The term “cedar glades” has been applied to several different types of plant communities that occur on rocky calcareous soils in eastern North America. A previous paper by the first two authors reviewed in considerable detail the use of this term with regard to type of vegetation on rocky limestone soils in the Nashville (Central) Basin of Tennessee. The present paper reviews use of “cedar glades” as a descriptive term for vegetation in other physiographic regions of eastern North America. In the Nashville Basin, and in some other physiographic regions, the term has been applied to true open cedar glades (“glades”) plus the surrounding redcedar/redcedar-hardwood forest, or (more recently) to the natural rocky treeless openings only. However, outside the Nashville Basin, it has also been used to describe several other disparate vegetation types, such as xeric limestone prairies (limestone glades, prairie barrens), redcedar-little bluestem savanna, dense redcedar forest, redcedar-hardwood forest, and even an open stand of redcedar-pine-sweetgum with warm-season perennial prairie grasses in the understory. In the Great Lakes region of North America and in the Baltic region of Europe, some alvars are similar to cedar glades sensu stricto of southeastern United States. Since many of the rocky calcareous openings in eastern North America can be classified as either cedar glades or xeric limestone prairies, a suite of abiotic, biotic, and anthropogenic-related factors is presented for use in distinguishing between these two vegetation types.
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