The Waterman and Hill-Traveller's Companion, a Natural Events Almanac
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Forest

Forest is defined (by most ecologists) as a region dominated by trees with a closed canopy cover. The growth of Forests is ultimately dependent on the amount of rainfall or water present in a given locality. In the midwest forests come in a variety of types ranging from deep swamp tupelo- cypress communities to upland oak-hickory. All of our forests share some traits in common irregardless of moisture levels. With the exception of permanently flooded woodlands all of our forests have an herbaceous layer of spring ephemerals, a shrub layer occurring between four an fifteen feet in height and an understory layer of small trees from ten to fifty feet in height and all surviving beneath the large canopy species which in our area can reach heights of one hundred fifty to two hundred feet at maturity.

Some of the more noticeable animal species dependent on woodlands are: moles, shrews, chipmunks, woodrats, and bears; and among birds: turkeys, a large number of warbler species, flycatchers and owls.



 
The information on this page is tailored to Southern Illinois, Southwest Indiana, Western Kentucky, and Southeast Missouri

Copyright © 2004 Jim Jung