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An Old-Growth Definition for Evergreen Bay Forests and Related Seral CommunitiesAuthor(s): Martha R. McKevlin
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-3. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 20 p.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Southern Research Station
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DescriptionThis document describes old-growth conditions in an evergreen bay forest stand. Bay forests occur throughout the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains. However, they are considered rare and are present across the landscape in a patchwork mosaic with other forest types in various stages of succession. Bay forests can be found associated with pocosins, Carolina bays and sandhill seeps, stream heads, and stream margins. The dominant species include loblolly-bay, sweetbay, and redbay, hence the name evergreen bay forest. However, several other swamp species associates are common, as well as many highly flammable shrub species. This forest type is subject to infrequent, high intensity, widespread disturbances such as fire. Fire is necessary to the nutrient cycling of this forest type and in conjunction with hydrology, controls succession. These stands are frequently inundated by surface water, resulting in the development of histic soils low in fertility. Alteration of the hydrology by man and catastrophic wildfire are considered to be the greatest threats to the existence of bay forests.
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CitationMcKevlin, Martha R. 1996. An Old-Growth Definition for Evergreen Bay Forests and Related Seral Communities. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-3. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 20 p.
KeywordsCarolina bay, disturbance, fire, hydric, loblolly-bay, peat, pocosin, redbay, shrub bog, sweetbay.
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