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III.B.2.N.a. Temperate cold-deciduous shrubland - I. Forest 10 I. A n a. Lowland tropical or subtropical seasonal...

III.B.2.N.a. Temperate cold-deciduous shrubland

A.911 Vitis aestivalis Vine-Shrubland Alliance


Summer Grape Vine-Shrubland Alliance

Alliance Concept



Summary:

This alliance includes vine thickets dominated by dense Vitis aestivalis. This alliance is represented in the Great Smoky Mountains and other parts of the Southern Blue Ridge, and is possible in the Ozarks and Ouachita Mountains. The dynamics of communities in this alliance are poorly understood. These communities apparently are originally caused by disturbance, such as an ice or wind storm; they apparently persist for decades, and range in size from less than a hectare to 10 hectares. Emergent small to large trees (usually draped in Vitis) can occur. Herbaceous diversity is low because of the dense vine cover. Beneath the vine canopy, coarse woody debris and tip-up mounds are typical.

Environment:

In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this alliance occurs on steep to very steep, northerly, middle to upper slopes at intermediate elevations between 600 and 1000 m (2000-3500 feet) (MacKenzie 1993).

Vegetation:

This alliance includes vine thickets dominated by dense Vitis aestivalis. Emergent small to large trees (usually draped in Vitis) can occur. Herbaceous diversity is low because of the dense vine cover.

Dynamics:

The dynamics of communities in this alliance are poorly understood. These communities apparently are originally caused by disturbance, such as an ice or wind storm; they apparently persist for decades, and range in size from less than a hectare to 10 hectares.

Similar Alliances:



Similar Alliance Comments:



Alliance Distribution



Range:

This alliance is known from the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina and may possibly occur in montane areas of Arkansas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma.

Nations:

US

Subnations:

AR?, KY, NC, OK?, TN, VA

TNC Ecoregions:

38:P, 39:P, 50:P, 51:C

USFS Ecoregions:

234Ab:???, M221Dd:CCC, M222Ab:PPP, M231Ab:PPP

Federal Lands:

NPS (Blue Ridge Parkway?, Cumberland Gap, Great Smoky Mountains); USFS (Cherokee, Ozark?)

Alliance Sources



Author(s):

A.S. Weakley

References:

MacKenzie 1993

[CEGL003890] Vitis aestivalis Vine-Shrubland


Translated Name:

Summer Grape Vine-Shrubland

Common Name:

Montane Grape Opening



Ecological System(s):

Southern Appalachian Oak Forest (CES202.886)

Ozark-Ouachita Dry-Mesic Oak Forest (CES202.708)



Status:

Standard

Circumscription Confidence:

2 - Moderate

Concept Author(s):

A.S. Weakley after MacKenzie (1993)

Element Concept



Global Summary:

This community is strongly dominated by the vine Vitis aestivalis. Vines, extremely thick in patches and covering nearly every tree as well as the ground, have 50-100% coverage. Trees in the canopy and subcanopy have 0-50% coverage and vary from site to site. The shrub layer is sparse. The herb layer is sparse to moderate, decreasing with vine coverage. Herbaceous composition varies from site to site. Beneath the vine canopy, coarse woody debris and tip-up mounds are typical. The dynamics of this community are poorly understood. It apparently originates from disturbance, such as an ice or wind storm; and can persist for decades. This community can range in size from less than a hectare to ten hectares. In Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this community occurs on steep to very steep, northerly, middle to upper slopes at intermediate elevations between 600 and 1000 m (2000-3500 feet). All areas sampled showed evidence of disturbance by wind, ice, or logging.

Environmental Description



USFWS Wetland System:



Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Environment:

Within the park, this community exists in very small patches on steep, rocky areas that are subject to frequent windfall at elevations of 610-915 m (2000-3000 feet). When severe windfall events occur, Vitis aestivalis sometimes colonizes the patch where trees once grew, hence creating a "grapehole."

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Environment:

This community occurs on steep to very steep, northerly, middle to upper slopes at intermediate elevations (between 2000 and 3500 feet). All areas sampled showed evidence of disturbance by wind, ice, or logging.

Global Environment:

In Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this community occurs on steep to very steep, northerly, middle to upper slopes at intermediate elevations between 600 and 1000 m (2000-3500 feet) (MacKenzie 1993).

Vegetation Description



Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Vegetation:

Within the park, this community is dominated by Vitis aestivalis and Smilax spp. in the tall-shrub layer. In addition, Rubus argutus and Smilax spp. may be common in the short-shrub layer. Within the park, this community is often found in a matrix of mixed mesophytic or rich ash-hickory forest or woodland, Liriodendron tulipifera - Tilia americana var. heterophylla - Aesculus flava - Acer saccharum / Magnolia tripetala Forest(CEGL005222) and Fraxinus americana - Carya ovata / Frangula caroliniana / Helianthus hirsutus Woodland (CEGL008458), respectively.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Vegetation:

Communities within the Smokies are also strongly dominated by Vitis aestivalis and contain a wide range of canopy tree species. In addition to the usual species such as Acer rubrum, Acer saccharum, Halesia tetraptera var. monticola, and Liriodendron tulipifera, this community may also contain examples of more calciphilic species such as Carya cordiformis and Juglans cinerea.

Global Vegetation:

This community is strongly dominated by the vine Vitis aestivalis. Vines, extremely thick in patches and covering nearly every tree as well as the ground, have 50-100% coverage. Trees in the canopy and subcanopy have 0-50% coverage and vary from site to site, but typical species include Acer rubrum, Acer saccharum, Halesia tetraptera var. monticola, and Liriodendron tulipifera. The shrub layer is sparse. The herb layer is sparse to moderate, decreasing with vine coverage. Herbaceous composition varies from site to site but is typical of mesic forests in the area. Some of the more common species from the sampled areas in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are Ageratina altissima var. altissima, Amphicarpaea bracteata, Arisaema triphyllum ssp. triphyllum, Polystichum acrostichoides, Sanguinaria canadensis, and Viola spp. Beneath the vine canopy, coarse woody debris and tip-up mounds are typical.

Global Dynamics:

The dynamics of this community are poorly understood. It apparently originates from disturbance, such as an ice or wind storm; and can persist for decades. This community can range in size from less than a hectare to ten hectares. All areas sampled showed evidence of disturbance by wind, ice, or logging.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Floristic Composition



Species Name Stratum Lifeform Dom Char Const

Vitis aestivalis Shrub/sapling (tall & short) Vine/Liana X X .

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Floristic Composition



Species Name Stratum Lifeform Dom Char Const

Aristolochia macrophylla Shrub/sapling (tall & short) Vine/Liana . X .

Vitis aestivalis Shrub/sapling (tall & short) Vine/Liana X X .

Global Floristic Composition



Species Name Stratum Lifeform Dom Char Const

Vitis aestivalis Shrub/sapling (tall & short) Vine/Liana X X .

Higher Taxon Note

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

Global Other Noteworthy Species



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

Conservation Status Rank



Global Rank & Reasons:

G2G3 (11-Aug-1997). This is an uncommon community. It is restricted within its range and could be limited by specific disturbance regimes.

Related Concepts



Global Similar Associations:



Global Related Concepts:



  • Montane Grape Opening (Schafale 1998b) ?

Classification & Other Comments



Great Smoky Mountains National Park Other Comments:

Forests previously occupying sites that support this community are mesic forest types, such as cove forests or mesic forest dominated by chestnut oak and red oak. Forests on steep mesic sites may be more susceptible to treefall and gap formation.

Global Classification Comments:

This community is important for wildlife, especially bears. In the Great Smoky Mountains, forests previously occupying sites that support this community are mesic forest types, such as cove forests or mesic forest dominated by chestnut oak and red oak. Forests on steep, mesic sites may be more susceptible to treefall and gap formation.

Element Distribution



Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Range:

This community occurs throughout the rich oak forests and coves of the midslopes of the park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Range:

This community was sampled on the Cades Cove, Mount Le Conte, and other quadrangles. It was sampled in the central and eastern portion of the Mount Le Conte quadrangle, on steep slopes north of Potato Ridge and north of Mt. Winnesoka. On the Cades Cove quadrangle it was sampled or observed on the north slopes of Allnight Ridge, in the northern portion of the quadrangle, and on steep slopes over Rowans Branch and steep slopes south of Pond Knob, in the eastern portion of the quadrangle. A plot also exists upslope from the West Prong. It has been seen but not sampled on the North Carolina side.

Global Range:

This community is known from the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee and the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia, and may possibly occur in montane areas of Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Nations:

US

States/Provinces:

AR?, KY, NC, OK?, TN, VA

TNC Ecoregions:

38:P, 39:P, 50:P, 51:C

TNC Ecoregion Comments:



USFS Ecoregions:

M221Dd:CCC, M222Ab:PPP, M231A:PP

Federal Lands:

NPS (Blue Ridge Parkway?, Cumberland Gap, Great Smoky Mountains); USFS (Cherokee, Ozark?)

Element Sources


Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Plots:

CUGA.74.

Blue Ridge Parkway Description Author(s):

R. White

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Description Author(s):

R. White

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Description Author(s):

K.D. Patterson, MOD. R. White

Global Description Author(s):


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

MacKenzie 1993 . X . X X . . . .

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

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

Schafale 2002 . . . . . . . . .

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



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


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