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NATURAL HERITAGE

THE NATURAL COMMUNITIES OF VIRGINIA
CLASSIFICATION OF ECOLOGICAL COMMUNITY GROUPS


Second Approximation (Version 2.6)
Information current as of July, 2013



TABLE OF CONTENTS


INTRODUCTION

SUMMARY OF PROCEDURES FOR COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS OF VEGETATION DATA

OVERVIEW OF THE PHYSIOGRAPHY AND VEGETATION OF VIRGINIA

GLOSSARY OF TECHNICAL TERMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

LITERATURE CITED AND ADDITIONAL REFERENCES

FORMAT OF THE ECOLOGICAL COMMUNITY GROUP DESCRIPTIONS

HOW TO CITE THIS DOCUMENT

TERRESTRIAL SYSTEM

HIGH-ELEVATION MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES
Spruce and Fir Forests
Southern Appalachian Shrub and Grass Balds
Northern Hardwood Forests
High-Elevation Boulderfield Forests and Woodlands
High-Elevation Cove Forest
Northern Red Oak Forests
High-Elevation Outcrop Barrens

LOW-ELEVATION MESIC FORESTS
Rich Cove and Slope Forests
Basic Mesic Forests
Acidic Cove Forests
Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forests
Eastern Hemlock - Hardwood Forests
Northern White-Cedar Slope Forests

LOW-ELEVATION DRY AND DRY-MESIC FORESTS AND WOODLANDS
Dry-Mesic Calcareous Forests
Basic Oak - Hickory Forests
Acidic Oak - Hickory Forests
Montane Mixed Oak and Oak - Hickory Forests
Oak / Heath Forests
Eastern White Pine - Hardwood Forests
Piedmont / Coastal Plain Oak - Beech / Heath Forests
Carolina Hemlock Forests
Pine - Oak / Heath Woodlands
Mountain / Piedmont Acidic Woodlands
Mountain / Piedmont Basic Woodlands
Montane Dry Calcareous Forests and Woodlands
Coastal Plain Dry Calcareous Forests and Woodlands
Oak - Hickory Woodlands and Savannas
Piedmont Hardpan Forests
Low-Elevation Boulderfield Forests and Woodlands

LOW-ELEVATION ROCK OUTCROPS AND BARRENS
Low-Elevation Acidic Outcrop Barrens
Low-Elevation Basic Outcrop Barrens
Limestone and Dolomite Barrens
Mountain / Piedmont Calcareous Cliffs
Mountain / Piedmont Acidic Cliffs
Central Appalachian Shale Barrens
Granitic Flatrocks
Piedmont Prairies
Ultramafic Woodlands and Barrens
Riverside Outcrop Barrens
Lichen / Bryophyte Nonvascular Boulderfields and Outcrops

MARITIME ZONE COMMUNITIES
Maritime Dune Grasslands
Maritime Dune Scrub
Maritime Dune Woodlands
Maritime Upland Forests

SANDY WOODLANDS OF THE COASTAL PLAIN AND OUTER PIEDMONT
Pine / Scrub Oak Sandhills
Fluvial Terrace Woodlands
Loblolly Pine Savannas

PALUSTRINE SYSTEM

ALLUVIAL FLOODPLAIN COMMUNITIES
Bald Cypress - Tupelo Swamps
Coastal Plain / Piedmont Bottomland Forests
Floodplain Ponds and Pools
Semipermanent Impoundments
Piedmont / Mountain Floodplain Forests
Piedmont / Mountain Swamp Forests
Piedmont / Mountain Small-Stream Alluvial Forests
Sand / Gravel / Mud Bars and Shores
Rocky Bars and Shores
Riverside Prairies

NON-ALLUVIAL WETLANDS OF THE MOUNTAINS
Mountain / Piedmont Basic Seepage Swamps
Mountain / Piedmont Acidic Seepage Swamps
High-Elevation Seepage Swamps
Appalachian Bogs
Montane Woodland Seeps
Montane Depression Wetlands
Calcareous Fens
Mesic and Wet-Mesic Prairies
Calcareous Spring Marshes and Muck Fens
Mafic Fens and Seeps
Spray Cliffs
Inland Salt Marshes

NON-ALLUVIAL WETLANDS OF THE COASTAL PLAIN AND PIEDMONT
Coastal Plain Depression Wetlands
Non-Riverine Flatwoods and Swamps
Coastal Plain / Piedmont Seepage Bogs
Coastal Plain / Piedmont Acidic Seepage Swamps
Coastal Plain / Piedmont Basic Seepage Swamps
Upland Depression Swamps

SATURATED PEATLANDS OF THE COASTAL PLAIN
Pond Pine Woodlands and Pocosins
Peatland Atlantic White Cedar Forests

NON-TIDAL MARITIME WETLANDS
Sea-Level Fens
Interdune Swales and Ponds
Maritime Swamps

RIVERINE SYSTEM
Riverine Aquatic Beds

ESTUARINE SYSTEM

TIDAL WETLANDS
Tidal Freshwater Marshes
Tidal Oligohaline Marshes
Wind-Tidal Oligohaline Marshes
Tidal Mesohaline and Polyhaline Marshes
Tidal Shrub Swamps
Tidal Bald Cypress Forests and Woodlands
Tidal Hardwood Swamps
High-Energy Tidal River Shores
Tidal Freshwater and Oligohaline Aquatic Beds
Tidal Mesohaline and Polyhaline Aquatic Beds
Salt Flats
Salt Scrub

MARINE SYSTEM
Upper Beaches and Overwash Flats