Invalid Unit Specified
A3429 Quercus phellos - Quercus lyrata - Quercus nigra Interior Pond Forest Alliance

The U.S. National
Vegetation Classification
Type Concept Sentence: These are seasonally flooded ponds of southern Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee which are dominated by Quercus lyrata and Quercus phellos.
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Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Willow Oak - Overcup Oak - Water Oak Interior Pond Forest Alliance
Colloquial Name: Interior Oak Pond & Flatwoods
Hierarchy Level: Alliance
Type Concept: This alliance includes vegetation of seasonally flooded ponds of the south-central United States in southern Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee which are dominated by Quercus lyrata and Quercus phellos. These ponds are placed in a separate alliance because these two oak species are somewhat unusual as dominants at this latitude, and these environments are distinctive in these localities. Examples of this alliance are strongly dominated by Quercus lyrata, Quercus phellos, or a combination of these. Some examples actually lack other canopy dominants. Other examples have other trees present, including Acer rubrum, Betula nigra, Celtis laevigata, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Liquidambar styraciflua, Nyssa aquatica, Nyssa biflora, Quercus pagoda, Quercus texana, and Ulmus americana. In addition, Quercus similis may be present in one association. The understory and shrub layers are typically poorly developed or sparse (less than 50% cover) and may contain Acer rubrum, Cephalanthus occidentalis, Forestiera acuminata, Ilex decidua, Photinia pyrifolia (= Aronia arbutifolia), and Styrax americanus. Vines may include Campsis radicans, Smilax rotundifolia, and Toxicodendron radicans. Herbaceous density is generally low but fluctuates with canopy openness. There may be a zonation or patchiness to the herbaceous diversity, with plants of greater flooding tolerance in areas of longer hydroperiod, and a different suite of species on elevated rises or hummocks. The areas of wet and wet-mesic soils such as shallow ephemeral or seasonal ponds in depressions may have Carex spp., Cinna arundinacea, Eleocharis obtusa (which can be present in the center of the pond), and Leersia spp., along with hummocks of Sphagnum, while the drier areas, including hummocks and tree bases, exhibit plants common to dry and dry-mesic soils such as Asplenium platyneuron, Porteranthus stipulatus, Pycnanthemum tenuifolium, and/or Vaccinium pallidum. Mosses, lichens and epiphytic Pleopeltis polypodioides ssp. michauxiana can often be found on tree trunks. These forests are found in isolated upland depressions and sinkholes, poorly drained flats with a fragipan, or less frequently in first bottoms and terrace flats of floodplains. These have poorly drained, heavy silty clay soils that are flooded with shallow water each winter and spring.
Diagnostic Characteristics: These ponds are distinctive at their latitudes and in interior regions; the dominant taxa (Quercus lyrata and Quercus phellos) are more frequently encountered as dominants further south in the coastal plains.
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: In 2000, Karen Patterson (pers. comm.) postulated that "Consideration should be given to creating one or two alliances for isolated, upland, Oak Pond features that each cover large geographic areas (i.e., southern versus northern), rather than having them split up artificially by dominance..." This alliance is an effort to implement this suggestion.
Similar NVC Types:
Physiognomy and Structure: These are generally closed-canopy forests dominated by broad-leaved deciduous trees and have open to sparse shrub and herbaceous strata. There may be a zonation or patchiness to the herbaceous diversity, with plants of greater flooding tolerance in areas of longer hydroperiod, and a different suite of species on elevated rises or hummocks.
Floristics: Examples of this alliance are strongly dominated by Quercus lyrata, Quercus phellos, or a combination of these. Some examples actually lack other canopy dominants. Other examples have other trees present, including Acer rubrum, Betula nigra, Celtis laevigata, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Liquidambar styraciflua, Nyssa aquatica, Nyssa biflora, Quercus pagoda, Quercus texana, and Ulmus americana. In addition, Quercus similis may be present in one association. The understory and shrub layers are typically poorly developed or sparse (less than 50% cover) and may contain Acer rubrum, Cephalanthus occidentalis, Forestiera acuminata, Ilex decidua, Photinia pyrifolia (= Aronia arbutifolia), and Styrax americanus. Vines may include Campsis radicans, Smilax rotundifolia, and Toxicodendron radicans. Herbaceous density is generally low but fluctuates with canopy openness. There may be a zonation or patchiness to the herbaceous diversity, with plants of greater flooding tolerance in areas of longer hydroperiod, and a different suite of species on elevated rises or hummocks. The areas of wet and wet-mesic soils, such as shallow ephemeral or seasonal ponds in depressions, may have Carex spp., Cinna arundinacea, Eleocharis obtusa (which can be present in the center of the pond), and Leersia spp., along with hummocks of Sphagnum, while the drier areas, including hummocks and tree bases, exhibit plants common to dry and dry-mesic soils, such as Asplenium platyneuron, Porteranthus stipulatus, Pycnanthemum tenuifolium, and/or Vaccinium pallidum. Mosses, lichens and epiphytic Pleopeltis polypodioides ssp. michauxiana can often be found on tree trunks.
Dynamics: No Data Available
Environmental Description: These forests of the south-central United States are found in isolated upland depressions and sinkholes, seasonally flooded ponds, poorly drained flats with a fragipan, or less frequently in first bottoms and terrace flats of floodplains. These have poorly drained, heavy silty clay soils that are flooded with shallow water each winter and spring.
Geographic Range: This vegetation is found in the Ozarks, Ouachitas, and Interior Low Plateau from Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, and Oklahoma east and south to Kentucky, Tennessee, and possibly Alabama.
Nations: US
States/Provinces: AL?, AR, IL, KY, MO, OK?, TN
US Forest Service Ecoregions (1994/1995)
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Confidence Level: Low
Confidence Level Comments:
Grank: GNR
Greasons:
Concept Lineage: This alliance contains associations from two old alliances; A.328 (2/10) and A.330 (3/19).
Predecessors:
Obsolete Names:
Obsolete Parents:
Synonomy: >< P1B3cI. Quercus lyrata (Foti et al. 1994)
? P1B3cI4a. Quercus lyrata - Quercus nuttallii (= Q. texana) - Liquidambar styraciflua (Foti et al. 1994)
? P1B3cVII. Quercus phellos (Foti et al. 1994)
? P1B3cVII14b. Quercus phellos - Quercus palustris - Quercus lyrata (Foti et al. 1994)
Concept Author(s): M. Pyne, in Faber-Langendoen et al. (2013)
Author of Description: M. Pyne
Acknowledgements: We have incorporated significant descriptive information previously compiled by Karen Patterson.
Version Date: 08Jan2014
References:
  • Campbell, J. J. N., and J. Grubbs. 1992. Natural plant communities of Hopkins County, Kentucky. Transactions of the Kentucky Academy of Science 53:29-38.
  • Campbell, Julian J. N. Personal communication. Kentucky Field Office, The Nature Conservancy.
  • Evans, M. 1991. Kentucky ecological communities. Draft report to the Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission. 19 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.
  • Foti, T., compiler. 1994b. Natural vegetation classification system of Arkansas, draft five. Unpublished document. Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Little Rock. 8 pp.
  • Foti, T., M. Blaney, X. Li, and K. G. Smith. 1994. A classification system for the natural vegetation of Arkansas. Proceedings of the Arkansas Academy of Science 48:50-53.
  • Foti, Tom. Personal communication. Ecologist [retired]. Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Little Rock.
  • Nelson, P. W. 1985. The terrestrial natural communities of Missouri. Missouri Natural Areas Committee, Jefferson City. 197 pp. Revised edition, 1987.
  • Patterson, Karen D. Personal communication. Ecologist, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA.
  • Robertson, P. A., M. D. MacKenzie, and L. F. Elliott. 1984. Gradient analysis and classification of the woody vegetation for four sites in southern Illinois and adjacent Missouri. Vegetatio 58:87-104.
  • Voigt, J. W., and R. H. Mohlenbrock. 1964. Plant communities of southern Illinois. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 202 pp.
  • Wharton, C. H., W. M. Kitchens, E. C. Pendleton, and T. W. Sipe. 1982. The ecology of bottomland hardwood swamps of the Southeast: A community profile. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Biological Services. FWS/OBS-81/37. Washington, DC.
  • White, J., and M. Madany. 1978. Classification of natural communities in Illinois. Pages 311-405 in: Natural Areas Inventory technical report: Volume I, survey methods and results. Illinois Natural Areas Inventory, Urbana, IL.
  • Wolfe, W. J. 1996. Hydrology and tree-distribution patterns of Karst wetlands at Arnold Engineering Development Center, Tennessee. Water-Resources Investigations Report 96-4277. US Geologic Service, Nashville. 46 pp.
  • Zollner, Douglas. Personal communication. Ecologist, The Nature Conservancy, Arkansas Field Office, Little Rock.