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Longleaf Habitats

Longleaf pine forests were remarkable in the sense that they covered such a large geographical range. Perhaps what is taken for granted is how diverse this forest type was (and is) across the landscape. Seeing longleaf pine forests today, many natural resource specialists often (erroneously) assume that the species is relegated to dry sandy ridges or steep south facing slopes. On the contrary, areas too steep, too dry to farm or too poor to grow loblolly or slash pine are, for the most part, merely a vestige of the richness that once was the longleaf pine ecosystem. For thousands of years, subtle differences in soils and topography influenced fire behavior, site productivity etc. which, in turn, influenced the composition of the forest, e.g., groundcover plants, insect and animal species, and tree height, just to name a few. These habitat types can generically be lumped into four groups; montane, sandhill, rolling hill, and flatwoods/savannas. Follow the links below to learn more about these remarkable habitats of the longleaf pine ecosystem.

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