Provisional. A provisional ecological site description has undergone quality control and quality assurance review. It contains a working state and transition model and enough information to identify the ecological site.
Figure 1. Mapped extent
Areas shown in blue indicate the maximum mapped extent of this ecological site. Other ecological sites likely occur within the highlighted areas. It is also possible for this ecological site to occur outside of highlighted areas if detailed soil survey has not been completed or recently updated.
Major Land Resource Area (MLRA): 134X–Southern Mississippi Valley Loess
The Southern Mississippi Valley Loess (outlined in red on the map; northern portion only) is a relatively narrow strip of the coastal plain bordering the Mississippi River valley, that is blanketed with loess. The northern part of this MLRA, discussed here, is locally referred to as Crowley’s Ridge. Elevation ranges from about 300 feet on the footslopes to nearly 600 feet on the highest ridges. Loess caps the summits and upper slopes, and Pliocene-aged sand and gravel deposits of the coastal plain influence soils on lower, steeper slopes.
Terrestrial Natural Community Type in Missouri (Nelson, 2010):
The reference state for this ecological site is most similar to a Mesic Loess/Glacial Till Forest.
Missouri Department of Conservation Forest and Woodland Communities (Missouri Department of Conservation, 2006):
The reference state for this ecological site is most similar to a Mixed Hardwood Mesic Forest.
National Vegetation Classification System Vegetation Association (NatureServe, 2010):
The reference state for this ecological site is most similar to a Quercus (rubra, alba, velutina) / Acer barbatum / Asimina triloba Forest (CEGL004069).
Geographic relationship to the Missouri Ecological Classification System (Nigh & Schroeder, 2002):
This Ecological Site occurs in the Crowley’s Ridge Subsection, and in the Benton Loess Woodland/Forest Hills Land Type Association of the Ozark Outer Border Subsection.
Ecological site concept
Deep Loess Protected Backslope Forests are within the green areas on the map (Missouri portion only; distributions farther south are currently under review). They occupy the northerly and easterly aspects of steep, dissected slopes, and are mapped in complex with the Deep Loess Exposed Backslope Woodland ecological site. These sites are common in Scott county, Missouri, and on the easternmost uplands of Crowley’s Ridge in Stoddard county, Missouri. Soils are very deep, with no rooting restrictions. The reference plant community is forest dominated by northern red oak, white oak, and tulip poplar, with minor amounts of sugar maple, a well-developed understory and a rich herbaceous ground flora.
Table 1. Dominant plant species
(1) Fagus grandifolia
(1) Asimina triloba
(1) Sanguinaria canadensis
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