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Ecological Communities

Beech-maple mesic forest

A hardwood forest with sugar maple and beech codominant. Found on
moist, well-drained soils, on north and east facing slopes, and on
gently sloping hilltops of any aspect, this type rarely occurs in
ravines. Common associates are basswood, American elm, white ash, yellow
birch, hop hornbeam, and red maple. Characteristic species in the sub-
canopy are musclewood, striped maple, witch hazel, hobblebush, and
alternate-leaved dogwood. There typically are few herbs and shrubs, but
tree seedlings may be abundant. There are many spring ephemerals.

Hemlock-northern hardwood forest

A forest that typically occurs on lower slopes of ravines, on cool,
mid-elevation slopes, and at the edges of drainage divide swamps.
Hemlock is a codominant species with one to three others: beech, sugar
maple, red maple, black cherry, white pine, yellow birch, black birch,
red oak, and basswood. Shrubs have low abundance, but striped maple may
be present. Herbs characteristic of northern and montane areas are

Mid-reach stream

The aquatic community of stream that has a well-defined pattern of
alternating pool, riffle, and run sections. Waterfalls and springs may
be present. Typical aquatic macrophytes include waterweed, and linear
leaved pondweeds such as sago pondweed.

Successional shrubland

A woodland community that commonly occurs on abandoned agricultural fields and pastures, particularly on fertile soils, on slopes along the lakes, and occasionally on well drained soils of alluvial valleys. The dominant tree is usually red cedar. Gray birch, hawthorn, buckthorn, white ash, and black walnut are common associates. Shrubs and ground layers are similar to that of successional old field.

Successional old field

A meadow on sites cleared, plowed, and then abandoned. The ragweed type occurs on fields 1 to 3 years after last cultivation.; ragweed, daisy, Queen Anne’s lace, crab grass, golden foxtail, and chickweed are common. The golden rod subtype occurs 3 - 15 years after last cultivation. Dominant species are perennial composites: goldenrods and asters. Other herbs include timothy, orchard grass, smooth brome, bluegrasses, quackgrass, sweet vernal grass, evening primrose, old-field cinquefoil, wild strawberry, and hawkweeds. Shrubs represent less than 50% cover but include gray and silky dogwoods, arrowwood, raspberries, sumac, and eastern red cedar.

Successional forest