Atlantic Coastal Plain Mesic Hardwood Forest

This upland hardwood forest ecological system of the Atlantic Coastal Plain ranges from southern New Jersey south to Georgia in a variety of moist but non-wetland sites that are naturally sheltered from frequent fire. Such sites include lower slopes and bluffs along streams and rivers in dissected terrain, mesic flats between drier pine-dominated uplands and floodplains, and local raised areas within bottomland terraces or wet flats. Soils are variable in both texture and acidity or alkalinity. The vegetation consists of forests dominated by trees that include a significant component of mesophytic (moisture-loving) deciduous hardwood species, such as beech or southern sugar maple. Upland and bottomland oaks at the mid range of moisture tolerance are usually also present, particularly white oak, but sometimes also southern red oak, cherrybark oak, or Shumard oak. Loblolly pine is sometimes present. Understories are usually well-developed. Shrub and herb layers may be sparse or moderately dense. For more information, see NatureServe Explorer.

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