Chapter 21
Ecological Subregions of the United States

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Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Forest

Seven Sections have been delineated in this Province:

These Sections are located in the southeastern conterminous States, including parts of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. The area of these Sections is about 173,800 mi2 (450,100 km2).

Section 232A--Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain

Geomorphology. This Section is in the Coastal Plains geomorphic Province. The predominant landform consists of a flat, weakly dissected alluvial plain formed by deposition of continental sediments onto submerged, shallow continental shelf, which was later exposed by sea level subsidence. Along the coast, fluvial deposition and shore zone processes are active in developing and maintaining beaches, swamps, and mud flats. Landforms on about 50 percent of this Section consist of flat plains. Much of the other landforms are irregular plains. Elevation ranges from 0 to 80 ft (0 to 25 m). Local relief ranges from 10 to 20 ft (3 to 6 m) on flat plains and from 20 to 40 ft (6 to 12 m) on the irregular plains.

Lithology and Stratigraphy. Rocks in this Section formed during the Cenozoic Era. Strata consist of Quaternary marine deposits (shales and sands). Small areas of Tertiary marine deposits (silts and clays) are exposed along some larger rivers.

Soil Taxa. Soils consist of Udults in the northern part. Hapludults are common in areas with and without loess. Quartzipsamments are on high ridges. Hydraquents are in tidal marshes next to the Chesapeake Bay. These soils are deep and have inadequate to excessive moisture contents. Their temperature regime is mesic and moisture regime is udic. These soils are deep, adequately drained, and have adequate soil moisture supply for use by vegetation during the growing season.

In the middle coastal zones are Aquults and Aqualfs soils. Umbraquults, Ochraqualfs, and Albaqualfs are common. Hapludults are on higher areas. Haplaquods and Udipsamments are also common. Paleaquults and Umbraquults are on wetter inland sites. Other common soils include Hapludults, Paledults, Haplaquods, and Quartzipsamments. These soils have a thermic temperature regime, a udic moisture regime, and mixed or siliceous mineralogy. Soils are deep, fine textured, and have adequate to excessive moisture supply for vegetation during the growing season.

Potential Natural Vegetation. K\"uchler classified vegetation as oak-hickory-pine forest and southern flood plain forest. The predominant vegetation form is needle-leaved evergreen forest and smaller areas of cold-deciduous broad-leaved forests. The main forest cover type is loblolly pine-hardwood, where hardwood species consist of sweetgum, water oak, white ash, yellow-poplar, red maple, and swamp hickory. On bottomland areas along major rivers, species include green ash, sugarberry, water oak, American sycamore, sweetgum, and American elm.

Fauna. The elk, mountain lion, wolf, Carolina parakeet, and ivory-billed woodpecker once inhabited this Section. Presently, the fauna include white-tailed deer, black bear, bobcat, gray fox, raccoon, cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, fox squirrel, striped skunk, swamp rabbit, and many small rodents and shrews. The turkey, bobwhite, and mourning dove are game birds in various parts of this Section. In flooded areas, ibises, cormorants, herons, egrets, and kingfishers are common. Songbirds include the red-eyed vireo, cardinal, tufted titmouse, wood thrush, summer tanager, blue-gray gnatcatcher, hooded warbler, and Carolina wren. The herpetofauna include the box turtle, common garter snake, and timber rattlesnake. Fauna generally found in the sandy ridges in this Section are eastern indigo snake and gopher tortoise. Fauna generally found in the mature pine lands are the red-cockaded woodpecker and the pine warbler.

Climate. Precipitation averages 46 in (1,100 mm). Average annual temperature is 55 to 57 oF (13 to 14 oC). The growing season lasts 185 to 220 days.

Surface Water Characteristics. This area has a moderate density of small to medium size perennial streams and a low density of associated rivers, most with moderate volume of water flowing at very low velocity. Water table is high in many areas, resulting in poor natural drainage and abundance of wetlands. A poorly defined drainage pattern has developed on this relatively young plain. There are numerous palustrine systems having seasonally high water levels, especially in pocosin areas. Major rivers draining this Section include the James and Potomac.

Disturbance Regimes. Reserved.

Land Use. Natural vegetation has been cleared for agriculture on about 65 percent of the area.

Cultural Ecology. Reserved.

Compiled by Southeastern Forest Experiment Station and Southern Region.

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232B--Coastal Plains and Flatwoods, Lower

Geomorphology. This Section is in the Coastal Plain geomorphic Province. The predominant landform is a flat, weakly dissected alluvial plain was formed by deposition of continental sediments onto a submerged, shallow continental shelf, which was later exposed by sea level subsidence. About 90 percent of this Section consists of irregular or smooth plains. Other landforms include open hills. Elevation ranges from 80 to 660 ft (25 to 200 m). Local relief ranges from 10 to 30 ft (3 to 9 m) on smooth plains, and from 30 to 50 ft (9 to 15 m) in areas of hills.

Lithology and Stratigraphy. Rock units formed during the Mesozoic (30 percent) and Cenozoic (70 percent) Eras. Mesozoic strata consist of about equal amounts of Cretaceous marine deposits (sands and clays). Much of the Cenozoic strata consist of Tertiary marine deposits (thin fossiliferous layers of sand and shells) and continental deposits (sands and clays). Quaternary marine deposits (coarse sands) are present in large bays.

Soil Taxa. Soils are mostly Udults. Paleudults and Hapludults are on uplands. Fragiudults and Fragiudalfs are associated soils on sites that range from well drained to poorly drained. Localized areas of Quartzipsamments occur in the southern part of the Section, along with Paleudalfs and Glossaqualfs. Ochraquults, Albaquults, and Paleaquults are locally common on low wetlands. Udifluvents, Fluvaquents, and Dystrochrepts are present in bottom lands. These soils have a thermic temperature regime, a udic moisture regime, and are deep with loamy or clayey subsoil. Soils range from well drained to poorly drained and are fine to moderately fine textured.

Potential Natural Vegetation. K\"uchler mapped this area as southern mixed forest and oak-hickory-pine forest, with smaller areas of southern flood plain forest and pocosin ({\it Pinus-Ilex}). The predominant vegetation form is evergreen needle-leaved trees with scattered areas of cold-deciduous and evergreen broad-leaved forest. Slash and longleaf pines are prevalent throughout the Section, but loblolly pine is common in the northern areas. Sand pine is prevalent in xeric, deep-sand areas of Florida. The oak-gum-cypress forest cover type is common along flood plains of major rivers and includes Nuttall oak, laurel oak, water tupelo, sweetbay, bald cypress, and pond cypress. Localized areas of mostly hardwoods occur, especially in central Florida; types include laurel oak, water oak, sweetbay, sweetgum, live oak, red maple, and spruce pine. An extensive area of grassland vegetation is present in central Florida, north of Lake Okeechobee.

Fauna. The elk, mountain lion, wolf, Carolina parakeet, and ivory-billed woodpecker once inhabited this Section. The endangered Florida panther may be encountered rarely. Presently, the fauna include white-tailed deer, black bear, bobcat, gray fox, raccoon, cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, fox squirrel, striped skunk, swamp rabbit, and many small rodents and shrews. The turkey, bobwhite, and mourning dove are widespread. Resident and migratory nongame bird species are numerous, as are species of migratory waterfowl. In flooded areas, ibises, cormorants, herons, egrets, and kingfishers are common. Songbirds include the red-eyed vireo, cardinal, tufted titmouse, ruby-throated hummingbird, eastern towhee, wood thrush, summer tanager, blue-gray gnatcatcher, hooded warbler, and Carolina wren. The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and bald eagle inhabit this Section. The herpetofauna include the box turtle, common garter snake, eastern diamondback rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake, and American alligator.

Climate. Precipitation averages 40 to 60 in (1,020 to 1,520 mm). Temperature averages 60 to 68 oF (16 to 20 oC). The growing season lasts 200 to 280 days.

Surface Water Characteristics. There is a moderate density of small to medium size perennial streams and associated rivers, most with moderate volume of water flowing at low velocity. Few natural lakes occur, except in central Florida where they are abundant. Large, freshwater springs are common in central Florida, especially in areas of limestone rock formations. Major rivers include the Mobile, Chattahoochee, Kissimmee, Flint, and Sewannee. Riverine systems flow into the Carolinian and Louisianian Marine and Estuarine Provinces.

Disturbance Regimes. Fire has been the principal historical disturbance, previously burning over medium to large size areas between natural barriers, generally with moderate frequency and low intensity. Fire occurrence is common in areas dominated by sand pine and is frequent in areas of longleaf pine. Fire intensity can range from moderate to high. Climatic influences include frequent hurricanes. Insect disturbances are often caused by southern pine beetles.

Land Use. Natural vegetation has been cleared for agriculture on about 40 percent of the area in much of the Section. In much of central Florida, almost all forests have been cleared for citrus production.

Cultural Ecology. Reserved.

Compiled by Southern Region and Southeastern Forest Experiment Station.

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Section 232C--Atlantic Coastal Flatlands

Geomorphology. This Section is in the Coastal Plains geomorphic province. The predominant landform is a flat, weakly dissected alluvial plain formed by deposition of continental sediments onto submerged, shallow continental shelf, which was later exposed by sea level subsidence. Along the coast, fluvial deposition and shore zone processes are active in developing and maintaining beaches, swamps, and mud flats. Elevation ranges from 0 to 80 ft (0 to 25 m). Local relief ranges from 0 to 25 ft (0 to 8m).

Lithology and Stratigraphy. Rock units formed during the Cenozoic Era. Strata consist of Tertiary marine deposits, thin formations of shale and sand. Quaternary marine deposits consist of sand, silt, and clay alluvial deposits of upland origin.

Soil Taxa. The most extensive soils are Aquults. Paleaquults and Umbraquults are on lower, wetter areas. Hapludults and Paleudults are on higher areas with better drainage. Also locally important are Haplaquods, Quartzipsammments, and Paleudults. Histosols are dominant in the Okefenokee Swamp of Georgia and the Dismal Swamp of Virginia. Soils in this Section have a thermic temperature regime and an aquic moisture regime. Soils are deep, medium textured, and have adequate to excessive water supplies for use by vegetation.

Potential Natural Vegetation. K\"uchler classified vegetation as mainly southern mixed forest and oak-hickory-pine forest, with smaller areas of southern flood plain forest and pocosin ({\it Pinus-Ilex}). The predominant vegetation form is needle-leaved evergreen forest with smaller areas of evergreen broad-leaved forest. Forest cover type is mainly longleaf pine and slash pine in the northern areas. In the southern areas, slash pine replaces loblolly. Pond pine, a fire-maintained species with serotinous cones, is prevalent in coastal North Carolina, where poorly drained organic soils are present and wildfire is common. The oak-gum-cypress forest type is common along flood plains and major rivers; it includes water oak, laurel oak, swamp tupelo, sweetbay, bald cypress, and pond cypress. Localized areas of mostly hardwoods occur and include laurel oak, water oak, sweetbay, sweetgum, live oak, red maple, and spruce pine.

Fauna. The elk, mountain lion, wolf, Carolina parakeet, and ivory-billed woodpecker once inhabited this Section. The endangered Florida panther may be encountered rarely. Presently, the fauna include white-tailed deer, black bear, bobcat, gray fox, raccoon, cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, fox squirrel, striped skunk, swamp rabbit, and many small rodents and shrews. The presence of turkey, bobwhite, and mourning dove is widespread. Resident and migratory nongame bird species are numerous, as are species of migratory waterfowl. In flooded areas, ibises, cormorants, herons, egrets, and kingfishers are common. Songbirds include the red-eyed vireo, cardinal, tufted titmouse, ruby-throated hummingbird, eastern towhee, wood thrush, summer tanager, blue-gray gnatcatcher, hooded warbler, and Carolina wren. The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and bald eagle inhabit this Section. The herpetofauna include the box turtle, common garter snake, eastern diamondback rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake, and American alligator.

Climate. Annual precipitation averages about 46 in (1,170 mm). Temperature averages 55 to 57 oF (13 to 14 oC). The growing season lasts 185 to 220 days.

Surface Water Characteristics. This Section has a moderate density of small to medium size perennial streams and a low density of associated rivers, most with moderate volume of water at very low velocity. Water table is high in many areas, resulting in poor natural drainage and abundance of wetlands. Poorly defined drainage pattern has developed on this relatively young, weakly dissected plain. There are numerous palustrine systems with seasonally high water levels, especially in pocosin areas. Carolina Bays form natural lakes in some areas. Major rivers include the St. John, Altamaha, Santee, Pee Dee, and Neuse.

Disturbance Regimes. Fire has probably been the principal historical disturbance, although high intensity fires are relatively common in the pocosin area of eastern North Carolina. Climatic influences include frequent hurricanes. Insect disturbances are often caused by southern pine beetles.

Land Use. Natural vegetation has been cleared for agriculture on about 40 percent of the area.

Cultural Ecology. Reserved.

Compiled by Southern Region and Southeastern Forest Experiment Station.

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Section 232D--Florida Coastal Lowlands (Western)

Geomorphology. This Section is in the Coastal Plains geomorphic province. The predominant landform is a flat, weakly dissected alluvial plain formed by deposition of continental sediments onto submerged, shallow continental shelf, which was later exposed by sea level subsidence. Along the coast, fluvial deposition and shore zone processes are active in developing and maintaining beaches, swamps, and mud flats. Elevation ranges from 0 to 80 ft (0 to 25 m). Local relief ranges from 0 to 100 ft (0 to 30 m).

Lithology and Stratigraphy. Rock units formed during the Cenozoic Era. About 50 percent of the strata consist of Tertiary marine deposits (limestone interbedded with marl, sand, and clay). Quaternary marine deposits of terrestrial origin (nonglacial sand, silt, and clay) make up the other strata.

Soil Taxa. Dominant soils are Aquults, Aquepts, Aquods, and Aquents. A complex of Paleaquults, Haplaquods, Quartzipsamments, and Sulfaquents occurs throughout the Section. Many locations near the coast are very poorly drained Sulfaquents, Sulfihemists, and Hydraquents. Other coastal areas consist of excessively drained Quartzipsamments on old beach ridges and dunes. Soils have thermic and hyperthermic temperature regimes and an aquic moisture regime. Generally, soils are poorly drained, deep, and moderately textured.

Potential Natural Vegetation. K\"uchler classified vegetation as oak-hickory-pine forest, southern flood plain forest, and live oak-sea oats. The predominant vegetation form is evergreen needle-leaved forest and evergreen broad-leaved forest. The main forest cover type is longleaf pine and slash pine. Large areas of oak-gum-cypress cover type are present in the central part of the Section along major river bottoms, with species of water oak, laurel oak, swamp tupelo, sweetbay, bald cypress, and pond cypress.

Fauna. The elk, mountain lion, wolf, Carolina parakeet, and ivory-billed woodpecker once inhabited this Section. Presently, the fauna include white-tailed deer, black bear, bobcat, gray fox, raccoon, cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, fox squirrel, striped skunk, swamp rabbit, and many small rodents and shrews. The presence of turkey, bobwhite, and mourning dove is widespread. Resident and migratory nongame bird species are numerous, as are species of migratory waterfowl. In flooded areas, ibises, cormorants, herons, egrets, and kingfishers are common. Songbirds include the cardinal, pine warbler, ruby-throated hummingbird, eastern towhee, summer tanager, hooded warbler, and Carolina wren. The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and bald eagle inhabit this Section. The herpetofauna include the box turtle, common garter snake, eastern diamondback rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake, and American alligator.

Climate. Average annual precipitation is 52 to 64 in (1,300 to 1,600 mm). Average annual temperature is 66 to 70 oF (19 to 21 oC). The growing season lasts 270 to 290 days.

Surface Water Characteristics. There is a moderate density of small to medium size perennial streams and very low density of associated rivers, most with moderate volume of water at very low velocity. Water table is high in many areas, resulting in poor natural drainage and abundance of wetlands. Numerous palustrine systems are present, most with a seasonally high water level. Major rivers include the Peace, Hillsborough, Withlacoochee, and Apalachicola. This Section adjoins the Carolinian and Louisianian Marine and Estuarine Provinces delineated by the USDI Fish and Wildlife Service.

Disturbance Regimes. Reserved.

Land Use. Natural vegetation has been cleared for agriculture on about 65 percent of the area.

Cultural Ecology. Reserved.

Compiled by Southern Region and Southeastern Forest Experiment Station.

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Section 232E--Louisiana Coast Prairies and Marshes

Geomorphology. This Section is in the Coastal Plains geomorphic Province. The predominant landform is a flat, weakly dissected alluvial plain formed by deposition of continental sediments onto submerged, shallow continental shelf, which was later exposed by sea level subsidence. Along the coast, fluvial deposition and shore zone processes are active in developing and maintaining beaches, swamps, and mud flats. Elevation ranges from 0 to 160 ft (0 to 50 m). Local relief ranges from 0 to 50 ft (0 to 15 m).

Lithology and Stratigraphy. Rock units formed during the Cenozoic Era. Strata consist of Quaternary marine deposits of terrestrial origin, non glacial sand, silt, and clay.

Soil Taxa. Aquolls, Saprists, Aquents, and Hemists are the principal soils along the coast. Also along the coast are Aquolls, Haplaquolls, Medisaprists, Hydraquents, and Medihemists, all of which are poorly drained and subject to flooding and high water tables. These soils have a thermic temperature regime and an aquic moisture regime.

Potential Natural Vegetation. K\"uchler classified vegetation as bluestem-sacahuista prairie and southern cordgrass prairie. Much of the existing vegetation is nonforested grasslands. Prairie grasslands dominate areas inland from the coast and consist of little bluestem, indiangrass, switchgrass, and big bluestem. Occasional areas of live oak are present. Poorly drained areas along the coast support freshwater and saltwater marsh vegetation of sedges, rushes, saltgrass, and cordgrass.

Fauna. Large herbivores and carnivores include manatee, coyote, red wolf, ringtail, and river otter. Ocelots were once common, but are now rare. Smaller herbivores include swamp rabbit, fulvous harvest mouse, eastern wood rat, and nutria. Birds of fresh water marshes, lakes, ponds, and rivers include reddish egret, white-faced ibis, white-fronted goose, and olivaceous cormorant. Birds of grasslands include Attwater's prairie chicken. Reptiles and amphibians include the Gulf coast salt marsh snake, Gulf coast toad, pig frog, American Alligator, diamondback terrapin, Mediterranean gecko, and Texas horned lizard.

Climate. Annual precipitation averages 25 to 55 in (620 to 1,400 mm). Temperature averages 68 to 70 oF (20 to 21 oC). The growing season lasts 280 to 320 days.

Surface Water Characteristics. There is a moderate density of small to medium size perennial streams and very low density of associated rivers, most with moderate volume of water at very low velocity. Water table is high in many areas, resulting in poor natural drainage and an abundance of wetlands. The Mississippi River flows through this Section into the Gulf of Mexico. Palustrine systems are abundant and have seasonally high water levels. This Section adjoins the Louisianian Marine and Estuarine Province delineated by the USDI Fish and Wildlife Service.

Disturbance Regimes. Fire and ocean tides have probably been the principal historical disturbance. Climatic influences include occasional hurricanes.

Land Use. Natural vegetation has been converted to agricultural crops on about 40 percent of the area.

Cultural Ecology. Reserved.

Compiled by Southeastern Forest Experiment Station and Southern Region.

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Section 232F--Coastal Plains and Flatwoods, Western Gulf

Geomorphology. This Section is in the Coastal Plains geomorphic province. The predominant landform consists of weakly to moderately dissected irregular plains of alluvial origin formed by deposition of continental sediments onto a submerged, shallow continental shelf, which was later exposed by sea level subsidence. Along the coast, fluvial deposition and shore zone processes are active in developing and maintaining beaches, swamps, and mud flats. About 80 percent of this Section consists of irregular plains. Other landforms include flat plains and plains with hills. Elevation ranges from 80 to 660 ft (25 to 200 m). Local relief mostly ranges from 100 to 300 ft (30 to 90 m) on irregular plains; however, relief ranges from 0 to 100 ft (0 to 30 m) on flat plains and 300 to 500 ft (90 to 150 m) where plains with hills are present.

Lithology and Stratigraphy. Rocks in this Section formed during the Cenozoic Era. About 80 percent of the geologic strata consist of Tertiary marine deposits, including glauconitic, calcareous, and fossiliferous strata with lignitic sandy and argillaceous contents. Quaternary marine deposits are present along the Red River.

Soil Taxa. Soils are mostly Udults. Paleudults, Hapludults, Hapludalfs, Paleudalfs, and Albaqualfs are on uplands. Fluvaquents, Udifluvents, Eutrochrepts, and Glossaqualfs are along major streams. Soils are mostly derived from weathered sandstone and shale. Soils have a thermic temperature regime, a udic moisture regime, and siliceous or mixed mineralogy. Soils are deep, coarsely textured, mostly well drained, and have an adequate supply of moisture for use by vegetation during the growing season. Potential Natural Vegetation. K\"uchler mapped vegetation as southern mixed forest, oak-hickory-pine forest, and southern flood plain forest. The predominant vegetation form is evergreen needle-leaved forest with a small area of cold-deciduous alluvial forest. The slash pine and longleaf pine cover type dominates most of the Section. The loblolly pine-shortleaf pine cover type is common in the northern parts of the Section. A bottomland type is prevalent along most major rivers and consists of cottonwood, sycamore, sugarberry, hackberry, silver maple, and red maple.

Fauna. The elk, mountain lion, wolf, Carolina parakeet, and ivory-billed woodpecker once inhabited this Section. The endangered Florida panther may be encountered rarely. Presently, the fauna include white-tailed deer, black bear, bobcat, gray fox, raccoon, cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, fox squirrel, striped skunk, swamp rabbit, and many small rodents and shrews. The presence of turkey, bobwhite, and mourning dove is widespread. Resident and migratory nongame bird species are numerous, as are species of migratory waterfowl. In flooded areas, ibises, cormorants, herons, egrets, and kingfishers are common. Songbirds include the red-eyed vireo, cardinal, tufted titmouse, wood thrush, summer tanager, blue-gray gnatcatcher, hooded warbler, and Carolina wren. The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and bald eagle inhabit this Section. The herpetofauna include the box turtle, common garter snake, eastern diamondback rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake, and American alligator.

Climate. Precipitation averages 40 to 54 in (1,020 to 1,350 mm) annually. Annual temperature averages 61 to 68 oF (16 to 20 oC). The growing season lasts 200 to 270 days.

Surface Water Characteristics. This Section has a moderate density of small to medium size perennial streams and associated rivers. Dendritic drainage pattern has developed without bedrock structural control. Major rivers include the Sabine, Red, and Mississippi.

Disturbance Regimes. Fire has probably been the principal historical disturbance. Climatic influences include occasional summer droughts and winter ice storms and infrequent hurricanes. Insect disturbances are often caused by southern pine beetles.

Land Use. Natural vegetation has been cleared for agriculture on about 60 percent of the area.

Cultural Ecology. Reserved. Compiled by Southern Region and Southeastern Forest Experiment Station.

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Section 232G--Florida Coastal Lowlands (Eastern)

Geomorphology. This Section is in the Coastal Plains geomorphic Province. The predominant landform is a flat, weakly dissected alluvial plain formed by deposition of continental sediments onto submerged, shallow continental shelf, which was later exposed by sea level subsidence. Along the coast, fluvial deposition and shore zone processes are active in developing and maintaining beaches, swamps, and mud flats. Elevation averages 52 to 64 in (1,300 to 1,600 mm). There is little local relief.

Lithology and Stratigraphy. Rock units formed during the Cenozoic Era. About 50 percent of the strata consist of Tertiary marine deposits, limestone interbedded with marl, sand, and clay. Quaternary marine deposits make up the other strata and include sand, silt, and clay.

Soil Taxa. Dominant soils are Aquults, Aquepts, Aquods, and Aquents. A complex of Paleaquults, Haplaquods, Quartzipsamments, and Sulfaquents occurs throughout the Section. Many locations near the coast are very poorly drained Sulfaquents, Sulfihemists, and Hydraquents. Other coastal areas consist of excessively drained Quartzipsamments on old beach ridges and dunes. Soils have thermic and hyperthermic temperature regimes and an aquic moisture regime. Generally, soils are poorly drained, deep, and moderately textured.

Potential Natural Vegetation. K\"uchler classified vegetation as oak-hickory-pine forest, southern flood plain forest, and live oak-sea oats. The predominant vegetation form is evergreen needle-leaved forest and evergreen broad-leaved forest. The main forest cover type is longleaf pine and slash pine. Large areas of oak-gum-cypress cover type are present in the central part of the Section along major river flood plains, with species of water oak, laurel oak, swamp tupelo, sweetbay, bald cypress, and pond cypress.

Fauna. The elk, mountain lion, wolf, Carolina parakeet, and ivory-billed woodpecker once inhabited this Section. Presently, the fauna include white-tailed deer, black bear, bobcat, gray fox, raccoon, cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, fox squirrel, striped skunk, swamp rabbit, and many small rodents and shrews. The presence of turkey, bobwhite, and mourning dove is widespread. Resident and migratory nongame bird species are numerous, as are species of migratory waterfowl. In flooded areas, ibises, cormorants, herons, egrets, and kingfishers are common. Songbirds include the cardinal, pine warbler, ruby-throated hummingbird, eastern towhee, summer tanager, hooded warbler, and Carolina wren. The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and bald eagle inhabit this Section. The herpetofauna include the box turtle, common garter snake, eastern diamondback rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake, and American alligator.

Climate. Precipitation averages 52 to 64 in (1,300 to 1,600 mm). Annual temperature ranges from 66 to 70 oF (19 to 21 oC). The growing season lasts 270 to 290 days.

Surface Water Characteristics. This Section has a low density of small to medium size perennial streams and very low density of associated rivers, most with moderate volume of water at very low velocity. Water table is high in many areas, resulting in poor natural drainage and abundance of wetlands. Poorly defined drainage pattern has developed on very young alluvial plains. An abundance of palustrine systems is present; they have seasonally high water levels. One of the major rivers is the St. John. This Section adjoins the Carolinian and Louisianian Marine and Estuarine Provinces as delineated by the USDI Fish and Wildlife Service.

Disturbance Regimes. Reserved.

Land Use. Commercial forestry is practiced on about half of the land area; urban development utilizes the remainder.

Cultural Ecology. Reserved.

Compiled by Southern Region and Southeastern Forest Experiment Station.

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