Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Central Midwest Mesic Forest Macrogroup
Colloquial Name: Central Midwest Mesic Forest
Hierarchy Level: Macrogroup
Type Concept: This macrogroup comprises forests characterized by a mostly closed canopy dominated a mixture of Acer saccharum, Fagus grandifolia, Quercus rubra, and Tilia americana (or in some cases Acer floridanum or Acer nigrum). Other common species include Aesculus glabra, Carya cordiformis, Carya ovata, Celtis spp., Fraxinus americana, Juglans nigra, Quercus alba, Quercus muehlenbergii, and Ulmus rubra. It occurs in the central hardwood region of the Midwest from western Ohio to the eastern Great Plains, and south into the Ozarks and Ouachitas on mesic, rich soils formed from glacial till or loess parent material. Examples in the Ozark region are often from base-rich substrates such as limestones and dolomites. Small-gap development and replacement due to wind or tree death are the most common natural dynamics. However, conversion to agriculture, logging, browsing, and grazing have greatly impacted this macrogroup. Once common in many areas, very few large stands remain intact across its range.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Mostly closed-canopy hardwood forests dominated by Acer saccharum and found within the central United States and Canada on mesic, rich soils.
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features:
Classification Comments: This macrogroup was originally part of Central Mesophytic Hardwood Forest Macrogroup (M153) which was split into this macrogroup (M882) and Appalachian-Interior-Northeastern Mesic Forest Macrogroup (M883).
Similar NVC Types:
M014 Laurentian-Acadian Mesic Hardwood - Conifer Forest, note:
M008 Southern Mesic Mixed Broadleaf Forest, note:
M012 Central Midwest Oak Forest, Woodland & Savanna, note:
M016 Southern & South-Central Oak - Pine Forest & Woodland, note:
M502 Appalachian-Northeastern Oak - Hardwood - Pine Forest & Woodland, note:
M883 Appalachian-Interior-Northeastern Mesic Forest, note:
Physiognomy and Structure: This macrogroup is composed of broad-leaved deciduous trees forming a closed canopy. Stands are diverse and productive. Understory trees are common with a variable shrub layer and a rich, diverse herbaceous layer.
Floristics: Canopies are characterized by any mixture of Acer saccharum, Fagus grandifolia, Quercus rubra, and Tilia americana (or in some cases Acer floridanum (= Acer barbatum) or Acer nigrum). Associates include Aesculus glabra, Carpinus caroliniana, Carya cordiformis, Carya ovata, Celtis spp., Fraxinus americana, Ostrya virginiana, Prunus serotina, Quercus alba, Quercus muehlenbergii, and Ulmus rubra. Acer saccharum tends to be a dominant canopy species, although the dominance of Acer saccharum compared to other species can vary across the range of this macrogroup based on regional climate and microclimate. Shrubs and woody vines vary greatly with location but may include Asimina triloba, Frangula caroliniana, Hamamelis virginiana, Hydrangea arborescens, Lindera benzoin, Symphoricarpos orbiculatus, Viburnum rufidulum, and Vitis aestivalis. Understory herbaceous species are diverse and rich. Some typical species include Actaea spp., Adiantum pedatum, Allium spp., Amphicarpaea bracteata, Anemone quinquefolia, Aplectrum hyemale, Aralia racemosa, Arisaema triphyllum, Asimina triloba, Aristolochia serpentaria, Asarum canadense, Brachyelytrum erectum, Cardamine concatenata, Caulophyllum spp., Chasmanthium latifolium, Circaea lutetiana ssp. canadensis, Collinsonia canadensis, Hepatica nobilis var. acuta, Iris cristata, Osmorhiza claytonii, Panax quinquefolius, Phryma leptostachya, Podophyllum peltatum, Polygonum virginianum, Polygonatum spp., Sanguinaria canadensis, Sanicula spp., Tiarella cordifolia, Trillium grandiflorum, Uvularia grandiflora, and Viola spp.
Dynamics: This macrogroup primarily naturally contains stable, uneven-aged forests, with canopy dynamics dominated by small-gap development and replacement due to tree death. Wind, ice events, and fire can impact this macrogroup over long return intervals and may disturb larger patches. The greatest impacts on this macrogroup are due to conversion to agriculture, logging, browsing, and grazing.
Environmental Description: This macrogroup occurs in various landscape settings, often on rolling uplands and valley slopes, typically with a northern or eastern aspect. It also can occur within bottoms, ravines and sinkhole basins. Soils are high-nutrient, rich loams, ranging from shallow to deep. In examples in the Ozark/Ouachita region, substrate is typically limestone or dolomite. Thick layers of humus and leaf litter can occur.
Geographic Range: This macrogroup ranges across the north temperate region of eastern North America from western Ohio to Minnesota and the Great Lakes south through the Ozarks and Ouachitas of Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma, and eastern Kansas and Nebraska.
Nations: CA, US
States/Provinces: AR, IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, OH, OK, ON, QC, WI
|US Forest Service Ecoregions (2007)|
Confidence Level: Moderate
Confidence Level Comments:
Concept Author(s): Faber-Langendoen et al. (2014)
Author of Description: S.E. Menard
Version Date: 04May2015
- 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]