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III.C.2.N.e. Saturated mixed evergreen - cold-deciduous shrubland - I. Forest 10 I. A n a. Lowland tropical or subtropical...

III.C.2.N.e. Saturated mixed evergreen - cold-deciduous shrubland

A.1880 Alnus serrulata - Salix sericea - Rhododendron (catawbiense, maximum) Saturated Shrubland Alliance


Smooth Alder - Silky Willow - (Catawba Rhododendron, Great Rhododendron) Saturated Shrubland Alliance

Alliance Concept



Summary:

This alliance includes mostly montane, non-alluvial, palustrine vegetation dominated by shrubs and often, but not always, with substantial Sphagnum cover. Occurrences of this alliance can have small to moderately large herbaceous openings, as well, but where open herbaceous patches are large and well-developed, communities in V.A.5.N.m. should be considered. Communities in this alliance are saturated shrublands with Alnus serrulata as a nearly constant component, but many other shrub species are typical and may dominate or codominate, including Salix sericea, Salix humilis, Spiraea alba, Spiraea tomentosa, Ilex verticillata, Ilex collina, Ilex montana, Rhododendron catawbiense, Rhododendron maximum, Rhododendron viscosum, Rhododendron arborescens, Lyonia ligustrina var. ligustrina, Kalmia latifolia, Menziesia pilosa, Kalmia carolina, Viburnum nudum var. nudum, Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides, Lonicera canadensis, and Lonicera dioica. This alliance includes shrub bogs and bogs with well-developed shrub zones, scattered in the southern Blue Ridge, and extending to the Cumberland Mountains and northern Ridge and Valley (Central Appalachians).

Environment:

Stands of this alliance are generally found on shallow slopes with a saturated palustrine hydrology, fed by seepage from the adjacent substrate. Some examples are nearly flat and occur in the higher (rarely or never flooded) portions of the floodplains of creeks or small rivers, and receive minimal seepage.

Vegetation:

This alliance includes mostly montane, non-alluvial, palustrine vegetation dominated by shrubs and often, but not always, with substantial Sphagnum cover. Occurrences of this alliance can have small to moderately large herbaceous openings, as well, but where open herbaceous patches are large and well-developed, communities in V.A.5.N.m. should be considered. Communities in this alliance are saturated shrublands with Alnus serrulata as a nearly constant component, but many other shrub species are typical and may dominate or codominate, including Salix sericea, Salix humilis, Spiraea alba, Spiraea tomentosa, Ilex verticillata, Ilex collina, Ilex montana, Rhododendron catawbiense, Rhododendron maximum, Rhododendron viscosum, Rhododendron arborescens, Lyonia ligustrina var. ligustrina, Kalmia latifolia, Menziesia pilosa, Kalmia carolina, Viburnum nudum var. nudum, Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides, Lonicera canadensis, and Lonicera dioica.

Dynamics:



Similar Alliances:

Alnus serrulata Saturated Shrubland Alliance (A.1014)--of less "montane" floristics. Alnus serrulata Temporarily Flooded Shrubland Alliance (A.943)--includes temporarily flooded Alnus serrulata shrublands of riparian habitats. Carex (atlantica, echinata) - Eriophorum virginicum - Rhynchospora capitellata - Solidago patula Saturated Herbaceous Alliance (A.1450)--includes less shrubby seepage wetlands of the Southern Appalachians. Rhododendron maximum Shrubland Alliance (A.745)

Similar Alliance Comments:



Alliance Distribution



Range:

This alliance includes shrub bogs and bogs with well-developed shrub zones, scattered in the Southern Blue Ridge, and extending to the Cumberland Mountains and northern Ridge and Valley (Central Appalachians). This alliance is found in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia. It could potentially range into Alabama and West Virginia.

Nations:

US

Subnations:

AL?, GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV?

TNC Ecoregions:

50:C, 51:C, 59:C

USFS Ecoregions:

221:C, M221Aa:CCC, M221Ba:CCP, M221Bd:CCP, M221Be:CCP, M221Db:CCC, M221Dc:CCC, M221Dd:CCC

Federal Lands:

NPS (Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains?, Little River Canyon?); USFS (Chattahoochee, Cherokee, Jefferson, Nantahala, Pisgah, Sumter?)

Alliance Sources



Author(s):

A.S. Weakley/G.P. Fleming 12-97, mod. A.S. Weakley

References:

Allard 1990, Ambrose 1990a, Schafale and Weakley 1990, Smith 1996a, Weakley and Schafale 1994

[CEGL003915] Alnus serrulata - Kalmia carolina - Rhododendron catawbiense - Spiraea alba / Carex folliculata - Lilium grayi Shrubland


Translated Name:

Smooth Alder - Southern Sheepkill - Catawba Rhododendron - White Meadowsweet / Northern Long Sedge - Gray's Lily



Shrubland

Common Name:

Southern Appalachian Shrub Bog (Typic Type)



Ecological System(s):

Southern and Central Appalachian Bog and Fen (CES202.300)

Status:

Standard

Circumscription Confidence:

1 - Strong

Concept Author(s):

A.S. Weakley and K.D. Patterson

Element Concept



Global Summary:

This wetland community is dominated by shrubs, occurring over graminoids, forbs, and Sphagnum spp. It has a strong component of species of northern phytogeography occurring in combination with species endemic to the southern Appalachians, and in association with felsic gneisses or schists and acidic, nutrient-poor seepage. Shrub cover ranges from 25-100%, and trees may be scattered throughout or dominate in patches or on the edges. Ilex verticillata, Salix sericea, Spiraea alba, and Spiraea tomentosa are often dominant, occurring with Alnus serrulata, Rosa palustris, Photinia pyrifolia (= Aronia arbutifolia), Photinia melanocarpa (= Aronia melanocarpa), Rhododendron maximum, Rhododendron viscosum, Rhododendron catawbiense, Kalmia latifolia, Kalmia carolina, Hypericum densiflorum, Lyonia ligustrina var. ligustrina, and Menziesia pilosa. Typical tree species are Pinus strobus, Tsuga canadensis, Pinus rigida, and Picea rubens. Herbaceous cover may be sparse to dense and typically includes Carex atlantica, Carex intumescens, Carex folliculata, Schoenoplectus spp. (= Scirpus spp.), and Osmunda cinnamomea. Sphagnum spp. include Sphagnum palustre, Sphagnum affine (= Sphagnum imbricatum), Sphagnum bartlettianum, Sphagnum recurvum, and, rarely, northern disjuncts such as Sphagnum fallax. Other characteristic species include Poa paludigena, Lilium grayi, Platanthera grandiflora, Melanthium virginicum, Stenanthium gramineum var. robustum, Arethusa bulbosa, Calopogon tuberosus, Chelone cuthbertii, Thelypteris simulata, Carex trisperma, Rhizomnium appalachianum, Polytrichum commune, Aulacomnium palustre, and Bazzania trilobata. This community can occur on flat areas in valley bottoms, on portions where wet conditions are maintained hydrologically by rainwater and a high water table rather than by flooding, or in the upper portions of stream watersheds, on slight slopes, hydrologically maintained by very nutrient-poor to fairly nutrient-rich seepage. This community occurs at elevations from 900-1250 m (3000-4200 feet) in the northern part of its range and, in the southern part of the range, at elevations from 1000-1800 m (3300-5800 feet).

Environmental Description



USFWS Wetland System:

Palustrine

Blue Ridge Parkway Environment:

This association occurs on broad flats and depressions at high elevations (1280-1460 m [4200-4800 feet]), in areas influenced by extensive seepage, and by areas with water from captured rainfall. It is rare in the landscape and best represented on the parkway at Flat Laurel Gap and Soco Gap. Soils are saturated, highly organic and low in pH.

Global Environment:

This community can occur on flat areas in valley bottoms, on portions where wet conditions are maintained hydrologically by rainwater and a high water table rather than by flooding, or in the upper portions of stream watersheds, on slight slopes, hydrologically maintained by very nutrient-poor to fairly nutrient-rich seepage. This community occurs at elevations from 900-1250 m (3000-4200 feet) in the northern part of its range and, in the southern part of the range, at elevations from 1000-1800 m (3300-5800 feet). These occurrences are in association with felsic gneisses or schists and acidic, nutrient-poor seepage.

Vegetation Description



Blue Ridge Parkway Vegetation:

Few sites for this association are documented on the parkway. The example at Flat Laurel Gap Bog in North Carolina is surrounded by northern hardwoods and includes a sparse open canopy of Picea rubens and Acer rubrum. The shrub layer is dense within a zonal layer that surrounds a more open herb- and Sphagnum-dominated area. Rhododendron catawbiense, Rhododendron maximum, Kalmia latifolia, Lyonia ligustrina, Rhododendron viscosum, Menziesia pilosa, Photinia pyrifolia (= Aronia arbutifolia), and Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides are the dominant members of a very diverse shrub layer. The herbaceous component is also diverse with an abundance of forbs, sedges, rushes and sphagnum. Carex festucacea, Solidago patula var. patula, Osmunda cinnamomea, Chelone obliqua, Chelone lyonii, Hypericum mutilum, Calamagrostis coarctata, Listera smallii, Juncus effusus, and Juncus brevicaudatus are some of the most frequent species.

Global Vegetation:

Shrub cover in stands of this association range from 25-100%, and trees may be scattered throughout or dominate in patches or on the edges. Ilex verticillata, Salix sericea, Spiraea alba, and Spiraea tomentosa are often dominant, occurring with Alnus serrulata, Rosa palustris, Photinia pyrifolia (= Aronia arbutifolia), Photinia melanocarpa (= Aronia melanocarpa), Rhododendron maximum, Rhododendron viscosum, Rhododendron catawbiense, Kalmia latifolia, Kalmia carolina, Hypericum densiflorum, Lyonia ligustrina var. ligustrina, and Menziesia pilosa. Typical tree species are Pinus strobus, Tsuga canadensis, Pinus rigida, and Picea rubens. Herbaceous cover may be sparse to dense and typically includes Carex atlantica, Carex intumescens, Carex folliculata, Schoenoplectus spp. (= Scirpus spp.), and Osmunda cinnamomea. Sphagnum spp. include Sphagnum palustre, Sphagnum affine (= Sphagnum imbricatum), Sphagnum bartlettianum, Sphagnum recurvum, and, rarely, northern disjuncts such as Sphagnum fallax. Other characteristic species include Poa paludigena, Lilium grayi, Platanthera grandiflora, Melanthium virginicum, Stenanthium gramineum var. robustum, Arethusa bulbosa, Calopogon tuberosus, Chelone cuthbertii, Thelypteris simulata, Carex trisperma, Rhizomnium appalachianum, Polytrichum commune, Aulacomnium palustre, and Bazzania trilobata.

Global Dynamics:

Reduction of Sphagnum cover, due to siltation, trampling, or nutrient input, promotes succession by woody species. The successional relationship between this palustrine shrubland and Carex atlantica - Solidago patula var. patula - Lilium grayi / Sphagnum bartlettianum Herbaceous Vegetation (CEGL004158) (Southern Appalachian Herb Bog, Typic Variant) is poorly understood. One known occurrence of this community, dating from 10,000 years B.P., is showing signs of woody succession, suggesting that recent changes may be responsible for promoting vegetative succession to woody species (Weakley and Schafale 1994).

Blue Ridge Parkway Floristic Composition



Species Name Stratum Lifeform Dom Char Const

Lyonia ligustrina Tall shrub/sapling Broad-leaved deciduous shrub . X .

Menziesia pilosa Tall shrub/sapling Broad-leaved deciduous shrub . X .

Rhododendron viscosum Tall shrub/sapling Broad-leaved deciduous shrub . X .

Kalmia latifolia Tall shrub/sapling Broad-leaved evergreen shrub . X .

Rhododendron catawbiense Tall shrub/sapling Broad-leaved evergreen shrub . X .

Osmunda cinnamomea Herb (field) Fern or fern ally . X .

Blue Ridge Parkway Higher Taxa

Sphagnum sp. characteristic nonvascular (moss)

Global Floristic Composition



Species Name Stratum Lifeform Dom Char Const

Ilex verticillata Short shrub/sapling Broad-leaved deciduous tree X . .

Salix sericea Short shrub/sapling Broad-leaved deciduous tree X . .

Rhododendron catawbiense Short shrub/sapling Broad-leaved evergreen tree X . .

Rhododendron maximum Short shrub/sapling Broad-leaved evergreen tree X . .

Menziesia pilosa Short shrub/sapling Broad-leaved deciduous shrub X . .

Spiraea alba Short shrub/sapling Broad-leaved deciduous shrub X . .

Spiraea tomentosa Short shrub/sapling Broad-leaved deciduous shrub X . .

Kalmia carolina Short shrub/sapling Broad-leaved evergreen shrub X . .

Vaccinium macrocarpon Short shrub/sapling Broad-leaved evergreen shrub X . .

Arethusa bulbosa Herb (field) Forb . X .

Calopogon tuberosus Herb (field) Forb . X .

Chelone cuthbertii Herb (field) Forb . X .

Lilium grayi Herb (field) Forb . X .

Melanthium virginicum Herb (field) Forb . X .

Platanthera grandiflora Herb (field) Forb . X .

Stenanthium gramineum var. robustum Herb (field) Forb . X .

Carex atlantica Herb (field) Graminoid X . .

Carex folliculata Herb (field) Graminoid X . .

Carex intumescens Herb (field) Graminoid X . .

Carex trisperma Herb (field) Graminoid . X .

Poa paludigena Herb (field) Graminoid . X .

Osmunda cinnamomea Herb (field) Fern or fern ally X . .

Thelypteris simulata Herb (field) Fern or fern ally . X .

Rhizomnium appalachianum Nonvascular Moss . X .

Sphagnum bartlettianum Nonvascular Moss X . .

Sphagnum palustre Nonvascular Moss X . .

Sphagnum recurvum Nonvascular Moss X . .

Higher Taxon Note

Scirpus spp. dominant graminoids

Blue Ridge Parkway Other Noteworthy Species



Species Name GRank Animal Note (specify Rare (geog area), Invasive, Animal, or Other)

Circaea alpina - P

Eriophorum virginicum - P

Listera smallii - P

Triantha glutinosa - P

Global Other Noteworthy Species



Species Name GRank Animal Note (specify Rare (geog area), Invasive, Animal, or Other)

Carex bromoides ssp. montana G5T3? P

Chelone cuthbertii G3 P

Glyptemys muhlenbergii G3 A bog turtle

Juncus gymnocarpus - P

Lilium grayi G3 P

Poa paludigena G3 P

Rudbeckia laciniata var. humilis G5T3? P

Synaptomys cooperi - A southern bog lemming

Conservation Status Rank



Global Rank & Reasons:

G1G2 (30-Apr-1998). This community is known from western North Carolina and southwestern Virginia on felsic metamorphic rocks, in the Southern Blue Ridge. Few sites remain, probably less than 500 acres in total, and nearly all of that hydrologically modified to one degree or another. Remaining occurrences of this community have been degraded or are threatened by grazing, agricultural runoff, and construction activities.

Related Concepts



Global Similar Associations:



Global Related Concepts:



  • IIE1b. Southern Appalachian Bog Complex (Allard 1990) B

  • Southern Appalachian Bog (Typic Shrub Subtype) (Schafale 1998b) ?

  • Southern Appalachian Bog, Typic Variant (Weakley and Schafale 1994) B

Classification & Other Comments



Global Classification Comments:

This community may dominate a site or occur as a complex with Carex atlantica - Solidago patula var. patula - Lilium grayi / Sphagnum bartlettianum Herbaceous Vegetation (CEGL004158). It is typically surrounded by forests dominated by Picea rubens, Fagus grandifolia, Betula alleghaniensis, Quercus rubra, Tsuga canadensis, and/or Liriodendron tulipifera with dense Rhododendron maximum understories.
Similar non-alluvial wetlands occur in the Blue Ridge, but are distinguished by having a strong component of species of southern phytogeography (Sarracenia rubra ssp. jonesii, Sarracenia purpurea, Sarracenia oreophila, Smilax laurifolia, Viburnum nudum var. nudum, Rhododendron arborescens, Helonias bullata) or are associated with mafic geology and nutrient-rich seepage.

Element Distribution



Blue Ridge Parkway Range:

This association is known only from the Balsam Mountains and Pisgah Ridge in North Carolina.

Global Range:

This community occurs in western North Carolina, possibly in eastern Tennessee, and in southwestern Virginia, on felsic metamorphic rocks in the Southern Blue Ridge.

Nations:

US

States/Provinces:

NC, TN?, VA?

TNC Ecoregions:

51:C, 59:C

TNC Ecoregion Comments:



USFS Ecoregions:

M221Dc:CCC

Federal Lands:

NPS (Blue Ridge Parkway); USFS (Cherokee?, Nantahala?, Pisgah?)

Element Sources


Blue Ridge Parkway Plots:

BLRI.299, BLRI.302.

Blue Ridge Parkway Description Author(s):

T. Govus

Global Description Author(s):

A.S. Weakley, mod. K.D. Patterson

References

(enter Reference Code when known, otherwise, enter Short Citation; enter full citation if reference is new)

Reference (*=concept ref) name classif related char rank eospec eorank manage image

Allard 1990 . . X X X . . . .

Burt and Grossenheider 1980 . . . X . . . . .

Conant and Collins 1991 . . . X . . . . .

Kartesz 1999 . . . X . . . . .

Peet et al. unpubl. data 2002 . . . X . . . . .

Schafale 1998b . . X X . . . . .

Schafale 2002 . . . . . . . . .

Schafale and Weakley 1990 . X . X X . . . .

Southeastern Ecology Working Group n.d.* X° . . . . . . . .

TDNH unpubl. data . . . . . . . . .

Weakley and Schafale 1994 . X X X X . . . .


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