New York Natural Heritage Program
Pitch Pine-Blueberry Peat Swamp
Pitch pine-blueberry peat swamp plot at Rome Sand Plains Huckleberry Swamp. Gregory J. Edinger
System: Palustrine
SubSystem: Forested Peatlands

State Protection: Not Listed
Federal Protection: Not Listed

State Rarity Rank: S1
A State Rarity Rank of S1 means: Typically 5 or fewer occurrences, very few remaining individuals, acres, or miles of stream, or some factor of its biology makes it especially vulnerable in New York State.

Global Rarity Rank: G3?
A Global Rarity Rank of G3? means: Vulnerable globally (most likely) - Conservation status is uncertain, but most likely at moderate risk of extinction due to rarity or other factors; typically 80 or fewer populations or locations in the world, few individuals, restricted range, few remaining acres (or miles of stream), and/or recent and widespread declines. More information is needed to assign a firm conservation status.

Did you know?
Highbush blueberry dominates the shrub layer in pitch pine-blueberry peat swamps. Blueberries are the most widely grown fruit crop in the U.S. Conventionally grown blueberries use a variety of pesticides that may be toxic to wetland plants and animals, especially considering that blueberry fields lay close to the water table and pesticides are easily transported through surface and groundwater flows from fields to nearby wetlands. Blueberries actually have a relatively low nitrogen requirement and thrive on organic fertilizers. Organic blueberry farming is growing in response to a high demand for organic fruits.

State Ranking Justification [-]
There are very few occurrences of pitch pine-blueberry peat swamps statewide. Very few documented occurrences have good viability and very few are protected on public land or private conservation land. This community has limited statewide distribution and tends to be embedded within barrens or rocky summits that depend on fire to maintain pitch pine and heath shrubs. The current trend of this community is probably stable for occurrences on conservation land, or declining slightly elsewhere due to moderate threats related to development pressure, alteration to the natural hydrology, and fire suppression. This community has declined moderately from historical numbers likely correlated with mining, logging, and development of the surrounding landscape.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]