|Pitch pine-oak heath rocky summit
SubSystem: Barrens And Woodlands
State Rarity Rank:
Global Rarity Rank:
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Historically, fires of moderate intensity naturally occurred on pitch pine-oak-heath rocky summits every 5 to 25 years, which maintained the character of this community. Without fire, other woody species become more abundant. Depending on the fire regime, this community may be expressed as a mix of pitch pine, oaks, and heath species such as blueberry and huckleberry; a "scrub oak bald" with little pitch pine or heath species; or a "heath bald" with little pitch pine or oak.
|State Ranking Justification||
Although there may be a few thousand occurrences statewide, there are probably fewer than 100 occurrences left in good condition, and the sizes are often relatively small. Many documented occurrences have good viability and many are protected on public land or private conservation land. This community has a somewhat limited statewide distribution (correlated to slightly acidic to low pH bedrock geology). Most examples are relatively small and disturbed. This community has probably declined substantially from historical numbers and nearly all of the currently documented occurrences are threatened by fire suppression, recreational overuse, and development.
The number and acreage of pitch pine-oak-heath rocky summits in New York have probably declined slightly in recent decades as a result of fire suppression, antenna tower construction, recreational disturbances, and to a lesser extent logging.
The number and acreage of pitch pine-oak-heath rocky summits in New York have probably declined by a large amount from historical numbers as a result of fire suppression and logging.