By Steven L. Stephenson
Read Online or Download A Natural History of the Central Appalachians (Central Appalachian Natural History) PDF
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Extra info for A Natural History of the Central Appalachians (Central Appalachian Natural History)
Moreover, dispersal 0 3 PLANT LIFE OF THE CENTRAL APPALACHIANS BIOTIC FACTORS One biotic factor that plays an important role in determining just which species of trees are present in a forest community is the tolerance of a particular species to low light conditions, or shade. Some species are highly tolerant to shade and produce seedlings that become established and can grow beneath a complete canopy cover, while other species have a very low tolerance to shade and cannot survive under such conditions.
The largest and thus most conspicuous plants present in coal swamp forests were the tree-sized lycopsids, which regularly attained a height of 100 feet and a diameter of 3 feet at the base. Some individual trees may have reached a height of more than 150 feet, which few trees in today’s forests of the Central Appalachians are capable of reaching. Eastern white pine, which has the distinction of being the tallest tree species in all of eastern North America and is reputed to have grown as tall as 230 feet in precolonial forests before logging, is the only species capable of growing to an appreciably greater height.
Nevertheless, the forests in that region of India contained appreciable amounts of oak at intermediate elevations, with forest composition changing to spruce and fir at higher elevations. This pattern of forest vegetation is similar to what one finds on some of the higher mountains in Virginia or West Virginia, although fir (either balsam fir or Fraser fir) is limited to just a few localities. Other trees common to northwestern India and the Central Appalachians include pine, birch, buckeye, and musclewood, although the species are different in the two regions.