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 Wet-Mesic Bottomland 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 Wet Bottomland Forest.
National Vegetation Classification System Vegetation Association (NatureServe, 2010):
The reference state for this ecological site is most similar to a Quercus macrocarpa – Quercus shumardii – Carya cordiformis / Chasmanthium latifolium Forest (CEGL004544).
Geographic relationship to the Missouri Ecological Classification System (Nigh & Schroeder, 2002):
This Ecological Site occurs primarily 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
Wet Footslope Forests are within the green areas on the map (Missouri portion only; distributions farther south are currently under review). These sites are extensive on footslopes and drainageways on Crowley’s Ridge and adjacent areas. Soils are very deep, with a seasonal high water table. The reference plant community is forest with an overstory dominated by a variety of trees including bur oak, cherrybark oak, willow oak, sweetgum, pin oak, Nuttall oak, water oak, American elm, sugarberry, and green ash, an understory dominated by blue beech, spicebush, and Ohio buckeye, and a rich herbaceous ground flora.
Table 1. Dominant plant species
(1) Quercus macrocarpa
(1) Boehmeria cylindrica