exotic or native generalists. Where the ground layer is native and the ruderal species listed above is native, the stand may be better placed into a successional phase of a native type.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Stands are dominated by some combination of weedy natives, including the evergreen Pinus taeda and the hardwoods Catalpa bignonioides, Catalpa speciosa, Liquidambar styraciflua, Maclura pomifera, Quercus nigra, and the exotics Albizia julibrissin, Broussonetia papyrifera, and Triadica sebifera.
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features: Widespread ruderal weedy natives and a naturalized exotic were chosen as the nominal species characteristic of this vegetation.
Classification Comments: This vegetation is somewhat separated from Eastern North American Native Ruderal Forest Group (G030) by the absence of ruderal species of generally northern distribution, such as Betula populifolia, Gleditsia triacanthos, Juglans nigra, Liriodendron tulipifera, Populus tremuloides, Prunus pensylvanica, and Robinia pseudoacacia.
Similar NVC Types:
M013 Eastern North American Ruderal Forest, note:
Physiognomy and Structure: No Data Available
Floristics: Stands have canopies dominated (>80% cover) by ruderal or exotic tree species. The understory shrub and herb species are also exotic or native generalists. Examples may contain, or be dominated by, a variety of native and exotic trees and shrubs. The typical ruderal native species include the evergreen needle-leafed trees Pinus clausa, Pinus echinata, Pinus elliottii, Pinus palustris, and Pinus taeda as well as the deciduous trees Acer rubrum var. rubrum, Catalpa bignonioides, Catalpa speciosa, Celtis laevigata, Crataegus flava, Liquidambar styraciflua, Liriodendron tulipifera (less commonly to the south), Quercus alba, Quercus falcata, Quercus hemisphaerica, Quercus incana, Quercus laevis, Quercus nigra, Quercus phellos, Quercus stellata, as well as the exotics Albizia julibrissin, Broussonetia papyrifera, Quercus acutissima, and Triadica sebifera (= Sapium sebiferum). Although Maclura pomifera is native to a narrow region of the south-central U.S., but it is so widely planted outside of this range that it is effectively exotic. Native shrubs may include Morella cerifera, Rhus copallinum, Vaccinium elliottii, and Vaccinium stamineum. The stands typically have associated shrub and herb layers that contain generalist native or exotic species. Where the ground layer is native and the ruderal species listed above are native, the stand may be able to fit into a successional phase of a native type.
Dynamics: This vegetation results from heavy former human use, including farming, pasture establishment and grazing, mining, repeated logging, etc. It occurs on formerly cleared and/or planted sites, and the subsequent and current disturbance may be minimal to continuous. The pathway to ruderal forest may be favored by a lack of fire which would favor fire-intolerant and exotic species.
Environmental Description: The sites where this vegetation occurs have experienced heavy former human use, including farming, pasture establishment and grazing, mining, repeated logging, etc. These sites may have been formerly cleared and/or planted, and the subsequent and current disturbance may be minimal to continuous. These sites have been allowed to succeed more-or-less spontaneously to dominance (>80% cover) by ruderal or exotic tree species.
Geographic Range: This ruderal forest vegetation occurs across the southeastern United States in all physiographic regions.
States/Provinces: AL, FL, GA, KY?, LA, MO?, MS, NC, SC, TN?, TX, VA?
|US Forest Service Ecoregions (2007)|
Confidence Level: High
Confidence Level Comments:
Concept Author(s): H.J. Oosting (1942)?
Author of Description: M. Pyne
Acknowledgements: We have incorporated significant descriptive information previously compiled by S. Menard and D. Faber-Langendoen.
Version Date: 15Oct2014
- Faber-Langendoen, D., and S. Menard. 2006. A key to eastern forests of the United States: Macrogroups, groups, and alliances. September 15, 2006. NatureServe, Arlington, VA.
- 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. 2010-2019a. Divisions, Macrogroups and Groups for the Revised U.S. National Vegetation Classification. NatureServe, Arlington, VA. plus appendices. [in preparation]
- Oosting, H. J. 1942. An ecological analysis of the plant communities of Piedmont, North Carolina. The American Midland Naturalist 28:1-127.