Classification of Vegetation Communities of Maryland: First Iteration
A Subset of the International Classification of Ecological
Concept: This alliance includes temperate deciduous maritime shrublands, generally occurring on the lee side of sand dunes. The physiognomy of this vegetation is highly variable and may range from open woodland to stunted forest to dense nearly impenetrable thicket. Individual trees tend to be wind-pruned and multiple-stemmed. The canopy may contain Prunus serotina var. serotina, Amelanchier canadensis, Pinus taeda, Photinia pyrifolia (= Aronia arbutifolia), and Sassafras albidum in varying proportions. Acer rubrum, Diospyros virginiana, and Malus angustifolia may also be present; Pinus taeda and Ilex opaca var. opaca may occur locally. Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera) may form a subcanopy, but if the community is particularly stunted, this species may contribute substantially to the canopy as well. This vegetation combines with tall Vaccinium formosum to form dense thickets. Examples support vines in great abundance, such as Smilax rotundifolia, Smilax glauca, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, and Toxicodendron radicans. Herbs are generally scarce to entirely lacking, due to heavy shading from the dense canopy above, and when present are generally tree and vine seedlings sparsely scattered on the dry leaf litter. Festuca rubra and Rumex acetosella may also be present. Some examples on the coast are subject to salt spray and winds, exhibiting wind pruning. The substrate varies from pure sand directly adjacent to the ocean, to loamy sands in more sheltered areas. Vegetation in these sheltered areas is sometimes referred to as 'sunken forest.' This name refers to the topographic position of these examples, which are found in large depressions, lower in elevation (by 1-3 m) than the interdunes. These examples are shielded from strong prevailing winds and salt spray, which permits lush growth of broadleaf shrub and vine species.
Comments: The physiognomy is better described as shrubland, as height is generally <5 m and is comprised of multiple stems.
Range: This alliance is found in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia.
States/Provinces: CT DE MA MD ME NH NJ NY RI VA
TNC Ecoregions: 58:C, 62:C, 63:C
USFS Ecoregions: 212Cb:CCC, 212Db:CCC, 212Dc:CCP, 221Aa:CCP, 221Ab:CCC, 221Ac:CCC, 221Ad:CCC, 221Ak:CCC, 221D:CP, 232Aa:CCC, 232Ab:CCC, 232Ac:CCC, 232Ad:CC?, 232Bb:CC?, 232Bc:CCP, 232Bd:CCP, 232Bz:CCC, 232Ch:CCC
Federal Lands: NPS (Assateague Island, Fire Island)
Synonymy: White Oak: 53, in part (Eyre 1980); Black Oak: 110, in part (Eyre 1980); Maritime Shrubland Community (Swain and Kearsley 2001); Maritime Oak - Holly Forest / Woodland (Swain and Kearsley 2001)
References: Bellis 1992, Boule 1979, Dunlop and Crow 1985, Eyre 1980, Higgins et al. 1971, Hill 1986, Martin 1959b, Sneddon et al. 1994, Stalter 1979, Swain and Kearsley 2001
Authors: ECS 12-95, MOD., RW, East Identifier: A.237
PRUNUS SEROTINA / MORELLA CERIFERA / SMILAX ROTUNDIFOLIA SHRUBLAND
Black Cherry / Wax-myrtle / Common Greenbrier Shrubland
Chesapeake Bay Deciduous Maritime Shrub Forest G1G2 (97-11-18)
Ecological Group (SCS;MCS): Atlantic Zone Tidal Aquatic Vegetation (201-10; n/a)
Atlantic and Gulf Coast Maritime Shrublands (240-30; n/a)
Concept: This association comprises tall, temperate, deciduous maritime shrublands of the mid-Atlantic coast. It generally occurs on the lee side of sand dunes along the coast and is subject to salt spray and winds. The substrate varies from pure sand directly adjacent to the ocean to loamy sands in more sheltered areas of the coast. Although placed within the shrubland class, the physiognomy of this vegetation can be variable and ranges from open woodland to stunted forest to dense nearly impenetrable thicket (this association was previously placed in the forest class). Individual trees tend to be wind-pruned and multi-stemmed. The vegetation is dominated by Prunus serotina, Amelanchier canadensis, Pinus taeda, Sassafras albidum, Photinia pyrifolia (= Aronia arbutifolia), and Diospyros virginiana in varying proportions. Morella cerifera (= Myrica cerifera) and Vaccinium corymbosum may form a subcanopy, but if the community is particularly stunted, this species may contribute substantially to the canopy. Lianas are abundant in the canopy or over the ground layer, and species include Smilax rotundifolia, Smilax glauca, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, and Toxicodendron radicans. Herbs are generally scarce to lacking entirely, and when present are generally made up of tree and vine seedlings.
Comments: This community is similar to the Prunus serotina - Sassafras albidum - Amelanchier canadensis / Smilax rotundifolia Shrubland (CEGL006145) of the same alliance (Sneddon et al. 1994), which ranges from southern New Hampshire to New Jersey but is differentiated from this community by the presence of Pinus taeda and Morella cerifera.
Range: This association occurs along the mid-Atlantic coast from Virginia north to Cape May, New Jersey.
States/Provinces: DE:S?, MD:S?, NJ:S1, VA:S?
TNC Ecoregions: 58:C, 62:C
USFS Ecoregions: 232Ab:CCP, 232Bz:CCC, 232Ch:CCC
Federal Lands: NPS (Assateague Island)
Synonymy: Woodland community (Hill 1986) B. Assateague Island., Mixed woodland (Higgins et al. 1971) B. Assateague Island., Upland forest (Klotz 1986) I, Woodland (Boule 1979) =. Virginia., Oligotrophic woodland (Rawinski 1992) B, Dune woodland/dune shrubland (Breden 1989) B
References: Bellis 1992, Berdine 1998, Boule 1979, Bowman 2000, Breden 1989, Breden et al. 2001, Dunlop and Crow 1985, Fleming et al. 2001, Higgins et al. 1971, Hill 1986, Klotz 1986, Rawinski 1992, Sneddon et al. 1994, Stalter 1979
Authors: S.L. Neid, ECS Confidence: 2 Identifier: CEGL006319
- Maryland Vegetation Classification Subset Report III. Shrubland
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This Page Up-dated on February 09, 2010