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Ecology of a Heath-Shrub Synusia in the Pine Barrens of Long Island, New York

W. A. Reiners
Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club
Vol. 92, No. 6 (Nov. - Dec., 1965), pp. 448-464
Published by: Torrey Botanical Society
DOI: 10.2307/2483822
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2483822
Page Count: 17
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Ecology of a Heath-Shrub Synusia in the Pine Barrens of Long Island, New York
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Abstract

Three ericaceous shrubs, Gaylussacia baccata, Vaccinium angustifolium and V. vacillans commonly occur as a synusia in the pine barrens of central Long Island, N. Y. and in other, similar habitats of the northeastern United States. This synusia is usually found on acid, well-drained soils and on sites with relatively high illumination. All of the species are rhizomatous and form extensive clones. Reproduction is almost entirely vegetative although flowers and fruits are often abundant. A number of environmental relationships of the synusia are discussed. Perhaps the most notable is the ability of the shrub species to survive, and in fact, thrive in environments subject to the frequent burning. Differences in fire response, morphology and range of these species which appear to have similar ecologies suggest that inter-specific relationships may play an important role in the distribution and composition of the synusia.

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