Montane Woodland Seeps are saturated herbaceous wetlands occurring on relatively steep, often bouldery slopes at sites of groundwater discharge. These communities are scattered in the western Virginia mountains, primarily above 760 m (2500 ft) elevation. The habitats are typically narrow, rocky, and partially shaded by tree species rooted in adjacent upland forests. A few occurrences encompass large spring seeps on high-elevation cliffs. Vegetation is similar to the herbaceous component of high-elevation seepage swamps, but is usually more forb-rich. Common species include scarlet beebalm (Monarda didyma), southeastern cutleaf coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata var. humilis), orange jewelweed (Impatiens capensis), rough-leaved goldenrod (Solidago patula var. patula), rough-stemmed goldenrod (Solidago rugosa var. rugosa), white turtlehead (Chelone glabra), golden saxifrage (Chrysosplenium americanum), golden ragwort (Packera aurea = Senecio aureus), American false-hellebore (Veratrum viride), marsh blue violet (Viola cucullata), marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) and, in the southern Blue Ridge, umbrella-leaf (Diphylleia cymosa). Graminoids, including bluejoint (Calamagrostis canadensis), shortbeak sedge (Carex baileyi), and nodding sedge (Carex gynandra), may be prominent locally.
REPRESENTATIVE COMMUNITY TYPES:
The distribution, compositional variation, and ecological dynamics of montane woodland seeps in Virginia are poorly known and need intensive study.
Only five plots of this vegetation have been sampled to date (map). Stands which appears consistent with three USNVC associations (CEGL004293, CEGL004296, and CEGL006597) described from North Carolina and West Virginia data have been observed in the southern Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. A third association (CEGL006258) has been provisionally defined from plot data collected on the northern Virginia Blue Ridge. Click on any highlighted CEGL code below to view the global USNVC description provided by NatureServe Explorer.