Loop 1: Station 10
Upland hardwood forest ecosystems
Hardwood forests are the primary forest ecosystem in the eastern United States. These forests have abundant wildlife due to the food supply provided by nut and seed producing trees.
Wild turkey, eastern chipmunks, grey squirrels, and white-tailed deer search the forest floor for acorns, fruits, and seeds. In the spring and summer scarlet tanagers and warblers can be seen and heard singing in the forest canopy. Ground nesting ovenbirds can be heard singing on the forest floor. Box turtles may be seen feeding on insects, succulent plants, or mushrooms.
The forest canopy is dominated by a variety of oaks, hickories, tulip poplar, blackgum, sweetgum, and shortleaf pine. The understory includes American holly and sparkleberry, but is sufficiently open to allow room for a diversity of wildflowers.
What is a forest, besides trees?
A forest ecosystem is comprised of the entirety of the forest from the underlying soil, to the water, the air, the vegetation, and the creatures, all the way to the tree tops. All of the flora and fauna of the forest are intricately interconnected.
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