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A3302 Tsuga canadensis - Betula lenta - Betula alleghaniensis Forest Alliance

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Type Concept Sentence: This mixed conifer-hardwood forest alliance is dominated by Tsuga canadensis, in combination with Pinus strobus, mesic hardwoods such as Acer saccharum, Acer rubrum, Betula alleghaniensis, and Fagus grandifolia, with minor associates of Betula lenta, Liriodendron tulipifera, Prunus serotina, and Quercus rubra. It occurs in the northeastern U.S. ranges from Lower New England west to the Lake Erie-Lake Ontario ecoregion in Ontario and south to the higher elevations of Virginia and West Virginia.
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Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Eastern Hemlock - Sweet Birch - Yellow Birch Forest Alliance
Colloquial Name: Central & Southern Appalachian Hemlock - Northern Hardwood Forest
Hierarchy Level: Alliance
Type Concept: This mixed conifer-hardwood forested alliance is dominated by Tsuga canadensis, alone or in combination with Pinus strobus, and a variety of mesic hardwoods such as Acer rubrum, Acer saccharum, and Fagus grandifolia. Other common and sometimes dominant trees include Betula alleghaniensis, Betula lenta, Liriodendron tulipifera, Prunus serotina, and Quercus spp. (most commonly Quercus rubra). It occurs in the northeastern U.S., ranging from central New England west to the Lake Erie-Lake Ontario ecoregion in Ontario and south to the higher elevations of Virginia and West Virginia. Stands are often found in ravines or low cool sites, on a variety of primarily mesic soils.
Diagnostic Characteristics: This type has Tsuga canadensis and Pinus strobus with >25% cover and in combination with northern hardwoods such as Acer rubrum, Acer saccharum, and Fagus grandifolia. Other common and sometimes dominant trees include Betula alleghaniensis, Betula lenta, Liriodendron tulipifera, Prunus serotina, and Quercus spp. (most commonly Quercus rubra).
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: Northward, this alliance is replaced by Tsuga canadensis - Betula alleghaniensis - Acer saccharum Forest Alliance (A4072) and Pinus strobus - Tsuga canadensis Forest Alliance (A3251) in Laurentian-Acadian Hemlock - White Pine - Hardwood Forest Group (G741). This alliance (A3302) may most resemble those alliances on cooler sites in the Allegheny Plateau (Sections 211F and 211G) and in central New England. The USFS ecological province lines provide a general delimiter of the northern extent of this type, which is limited to areas in the northern parts of Provinces 221 and M221, 222I (Lake Erie-Lake Ontario ecoregion) and Sections 211F and 211G (Allegheny Plateau), but not otherwise in Provinces 211 or M211. In Ontario, see Crins et al. (2009). The ranges of Betula lenta, Carya cordiformis, Carya ovata, Liriodendron tulipifera, Quercus prinus, and others are a good approximator for the northern limit of this alliance's range, but these species may be relatively uncommon in the stands. Liriodendron and Tsuga canadensis occur along with other mixed mesophytic species in Appalachian-Central Interior Mesic Forest Group (G020), in Tsuga canadensis - Liriodendron tulipifera Forest Alliance (A3304), but northern hardwoods are uncommon in that alliance. See also ecological system Appalachian (Hemlock)-Northern Hardwood Forest (CES202.593).
Similar NVC Types:
Pinus strobus - Tsuga canadensis Forest Alliance, note:
Acer saccharum - Fagus grandifolia - Tilia americana Forest Alliance, note:
Tsuga canadensis - Betula alleghaniensis - Acer saccharum Forest Alliance, note:
Physiognomy and Structure: No Data Available
Floristics: Stands are dominated by Tsuga canadensis, alone or in combination with Pinus strobus and a variety of mesic hardwoods such as Acer rubrum, Acer saccharum, and Fagus grandifolia. Other common and sometimes dominant trees include Quercus spp. (most commonly Quercus rubra), Liriodendron tulipifera, Prunus serotina, Betula alleghaniensis, and Betula lenta. A summary of the shrub and herb layers is needed.
Dynamics: No Data Available
Environmental Description: This mixed conifer-hardwood forested alliance of the northeastern U.S. ranges from lower elevations in central New England west to the Lake Erie-Lake Ontario ecoregion in Ontario and south to higher elevations in Virginia and West Virginia. Stands are often found in ravines or low cool sites, on a variety of primarily mesic soils.
Geographic Range: This mixed conifer-hardwood forest alliance of the northeastern U.S. ranges from Lower New England west to the Lake Erie-Lake Ontario ecoregion in Ontario and south to the higher elevations of Virginia and West Virginia.
Nations: CA, US
States/Provinces: CT, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, OH, ON, PA, RI?, VA, VT, WV
US Forest Service Ecoregions (1994/1995)
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Confidence Level: Moderate
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Grank: GNR
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Concept Lineage: A.412, A.401, A.413, A.128, A.3507, A.127
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Synonomy:
Concept Author(s): D. Faber-Langendoen, in Faber-Langendoen et al. (2013)
Author of Description: D. Faber-Langendoen
Acknowledgements:
Version Date: 18Dec2014
References:
  • Crins, W. J., P. A. Gray, P. W. C. Uhlig, and M. C. Wester. 2009. The ecosystems of Ontario. Part I: Ecozones and ecoregions. SIB TER IMA TR-01. Inventory, Monitoring and Assessment, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Peterborough, ON. 71 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.