West Gulf Coastal Plain Nonriverine Wet Hardwood Flatwoods

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Nature Serve ID: CES203.548


Like the West Gulf Coastal Plain Pine - Hardwood Flatwoods, this system is associated with high Pleistocene terraces, of the Lissie and upper Beaumont Formations, as well as the Quaternary Fluviatile Terrace Deposits to the north.


This system represents the lowest topographic position within the level to very gently undulating terraces occupied by flatwoods. Hydrology is controlled by local rainfall, not overbank flooding of nearby streams.


Soils are fine-textured, with an impermeable subsurface horizon, which leads to a perched water table. Because of the lower topographic position of these flatwoods, saturated soil conditions tend to occur over extended periods of the year.

Parent Description

This system represents the wetter end of the wooded toposequence of the flatwoods and occurs within low positions of swales and other wet circumstances. The canopy is often dominated by Quercus phellos (willow oak), Quercus laurifolia (laurel oak), Quercus lyrata (overcup oak), Quercus nigra (water oak), Quercus michauxii (swamp chestnut oak), Ulmus alata (winged elm), and Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum). Pinus taeda (loblolly pine) may be present in the canopy. Triadica sebifera (Chinese tallow) is a commonly encountered non-native species invading this system. The understory and herbaceous layers of this system are not well- developed, as the canopy tends to be closed.

Ecological Mapping Systems