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Alliance Detail Report: A3235
Quercus shumardii - Quercus pagoda - Fraxinus americana Coastal Plain Forest Alliance

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
These are mesic upland oak forests of the Southeastern Coastal Plain, which occur over calcareous substrates as well as over loess deposits and are typically dominated by Acer barbatum, Carya spp., Fraxinus americana, Liquidambar styraciflua, Quercus falcata, Quercus michauxii, Quercus muehlenbergii, Quercus pagoda, Quercus shumardii, and Ulmus spp.
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Translated Name:Shumard Oak - Cherrybark Oak - White Ash Coastal Plain Forest Alliance
Colloquial Name:Coastal Plain Shumard Oak - Cherrybark Oak - White Ash Forest
This alliance includes mesic upland oak forests of the Southeastern Coastal Plain, which occur over calcareous substrates as well as over loess deposits. The canopies of stands are typically dominated by some combination of Quercus pagoda and Quercus shumardii, with Acer barbatum, Carya spp., Fraxinus americana, Liquidambar styraciflua, Quercus falcata, Quercus muehlenbergii, Quercus michauxii, and Ulmus spp. Stands may also contain Diospyros virginiana, Fagus grandifolia, Gleditsia triacanthos, Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana, Juglans nigra, Liriodendron tulipifera, Magnolia acuminata, Morus rubra, Pinus taeda, and Tilia americana. The somewhat rare Carya myristiciformis may be present within its range. As presently circumscribed, this alliance includes rich forests of lower slopes above cypress or bottomland hardwood forests, as well as oak or oak-hardwood forests adjacent to Keiffer Prairies or Jackson Prairies of Louisiana, and other forests found over limestones or other basic to circumneutral strata in the East Gulf Coastal Plain and Upper East Gulf Coastal Plain.
These forests are primarily distinguished by their dominance by Quercus pagoda and/or Quercus shumardii, and by their mesic upland environment.
Some examples may exhibit dominance by other species (e.g., Acer barbatum, Fraxinus americana, Liquidambar styraciflua) but Quercus pagoda and/or Quercus shumardii should at least be present. Quercus pagoda and/or Quercus shumardii may also be found in bottomland or floodplain terraces. These associations are not covered by this alliance.
Synonomy: ? Cedar Elm - Hackberry / Justicia Loamy Wet-Mesic Stream Bottoms (Turner et al. 1999)
>< Sugarberry-Elm Series (Diamond 1993)

Related Type Name:

Short Citation:
  • Diamond 1993
  • Faber-Langendoen et al. 2017b
  • Martin and Smith 1991
  • Smith 1996a
  • Smith et al. 1989
  • Southeastern Ecology Working Group n.d.
  • Turner et al. 1999
  • Wieland 2000a
States/Provinces:AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, OK?, SC, TN?, TX
Nations:US
Range:This alliance is found in the coastal plains of the southeastern United States from South Carolina to Florida and Texas, and north in the interior to Arkansas, Kentucky, and possibly Tennessee and Oklahoma.
US Forest Service Ecoregions
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These are closed-canopy forests with dense and diverse shrub and herbaceous strata.
The canopies of stands are typically dominated by some combination of Quercus pagoda and Quercus shumardii, with Acer barbatum, Carya spp., Fraxinus americana, Liquidambar styraciflua, Quercus falcata, Quercus muehlenbergii, Quercus michauxii, and Ulmus spp. Stands may also contain Diospyros virginiana, Fagus grandifolia, Gleditsia triacanthos, Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana, Juglans nigra, Liriodendron tulipifera, Magnolia acuminata, Morus rubra, Pinus taeda, and Tilia americana. The somewhat rare Carya myristiciformis may be present within its range. The mesic calcareous forests associated with Jackson Prairies in Louisiana contain a dense canopy dominated by Fraxinus americana, Quercus pagoda, and Quercus shumardii, with Acer barbatum, Liquidambar styraciflua, Liriodendron tulipifera, Magnolia acuminata, Pinus taeda, Platanus occidentalis, Quercus michauxii, Quercus muehlenbergii, and Quercus phellos. The open to fairly dense subcanopy contains Acer barbatum, Asimina triloba, Cercis canadensis, Cornus florida, Frangula caroliniana, Hamamelis virginiana, Ostrya virginiana, Sideroxylon lanuginosum, Ulmus alata, and Zanthoxylum clava-herculis. The sparse shrub and woody vine layer includes Aesculus pavia var. pavia, Arundinaria gigantea ssp. gigantea, Berchemia scandens, Bignonia capreolata, Cocculus carolinus, and Rhus aromatica. The sparse herb layer includes Aristolochia serpentaria, Botrychium virginianum, Carex cherokeensis, Delphinium carolinianum, Dioscorea quaternata, Lithospermum tuberosum, Passiflora lutea, Phlox divaricata, Phryma leptostachya, Podophyllum peltatum, Polygonatum biflorum, Smilax herbacea, Spigelia marilandica, Taenidia integerrima, and Trillium ludovicianum. In Kentucky, typical canopy trees include Quercus falcata, Quercus michauxii, Quercus pagoda, Quercus phellos, and Quercus stellata. These are often mixed with swamp species such as Quercus palustris and upland forest species such as Quercus alba.
This alliance includes mesic upland forests of the Southeastern Coastal Plain, and occasionally in the Interior Low Plateau, which occur over calcareous substrates as well as over loess deposits. As presently circumscribed, this alliance includes forests of lower slopes above cypress or bottomland hardwood forests, as well as oak or oak-hardwood forests adjacent to Keiffer Prairies or Jackson Prairies of Louisiana. Stands at Fort Benning, Georgia/Alabama, are found on islands or extended peninsulas in the now-impounded Chattahoochee River, on land which is apparently composed of circumneutral and/or calcium-rich material weathered from limestones upstream. One other association attributed here occurs on calcareous clays of various Tertiary formations (e.g., Fleming, Catahoula?, Vicksburg?, Jackson, Cane River, Wilcox) in the uplands of central and northern Louisiana and presumably eastern Texas. In Kentucky, vegetation of this alliance occurs in the Upper East Gulf Coastal Plain. At these sites, flooding occurs in winter, and groundwater probably remains high throughout most years, but upper soil horizons may become relatively dry in the summer.
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. At Kentucky sites, flooding occurs in winter, and groundwater probably remains high throughout most years, but upper soil horizons may become relatively dry in the summer. In the West Gulf Coastal Plain of Arkansas, the soils are slowly permeable and shrink and crack upon drying. The water table is within 46 cm (18 inches) of the surface, and these soils are usually associated with ephemeral and semipermanent creeks and flats intermingled with blackland prairies and woodlands.
Authors:
M. Pyne      Version Date: 14Mar2014


References:
  • Diamond, D. D. 1993. Classification of the plant communities of Texas (series level). Unpublished document. Texas Natural Heritage Program, Austin. 25 pp.
  • 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.
  • Martin, D. L., and L. M. Smith. 1991. A survey and description of the natural plant communities of the Kisatchie National Forest, Winn and Kisatchie districts. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Baton Rouge, LA. 372 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.
  • Smith, L. M., N. M. Gilmore, R. P. Martin, and G. D. Lester. 1989. Keiffer calcareous prairie/forest complex: A research report and preliminary management plan. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Natural Heritage Program, Baton Rouge. 44 pp.
  • Southeastern Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Durham, NC.
  • Turner, R. L., J. E. Van Kley, L. S. Smith, and R. E. Evans. 1999. Ecological classification system for the national forests and adjacent areas of the West Gulf Coastal Plain. The Nature Conservancy, Nacogdoches, TX. 95 pp. plus appendices.
  • Wieland, R. W. 2000a. Ecology and vegetation of LeFleur's Bluff State Park, Jackson, Mississippi. Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences 45(3):150-183.


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)
We have incorporated significant descriptive information previously compiled by Alan Weakley and Latimore Smith.