Classification of Vegetation Communities of Maryland: First Iteration
A Subset of the International Classification of Ecological
Concept: Perennial grasslands (variously locally called barrens, glades, and/or prairies) dominated by Schizachyrium scoparium, possibly also Bouteloua curtipendula, with a scattered canopy of needle-leaved trees, or mixed needle-leaved evergreen and broad-leaved deciduous trees, particularly one or more of Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana, Quercus muehlenbergii, and/or Quercus stellata. Specimens of Juniperus virginiana are relatively short and compact. The open grown canopy oaks have short trunks, spreading limbs, and rounded crowns with many branches. These trees can be found scattered individually or in isolated clumps and patches. Juniperus ashei may replace Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana in the southwestern-most portion of the alliance's range. The subcanopy is absent or very sparse. Commonly encountered shrubs include Cornus florida, Ulmus alata, Rhus copallinum, and Symphoricarpos orbiculatus. Toxicodendron radicans also displays a shrubby growth form. Herbaceous cover is very uneven, ranging from very dense in some areas to absent in others. Characteristic species include Andropogon gerardii, Bouteloua curtipendula, Schizachyrium scoparium, Sorghastrum nutans, Helianthus divaricatus, Manfreda virginica, Silphium spp., Liatris spp., Rudbeckia spp., Sabatia angularis, and Verbesina alternifolia. In the western portion of the alliance's range, some characteristic species may include Rudbeckia missouriensis, Draba reptans, Mentzelia oligosperma, Physalis pumila, Astragalus distortus, Erysimum capitatum, Castilleja purpurea, Lesquerella filiformis, Nothocalais cuspidata, Penstemon cobaea, and Clematis fremontii. Smilax bona-nox and Smilax glauca are the most frequently encountered vines and may form dense mats when present. Aspect is variable; stands occur primarily on south- and southwest-facing slopes. Soils which support stands of this alliance are stony, shallow to moderately deep, neutral to alkaline, and primarily composed of weathered mineral matter, loess, and organic debris which collects in cracks and crevices of the bedrock. Parent material is limestone rock, cherty limestone, dolomite, or calcareous shale which is exposed at the surface, resulting in a very shallow, well-drained substrate. The soils may contain a homogenous mixture of rock fragments of various sizes. Organic matter is low, and there is little or no horizon development. These soils are nutrient poor, and are extremely susceptible to erosion, partly due to freeze-thaw and subsequent mass wasting. Although predominantly droughty and excessively drained, these sites can be seasonally wet, and water is occasionally ponded in shallow depressions.
Comments: An additional association may be required for the Southern Ridge and Valley of eastern Tennessee.
Range: This alliance is found in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, and possibly in Maryland (?), Louisiana (?) and Texas (?).
States/Provinces: AL AR CT GA IL IN KS KY LA? MA? MD? MO NJ NY OH OK PA TN TX? VA WV
TNC Ecoregions: 32:C, 36:C, 37:C, 38:C, 39:C, 40:C, 43:C, 44:C, 45:?, 46:C, 49:C, 50:C, 59:?, 61:C
USFS Ecoregions: 221A:CC, 221Ea:CCP, 221Ec:CCC, 221Hb:CCP, 221Ja:CCP, 222Aa:CCC, 222Ab:CCC, 222Ac:CCC, 222Ad:CCC, 222Ae:CCC, 222Af:CCC, 222Ag:CCC, 222Ah:CCP, 222Aj:CCC, 222Ak:CCC, 222Al:CCC, 222Am:CCC, 222An:CC?, 222Aq:CCC, 222De:CCC, 222Df:CCC, 222Dg:CCC, 222Dh:CCC, 222Di:CCC, 222Eg:CCC, 222Ei:CCC, 222Ek:CCC, 222El:CCC, 222En:CCP, 222Eo:CCC, 222Fa:CCC, 222Fc:CCC, 222Fd:CCC, 222Fe:CCC, 231Be:CCC, 231Ce:CCC, 231Dc:CCC, 231Eb:CCC, 251Cd:CCP, 251Ce:CCP, 251Cf:CCC, 251Ci:CCC, 251Ea:CCP, 255:C, M222Aa:CCP, M222Ab:CCC, M231Aa:CCP, M231Ab:CCC, M231Ac:CCP, M231Ad:CCP
Federal Lands: COE (J. Percy Priest?, Lake Millwood?); NPS (Stones River); TVA (Columbia); USFS (Bankhead?, Daniel Boone, Mark Twain, Ouachita, Ozark)
Synonymy: ID4f. Limestone Prairie, in part (Allard 1990); IE10a. Interior Upland Limestone Barren. in part? (Allard 1990); Calcareous Glade/Outcrop (Foti 1994b); Coastal Plain Limestone Glade (Foti 1994b); Schizachyrium scoparium / Juniperus virginiana herbaceous alliance, in part (Hoagland 1998a); Red-cedar - redbud shrubland (Fike 1999); Northern Appalachian Calcareous Rocky Summit (Smith 1991)
References: Allard 1990, Carpenter 1996, DeSelm 1988, Faber-Langendoen et al. 1996, Fehrenbacher et al. 1982, Fike 1999, Foti 1994b, Fralish 1987, Hoagland 1998a, Nelson 1985, Smith 1991, White and Madany 1978
Authors: MCS/SCS, MP, Southeast Identifier: A.1919
JUNIPERUS VIRGINIANA / BOUTELOUA CURTIPENDULA - CAREX EBURNEA WOODED HERBACEOUS VEGETATION
Eastern Red-cedar / Sideoats Grama - Bristleleaf Sedge Wooded Herbaceous Vegetation
Limestone Red-cedar Woodland G1G2 (98-11-30)
Ecological Group (SCS;MCS): Appalachian Highlands Carbonate Glades and Barrens (440-05; 126.96.36.199)
Concept: This small-patch calcareous rocky summit community occurs in southern New England and portions of the northern Piedmont. Dry, south-facing slopes of calcareous bedrock support small grassland openings characterized by Schizachyrium scoparium and Bouteloua curtipendula. Juniperus virginiana is usually present as a stunted, sparse canopy. Other possible woody associates may include Fraxinus americana, Ostrya virginiana, or Quercus muehlenbergii. Shrubs are sparse but when present may include Celtis occidentalis or Cornus alternifolia. The herbaceous composition is quite variable among occurrences but often includes such species as Carex eburnea, Anemone cylindrica, Solidago bicolor, Panicum virgatum, Carex pensylvanica, Lespedeza spp., Asclepias viridiflora, Asclepias verticillata, Muhlenbergia sobolifera, Sorghastrum nutans, Onosmodium spp., Packera aurea (= Senecio aureus), Packera obovata (= Senecio obovatus), and others. This community occurs in association with forests characterized by Quercus muehlenbergii.
Comments: These communities are closely related to several other sparse woodlands in the Juniperus virginiana alliance. They also intergrade substantially with limestone/calcareous woodlands. Several of the more northern occurrences of this community are essentially small, successional, herbaceous patches occurring within Quercus muehlenbergii woodlands. Floristically they may be considered depauperate versions of the more extensive occurrences of this community in West Virginia. New York may contain some examples of this community which they classify under the name "red cedar rocky summit community."
Range: This community has been described from calcareous regions in western Connecticut, eastern Pennsylvania, northeastern New Jersey, the ridge and valley province of northeastern West Virginia and Virginia. A few examples may occur in New York.
States/Provinces: CT:S?, MA?, MD?, NJ:S1, NY:S3, PA:S?, VA?, WV:S?
TNC Ecoregions: 49:P, 61:C
USFS Ecoregions: 221A:CC, 221Ea:CPP
Synonymy: Limestone Glade (Breden 1989), SNE Calcareous Rocky summit/ Rock Outcrop Community (Rawinski 1984)
References: Bartgis 1985a, Bartgis 1993, Breden 1989, Breden et al. 2001, Edinger et al. 2002, Fike 1999, Grossman et al. 1994, Metzler and Barrett 2001, Rawinski 1984, Smith n.d. (a), Swain and Kearsley 2001
Authors: M. Anderson, ECS Confidence: 2 Identifier: CEGL006047
- Maryland Vegetation Classification Subset Report V.A. Perennial graminoid vegetation
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