Chapter 14
Ecological Subregions of the United States

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Laurentian Mixed Forest

Thirteen Sections have been delineated in this Province:

These Sections are located in the north-central and northeastern conterminous States, including parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, and Maine. The area of these Sections is about 147,300 mi2 (381,500 km2).

Section 212A--Aroostook Hills and Lowlands

Geomorphology. The Section is part of the New England geomorphic province. It is a glacially scoured and dissected peneplain characterized by gently rolling terrain and pitted outwash plains, with scattered, low, rounded mountains (monadnocks). Mass wasting and fluvial erosion, transport and deposition are the primary operating geomorphic processes. Elevation ranges from 600 to 1,000 ft (180 to 300 m). Local relief ranges from 300 to 500 ft (90 to 150 m). Gentle slopes cover 50 to 80 percent of the landscape, 50 to 75 percent in the lowlands. Subenvelop elevation range is 325 to 650 ft (100 to 200 m).

Lithography and Stratigraphy. Thin, stony Pleistocene till and stratified drift overlie bedrock, which is composed mostly of non-metamorphosed to weakly metamorphosed interbedded shale, sandstone, limestone, and dolomite (with some minor volcanics) of the Silurian and Devonian systems. Cambrian sandstone and shale occur in a narrow belt in the central part of the Section. Ordovician volcanics occur in the northwestern part of the Section, and scattered Paleozoic intrusives occur toward the south, underlying topographic highs.

Soil Taxa. Dominant soils are Haplorthods, Cryorthods, and Cryaquods with frigid and cryic temperature regimes and mesic and aquic moisture regimes, as well as Haplaquepts of frigid temperature regime and aquic moisture regime.

Potential Natural Vegetation. K\"uchler vegetation types are northern hardwood and northern hardwood-spruce. Regional characterizations of important vegetation types include lowland red spruce-balsam fir and northern hardwood-conifer. The western boundary of this region coincides with a vegetation transition zone where species characteristic of more temperate regions are replaced by species of more boreal affinity.

Fauna. Spruce grouse, black-backed woodpecker, gray-cheeked thrush, long-tailed shrew, snowshoe hare, and moose characterize colder conifer sites. Ruffed grouse, pileated woodpecker, mourning warbler, Philadelphia vireo, masked shrew, northern bog lemming, northern flying squirrel, and white-tailed deer characterize the hardwood-conifer sites. The Eastern woodland caribou, wolverine, mountain lion, and timber wolf were extirpated through land-clearing activities and European settlement that preceded agricultural development in the mid-nineteenth century. Coyotes, bobcats, black bears (seasonally), and humans are the larger predators today. The spotted salamander, northern two-lined salamander, mink frog, and eastern garter snake characterize a smaller herpetofaunal component compared to warmer and more southerly Sections in Maine. The common loon, osprey, and otter commonly use the larger lakes, rivers, and flowages in this Section. Beech and beaked hazel provide the primary sources of hard mast. No Federally listed threatened and endangered species are unique to this Section.

Climate. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year and averages 35 to 43 in (890 to 1090 mm). Average annual snowfall is from 100 to 120 inches (2540 to 3050 mm). Mean annual temperature ranges from 37 to 43 oF (3 to 6 oC). The growing season lasts for 100 to 120 days.

Surface Water Characteristics. Freshwater resources include lakes, reservoirs, streams, and wetlands. Natural lakes are generally small (less than 10 mi2) and were formed by glacial debris that blocked pre-glacial valleys or as kettle lakes. Drainage is unintegrated (deranged) to dendritic. The St. John River, which forms the northern Maine border, flows across the north and northeast trend of the major bedrock units. Low and moderate gradient streams are common. Swamps and bogs are common. Wetlands are often from perched water tables. Maximum monthly flows occur in March, April and May; minimum monthly flows occur in September, October and February.

Disturbance Regimes. Disturbance from fire and large scale windthrow is rare. Historical documentation of fire occurrence in this region shows considerable variability through time. Wind disturbance to individual trees and groups of trees may be common. Ice and wet, heavy snow can cause extensive crown damage, particularly in conifer types. Insect and disease disturbances occur, commonly from defoliating insects and particularly from the spruce budworm. Although the distribution of modern and pre-settlement forest types match well regionally, 250 years of land use activity have affected forest structure and composition across the landscape. The land has been both selectively and intensively logged throughout this century and the last. Land has been cleared and farmed since the time of early settlement. Beginning around 1870, land unprofitable for agriculture was abandoned and much was allowed to revert to forest land.

Land Use. About 50 percent of this area is in agricultural use; the remaining land is in forest or is crop land reverting to forest.

Cultural Ecology. Native American hunter-gatherer economies were prevalent within the area as long ago as ten thousand years. Settlements were small and short term. Historically, the area was occupied by Eastern Abnaki Tribal groups. European settlement occurred as early as the 17th century and increased during the following centuries. Nineteenth century timber harvesting resulted in a largely deforested landscape by the 20th century. Harvest of restored second growth timber continues into the latter 20th century. Agriculture, tourism, and winter and summer recreational activities began in the 19th century and continue to thrive today. They are considered the area's leading economic sectors.

Complied by. Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, and the Eastern Region.

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Section 212B--Maine and New Brunswick Foothills and Eastern Lowlands

Geomorphology. The Section is part of the New England geomorphic province. It is a glacially scoured and dissected peneplain dominated by a broad, central, marine plain. The rest of the Section is characterized by gently sloping hills and low, rounded mountains (monadnocks). The Section exhibits some glacial features, primarily kames, eskers, and terraces. Mass wasting and fluvial erosion, transport and deposition are the primary operating geomorphic processes. Elevation ranges from 400 to 1,000 ft (120 to 300 m); local relief ranges from 100 to 500 ft. (30 to 150 m). Gentle slopes cover 50 to 80 percent of the landscape, 50 to 70 percent in the lowlands. Subenvelop elevation ranges from 330 to 980 ft (100 to 300 m).

Lithography and Stratigraphy. The central lowlands are covered by Pleistocene marine sediments (mostly clay); thin, stony Pleistocene till and stratified drift overlie the rest of the bedrock, which is composed mostly of interbedded shale, sandstone, and limestone of the Ordivician and Silurian systems. Toward the southwestern part of the Section the sedimentary rocks become moderately to strongly metamorphosed. The sedimentary and metamorphic rocks have been intruded by Devonian igneous rocks; large plutons composed of granite, granodiorite, and quartz syenite dominate parts of the Section.

Soil Taxa. Haplorthods with frigid temperature regime and udic moisture regime are the dominant soils in the Section. Eutrochrepts and Haplaquepts with frigid temperature regime and udic and aquic moisture regimes are more common in the eastern half of the Section. Borofibrists are scattered throughout the Section.

Potential Natural Vegetation. K\"uchler vegetation types are northern hardwood and northern hardwood-spruce. Regional characterizations of important vegetation types include montane red spruce-balsam fir, lowland spruce-fir, northern hardwood-conifer.

Fauna. Spruce grouse, gray jay, boreal chickadee, bay-breasted warbler, Cape May warbler, red bat, snowshoe hare, pine marten, and moose characterize the colder conifer sites in this Section. Ruffed grouse, pileated woodpecker, mourning warbler, Nashville warbler, black-throated warbler, red-eyed vireo, pine grosbeak, smoky shrew, northern flying squirrel, fisher, and white-tailed deer characterize the hardwood-conifer sites. Eastern woodland caribou, mountain lion, and timber wolf were extirpated through land-clearing activities and European settlement that preceded agricultural development in the early to mid-nineteenth century. Coyotes, bobcats, black bears (seasonally) and humans are the larger predators today. The northern spring salamander, grey tree frog, mink frog, eastern box turtle, northern brown snake, and eastern milk snake characterize a richer herpetofaunal component than more northerly Sections. Common loons, bald eagles, ospreys, and otters commonly use the many large lakes, rivers, and flowages. Beaver commonly alter drainways and wetlands through damming activities. Beech is the primary source of hard mast; oak is a secondary hard mast source. Historically, Atlantic salmon were found in the major rivers (Penobscot and Kennebec) of this Section. Restoration of Atlantic salmon to the Penobscot is underway. No Federally listed threatened and endangered species are unique to this Section.

Climate. A transitional climate exists between that of the coastal zone and that of the more continental climate of regions to the north and west. Precipitation decreases and snowfall increases from east to west. Average annual precipitation 43 to 46 in (1090 to 1170 mm). Snowfall varies from an average of 70 in (1780 mm) in the east to 100 in (2540 mm) in the west. Mean annual temperature ranges from 39 to 45 oF (4 to 7 oC). The growing season lasts from 110 to 140 days.

Surface Water Characteristics. Perennial streams, lakes, and reservoirs provide an abundance of water. Streams along the northern border of this Section pass through a 5 to 10 mi (8 to 16 km) wide belt of steep stream gradients and become low gradient superimposed streams across the northeast trending hills to the south. Patterns are dendritic and trellis-like. Most lakes are under 10 mi2 (26 km2) but nearly a dozen range up to 40 mi2 (104 km2). Lakes, bogs, and wetlands are generally remnants of glacial recession twelve to thirteen thousand years ago. Average annual runoff ranges from 18 to 22 in (460 to 560 mm). Extreme peak flows may occur any time of year but are usually associated with hurricanes or rain-on-snow events. Maximum monthly flows occur in March, April, and May, minimum flows occur in fall and late winter.

Disturbance Regimes. Disturbance from fire and large scale windthrow are rare. Historical documentation of fire occurrence in this region shows considerable variability through time. Individual to few tree group level wind caused disturbance may be common. Ice and heavy snow can cause extensive crown damage, particularly in conifer types. Insect and disease disturbance have resulted from defoliating insects, particularly spruce budworm and hemlock looper; impact from beech bark disease and white pine blister rust have been severe. Significant brown ash dieback has also occurred. Although regionally the distribution of modern and pre-settlement forest types match well, 250 years of land use activity have affected forest structure and composition across the landscape. The land has been both selectively and intensively logged throughout this century and the last. Forest land has been cleared and farmed since the time of early settlement. Beginning around 1870, land unprofitable for agriculture was abandoned and much was allowed to revert to forest.

Land Use. Most of the area is in hardwood and conifer forest, most of which is in small holdings. Forest land is used for wood products, hunting, and other types of recreation.

Cultural Ecology. Native American hunter-gatherer economic activities were prevalent within the area as long ago as ten thousand years. Settlements were small and short term. Historically the area was occupied by Eastern Abnaki Tribal groups. European settlement occurred as early as the 17th century and increased during the following centuries. Nineteenth century timber harvesting resulted in a largely deforested landscape by the early 20th century. Harvest of restored second growth timber has continued into the present. Tourism and winter and summer recreational activities, which began in the 19th century, continue to thrive today and together are considered the area's number one economic sector.

Compiled by Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, and the Eastern Region.

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Section 212C--Fundy Coastal and Interior

Geomorphology. The Section is part of the New England geomorphic province. It is a glacially scoured and dissected peneplain with a few low, rounded mountains (monadnocks). The Section exhibits some glacial features, primarily kames, eskers, and terraces. Topography is gently rolling, sloping toward the coastal zone, which is characterized by low ridges surrounded by poorly drained and relatively flat terrain. Coastal and fluvial erosion, transport and deposition are the primary operating geomorphic processes. Elevation ranges from 100 to 400 ft (30 to 120 m), with local relief from 1,000 to 1,400 ft (300 to 425 m). Gentle slopes cover 50 to 80 percent of the area; 50 to 75 percent are found in the lowlands. Subenvelop elevation range is 0 to 160 ft (0 to 50 m).

Lithography and Stratigraphy. The coastal lowlands are covererd by Pleistocene marine sediments (mostly clay); thin, stony Pleistocene till and stratified drift overlie the rest of the bedrock. Most bedrock is igneous. Paleozoic granitic and mafic intrusives and Cambrian and Silurian volcanics. Granitic rocks underlie the topographic highs. Mafic intrusives, volcanics, and some fine-grained, lower Paleozoic metasediments underlie lower topography.

Soil Taxa. Haplorthods with frigid temperature regime and udic moisture regime, with smaller representations of Haplaquepts and Dystrochrepts, comprise most of this Section. Borofibrists are also represented.

Potential Natural Vegetation. K\"uchler vegetation types are northeastern spruce-fir, northern hardwood, and northern hardwood-spruce forests. Regionally described important vegetation types include lowland red spruce-balsam fir, coastal spruce-fir, coastal raised peatlands, and coastal plateau peat lands.

Fauna. Spruce grouse, gray jay, common raven, bay-breasted warbler, Cape May warbler, red bat, snowshoe hare, pine marten, and moose characterize the conifer sites in this Section. Upland sandpiper and savannah sparrow characterize non-forested lands. The American elk and timber wolf were extirpated through land-clearing activities and European settlement in the late 18th century. The walrus was extirpated and sea mink became extinct from coastal sites sometime during the 19th century. Coyotes, bobcats, black bears (seasonally), and humans are the larger predators today. Four-toed salamander, American toad, mink frog, wood turtle, northern water snake, and eastern smooth green snake characterize a richer herpetofaunal component than more northerly Sections. Common loons, bald eagles, ospres, and otters commonly use the many large lakes, rivers, and flowages in this Section. Beaver commonly alter drainways and wetlands through damming activities. Peregrine falcons are returning to historic coastal eyries to nest. Beech is a primary source of hard mast; oak is a secondary hard mast source. The storm petrel, razorbill, roseate tern, laughing gull, Atlantic puffin, black guillemot, and sharp-tailed sparrow occur in a variety of coastal habitats. Atlantic salmon are found in the Naragansus, Pleasant, and Machias Rivers of this Section. Numerous whales, dolphins, and seals seasonally migrate through the Gulf of Maine, as do several marine turtle species such as the leather back, loggerhead, and Atlantic Ridley turtle. No Federally listed threatened and endangered species are unique to this Section.

Climate. Precipitation ranges from 44 to 50 (1120 to 1270 mm); more precipitation occurs in the winter than in the summer. This part of the Main coast is fog shrouded on average for twice as many hours as more southern coastal regions. Average annual snowfall is 85 in (2160 mm). Mean annual temperature ranges from 39 to 45 oF (4 to 7 oC). The growing season lasts from 100 to 140 days, decreasing from south to north.

Surface Water Characteristics. Perennial streams and wetlands provide an abundance of water. Saltwater resources and tidal influence are important in coastal zones. Drainage includes intermingled trellis and dendritic patterns. Low gradient-incised channels are common. Average annual runoff ranges from 24 to 27 in (610 to 690 mm), increasing toward the coast. Maximum monthly flows occur in March, April, and May. Extreme peak flows may occur any time of year but are usually associated with hurricanes or rain-on-snow events. Minimum monthly flows occur in fall and late winter.

Disturbance Regimes. Disturbance from fire is rare, although historical documentation of fire occurrence in this region shows considerable variability through time. Severe wind events can cause considerable blowdown in forested communities near coastal areas. Tidal flooding associated with storms occurs along the coast. Insect and disease disturbances have resulted from hemlock looper, spruce budworm, and European larch canker. Severe impacts have resulted from beech bark disease. Although regionally the distribution of modern and pre-settlement forest types match well, 250 years of land use activity have affected forest structure and composition across the landscape. The land has been both selectively and intensively logged throughout this century and the last. Land has been cleared and farmed since the time of early settlement. Beginning around 1870, land unprofitable for agriculture was abandoned and much was allowed to revert to forest land.

Land Use. About 80 percent of this area is in hardwood and conifer forest, most of which is in small holdings. Forest products and recreation are the principal uses of forest land.

Cultural Ecology. As early as ten thousand years ago, Native Americans hunted, fished, and gathered a variety of natural resources in this area. Marine resources were of particular interest. European exploration of the area began as early as 1604. Settlement of small towns and communities followed during the next century. By the latter 19th to early 20th centuries, fishing and other marine-related industries became the major source of economic activity for the area.

Compiled by Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, and the Eastern Region.

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Section 212D--Central Maine Coastal and Interior

Geomorphology. The Section is part of the New England geomorphic province. It is a glacially scoured and dissected peneplain, sloping toward the coast. It exhibits some glacial features, mainly kames, eskers, and terraces. Flat to gently rolling terrain is characteristic except around Penobscot Bay, where the terrain is dominated by knobby bedrock ridges and high hills that have a linear, southwest to northeast trend. Coastal and fluvial erosion, transport and deposition are the primary operating geomorphic processes. Elevation ranges from sealevel to 400 ft (120 m); Local relief ranges from 100 to 1,000 ft (30 to 305 m). Gentle slopes occupy 50 to 80 percent of the area; 50 to 75 percent are in the lowlands. Subenvelop elevation ranges from 0 to 50 ft (0 to 15 m).

Lithography and Stratigraphy. The coastal lowlands are covered by Pleistocene marine sediments (mostly clay); thin, stony Pleistocene till and stratified drift overlie bedrock along the northern margin. Bedrock geology of this Section is complex; intense faulting and folding created a distinct southwest to northeast structural grain. Bedrock is composed primarily of alternating bands of lower Paleozoic metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks. quartzite, slate, schist, gneiss, marble, and green stone. Metamorphic grade generally increases from east to west. Scattered granitic plutons occur mostly in the north and east portions of the Section underlying topographic highs.

Soil Taxa. Haplorthods, Haplaquepts, and Eutroquepts with frigid temperature regime and udic and aquic moisture regimes comprise most of the Section.

Potential Natural Vegetation. K\"uchler vegetation types are northeastern spruce-fir, northern hardwood-spruce, and northern hardwood forests. Regionally this area is described as a transitional zone. From west to east the forest transition ranges from northern Appalachian oak, pine, and mixed hardwoods typical of the southern New England coastal plain to northern coastal spruce-fir and spruce-fir-northern hardwood communities. From south to north, coastal communities grade to more montane spruce-fir and northern hardwood communities. Coastal pitch pine communities are represented on sand dunes and outcrops in the coastal zone.

Fauna. The turkey vulture, tufted titmouse, blue-gray gnatcatcher, brown thrasher, pine warbler, short-tailed shrew, star-nosed mole, small-footed myotis, New England cottontail, snowshoe hare, southern flying squirrel, woodland vole, fisher, white-tailed deer, and moose characterize this transition zone. Upland sandpiper, bobolink, and savannah sparrow characterize non-forest land. The timber rattlesnake, American elk, and timber wolf were extirpated through land clearing activities and European settlement in the late 18th century. Walrus was extirpated and sea mink became extinct from coastal sites some time during the 19th century. Coyotes, bobcats, black bears (seasonally) and humans are the larger predators today. The redbacked salamander, American toad, grey tree frog, spotted turtle, wood turtle, northern water snake, and ribbon snakes, characterize a richer herpetofaunal component than more northerly and easterly Sections. Common loons, bald eagles, ospreys, and otters commonly use the large lakes, rivers, and flowages in this Section. Beaver commonly alter drainways and wetlands through damming activities. Historically Atlantic salmon were found in the major rivers (Penobscot, Kennebec, and Androscoggin). Restoration of Atlantic salmon to the Penobscot is underway. Oak is a primary source of hard mast; beech is a secondary hard mast source. The storm-petrel, black crowned night-heron, roseate tern, laughing gull, Atlantic puffin, black guillemot, and sharp-tailed sparrow occur in a variety of coastal habitats. Numerous whales, dolphins, and seals seasonally migrate through the Gulf of Maine, as do several marine turtle species such as the leather back, loggerhead, and Atlantic Ridley turtle. No Federally listed threatened and endangered species are unique to this Section.

Climate. Precipitation ranges from 42 to 49 in (1,050 to 1,250 mm); average annual precipitation increases from northwest to southeast. Average annual snowfall ranges from 63 to 80 in (1,600 to 2,000 mm). Mean annual temperature ranges from 39 to 45 oF (4 to 7 oC). The growing season lasts from 140 to 160 days.

Surface Water Characteristics. Many perennial streams, small lakes, and ponds are important sources of water. Drainage is deranged dendritic. Stream gradients are low. Saltwater resources and tidal influence are important in coastal zones. Average annual runoff ranges from 20 to 25 in (510 - 640 mm). Maximum monthly flows occur in March, April, and May. Extreme peak flows may occur any time of year but are usually associated with hurricanes or rain-on-snow events. Minimum monthly flows occur in August, September, and October.

Disturbance Regimes. Disturbance from fire is uncommon, but historical documentation of fire occurrence in this region indicates this has varied. Severe winds can cause considerable blowdown in forested communities near coastal regions. Tidal flooding associated with storms occurs along the coast. Insect and disease disturbances from beech bark disease and white pine blister rust have been severe. Impacts from European larch canker on coastal larch and dwarf mistletoe on coastal white spruce are ongoing. Although regionally the distribution of modern and pre-settlement forest types match well, 250 years of land use activity have affected forest structure and composition across the landscape. The land has been both selectively and intensively logged throughout this century and the last. Land has been cleared and farmed since early settlement. Beginning around 1870, land unprofitable for agriculture was abandoned and much was allowed to revert to forest land.

Land Use. Much of this area is in hardwood and conifer forest, most of which is in small holdings. Agriculture and urbanization are increasingly important land uses near coastal areas.

Cultural Ecology. As early as ten thousand years ago, Native Americans hunted, fished, and gathered a variety of natural resources. Marine resources were of particular interest. European exploration of the area began as early as 1604. Settlement of small towns and communities followed during the next century. By the latter 19th to early 20th centuries, fishing and other marine-related industries became the major source of economic activity for the area.

Compiled by Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, and the Eastern Region.

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Section 212E--St. Lawrence and Champlain Valley

Geomorphology. The Section is part of the St. Lawrence Valley geomorphic province. The eastern half is dominated by Lake Champlain, which is bracketed by wave-cut terraces and low hills. The western prong is characterized by marine plains and rolling, low parallel ridges. Lake shore and fluvial erosion, transport and deposition are the primary operating geomorphic processes. Elevation ranges from 80 to 1,000 ft (25 to 300 m), increasing gradually from the St. Lawrence River southward and from Lake Champlain to the east and west. Local relief ranges from 500 to 1,000 ft. Gentle slopes cover 50 to 80 percent of the area, 50 to 75 percent in the lowlands. Subenvelop elevation range is 0 to 650 ft (0 to 200 m).

Lithography and Stratigraphy. Pleistocene marine clays cover slightly older lacustrine silts and clays that, in turn, cover bedrock. Bedrock is mostly Ordovician carbonate and shale with some Cambrian sandstone. There is a distinctive north-south structural grain around Lake Champlain, associated with early Paleozoic thrust-faulting and sub-parallel graben-faulting. The low ridges at the Section's west end are underlain by tightly folded Proterozoic (Grenville) marble, gneiss, and amphibolite and Cambrian sandstone, displaying a prominent northeast-southwest structural and topographic grain.

Soil Taxa. Hapludalfs, Ochraqualfs, Eutrochrepts, Dystrochrepts, and some Udipsamments with mesic temperature regime and udic moisture regime are common in the Champlain Valley. On the western side of the Adirondacks nearer the St. Lawrence River, soils are primarily Ochraqualfs, Haplaquepts, Humaquepts, Eutrochrepts, and Dystrochrepts, with frigid and mesic temperature regime and udic and aquic moisture regimes.

Potential Natural Vegetation. K\"uchler vegetation types are northern hardwood and beech-maple forest. Regional characterizations of important vegetation types include transition hardwood-white pine-hemlock, northern hardwood-elm-red maple, northern hardwoods, aspen-gray birch-paper birch, and pitch pine-heath barrens.

Fauna. Prior to European settlement the faunal component of this Section closely resembled those of the neighboring, more mountainous areas (M212C and M212D). Perhaps the greatest difference relates to the relatively flatter topography, which is more attractive to beaver and their associated habitat manipulations. Species associated with wetter habitats (e.g., muskrats, otters, black ducks, cerulean warblers, common yellowthroats, mudpuppies, and map turtles) are more prevalent in this Section than in neighboring Sections. Dating from colonial times, agriculture has continued to influence faunal habitat; 75 percent of the Section remains in agricultural production. This creates a greater abundance of grass, forb, and shrub habitats. Common species include the red-spotted newt, Amercian toad, bullfrog, snapping turtle, garter snake, red-tailed hawk, wild turkey, great horned owl, northern flicker, eastern rufous-sided towhee, song sparrow, red-winged blackbird, eastern cottontail, woodchuck, meadow vole, raccoon, striped skunk, and white-tailed deer. Species which avoid human contact tend to be less prevalent, including the black bear, moose, bobcats, and fisher. No Fedrally listed threatened and endangered species are unique to this Section.

Climate. Precipitation ranges from 30 to 40 in (760 - 1020 mm). Snowfall averages 40 to 60 in (1020 to 1520 mm) in the Champlain Valley and up to 100 in (2550 mm) over the St. Lawrence Plain near Lake Ontario. Mean annual temperature ranges from 39 to 45 oF (4 to 7 oC). The growing season generally lasts from 120 to 140 days, but increases to about 160 days in a narrow belt around Lake Champlain.

Surface Water Characteristics. The area is bordered by Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River and encompasses Lake Champlain, which is roughly 490 mi2 (1,270 km2) and 400 ft (122 m) deep. Perennial streams and small lakes contribute to an abundance of water. Wetlands are common. Drainage courses have been superimposed from a previous erosional surface and modified by glaciation. Drainage patterns include rectangular, dendritic, and trellis. Valley streams are low gradient and incised. Moderate gradient streams drain the foothills east of Lake Champlain and west of the Adirondacks. Average annual runoff ranges from 10 to 20 in (250 to 520 mm) increasing with elevation. Maximum monthly flows occur in March and April, minimum monthly flows occur in August, September, and October.

Disturbance Regimes. Fire is an important, small scale disturbance on areas characterized by xeric edaphic extremes. Drought can be an important climatic influence. About 75 percent of this area is in agriculture; the remaining area is in forest. As in other areas dominated by agriculture in this region, extensive forest land occurs, generally on very dry or wet sites and is second or even third growth. Insect and disease disturbances have resulted from Dutch elm disease, beech bark disease, gypsy moth, false pine budworm, and butternut canker.

Land Use. Most of this area is in farms or forests; only about 6 percent is used for urban development.

Cultural Ecology. Humans have occupied the St. Lawrence River and Champlain Valley for at least ten thousand years, adapting their ways of life in a variety of changing environments. Initially people lived in small, nomadic groups and later in larger settlements. Historically, the area was within the Iroquois Tribal Territory. European exploration of the area began in the 17th century. Fur trade and settlement of the area followed during the 18th century. Industrialization, riverine-related activities, agriculture, concentrated human settlement in metropolitan areas, and recreation are currently the major human activities affecting the ecosystem

Compiled by Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, and the Eastern Region.

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Section 212F--Northern Glaciated Allegheny Plateau

Geomorphology. The Section is part of the Appalachian Plateaus geomorphic province. It is a maturely dissected plateau of moderate relief, over-printed with notable moraine, drumlin, kettle, scour, and other glacial features. The Section is characterized by irregular topography-- broadly rolling with high hills, and steep valleys typified by the north-south trending Finger Lakes. It is demarcated by north-facing escarpments south of and paralleling Lake Ontario, and east-facing escarpments west of and paralleling the Hudson River, the most prominent of which stands up to 2,000 ft (610 m) above the valley. Mass wasting, karst solution, fluvial erosion, and transport and deposition are the primary operating geomorphic processes. Elevation ranges from 650 to 1,970 ft (200 to 600 m); local relief ranges from 400 to 1,000 ft (120 to 300 m). Gentle slopes cover 20 to 50 percent of the landscape; more than 75 percent are in the upland. Subenvelop elevation range is 650 to 1,000 ft (200 to 300 m).

Lithography and Stratigraphy. Most of the Section is covered by thin, stony Pleistocene till and stratified drift. On top of the plateau, beneath the drift, bedrock is mostly Devonian sandstone, siltstone, and shale. Exposed in the escarpments around the plateau's margins are older Devonian limestones and sandstone above Silurian and Ordovician limestone and shale. Silurian conglomerate holds up the most prominent scarp in the southeast corner of the Section. In the central region, bedrock has been broadly folded into a series of gentle, sub-parallel, east-west trending anticlines and synclines.

Soil Taxa. Fragiaquepts, Fragiochrepts, and Dytrochrepts with udic and aquic moisture regimes and mesic temperature regime predominate. Frigid temperature regimes are common on topographic highs in the western part of the Section.

Potential Natural Vegetation. K\"uchler vegetation types include northern hardwoods and Appalachian oak forest. Regionally defined important vegetation types include Appalachian oak-hickory forest, Appalachian oak-pine forest, beech-maple mesic forest, and hemlock-northern hardwood forest.

Fauna. Wildlife species which tend to avoid human contact (e.g., black bear, bobcat, river otter) tend to be fewer in number here than on the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau, where human presence is somewhat less prevalent. White-tailed deer is the most common large mammal. Smaller mammals include beaver, red and gray fox, raccoon, skunk, coyotes, gray squirrel, mink, and muskrat. Wild turkey, ruffed grouse, woodcock, wood duck, and other waterfowl are common game species. Woodland warblers such as the cerulean, mourning, and black-throated green are found throughout the plateau. Raptors include a variety of owls (great horned, barred, saw-whet, screech), buteos (red-tailed, red-shouldered, broad-winged), and accipiters (goshawk, Cooper's hawk, sharp-shinned). Historically this area was habitat for peregrine falcon. Two common cavity nesters are the pileated woodpecker and yellow-bellied sapsucker. Salamanders include the red-backed, spotted, and northern dusky, as well as red-spotted newts and mudpuppies. Timber rattlesnakes, eastern smooth green snakes, northern leopard frogs, wood turtles, and northern coal skinks also inhabit the plateau. No Federally listed threatened and endangered species are unique to this Section.

Climate. Average annual precipitation is 30 to 50 in (750 to 1250 mm). Average annual snowfall is from 60 to 80 in (1,520 to 2,030 mm). Mean annual temperature ranges from 46 to 50 oF (8 to 10 oC). The growing season lasts for 100 to 160 days.

Surface Water Characteristics. Perennial streams and small lakes provide an abundance of water. This Section is characterized by deeply incised high gradient and bedrock controlled streams in the upland, and low and moderate gradient, mature streams in the valleys. Swamps and marshes occupy poorly drained uplands and valleys. The drainage pattern is dendritic. Numerous waterfalls and rapids exist where streams cross beds of resistant rock. Several prominent streams, including the Mohawk River and tributaries to several of the Finger Lakes, reversed direction of flow during glacial recession. Average annual runoff ranges from 10 to 24 in (250 to 610 mm). Runoff values are lowest in the center of the Allegheny Plateau and increase both east and west. Highest runoff occurs in spring. Lowest runoff occurs in summer and fall.

Disturbance Regimes. Fire was historically of some importance in maintaining oak dominated communities in the central part of the plateau and elsewhere on southern and western slopes of this region. Insect and disease disturbances have resulted from chestnut blight, beech bark disease, sugar maple defoliators, and ongoing ash dieback. Climatic influences include occasional droughts, particularly in the central part of the region.

Land Use. Most of the area is in agricultural land; only about one-third of the land, generally ridge tops and steeper slopes, is forested. Forests are mostly of second and third growth.

Cultural Ecology. Humans first entered the area during the Paleo-Indian period (about 8,000 - 12,000 B.C.) when the climate was much cooler and vegetation was dominated by spruce. The park-tundra environment supported small groups of people who were highly mobile, occupied small hunting and fishing camps, and hunted wild game such as caribou. The Archaic Period (about 8,000 to 1,000 B.C.) was characterized by changes in human adaptations in response to environmental changes. The climate became warmer, the vegetation changed, and new fauna proliferated (e.g., deer, elk, turkey, and passenger pigeon). At the end of the following periods (Transitional to Woodland, about 1,000 B.C. to 1,600 A.D.) Iroquios Tribal horticulturists lived in fortified villages. After the Revolutionary War, Euro-Americans displaced many of the Native Americans and harvested a variety of forest species for increasing timber markets. Industrialization, along with increased human populations, led to the extinction of some animal species and the extirpation of other species, as well as major modifications in diverse ecosystems.

Compiled by Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, and the Eastern Region.

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Section 212G--Northern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau

Geomorphology. This Section is part of the Appalachian Plateaus Geomorphic Province. It is a maturely dissected plateau characterized by sharper ridge tops and narrower valleys than the glaciated portions of the plateau to the north and west. Drainage is dendritic. Mass wasting, fluvial erosion, transport and deposition are the primary geomorphic processes currently operating. Broad, low amplitude, northeast-southwest trending folds imperceptibly tilt the horizontal sedimentary layers and lend a subtle grain to the topography. Elevation ranges from 1,000 to 2,000 ft (305 to 610 m). Local relief ranges from 100 to 670 ft (30 to 205). Local relief ranges from 100 to 670 ft (30 to 205 m).

Lithology and Stratigraphy. A veneer of unconsolidated materials overlie bedrock. Residium on flat and gently sloping uplands, colluvium on steep hillsides, and alluvium in narrow valley bottoms. Thicker deposits of clay, silt, sand, and gravel are present in wider valleys. Beneath these sediments, the Upper Devonian, Lower Mississippian, and Pennsylvanian bedrock is composed of a mixed siliciclastic sequence of sandstone, siltstone, shale, subordinate conglomerate, occasional limestone, and coal.

Soil Taxa. Alfisols, Entisols, Inceptisols, and Ultisols are the dominant soil orders. Temperature regime ranges from frigid at the summit of the plateau, to mesic in the valleys. Moisture regimes are udic and aquic. Parent materials are residuum from sandstone, siltstone, and shale.

Potential Natural Vegetation. K\"uchler vegetation types are Northern hardwoods forest and Appalachian oak forest. Eastern hemlock, and American beech-hemlock forests are abundant on moist sites; American beech-sugar maple forests are common on the better drained sites. Common associates include red maple, sweet birch, black cherry, white ash, yellow birch, eastern white pine, yellow-poplar, and cucumbertree.

Fauna. Large herbivores and carnivores on the Allegheny Plateau include the abundant white-tailed deer and the common black bears. Smaller members are bobcats, beaver, red and gray fox, raccoon, skunk, coyotes, gray squirrel, mink, muskrat, and river otters. A variety of birds such as wild turkey, ruffed grouse, woodcock, wood duck, and other waterfowl are hunted. A variety of woodland warblers (cerulean warbler, mourning warbler, and black-throated green warbler) and woodland raptors (saw-whet owl, goshawk, and red-shouldered hawk) are found on the plateau. Salamanders include the red-backed, spotted, marbled, and northern dusky salamanders. Timber rattlesnakes, northern green frogs, wood turtles, and northern coal skinks also inhabit the plateau. Endangered species include the American bald eagles, northern riffleshell mussel and clubshell mussel.

Climate. Precipitation ranges from 40 to 50 in (1020 to 1270 mm) per year, evenly distributed throughout the year. Snowfall averages from 50 to 100 in (1270 to 2540 mm). Mean annual temperature ranges from 46 to 48 oF (8 to 9 oC). The growing season lasts from 120 to 150 days.

Surface Water Characteristics. This Section has a prominently incised, distinctive dendritic drainage pattern. High frequency of rapidly moving streams and rivers which flow into the Allegheny (flows to Ohio River) and Susquehanna Rivers (flows to Chesapeake Bay). Channels are bedrock controlled. Wetlands are formed in alluvial areas, benches, heads of drainage ways, and in depressions. Seeps and springs are numerous.

Disturbance Regimes. Tornadoes and other windstorms commonly cause catastrophic disturbances on sites tens to thousands of acres in size. Periodic outbreaks of insects (e.g., gypsy moth, elm spanworm, cherry scallop shell moth) and diseases (e.g., chestnut blight, beech bark disease) may cause significant tree defoliation and mortality. Lightning may be an important cause of individual tree mortality. Ice storms have periodically caused large-scale tree crown dieback. Intensive human uses of the land, including logging and oil and gas development, have disturbed this landscape for more than the past one hundred years. Moderate to high deer populations have existed nearly continuously for the past 70 years, causing significant changes in plant composition and structure of the forests.

Land Use. Most of the land is currently in forests, used for recreation, wildlife habitat, hunting, fishing, and production of forest products. Oil and gas production is also a major use.

Cultural Ecology. Humans first entered the area during the Paleo--Indian period (about 8,000 to 12,000 B.C.) when the climate was much cooler and the vegetation was dominated by spruce. The park-tundra environment supported small groups of people who were highly mobile, occupied small hunting and fishing camps, and hunted wild game such as caribou. The Archaic Period, about 8,000 B.C. to 1,000 B.C., was characterized by changes in human adaptations in response to environmental changes. The climate became warmer (much like today), the vegetation changed to an oak-hemlock forest, and new faunae proliferated (e.g., deer, elk, turkey, passenger pigeon). At the end of the following periods (Transitional and Woodland about 1,000 to A.D. 1,600) Native American horticulturists lived in fortified villages. After the Revolutionary War, Euro-Americans displaced many of the Native Americans and cut the virgin pine stands for downstream timber markets. Industrialization and increased human populations led to the extinction of some animal species (e.g., the passenger pigeon) and the extirpation of other species (e.g., the wolf). Oil emerged as an important industry. The historic logging practices of the wood chemical industry (about 1890 to 1930) created the present Allegheny hardwoods forest, dominated by black cherry.

Compiled by Eastern Region and Northeastern Forest Experiment Station.

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Section 212H--Northern Great Lakes

Geomorphology. This Section is part of the Central Lowlands geomorphic province. It is a level to gently rolling lowland (glacial ground moraine) and flat outwash or lacustrine plain, with dune fields near the Great Lakes. Cropping out of the lowlands and plains are partially-buried end moraines and mounded ice-contact hills that trend roughly parallel to the Great Lakes shorelines. Drainage is dendritic with pronounced terracing. Geomorphic processes operating in the Section are fluvial erosion, transport, and deposition; lake-shore erosion and deposition; and minor dune construction. Elevation ranges from 580 to 1,725 ft (176 to 523 m). In Upper Michigan, the elevation range is mostly between 580 to 850 ft (176 to 259 m). Local relief is generally less than ten feet except in moraines, where it may range up to 325 feet.

Lithology and Stratigraphy. Nearly all of the Section is covered by Pleistocene (Wisconsinan) stratified drift, mostly outwash sand, ranging up to about 1,000 ft (300 m) thick over bedrock. Lacustrine deposits (stratified sand, silt, clay, or marl) occur between morainal and ice-contact ridges, and are widespread in eastern Upper Michigan. Pleistocene and Holocene sand dunes occur near the Great Lakes. Upper Proterozoic, Paleozoic, and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks underlie the drift. Silurian and Devonian limestones and dolomites are locally exposed along Lakes Huron and Michigan; upper Proterozoic and Cambrian sandstones crop out along Lake Superior.

Soil Taxa. Orthods, Boralfs, Udalfs, and Ochrepts with udic moisture regimes occur on moraines and ice-contact features. Psamments with xeric moisture regimes and Aquents with aquic moisture regimes are on outwash and sandy lake plains. Hemists and Saprists with aquic moisture regimes are in very poorly drained areas. Soil temperature regime is frigid.

Potential Natural Vegetation. K\"uchler vegetation types are northern hardwoods dominating on moraines and stratified ice-contact hills, and northern hardwood-fir forests on similar landforms in the coldest climatic regimes of Upper Michigan. Great Lakes pine forests occurred on outwash and lacustrine sands, with jack pine forests occupying outwash and lacustrine sand plains, and white and red pine forests on more mesic areas and grading into the ice-contact hills. Conifer bogs occupied low-lying areas in Upper Michigan and near the Straits of Mackinac. The elm-ash forest dominated a part of the Saginaw Bay lowlands in the southeastern part of the Section.

Fauna. Large herbivores and carnivores include whitetail deer and black bears. Gray wolves are present occasionally in Upper Michigan. Other faunae include beaver, otter, racoon, skunk, coyote, and bobcat. Fisher and pine marten have been reintroduced. Birds include hawks, eagles, peregrine falcons, sandhill and whooping cranes, loons, ducks, quail, grouse, and songbirds. Near the Great Lakes, gulls, terns, sandpipers, and cormorants are found. Anadromous fish such as steelhead, brown trout, and chinook and coho salmon run up rivers and streams from the Great Lakes. Resident fish are brook and rainbow trout; in lakes, there are walleye, northern pike, smallmouth and largemouth bass, and a variety of panfish. Endangered species include the gray wolf, eastern cougar, Kirtland's warbler, piping plover, Karner blue butterfly, American burying beetle, and Hungerford's crawling water beetle.

Climate. Average annual precipitation, which ranges from 27 to 34 in (680 to 1090 mm), is evenly distributed throughout the growing season. Lake-effect snowfall is considerable in some parts, ranging from 70 to 250 in (1800 to 8330 mm) across the Section. Proximity to the Great Lakes results in a cool lacustrine climate, with moderated minimum and maximum temperatures. Average annual temperature ranges from 39 to 43 oF (4 to 6 oC). The growing season lasts for 90 to 155 days, but in some low areas may be as short as 80 days.

Surface Water Characteristics. Low-gradient streams and rivers flow into Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron. Streams are underlain by deep sandy outwash deposits, limestone, sandstone, or shale. Numerous lakes and wetlands formed in low-lying areas, often in blocked glacial drainways, or in kettles formed over stranded glacial ice blocks.

Disturbance Regimes. Fire is the dominant natural disturbance in pine forests, with catastrophic fires during pre-European settlement times, occurring in 80 go 250 year intervals. Ground fires occurred more frequently. Gap-phase windthrow is the primary disturbance regime in northern hardwood forests, with about one percent of the canopy affected annually in patches mostly less than a half acre. Larger blowdowns due to windshear and tornadoes occur infrequently, but can cause extensive localized disturbance.

Land Use. European settlement brought clearcutting and widespread slash fires, followed by agricultural use and then extensive land abandonment. Early successional tree species are common, and longer-lived species are seldom older than 80 to 100 years in the second-growth forest. Current land use is for forestry and recreation. Hunting is the most common form of recreation; fishing, boating, snowmobiling, off-road vehicle riding, horseback riding, skiing, hiking, and biking are also popular. There are no large metropolitan areas in the Section. Forest products industries are common; oil and gas extraction is ongoing and increasing, and a small amount of mining occurs.

Cultural Ecology. Native peoples utilized Great Lakes shorelines and areas near water routes or large water sources for fishing, gathering, and hunting. Limited cultivation and agricultural use occurred during pre-historic and historic times. Inland areas were less utilized because of dense vegetation, wetlands, and insects, although the more accessible outwash areas were periodically burned for blueberry production. During this century, northern lower Michigan has been occupied by farmers, and by descendants of industry workers who moved from southern Michigan. In recent years the area has experienced considerable development from retirees and recreationists, due to its location within a few hours driving time from metropolitan areas. Conflicts develop among residents who typically favor economic development, some for resource development and others for tourism, and recreationists who may favor conservation, or may prefer consumptive recreation. Most of the area is in private ownership. Upper Michigan is relatively sparsely populated, mostly by descendants of European settlers who came to the area for mining or lumbering. It is being impacted by population growth, but less extensively than lower Michigan because of its great distance from cities, and the harsh climate. Most of Upper Michigan is public land.

Compiled by Eastern Region.

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Section 212J--Southern Superior Uplands

Geomorphology. This Section comprises the eastern two-thirds of the Superior Upland geomorphic province. About half the Section is level to gently rolling lowlands (glacial ground moraines) and flat laustrine plain; the rest is hillier uplands with escarpments. The lowlands and plains are intermittently overlain by low, undulating ridges (glacial end moraines) and by other mounded or hummocky glacial features (e.g., kames and eskers). Kettled glacial outwash plains are common. Most prominent of the uplands are linear "ranges" trending southwest-northeast along the Superior shore. Drainage is dendritic with only minor entrenchment. Geomorphic processes operating in the Section are lake-shore and fluvial erosion, transport and deposition. Elevation ranges from 600 to 1,980 ft (183 to 603 m). Local relief is generally 100 to 600 ft (30 to 183 m).

Lithology and Stratigraphy. Most of this Section is covered by Pleistocene (Wisconsinan) till and/or stratified drift, up to 500 ft (150 m) thick but much thinner on the uplands. Lacustrine deposits (stratified sand, silt, clay, marl, peat, and muck) occur primarily along Lake Superior. Beneath the drift, bedrock is composed mostly of Proterozoic igneous rocks, both felsic and mafic volcanics and plutonics. Volcanics underlie the most prominent highlands, the "ranges." Proterozoic metamorphics also occur. quartzite, slate, schist, gneiss, marble, greenstone, and amphibolite. Proterozoic shale and sandstone crop out along the Superior shore. Archean metavolcanics and granite form bedrock in the northeast corner of the Section. Bedrock outcrops are common in the upland areas.

Soil Taxa. Dominant soils include Spodosols, Entisols, Alfisols, Inceptisols, and Histosols with frigid temperature regime, and xeric, udic, and aquic moisture regimes. Parent materials are dominantly acid, except for calcareous materials associated with the Lake Superior clay plain and the Green Bay lobe.

Potential Natural Vegetation. K\"uchler vegetation types are maple-beech-birch, aspen-birch, spruce-fir forests. More recent vegetation classification is more specific. Acer-Tsuga Series and Acer-Series occur on mesic landforms; Tsuga Series occur on dry-mesic landforms; Pinus Series occur on xeric landforms; and Tsuga-Thuja Series occur on wetland landforms.

Fauna. Typical species include coniferous and mixed forest warblers. Tennessee, Nashville, northern parula, magnolia, Cape May, yellow-rumped Blackburnian, pine, and black-throated green warblers. Primary predators include Great Plains wolf, lynx, and fisher. Browsers include moose, white-tailed deer, snowshoe hare, and porcupine. Other mammals include artic shrew, least chipmunk, and northern flying squirrel. Typical herps include red-backed salamander, northern red-bellied snake, wood frog, and wood turtle. Typical fish include brook trout, northern pike, smallmouth bass, white sucker, sculpin, common shiner, and creek chub. Extirpated species reintroduced are the marten, fisher, peregrine falcon, moose, and wolf. The wolverine, mountain lion, woodland caribou, and bison remain expatriates. Unique species to this Section are the Wisconsin River muskellunge and lake trout.

Climate. Average annual precipitation ranges from 26 to 36 in (660 to 910 mm) occurring largely during the summer period. Considerable lake-effect snowfall occurs across this Section, ranging from 60 to 400 in (1,530 to 1,016 mm) from Lake Superior. Temperature ranges from 37 to 43 oF (3 to 6 oC). Most of the Section has a humid-continental climatic regime, with an average annual temperature range from about 39 to 45 oF (4 to 7 oC). Climate along Lake Superior is modified maritime continental, with an average annual temperature range of 37 to 43 oF (3 to 6 oC). The average temperature ranges from 9 oF (January) to 68 oF (July). Most of the Section has 80 to 145 days of average freeze-free period. Along Lake Superior, it is 100 to 140 days.

Surface Water Characteristics. Numerous lakes, streams, springs, spring ponds, and wetlands have formed in the glacial landscape. The drainage network is relatively immature; stream density is relatively low. Within this Section, two major watersheds begin. St. Lawrence (Lake Superior and Lake Michigan) and Mississippi River watershed. Low-gradient streams and rivers characterize most of the Section. High flows during the spring and fall and low-flow during summer periods characterize most streams and rivers that flow into Lake Superior. Streams are underlain by deep till, outwash, lacustrine, sandstone, and various igneous and metemorphic bedrock types. Lakes are largely associated with collapsed till of moraines and outwash plains.

Disturbance Regimes. Light to medium (10 to 40 percent canopy removal) windfall disturbance dominates in northern hardwoods on mesic landforms. In pine and mixed-pine cover types on xeric and dry mesic landforms, fire is the dominant disturbance, occurring at about 50 to 250 year intervals. Widespread thunderstorm downbursts occur at only about 1,200 to 2,000 year intervals.

Land Use. Extensive clearcutting was followed by catastrophic, hot slash fires in the late 19th and early early 20th centuries. European settlement brought moderate amounts of agricultural clearing (much of which was later abandoned), new species, and suppression of wildfire. Early successional species such as paper birch, big tooth and trembling aspens, and red maple have increased in abundance, while hemlock has been reduced due to a combination of logging, post-logging fire, and deer browsing. The current land cover is dominantly forest vegetation. Dominant land uses are outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat, and production of wood fiber.

Cultural Ecology. Ten thousand years ago small, mobile Paleo-Indian groups hunted large game such as barren ground caribou and gathered a variety of plants typical of the mosaic boreal forest-tundra. During the warm and dry conditions of the Hypsithermal Climatic episode beginning around 8,000 B.C., small game hunting-gathering Archaic populations were drawn to the fisheries, deer, elk and plants of the Lake Superior and Lake Michigan basins. Increasing moisture associated with the Little Climatic Optimum, 200 B.C., marked significant population increases in the Woodland Native American culture. During 2,000 years of Woodland development, Indian groups focused on a variety of food collection strategies, including horticulture. Europeans ventured into the area by the mid to late 17th century. Mining greatly increased the influx of Europeans during the first half of the 19th century; and following the Civil War, logging became a dominant industry. Euro-American settlement escalated by the beginning of the 20th century, ushering in modern social and economic trends.

Compiled by Eastern Region.

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Section 212K--Western Superior

Geomorphology. The Section comprises part of the Superior Uplands geomorphic province. It is mostly poorly drained, flat to slightly rolling ground moraine and plain-pitted outwash with kettles intermittantly overlain by low, undulating ridges (glacial end moraines) and drumlins. Poor to unintegrated (chaotic) drainage dominates, except along the St. Croix River where dendritic drainage is established in and adjacent to a glacial channel. Geomorphic processes operating in the Section are fluvial erosion, transport, and deposition. Elevation ranges from 650 to 1,650 ft (200 to 500 m). Local relief is generally less than 100 ft (30 m), but ranges up to 200 ft (60 m) in pitted outwash areas.

Lithology and Stratigraphy. Most of the Section is covered by either or both Pleistocene (Wisconsinan) till and stratified drift, ranging in thickness from 100 to 600 ft (30-180 m). Beneath the drift, bedrock is composed mostly of Proterozoic igneous rocks--volcanics and plutonics, both felsic and mafic. Proterozoic and lower Cambrian quartzite, slate, and marble, and Archean metavolcanics and quartzite occur in scattered areas.

Soil Taxa. Boralfs, Orchrepts, and Orthods, with a scattering of Histosols, occur. Moisture regime is mostly udic with some xeric in Orthods, and aquic in Histosols and some of the Ochrepts. Temperature regime is frigid. Soils are generally coarsely textured (sandy) and well to excessively drained in the eastern part, and medium textured, moderately to somewhat poorly drained in the western part.

Potential Natural Vegetation. Primarily coniferous and deciduous forests dominate. Some jack pine and oak barrens are on the Bayfield peninsula. K\"uchler types are mapped as Great Lakes pine forest, Great Lakes spruce-fir forest, and maple-basswood forest.

Fauna. The pine barrens (pine savannas) of this area historically and presently contain a characteristic assemblage of breeding birds, including many grassland birds that are now uncommon elsewhere, such as uplands sandpiper, sharp-tailed grouse, clay-colored sparrow, and vesper sparrow. The Great Plains wolf is becoming quite successful in re-colonizing this Section. The Karner blue butterfly (Federally threatened) is found associated with lupine in the pine barrens throughout much of this Section. Several other rare butterflies are found, including regal frittilary, Laurentian skipper, and hoary elfin. Singing male Kirtland's warblers have been found, making this perhaps the only Section capable of supporting a population of Kirtland's warblers besides 212H. herptiles typify this Section reaching high densities and providing a critical food source for raptors such as merlins. Characteristic herps include the northern prairie skink and smooth green snake. Moose were once abundant in this Section and are slowly recovering today. Eastern pocket gophers, badgers, and coyotess are characteristic mammals.

Climate. Precipitation ranges from 26 to 32 in (650 to 810 mm). About two thirds of this amount occurs during the growing season. Average annual snowfall is 50 to 70 in. Mean annual temperature ranges from 39 to 45 oF (4 to 7 oC). The growing season lasts for 120 to 140 days.

Surface Water Characteristics. There exists a relatively low frequency of low-gradient streams. Small natural lakes are fairly common, except on the Bayfield Peninsula.

Disturbance Regimes. Fires were very intensive, frequent, and quite severe on the landscape. This helped to keep a conifer dominated uplands Forest. The Jack pine and oak barrens were also maintained by intensive fires. Logging, grazing, and farming also caused large dramatic disturbances.

Land Use. Current dominant land uses are commercial forestry, dispersed outdoor recreation, and agriculture.

Cultural Ecology. Humans have occupied the Upper Mississippi Valley cultural area for at least 10,000 years, adapting their ways of life in a variety of changing environments. Conditions have varied: from cool, wet tundra supporting herds of open land-grazing animals such as bison and caribou; through a warm, dry, savanna period when availability of water and aquatic resources was drastically altered; to the forests and tall grass prairie of the present. People initially lived in small, nomadic groups and later in larger villages, changing their hunting, fishing, and gathering methods as environmental conditions changed, to enable the most efficient resource use. Horticulture has been practiced for about 1,000 years. Within the last 300 years, the near extinction of some species of fur-bearing mammals for the fur trade, the harvesting of forests by logging, and cultivation and dairy farming have significantly altered the environment. Today, farming, industrialization, and recreation are the major human activities affecting the ecosystem.

Compiled By. Eastern Region and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

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Section 212L--Northern Superior Uplands

Geomorphology. The Section is part of the Superior Uplands geomorphic province. It is a glacially scoured peneplain characterized by level-to-rolling uplands and hills. Most prominent of the hills are linear ranges trending southwest to northeast along Lake Superior and parallel ranges farther north (Mesabi, Vermillion). There is a prominent escarpment along Superior's shore. Innumerable small lakes and potholes dominate the northern part of the Section. An east to west trending series of small lakes occurs in the northeasternmost portion of the Section; and an east to west trending series of larger lakes follows a fault zone in the most western part of the Section. Elevation ranges from 600 to 2,280 ft (183 to 695 m). Local relief ranges from 600 (180 m). General relief is 10 to 60 ft (3 to 20 m). Upland areas rise 300 to 600 ft (90 to 180 m) above lowlands, interspersed between lakes or bogs.

Lithology and Stratigraphy. Most of the Section is covered by either or both thin Pleistocene (Wisconsinan) till and stratified drift, more than 20 ft thick (6 m) in some areas, but much thinner on the uplands. Beneath the drift in the western half of the Section, bedrock is composed of Archean quartzite, banded iron oxides, metagabbro, greenstone, and granite. Granite underlies some of the ranges. Proterozoic mafic volcanics and intrusives dominate bedrock in the hills along Superior's shore and in the northeast. The linear grain along the northeastern border is created by structure in Proterozoic slate and marble, forming bedrock. Outcrops are common in the uplands areas.

Soil Taxa. Inceptisols, Entisols, Alfisols, and Histosols occur in a frigid temperature regime with mostly udic and aquic moisture regimes. Relatively shallow to bedrock soils (Lithic Dystrochrepts and Lithic Udorthents) are significant components. Parent materials are dominantly noncalcareous.

Potential Natural Vegetation. Dominant vegetation includes mixed pine with aspen-birch, white pine, red pine, jack pine, black spruce, balsam fir, and white cedar, with less common occurrences of northern hardwoods along the shore of Lake Superior. K\"uchler types are Great Lakes spruce-fir forest and Great Lakes pine forest.

Fauna. Except for the extirpation of the woodland caribou, this area has had no substantial faunal changes in historic time. Populations and focus locations have varied, but the resident species have remained intact. Two species that characterize the area are the common loons and the gray wolf. Although the wolf is currently listed as an endangered species, it is increasing in population due to restrictions on hunting and trapping. Black bear are common, with fishers, martens, coyotes, bobcats and lynxes also being present. Caribou and wolverines are sighted along the Canadian border. Cool or cold water lakes support lake trout, walleye, northern pike, and the whitefishes. Walleye and northern pike are also typical of large rivers. Cold water streams support brook trout, white suckers, and sculpins. Warm water streams support a variety of minnow species and smallmouth bass.

Climate. Precipitation averages 26 to 31 in (660 to 780 mm), with 60 percent falling in the growing season. Precipitation in winter occurs as snow; annual snowfall is 65 in (1650 mm). Mean annual temperature ranges from 36 to 38 oF (2 to 3 oC). The growing season lasts for 80 to 123 days. The longer end of the spectrum occurs adjacent to the Lake Superior shore, while the shortest growing season is in lower areas relatively far inland from Lake Superior.

Surface Water Characteristics. There is a high frequency of lakes, streams, and wetlands. Many are bedrock controlled. The two major drainage basins are Hudson Bay and Lake Superior, separated by the Laurentian Divide. Streams flow south to east from the divide directly to Lake Superior, or southwest from the divide through the St. Louis River into Lake Superior. Streams flow predominantly north and west from the divide to Rainy and Little Fork Rivers and then to Hudson Bay. The vast majority of lakes in both major basins have inlets and outlets and are part of the stream systems. The frequency of lakes increases to the northeast in the Lake Superior Basin. Lakes occur frequently and are fairly evenly distributed throughout the Hudson Bay Basin. Wetlands are a common feature throughout both major basins.

Disturbance Regimes. Fire, windstorm, insect infestation, animal browsing, and logging are major disturbances. Fires have burned 80 to 90 percent of the area one to several times during the last three hundred to four hundred years. High intensity crown fires tend to occur once every one hundred fifty to two hundred years. Low intensity fires tend to occur about every twenty to forty years. Atmospheric pollutants of greatest concern are mercury, ozone, and acidifying substances. Of these, only mercury has resulted in a demonstrated effect on resource uses through health-based limits on fish consumption by humans. Ozone impacts on vegetation and mercury impacts on wildlife (other than fish) are suspected, but have not been adequately studied to assess severity.

Cultural Ecology. About 12,000 years ago, the first Paleo-Indians inhabited a tundra-scrub boreal forest environment, living in small extended family units of ten to fifteen persons. They were highly mobile and sparsely distributed over the landscape, subsisting on hunting the barren ground caribou. The Shield Archaic culture replaced the Paleo-Indian culture around 8,500 years ago. While the Archaic people probably continued to gather plants and hunt Woodland caribou and moose, they were also building dug-out canoes of pine, as fishing became the major subsistence activity. As the present climate developed, the Woodland culture replaced the Archaic. Wild rice became abundant in the ricing lakes and rivers, either naturally or through "nurturing" by the Woodland people. Woodland people were harvesting rice by seventeen hundred years ago. By fifteen hundred years ago, they were using the bow and arrow. During the late 17th century, native people participated in fur trade, first with the French, then the British, and the Americans until the mid-1800's. While the beaver was sought initially, trade was extended to most fur-bearing animals, which resulted in population declines. The later part of the 1800's brought logging to the area. Small fishing communities were established at the mouth of many rivers on the north shore. Inland mineral exploration also occurred during this time. Minor agriculture and settlement patterns associated with timber harvesting developed. Exotic species have been introduced to this area through Great Lakes shipping and through recreational hunting, fishing, and canoeing. Iron ore mining has had a large influence, as one of the world's largest open pit iron mines is located in the northwest part of the Section. However, due to the rugged terrain and cost of constructing transportation corridors, the area has remained relatively undeveloped. Consequently, most of the area has maintained its "wild" recreation perception and is valued aesthetically.

Land Use. Current major land uses are outdoor recreation, forestry, and mining.

Compiled by Eastern Region.

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Section 212M--Northern Minnesota and Ontario

Geomorphology. The Section is part of the Central Lowlands geomorphic province. It is dominated by a flat glacial lake plain. Some low moraines and beach ridges occur, especially in the northwest and east. The Section is poorly drained, with mostly boggy ground. Anoxic accumulation of plant material is the dominant geomorphic process operating; fluvial erosion, transport and deposition occur in the northwest. Elevation ranges from 1,100 to 1,500 ft (330 to 450 m). Local relief is less than 50 ft (15 m).

Lithology and Stratigraphy. Quaternary peat deposits cover the central two-thirds of the Section. Pleistocene till and lacustrine sand cover bedrock in the northwest and probably underlie most of the peat bog; lacustrine sand and silt rim the eastern and southern margins. Bedrock is composed of Archean granite, gabbro, and greenstone in the western half, with Archean quartzite and banded iron oxides underlying the eastern portion of the Section.

Soil Taxa. Dominant soil orders are Histosols and Alfisols with frigid temperature regime and aquic moisture regime. Soils are dominantly cold and wet. Organic soils (mainly peat) prevail in the western two-thirds of the Section.

Potential Natural Vegetation. K\"uchler types are (primarily) conifer bog, with lesser extent of Great Lakes spruce-fir and Great Lakes pine. Sedge fen, black spruce-sphagnum bog, and white cedar-black ash swamp dominates the Section. Some low moraines and beach ridges are dominated by jack pine or trembling aspen-paper birch forests.

Fauna. A variety of vertebrate species richness tends to be poor, due to the rather monotonous habitats associated with the "big bog" country. Some ecosystems in this Section support unique faunal communities, including rare species such as northern bog lemming. Typical wildlife of this areas includes moose, sharp-tailed grouse, and songbirds associated with lowland conifer and sedge fen communities. Portions of this Section that are adequately drained and have associated upland forest types support a fauna similar to that of Section 212N. Portions of this area are important migrant stop-overs for a variety of geese and other waterfowl and sandhill cranes. Important sport fisheries are associated with Red Lakes and lakes near the international boundary.

Climate. Precipitation averages 21 to 25 in (530 to 630 mm). About 40 to 50 percent occurs during the growing season. Annual snowfall is from about 40 to 49 in (1000 to 1240 mm). Mean annual temperature ranges from 37 to 41 oF (3 to 5 oC). The growing season lasts for 98 to 111 days.

Surface Water Characteristics. Streams tend to be low density, small, and sluggish. A few large lakes, remnants of glacial Lake Agassiz, are present. They include Upper and Lower Red Lakes and Lake of the Woods. Drainage is to the north, into the Hudson Bay system.

Disturbance Regime. Fire occurred on the peat lands. Insect infestations, such as spruce budworm probably lead to fires. Water level fluctuation, caused both by short-term climatic changes and by beaver dams, probably contributed to tree mortality.
Land Use. The current dominant land uses are forestry and outdoor recreation, including hunting and fishing.

Cultural Ecology. Humans have occupied the area for at least 10,000 years, adapting their ways of life in a variety of changing environments. Conditions have ranged: from cool, wet tundra supporting herds of open land grazing animals such as bison and caribou; through a warm, dry, savanna period when availability of water and aquatic resources was drastically altered; to the mixed deciduous-coniferous forests of the present. People lived in small, nomadic groups and larger villages, altering their hunting, fishing, and gathering methods as environmental conditions changed, enabling the most efficient resource use. Within the last 300 years, the near extinction of some species of fur-bearing mammals for the fur trade, the cutting of the pine forests by logging, and cultivation of the land have significantly altered the environment. Farming, logging, and recreation are the major human activities currently affecting the ecosystem.

Compiled by Eastern Region and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

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Section 212N--Northern Minnesota Drift and Lake Plains

Geomorphology. This Section is part of the Central Lowlands geomorphic province. It is a level to gently rolling lowland characterized by its glacial features. outwash plains, kettles, bogs, lake plains, till plains, narrow outwash channels, morainal ridges, and drumlin fields. Drainage is poorly to moderately integrated and includes the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Fluvial erosion, transport and deposition are the primary operating geomorphic processes. Elevation ranges from 1,100 to 1,850 ft (330 to 560 m). Local relief ranges from 50 to 165 ft (15 to 50 m).

Lithology and Stratigraphy. Pleistocene till and stratified drift cover bedrock to a depth of 200 to more than 600 ft (60 to 180 m). Beneath the drift, bedrock is a mixture of Archean granite, greenstone, and metasediments, including banded iron oxides. Small, isolated outliers of Cretaceous shale and sandstone overlie the Archean in the southwest.

Soil Taxa. Alfisols, Entisols, Inceptisols, and Histosols dominate. Temperature regime is frigid. Moisture regimes are udic, xeric, and aquic. Uplands are dominantly medium-textured to coarse-textured, and moderately well to somewhat excessively drained. Lowlands are extensive, poorly drained, and include a significant component of organic soils.

Potential Natural Vegetation. Vegetation includes a mix of conifer and hardwood forest communities. Northern hardwoods grow in the south and around larger lakes. Conifers (Great Lakes pine and Great Lakes spruce-fir) are associated with outwash plains and coarsely textured end moraines. Large areas of lowlands are dominated by potential natural communities of black spruce, tamarack, and sedge meadows. K\"uchler types are Great Lakes pine forest, Great Lakes spruce-fir forest, and conifer bog.

Fauna. Richness of vertebrate species richness is very high in response to the interspersion and juxtaposition of upland, wetland, and aquatic ecosystems. Upland habitats support a great variety of songbirds, including neotropical migrants such as ovenbirds, American redstarts, and pine warblers. Riparian zones support high populations of threatened bald eagles, ospreys, mink, and otters. Herpetofauna are abundant in the lakes and wetlands, but few species are represented due to climactic limitations. Larger mammals include the threatened gray wolf and its major food sources, white-tailed deer and an occasional moose; black bears are common to abundant. Waterfowl, common loons, and other water birds are abundant in shallow lakes and wetlands, contributing to the uniqueness of this Section. Fish resources are rich; game species are dominated by walleye, northern pike, and a variety of panfish. Trout resources are limited primarily to lakes, with only a few marginal trout streams.

Climate. Precipitation averages 23 to 27 in (580 to 690 mm). About 40 percent occurs during the growing season. Snowfall ranges from 39 to 49 in (990 to 1,240 mm). Temperature averages 37 to 43 oF (3 to 5 oC). The growing season lasts for 111 to 131 days.

Surface Water Characteristics. This Section includes the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Lakes are numerous and are associated with moraines and pitted outwash plains. The drainage network is poorly developed. Low gradient streams are common.

Disturbance Regimes. Fire occurred historically on about a 10 to 40 year rotation within much of the Section, accounting for a dominance of upland conifers and trembling aspen-birch forests.

Land Use. Current dominant land uses are forest management and dispersed outdoor recreation. Agriculture is important in localized areas.

Cultural Ecology. Humans have occupied the area for at least 10,000 years, adapting their ways of life in a variety of changing environments. Conditions have ranged: from cool, wet tundra supporting herds of open land grazing animals such as bison and caribou; through a warm, dry, savanna period when availability of water and aquatic resources was drastically altered; to the mixed deciduous-coniferous forests of the present. People lived in small, nomadic groups and larger villages, altering their hunting, fishing, and gathering methods as environmental conditions changed, enabling the most efficient resource use. Within the last 300 years, the near extinction of some species of fur-bearing mammals for the fur trade, the cutting of the pine forests by logging, and cultivation of the land have significantly altered the environment. Farming, logging, and recreation are the major human activities currently affecting the ecosystem.

Compiled by Eastern Region and Minnesota Deptartment of Natural Resources.

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