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Forgotten Hardwood Forests of the Coastal Plain

Jonathan D. Phillips
Geographical Review
Vol. 84, No. 2 (Apr., 1994), pp. 162-171
DOI: 10.2307/215328
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/215328
Page Count: 10
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Forgotten Hardwood Forests of the Coastal Plain
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Abstract

The loss of mesic hardwood forests on the North Carolina coastal plain has attracted little notice. The area of hardwood forests before European contact was greater than that covered by longleaf pine forest. Remnants of mature longleaf pine ecosystems are present, but mature hardwood ecosystems are almost eliminated from well-drained soils. A case study of three North Carolina counties shows that virtually all the virgin or mature upland forests have been lost. No more than 25 percent of that area is capable of succeeding to mature forest within a century. Landuse trends suggest that few uplands now succeeding to hardwoods will remain undisturbed.

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