Instead of only including representative types as Community complexes, the Ecological Groups include all communities found within the system, even commonly occurring, broader types that may present in many environmental settings. With updates to the terrestrial communities in 2012, pnhp will be identifying Ecological Groups for uplands as well as wetland types. Classification Characteristic species by structural vegetation layer, the origin of the concept, and crosswalks and links to natureServe community Association and relation to previous Pennsylvania classification efforts. Origin to assist with understanding of how our plant communities were developed, each community contains information on origin (from what study the type was developed) and how it relates to types in previous Pennsylvania classifications (fike 1999). Additional resources are provided through a web-links to species information, references, and conservation/management guides. Related Types: Each community is briefly compared to other related community types with which it might be confused. Each type is crosswalked (related) to natureServes International Vegetation Classification (IVC).
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These keys can be printed and brought into the field for assessment activities. Ultimately, users will need to rely on their best judgment to determine which community type description best fits a site. Thus, the descriptions and community key provided in this classification will be a useful guide in assigning community names to sites in the field. The following information is presented within the descriptions for each community type: Organization Plant community types can be organized in a number of ways. Forest, woodland, shrubland and by Ecological Group, which groups the communities into ecological systems, based on shared location and ecosystem processes. An addition tool to organize and determine the communities is the wetland Community key, which has a slightly different structure, based on categorized and grouped easily in the field. In the physiognomic classification, the community types are first divided into two major systems, palustrine (wetlands) and terrestrial (non-wetlands). In categories dominated by woody plants (forests, woodlands, and shrublands the division is based on the dominant species (conifer, broadleaf, or combined conifer-broadleaf). This hierarchical arrangement allows the user essay to classify a site at a coarser level of detail if that is more appropriate, or if a specific community type cannot be determined. Ecological Groups were created for wetlands types and are made up of communities occurring together on the landscape, often dictated by physical ecological processes.
The rarity and quality rankings can be used to guide natural resource management and planning decisions. For example, state regulators may wish to require additional protection and management activities in rare and/or high quality communities. This classification is intended for a variety of agencies and organizations. Its potential applications include mapping, environmental impact assessment, development planning, site selection for long term monitoring, preserve design, and a variety of other activities related to the setting of priorities for conservation. It may also be useful in providing a common language to researchers and managers, as well as for educational purposes. In addition to the community descriptions, two dichotomous keys for field identification of plant communities are included in this on-line resource to assist managers, wetland delineators, and biologists in determining the plant communities of a given area. The terrestrial Community key follows fike (1999). The key for the palustrine communities was developed through biography a program funded by dep.
Instead of only including representative types as Community complexes, the Ecological Groups include all proposal communities found within the system, even commonly occurring, broader types that may be present in many environmental settings. Thus, there is a great deal of overlap in Ecological Groups. Ecological Groups were based on definitions of ecological systems adapted from the. Fish and Wildlife service wetland classification (Cowardin. 1979) and NatureServes Ecological Systems. Wetland types fall within one or more of the river Floodplain, peatland Wetland, Great lakes Region Wetland, basin Wetland, tidal Wetland, coastal Plain Wetland, and seepage wetland categories. As updates to the terrestrial community classification occur, pnhp will be identifying Ecological Groups for uplands plan as well as wetland types. The classification is designed to identify plant communities in the field based on descriptions of plant species composition and structure of a given site.
These systems are then divided into physiognomic categories (e.g. For terrestrial types, a dichotomous key from fike (1999) is provided for the this introduction to assist the user in determining which system and physiognomic category best describe a given site. One additional division is made within some physiognomic categories. In categories dominated by woody plants (forests, woodlands, and shrublands the division is based on the dominant species leaf type (conifer, broadleaf, or combined conifer-broadleaf). This hierarchical arrangement allows the user to classify a site at a coarser scale if that is more appropriate, or if a specific community type cannot be determined. Ecological Group, ecological Groups were created for wetlands types and are made up of communities occurring together on the landscape, often dictated by physical ecological processes. Ecological Groups are similar to the first editions Community complexes, which listed community types commonly associated with the physiographic setting, such as river bed bank floodplain complex.
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These data are available through pnhp and the partner agencies that manage the lands studied. Community name, community type names are merely labels, and are not meant to describe community types in and of themselves. Types cannot be understood from the names alone; the entire description must be read. Where possible, the name of an individual community includes phd one or more of the dominant species and possibly defining ecological factors, such as physiographic setting or landscape position. Where species names are separated by a dash - the both species are commonly both present. Where the community type does not have clear dominants or ecological descriptors, general descriptors are used.
Plant community types can be organized in a number of ways. Initially, we have provided the user with the ability to organize the classification two ways by Physiognomic Category (e.g. Forest, woodland, shrubland and by Ecological Group, which organizes the plant communities by biogeography and ecosystem factors. An additional tool to organize community types is the. Wetland Community key, which has a slightly different structure than the Physiognomic Category and Ecological Group and based on categirues easily identifiable in the field. Physiognomic Categories, in the physiognomic classification, the community types are first divided into two major systems, palustrine (wetlands) and terrestrial (non-wetlands).
The following presents the pnhp concept of a plant community, describes how communities were named, and identifies data sources used. Community concept, plant communities are groups of plants sharing a common environment that interact with each other, animal populations, and the physical environment. Terrestrial and Palustrine Plant Communities of Pennsylvania 2nd Edition shares the definition of community concept with NatureServe, which bases communities on characteristic vegetation and growth as they currently exist on the landscape. Ecological conditions, such as landform, soils and other ecological and geographical factors are not directly considered classification criteria, but are used to guide the structure of the classification (Faber-Langendoen. While this classification only includes natural or semi-natural vegetation types and does not include managed vegetation types (e.g.
Roadsides, agricultural fields, forest plantations it is acknowledged that all plant community types have experienced some degree of direct human influence. Community descriptions, community descriptions include a list of characteristic species that may or may not be dominant, but are either commonly associated with or serve to distinguish that type from other closely related types. An individual example of a community type is not likely to contain all of the species listed in the description, and the description includes only a fraction of the species that may be present in a community. Environmental descriptions may include information on soils, geology, hydrology, chemistry, hydrology, and disturbance. In many cases we do not yet have sufficient information to describe the environmental processes associated with different community types. Data, the majority of the plant community types described in this edition is supported by quantitative data collected in several pnhp studies and determined through statistical analysis. Specifically, floodplain, vernal pool, and wet-thicket (shrub wetland) communities were assessed and described (Podniesinski and Wagner 2002, zimmerman and Podniesinski 2008, leppo. 2009, furedi 2011a, 2011b). The plant communities of all National Park lands in Pennsylvania were classified, described, and mapped by pnhp using standard quantitative mapping and classification protocols (Perles.
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As we refine and update the terrestrial component of the classification in 2012, the links to fike types will be updated with new information. As with the original fike classification, this version does not include vegetation types characterized by a high degree of direct human influence (e.g., roadsides, agricultural fields, lawns, forest plantations nor does it include aquatic or subterranean communities. The classification effort is ongoing. Our understanding of the patterns of variation in the natural world is constantly evolving; as we gather more information and come to better understand these patterns, the classification will be modified to reflect that understanding, as well as changes in Pennsylvania's ecology and vegetation over. The living document allows us to provide the most up-to-date information on species composition, ecology, and management of these communities. Terrestrial and Palustrine Plant Communities of Pennsylvania 2nd online Edition is a product of pnhp, which is a partnership among the department of Conservation and Natural Resources (dcnr the pennsylvania game commission (pgc the pennsylvania fish and boat Commission (pfbc and Western Pennsylvania conservancy. Pnhp worked with the pennsylvania biological Survey (pabs) to form a community Classification Standing Committee to provide peer review paper and assist in the process of developing and updating the pennsylvania plant Community Classification. The standing committee meets regularly to review existing types, nominate new types for inclusion in the classification, develop applications for the classification, and assist pnhp in developing plans for future community/ecosystem research. Terrestrial and Palustrine Plant Communities of Pennsylvania 2nd Edition builds on fike (1999) in that the plant community concept is based on characteristic vegetation and physiognomy; hydrology, ecological processes, and distribution are also presented.
Terrestrial and Palustrine Plant Communities of Pennsylvania 2nd Edition builds upon the fike wallpaper text organizing the plant communities by species composition and physiognomy (tree, shrub, herbaceous, etc.). We have added to the community complex concept by identifying the Ecological Groups, which are categories composed of communities that are often found together on the landscape and respond similarly to similar ecosystem processes. Identifying Ecological Groups allows us to refer to Smiths Natural Community concept and also link the pennsylvania community types with NatureServes Ecological Systems. Since its creation in 1999, the fike document has been used by dcnr and pnhp to classify, describe, and map state forest and park lands across Pennsylvania. These described community types provide a foundation for management activities on state, private, and federal lands in the state. Terrestrial and Palustrine Plant Communities of Pennsylvania 2nd Edition is a significant update to terrestrial and Palustrine Plant Communities of Pennsylvania (fike 1999). Ecology, conservation, and management information not included in fike is included in this edition. Both wetland (palustrine) and terrestrial plant communities are included in this revised classification; however, descriptions of terrestrial types are from fike.
Kettlehole bog). Smith also included aquatic and subterranean communities. Smiths Natural Community concept was closer to an ecosystem approach where the individual plant communities are not the focus of classification but rather the focus is the entire landform based ecosystem. For instance, smith treated the unique suite of habitats found on serpentinite bedrock as a single unit, a serpentine barren, for classification and conservation purposes, rather than listing the many community types found there. The fike classification shifted to a plant Community concept using species and physiognomy (tree, shrub, herbaceous, etc.) per the International Vegetation Classification System (IVC) developed by natureServe. In a plant community classification, the plant communities are defined by dominant species. In the serpentine barrens example above, each plant community is described and mapped as an individual unit and each has its own conservation status, rarity and quality ranks and management needs. In fike, these plant communities include serpentine pitch Pine oak forest, serpentine virginia pine oak forest, red Cedar pine serpentine Shrubland, serpentine Grassland, serpentine Gravel forb Community, serpentine seep and it is common that a give serpintine barren will not contain all of these and. Fike addressed ecological systems, or groups, by describing Community complexes groups of communities occurring together in a given ecosystem, such as river Bed river Floodplain Community complex.
This publication should be cited as: Zimmerman,.,. Terrestrial and Palustrine Plant Communities of Pennsylvania, 2nd Edition. Pennsylvania natural Heritage Program, pennsylvania department of Conservation and Natural Resources, harrisburg, pennsylvania. Funding for pdf this project was provided by the wild Resources Conservation Program, pennsylvania dep, us epa region 3 Wetland Protection Grants, and the pennsylvania department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Pdf version of the terrestrial palustrine Plant Communities of Pennsylvania 2nd. Terrestrial and Palustrine Plant Communities of Pennsylvania 2nd Edition represents the 3rd approximation of plant communities for Pennsylvania. Plant communities of Pennsylvania were first published in draft form by the pennsylvania natural Heritage Program in 1983 by tom Smith with major revisions in 1991 and again with minor revisions in 1994. The entire classification was re-done in 1999 for a dcnr bureau of Forestry publication entitled. Terrestrial and Palustrine Plant Communities of Pennsylvania by jean fike.
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Plant communities are groups of plants sharing a common environment that interact with each other, animal populations, and the physical environment. As plant communities tend to co-occur on the landscape due to shared environmental requirements, they provide a valuable framework for organizing biological information creating mappable units for land management and conservation planning. Communities are often defined by dominant plant species and these plant associations provide useful habitat information for many animal species and provide an efficient starting point for biological surveys. Terrestrial and Palustrine Plant Communities of Pennsylvania 2nd Edition represents the pennsylvania natural Heritage Programs best approximation of the upland and wetland plant community types of Pennsylvania and can be used to classify and describe patterns in vegetation seen across the landscape. Click on the links above to go the descriptions of Terrestrial and Palustrine plant community types. In addition to information on species commonly associated with each community type, the links and tabs on this site contain useful identification keys, resources for identification and management and research information. Pnhp welcomes feedback remote from users of this classification, please send comments or data to the following address. Pennsylvania natural Heritage Program, dcnr office of Conservation Science, post Office box 8552, harrisburg,.