Skip to Main Content
The Central Hardwood Forest: its boundaries and physiographic provincesAuthor(s): James S. Fralish
Source: In: Van Sambeek, J. W.; Dawson, Jeffery O.; Ponder Jr., Felix; Loewenstein, Edward F.; Fralish, James S., eds. Proceedings of the 13th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-234. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Research Station: 1-20
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: North Central Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (1.71 MB)
DescriptionThe Central Hardwood Forest (CHF) refers to the area where deciduous hardwood species overwhelmingly, but not exclusively, dominate the stands and cover types that occur as repeating units across the landscape. Transition zones where Central Hardwood species mix with species from adjacent regions identify boundaries of the region. These regions are the Northern Hardwood-Conifer Forest along the northern border, the Southeastern-Pine Forest along the eastern and southern borders, and the Tall Grass Prairie region to the west. There is a distinctness and cohesiveness to the CHF as its boundaries frequently cut across geographic features. The 18 oak and 10 hickory species that dominate stands from Missouri to West Virginia, and Wisconsin to Alabama, unify the region. The more important species such as white, black, and chestnut oak may form essentially climax communities on dry sites or successional communities on moist sites. These species may be regarded as obligate xerophytes and facultative pioneers. Such a successional/stability pattern/process is either absent or difficult to identify in other forested regions. Geographically, the region is also diverse. Physiographic provinces include the unglaciated Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian Plateaus, Interior Low Plateaus, and Ozark Plateaus, and the glaciated Central Lowlands. The Mississippi floodplain and Gulf Coastal Plain extend into the region. Bedrock, surface deposits, topography, and the soil mosaic vary from province to province and with subregions within provinces.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationFralish, James S. 2003. The Central Hardwood Forest: its boundaries and physiographic provinces. In: Van Sambeek, J. W.; Dawson, Jeffery O.; Ponder Jr., Felix; Loewenstein, Edward F.; Fralish, James S., eds. Proceedings of the 13th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-234. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Research Station: 1-20
- The Central Hardwood Forest: Its Boundaries and Physiographic Provinces
- Effects of alternative silviculture on stump sprouting in the southern Appalachians
- The gypsy moth in the central hardwoods: research and management needs
XML: View XML