Something Wild: Tested with Fire

The diversity of New Hampshire’s habitats is staggering, as we’ve mentioned in the past there are more than 200 natural communities within our borders. This week, in another edition of New Hampshire’s Wild Neighborhoods Something Wild, again visits a rare habitat type. We’re going to visit the pitch pine scrub oak woodland, more commonly referred to as “pine barrens.” There are a few examples of this habitat in New Hampshire, but globally it’s pretty rare, too. To understand why pine barrens are so rare in the northeast we need to talk for a moment about forest succession . The default landscape in New England in general and in New Hampshire, specifically is forest. If you left your back yard, you’d have a forest before your lawn mower could rust out. And there is a well-established succession of tree species that our forests follow. You can actually tell how old a forest is by what types of trees you see. Pine barrens one of many forest types that are often in turn succeeded by taller

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