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Alliance Detail Report: A2059
Fagus grandifolia - Quercus alba - Quercus nigra Coastal Plain Forest Alliance

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
These are mesic hardwood forests of slopes and small stream bottoms in the coastal plains of the southeastern United States dominated by Fagus grandifolia, Quercus alba, and Quercus nigra.
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Translated Name:American Beech - White Oak - Water Oak Coastal Plain Forest Alliance
Colloquial Name:Mesic Southern Coastal Plain Deciduous Forest
This alliance includes southern mesic hardwood forests dominated by Fagus grandifolia and Quercus spp., particularly Quercus alba and Quercus nigra. Associations in this alliance include primarily mesic forests that typically occur on slopes and small stream bottoms in the coastal plains of the southeastern United States from Virginia to Texas. A diverse, often dense canopy is usually present, which may include Acer barbatum, Acer leucoderme, Carya cordiformis, Fraxinus americana, Liquidambar styraciflua, Liriodendron tulipifera, Quercus michauxii, Quercus pagoda, and Ulmus spp. Widely variable understory and shrub layers are usually present. Although the herbaceous layer is typically sparse, it may contain a number of species which are restricted to these rich mesic habitats or nearly so. This alliance is primarily found north of the distribution of Magnolia grandiflora, which typically will not be present in stands.
These forests are generally south of the interior mesophytic forests of the Appalachian and Interior Plateau regions, and north of the range of Magnolia grandiflora. The combination of Fagus grandifolia with Quercus alba and Quercus nigra, lacking Magnolia grandiflora, is consistent with this concept.
The combination of Fagus grandifolia, Quercus alba, and Quercus nigra, lacking Magnolia grandiflora, is consistent with the concept of mesic forests found generally south of the interior mesophytic forests of the Appalachian and Interior Plateau regions, and north of the range of Magnolia grandiflora.
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 G166 Southern Mesic Beech - Oak - Mixed Deciduous Forest G166 1.B.1.Na.3.b
Alliance A2059 Mesic Southern Coastal Plain Deciduous Forest A2059
Association CEGL007210 East Gulf Coastal Plain Rich Beech - White Oak Forest CEGL007210
Association CEGL007525 West Gulf Coastal Plain Mesic Loblolly Pine - Mixed Hardwood Forest CEGL007525
Association CEGL007845 South Atlantic Coastal Plain Oak Flatwoods Forest CEGL007845
Association CEGL007863 Atlantic Coastal Plain Mesic Beech Bluff Forest CEGL007863
Association CEGL007206 Atlantic Coastal Plain Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest CEGL007206
Association CEGL007866 South Atlantic Coastal Plain Beech Floodplain Forest CEGL007866
Association CEGL007321 Piedmont Beech Levee Forest CEGL007321
Association CEGL007208 West Gulf Coastal Plain Beech - White Oak Forest (Typic Type) CEGL007208
Association CEGL007211 Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain Mesic Beech - Water Oak Forest CEGL007211
Association CEGL003859 East Gulf Coastal Plain Dry Beech - White Oak Forest CEGL003859
Association CEGL004745 East Gulf Coastal Plain Beech Floodplain Forest CEGL004745
Association CEGL007207 West Gulf Coastal Plain Beech - White Oak Forest (Subcalcareous Type) CEGL007207
Association CEGL004763 East Gulf Coastal Plain Loblolly Pine - White Oak Forest CEGL004763
Association CEGL004091 Pinus taeda - Quercus falcata - Quercus alba / Chasmanthium sessiliflorum - Piptochaetium avenaceum Forest CEGL004091
Association CEGL006493 Northern Coastal Plain Beech - Mixed Hardwood Floodplain Forest CEGL006493
No Data Available
Synonomy:

Related Type Name:

Short Citation:
  • Faber-Langendoen et al. 2017b
States/Provinces:AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA
Nations:US
Range:This alliance is found in the coastal plains of the southeastern United States from Virginia to Texas, and north to Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Two associations are attributed to the adjacent Piedmont.
US Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name:
Division Name:
Province Name:
Province Code:   Occurrence Status:
Section Name:
Section Code:     Occurrence Status:
These are closed-canopy forests with dense and diverse shrub and herbaceous strata.
Examples are dominated by Fagus grandifolia, Quercus alba, and Quercus nigra. A diverse, often dense canopy is usually present, which may include Acer barbatum, Acer leucoderme, Carya cordiformis, Fraxinus americana, Liquidambar styraciflua, Liriodendron tulipifera, Quercus michauxii, Quercus pagoda, and Ulmus spp. Widely variable understory and shrub layers are usually present. Although the herbaceous layer is typically sparse, it may contain a number of species which are restricted to these rich mesic habitats or nearly so.
Most associations in this alliance of the coastal plains of the southeastern United States are found in mesic uplands (slopes, ravines, etc.), but some occupy upper terraces of stream and river floodplains.
Low
These are mesic forests of relatively fire-sheltered environments. Stands are vulnerable to the effects of canopy removal and subsequent soil erosion. Some examples are highly threatened by timber removal and development. Other threats include windthrow, microclimate modification from intensive silvicultural practices on adjacent uplands, herbicide use, and vegetation damage by feral hogs.
Authors:
M. Pyne      Version Date: 14Mar2014


References:
  • Faber-Langendoen, D., J. Drake, M. Hall, G. Kittel, S. Menard, C. Nordman, M. Pyne, M. Reid, M. Russo, K. Schulz, L. Sneddon, K. Snow, and J. Teague. 2013-2017b. Screening alliances for induction into the U.S. National Vegetation Classification: Part 1 - Alliance concept review. NatureServe, Arlington, VA.


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 Alliance 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)