Habitats

Terrestrial System. Forested Uplands Subsystem-- Appalachian oak-hickory forest community

Carya ovata

Physical Setting: This is one the largest communities within the study site, occupying over 216,000 square meters between Ice Pond Road and the un-named highest hill west of the Ice Pond. The area is roughly rectangular and centered at approximately 41.456N, 73.455W and about 225 meters above sea level.

Substrate and Hydrology: Large gneiss outcrops are common and numerous smaller rocks occur at or near the surface. The terrain is sloping with a south and west exposure and the thin, rocky soil dries out quickly.

Biota: Although it is the largest, this community may have the lowest diversity within the study site. The dominant trees are Quercus velutina Lam., Quercus rubra L., Quercus coccinea Muenchh., Carya glabra (Mill.) Sweet and Carya ovata (Mill.) K. Koch. Acer saccharum Marshall is infrequent, largely confined to the wetter, lower slopes. Quercus alba L. is confined to marble outcrops. The shrub layer is very sparse, but when present consists of Eleagnus umbellata Thunb, Vaccinium corymbosum L. and Vaccinium pallidum Aiton. The herb layer is very depauperate. The sedge, Carex pensylvanica Lam is very abundant. The only vine, Vitis aestivalis Michx., is scarce.

Cultural: The gentle slope, southwest exposure and circumneutral to basic soil make this the best farmland in the area. There are numerous stone walls traversing the community. The even-aged trees of moderate girth suggest the area was cleared until relatively recently.

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