Classification of Natural Communities (Fourth Approximation)

Draft descriptions for the 4th approximation communities are offered for use and feedback. We welcome feedback on the 4th approximation, including on the draft descriptions and the classified communities.

Detailed descriptions are available at two levels of the classification. Subtypes, the finest level, are the units tracked by the Natural Heritage Program, and are generally equivalent to associations in the National Vegetation Classification. Four-digit codes next to the names are the “CEGL codes” (NVC Codes) that identify the most equivalent association. Descriptions are also being written for themes, the coarsest level in the 4th approximation. Themes are broad ecological groupings containing several community types and subtypes. Theme descriptions contain material that is common to all or most of the types and subtypes they contain, to avoid repeating this material in multiple subtype descriptions.

To contribute input, please note the subtype and NVC code. Send all comments to michael.schafale@ncdcr.gov.

Key to 4th Approximation Themes

Dry Longleaf Pine Communities
Title Taxonomic Code NVC Code Last updated
*Dry Longleaf Pine Description 03/23/2018
Pine/Scrub Oak Sandhill (Blackjack Subtype) 471 3595 05/14/2018
Sand Barren (Typic Subtype) 461 3584 03/23/2018
Xeric Sandhill Scrub (Coastal Fringe subtype) 467 3589 05/14/2018
Xeric Sandhill Scrub (Typic Subtype) 465 3586 03/23/2018
Freshwater Tidal Wetlands
Title Taxonomic Code NVC Code Last updated
*Freshwater Tidal Wetlands Description 03/22/2018
Freshwater Marsh Pool 927 4661 03/22/2018
Tidal Freshwater Marsh (Broadleaf Pondlily Subtype) 921 4472 03/22/2018
Tidal Freshwater Marsh (Cattail Subtype) 909 4201 03/22/2018
Tidal Freshwater Marsh (Giant Cordgrass Subtype) 901 4195 03/22/2018
Tidal Freshwater Marsh (Mixed Freshwater Subtype) 917 4314 03/22/2018
Tidal Freshwater Marsh (Narrowleaf Pondlily Subtype) 923 6094 03/22/2018
Tidal Freshwater Marsh (Needlerush Subtype) 905 4660 03/22/2018
Tidal Freshwater Marsh (Oligohaline Low Marsh Subtype) 915 4628 03/22/2018
Tidal Freshwater Marsh (Sawgrass Subtype) 903 4178 03/22/2018
Tidal Freshwater Marsh (Shoreline Lawn Subtype) 919 6352 03/22/2018
Tidal Freshwater Marsh (Shrub Subtype) 925 4656 03/22/2018
Tidal Freshwater Marsh (Southern Wild Rice Subtype) 911 4705 03/22/2018
Tidal Freshwater Marsh (Threesquare Subtype) 907 4189 03/22/2018
Tidal Swamp (Cypress-Gum Subtype) 931 4484 03/22/2018
Grass and Heath Balds
Title Taxonomic Code NVC Code Last updated
*Grass and Heath Balds Description 05/03/2019
Grassy Bald (Alder Subtype) 025 3891 05/03/2019
Grassy Bald (Grass Subtype) 021 4242 05/03/2019
Grassy Bald (Sedge Subtype) 023 4094 05/03/2019
Heath Bald (Carolina Rhododendron Subtype) 029 3816 05/03/2019
Heath Bald (Catawba Rhododendron Subtype) 027 3818 05/03/2019
Heath Bald (Low Elevation Subtype) 037 3814 05/03/2019
Heath Bald (Sand Myrtle Subtype) 035 3951 05/03/2019
Heath Bald (Slate Subtype) 033 7876 05/03/2019
Heath Bald (Southern Mixed Subtype) 031 4516 05/03/2019
Mountain Cove Forests
Title Taxonomic Code NVC Code Last updated
*Mountain Cove Forests Description 05/14/2019
Acidic Cove Forest (High Elevation Subtype) 073 7861 05/14/2019
Acidic Cove Forest (Silverbell Subtype) 075 7693 05/14/2019
Acidic Cove Forest (Typic Subtype) 071 7543 05/14/2019
Canada Hemlock Forest (Typic Subtype) 077 7136 05/14/2019
Canada Hemlock Forest (White Pine Subtype) 079 7102 05/14/2019
Rich Cove Forest (Boulderfield Subtype) 061 4982 05/14/2019
Rich Cove Forest (Foothills Intermediate Subtype) 055 7291 05/14/2019
Rich Cove Forest (Foothills Rich Subtype) 057 7711 05/14/2019
Rich Cove Forest (Montane Intermediate Subtype) 051 7710 05/14/2019
Rich Cove Forest (Montane Rich Subtype) 053 7695 05/14/2019
Rich Cove Forest (Red Oak Subtype) 059 7878 05/14/2019
Mountain Oak Forests
Title Taxonomic Code NVC Code Last updated
*Mountain Oak Forests Description 05/03/2019
*Mountain Oak Forests Key 05/14/2018
Calcareous Oak-Walnut Forest 163 7215 05/03/2019
Chestnut Oak Forest (Dry Heath Subtype) 141 6271 05/03/2019
Chestnut Oak Forest (Herb Subtype) 143 7267 05/03/2019
Chestnut Oak Forest (Mesic Subtype) 147 6286 05/03/2019
Chestnut Oak Forest (White Pine Subtype) 157 7517 05/03/2019
High Elevation Red Oak Forest (Heath Subtype) 125 7299 05/03/2019
High Elevation Red Oak Forest (Orchard Forest Subtype) 127 7298 05/03/2019
High Elevation Red Oak Forest (Rich Subtype) 123 4256 05/03/2019
High Elevation Red Oak Forest (Stunted Woodland Subtype) 129 4503 05/03/2019
High Elevation Red Oak Forest (Typic Herb Subtype) 121 7300 05/03/2019
High Elevation White Oak Forest 131 7295 05/03/2019
Low Montane Red Oak Forest 161 6192 05/03/2019
Montane Oak--Hickory Forest (Acidic Subtype) 151 7230 05/03/2019
Montane Oak--Hickory Forest (Basic Subtype) 153 7692 05/03/2019
Montane Oak--Hickory Forest (Low Dry Basic Subtype) 155 7691 05/03/2019
Montane Oak--Hickory Forest (White Pine Subtype) 157 7517 05/03/2019
Northern Hardwood Forests
Title Taxonomic Code NVC Code Last updated
*Northern Hardwood Forests Description 05/03/2019
High Elevation Birch Boulderfield Forest 047 6124 05/03/2019
Northern Hardwood Forest (Beech Gap Subtype) 045 6130 05/03/2019
Northern Hardwood Forest (Rich Subtype) 043 4973 05/03/2019
Northern Hardwood Forest (Typic Subtype) 041 7285 05/03/2019
Peatland Pocosins
Title Taxonomic Code NVC Code Last updated
*Peatland Pocosins Description 05/14/2018
*Peatland Pocosins Key 05/14/2018
Bay Forest 759 7044 05/14/2018
High Pocosin (Deciduous Subtype) 743 4458 05/14/2018
High Pocosin (Evergreen Subtype) 741 3846 05/14/2018
Low Pocosin (Gallberry-Fetterbush Subtype) 731 3944 05/14/2018
Low Pocosin (Titi Subtype) 733 3943 05/14/2018
Peatland Canebrake 757 3843 01/31/2019
Pocosin Opening (Cranberry Subtype) 739 4165 05/14/2018
Pocosin Opening (Pitcher Plant Subtype) 737 4164 05/14/2018
Pocosin Opening (Sedge-Fern Subtype) 735 4163 05/14/2018
Pond Pine Woodland (Canebrake Subtype) 755 4433 01/31/2019
Pond Pine Woodland (Northern Subtype) 753 4652 05/14/2018
Pond Pine Woodland (Typic Subtype) 751 3671 05/14/2018
Piedmont and Coastal Plain Mesic Forests
Title Taxonomic Code NVC Code Last updated
*Piedmont and Coastal Plain Mesic Forests Description 05/14/2019
Basic Mesic Forest (Coastal Plain Subtype) 087 7206 05/14/2019
Basic Mesic Forest (Piedmont Subtype) 085 8466 05/14/2019
Cape Fear Valley Mixed Bluff Forest 091 4304 05/14/2019
Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest (Coastal Plain Subtype) 083 7211 05/14/2019
Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest (Piedmont Subtype) 081 8465 05/14/2019
Piedmont/Coastal Plain Heath Bluff 089 4539 05/14/2019
Spruce-Fir Forests
Title Taxonomic Code NVC Code Last updated
*Spruce-Fir Forests Description 03/22/2018
Fraser Fir Forest (Herb Subtype) 001 6049 03/22/2018
Fraser Fir Forest (Rhododendron Subtype) 003 6308 03/22/2018
Red Spruce-Fraser Fir Forest (Birch Transition Herb Subtype) 011 6256 03/22/2018
Red Spruce-Fraser Fir Forest (Birch Transition Shrub Subtype) 013 4983 03/22/2018
Red Spruce-Fraser Fir Forest (Boulderfield Subtype) 009 7128 03/22/2018
Red Spruce-Fraser Fir Forest (Herb Subtype) 005 7131 03/22/2018
Red Spruce-Fraser Fir Forest (Low Rhododendron Subtype) 015 6152 03/22/2018
Red Spruce-Fraser Fir Forest (Rhododendron Subtype) 007 7130 03/22/2018
Coastal Plain Floodplains
Title Taxonomic Code NVC Code Last updated
Coastal Plain Semipermanent Impoundment (Cypress-Gum Subtype) 559 2420 03/22/2018
Coastal Plain Semipermanent Impoundment (Sandhills Marsh Subtype) 555 7860 03/22/2018
Coastal Plain Semipermanent Impoundment (Sandhills Mire Subtype) 557 4800 03/22/2018
Coastal Plain Semipermanent Impoundment (Typic Marsh Subtype) 553 4290 03/22/2018
Piedmont and Coastal Plain Oak Forests
Title Taxonomic Code NVC Code Last updated
Dry Oak-Hickory Forest (Coastal Plain Subtype) 177 7246 03/22/2018
Dry Oak-Hickory Forest (Piedmont Subtype) 175 7244 03/22/2018
Dry-Mesic Basic Oak-Hickory Forest (Piedmont Subtype) 189 7232 03/22/2018
Dry-Mesic Oak-Hickory Forest (Piedmont Subtype) 175 8475 03/22/2018
Mixed Moisture Hardpan Forest 197 4037 05/14/2019
Piedmont Monadnock Forest (Heath Subtype) 195 4415 05/14/2019
Piedmont Monadnock Forest (Pine Subtype) 193 4148 05/14/2019
Piedmont Monadnock Forest (Typic Subtype) 193 6281 05/14/2019
Swamp Island Evergreen Forest 199 7022 05/14/2019
Maritime Wetlands
Title Taxonomic Code NVC Code Last updated
Estuarine Beach Forest 897 4698 03/22/2018
Maritime Shrub Swamp (Dogwood Subtype) 875 7384 02/01/2019
Maritime Shrub Swamp (Red Bay Subtype) 877 4635 02/01/2019
Maritime Shrub Swamp (Willow Subtype) 879 4222 02/01/2019
Maritime Swamp Forest (Cypress Subtype) 873 4079 01/31/2019
Maritime Swamp Forest (Typic Subtype) 871 4082 01/31/2019
Mountain Bogs and Fens
Title Taxonomic Code NVC Code Last updated
Low Mountain Seepage Bog 643 3914 05/14/2018
Southern Appalachian Fen (Glades Subtype) 647 3917 03/22/2018
Maritime Upland Forests
Title Taxonomic Code NVC Code Last updated
Maritime Deciduous Forest 435 7450 01/31/2019
Maritime Evergreen Forest (Mid Atlantic Subtype) 431 7047 01/31/2019
Maritime Evergreen Forest (South Atlantic Subtype) 431 7032 01/31/2019
Maritime Shrub (Stunted Tree Subtype) 425 3833 01/31/2019
Marsh Hammock 445 7813 01/31/2019
Natural Lake Communities
Title Taxonomic Code NVC Code Last updated
Natural Lake Shoreline Marsh (Typic Subtype) 849 4307 03/22/2018
Natural Lake Shoreline Swamp (Cypress Subtype) 845 4466 03/22/2018
Natural Lake Shoreline Swamp (Lake Waccamaw Subtype) 847 4465 03/22/2018
Natural Lake Shoreline Swamp (Rich Subtype) 843 4424 03/22/2018
Natural Lake Shoreline Swamp (Sweetgum Subtype) 841 4481 03/22/2018
Piedmont and Mountain Floodplains
Title Taxonomic Code NVC Code Last updated
Piedmont/Mountain Semipermanent Impoundment (Montane Marsh Subtype) 591 8433 03/22/2018
Piedmont/Mountain Semipermanent Impoundment (Open Water Subtype) 589 3286 03/22/2018
Piedmont/Mountain Semipermanent Impoundment (Piedmont Marsh Subtype) 593 4290 03/22/2018
Piedmont/Mountain Semipermanent Impoundment (Shrub Subtype) 595 8474 03/22/2018
Rocky Bar and Shore (Yadkin Falls Bedrock Scour Subtype) 611 4459 03/22/2018
Wet Pine Savannas
Title Taxonomic Code NVC Code Last updated
Sandy Pine Savanna (Rush Featherling Subtype) 783 3661 05/14/2018
Sandy Pine Savanna (Typic Subtype) 781 3658 05/14/2018
Streamhead Pocosins
Title Taxonomic Code NVC Code Last updated
Streamhead Canebrake 765 3843 01/31/2019
Streamhead Pocosin 761 4435 01/31/2019