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Old 04-24-2012, 10:01 PM   #1
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Default Midwest plant communities

At the following link after page 15 are many plant communities and the land types where they dominate.

http://www.natureserve.org/library/illinoissubset.pdf

example...
Quote:
pg 22
Skunk Cabbage Seepage Meadow CEGL002385
DESCRIPTION: This is an herbaceous-dominated community. Tree and shrub cover may vary, particularly from overhanging upland trees, but trees and shrubs rooted in the stand are less than 25% cover.

Forbs dominate the community. Symplocarpus foetidus and Angelica atropurpurea are the leading dominant and indicator species.

Other forbs and ferns present include Caltha palustris, Chelone glabra, Epilobium coloratum, Impatiens capensis (= Impatiens biflora), Impatiens capensis, Pedicularis lanceolata, Pilea pumila, Saxifraga pensylvanica, Solidago patula, and Thelypteris palustris.
Graminoid cover is generally low, less than 25%, and may include Carex bromoides, Carex
comosa, Carex lacustris, Carex stricta, and Carex trichocarpa
(MNNHP 1993, White and Madany 1978).

This community develops around spring heads and in broader areas of groundwater discharge, where water flows to the surface in a diffuse rather than concentrated flow. Peat may be present in some areas, and perhaps locally can be as deep as 1 m, but it is typically less than 0.4 m deep.
Stands can occur along the lower slopes of glacial moraines, ravines and in deep glacial meltwater-cut river valleys at the bases of slopes separating stream terraces.
Soils are seasonally to more-or-less permanently saturated
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:16 PM   #2
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A very interesting document, Gloria, thanks for posting that!

John
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:16 PM   #3
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another example...
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Quercus alba - (Carya ovata) / Carex pensylvanica Glaciated Woodland
White Oak - (Shagbark Hickory) / Pennsylvania Sedge Glaciated Woodland
Central Midwest White Oak - Mixed Oak Woodland CEGL002134
DESCRIPTION:
The tree canopy is moderately tall (20-25 m), somewhat open-grown with low tree densities and somewhat spreading canopies. Canopy cover is 30-80%, but varies with fire regime. The woody sapling layer is variable, typically absent or scattered, but increasing in the absence of fire.
Dominant trees include
Quercus alba, Carya ovata, Carya ovalis, Carya alba (= Carya tomentosa), Quercus rubra, and Quercus velutina.
Shrubs and saplings may include
Cornus foemina, Corylus americana, Crataegus spp., Malus ioensis, and Rhus aromatica,

and, in the absence of fire,
Amelanchier arborea, Cornus florida, Ostrya virginiana, Viburnum prunifolium, Viburnum rufidulum and Viburnum rafinesquianum.

The ground layer is a mix of graminoids and forbs.
Typical graminoid dominants may include
Andropogon gerardii and Carex pensylvanica in more open areas, and Bromus kalmii (= Bromus purgans), Elymus virginicus, Festuca subverticillata (= Festuca obtusa), Elymus hystrix (= Hystrix patula), Dichanthelium oligosanthes (= Panicum oligosanthes), Dichanthelium boscii (= Panicum boscii), and Chasmanthium latifolium (= Uniola latifolia) in woodland areas.

Common herbs include
Amphicarpaea bracteata, Asclepias purpurascens, Symphyotrichum drummondii (= Aster drummondii), Echinacea purpurea, Helianthus hirsutus, Helianthus strumosus, Lespedeza violacea, Penstemon digitalis, Sanicula canadensis, Sanicula odorata (= Saniculagregaria), Solidago ulmifolia, Veronicastrum virginicum , and others (Nelson 1985, M. Leahy pers. comm. 1999).

Stands occur on gentle upper and midslopes of hills, ridges and plains, on a variety of aspects, or on flatland. Soils

are well-drained, moderately deep to deep (>100 cm). The parent material is primarily loess, glacial till, gravel, or
deeply weathered bedrock (Nelson 1985, M. Leahy pers. comm. 1999).




Fires were an important influence on this community, maintaining its open character and preventing shrubby and
mesophytic trees from invading. Other disturbances include windstorms, icestorms, and grazing (historically by bison
and elk) (Nelson 1985, M. Leahy pers. comm. 1999). Stands in Illinois, described as "streamside groves" typically
had a combination of thin-barked and thick-barked tree species, suggesting that fires were infrequent.



COMMENTS:

2, MCS. In the absence of burning this type may succeed to Quercus alba - (Quercus velutina) - Carya ovata / Ostrya virginiana
Forest (CEGL002011). This forested stage has been described by Paul Nelson ( M. Leahy pers. comm. 1999).
Type is more closed canopy than the central oak openings,
Quercus macrocarpa - (Quercus alba, Quercus velutina) / Andropogon gerardii
Wooded Herbaceous Vegetation (CEGL002020),
but its rangewide limits are not well understood. Its range should not overlap with that of

Quercus alba - Quercus macrocarpa - Quercus rubra / Corylus americana
Woodland (CEGL002142) to the north. Kuchler's prairie-forest mosaic in southern Iowa, central Illinois and northern and western Missouri may have contained more such woodland communities and fewer oak openings and barrens compared to areas further north in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The "streamside groves" described by McClain et al. (1998), described as being associated with mesic valleys and terraces of streams
and rivers, also fit the woodland type described here.



CONSERVATION RANK:

G1Q. There are probably fewer than 20 high quality occurrences for a type that has a relatively restricted range. Only one occurrence, a 10 acre tract of fair quality, is currently documented from Missouri;this community also occurs in Iowa and probably in central Illinois. In northern Missouri and southern Iowa alone,there are 100s, if not 1000s of low quality examples. Historical trends are unknown. Condition of the know occurrence is fair.

DISTRIBUTION:

This oak woodland type is found in the central tallgrass region of the United States, particularly in northern Missouri, southern Iowa, and perhaps central Illinois.
USFS ECOREGIONS: 251Cc:CCC, 251Cd:CC?, 251Cj:CCC
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:32 PM   #4
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John, yes it is interesting. I love all the information. I keep going back for more.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:29 PM   #5
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There is an excellent book similar to this which is solely for MN called Field Guide to the Native Plant Communities of Minnesota. I wonder if other States have resources similar to MN's or are we just lucky?
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeWonderful View Post
There is an excellent book similar to this which is solely for MN called Field Guide to the Native Plant Communities of Minnesota. I wonder if other States have resources similar to MN's or are we just lucky?
Almost every state has a Natural Heritage Program (sometimes referred to as Natural Heritage Inventory). You can get the kind of information that Gloria has posted above for many areas. On the NatureServe website they have a drop down list where you can select the state you're interested in.:

The NatureServe Network of Member Programs
(scroll down to the bottom of the page "Programs in the United States")

Typing Your State and Natural Heritage Program in a search engine will usually find the programs also.

Not all of them have published books, but there's a lot of information available online.

I like to check plant community information before I visit state natural areas so that I can keep an eye out for all of the plant species that are likely to be present there.
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:45 AM   #7
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Gloria, the oak ecosystem sounds like what is attempting to establish itself in our back yard, where the original property owners planted two white oaks more than sixty years ago. We don't have all the plants on the list, but all of our volunteers are represented. This part of WV has always felt more Midwestern than Appalachian to me; now I know why.
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWisc View Post
Almost every state has a Natural Heritage Program (sometimes referred to as Natural Heritage Inventory). You can get the kind of information that Gloria has posted above for many areas. On the NatureServe website they have a drop down list where you can select the state you're interested in.:

The NatureServe Network of Member Programs
(scroll down to the bottom of the page "Programs in the United States")

Typing Your State and Natural Heritage Program in a search engine will usually find the programs also.
.
Thanks for posting this website! It has some really interesting info & great links.
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