Acadian-North Atlantic Rocky Coast

Narrow, non-forested strips between the rocky shore and the adjacent upland forest are found in places along the immediate Atlantic Coast, from north of Cape Cod to the Canadian Maritimes. The system is typically a narrow zone between the high tide line and the upland forest; this zone becomes wider with increasing maritime influence. The substrate is rock, sometimes with a shallow soil layer, and tree growth is prevented by extreme exposure to wind, salt spray and fog. Slope varies from flat rock to cliffs. The vegetation is often patchy, with shrubs, dwarf-shrubs and scattered herbs, sometimes with a few stunted trees. Characteristic plants include seaside goldenrod, bayberry, staghorn sumac, crowberry, and creeping juniper. Many coastal islands have grass-shrub areas that were maintained by sheep grazing and now persist even after grazing has ceased. For more information, see NatureServe Explorer.

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