Oaks are the second-most dominant tree in Pine Barren. Several species of oak thrive in this environment. Like the pines, oaks in the Pine Plains remain short in height, more like shrubs than trees. Unlike pine needles, the leaves of oaks are broad and flat, enabling them to capture sunlight for photosynthesis more efficiently than can needles. Acorns have evolved to be nutritious food for squirrels and other forest mammals, which store acorns for consumption but forget to dig up and eat a certain percentage of the acorns they have gathered. Acorns also germinate and sprout more easily in thick ground cover than do pine seeds.
The understory of Pine Barrens forests and stream-side vegetation are dominated by members of the Heath family of plants.
Heaths are adapted to acidic soils and prosper in the Pine Barrens understory, but exactly how they handle these conditions is not well understood at this point. These wetlands flowers have been virtually exterminated elsewhere, but are locally abundant in the Pine Barrens. Pine Barrens Gentian is protected as threatened or endangered by the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan; Swamp Pink is listed under the national Endangered Species Act as threatened; and, for now, Bog Asphodel is considered endangered in New Jersey and, based on its rarity, certainly merits a national designation.
Even in the Pine Barrens, these plants have suffered from illegal collection, alteration of habitat, trampling by off-road vehicles and other careless recreational activities. These plants are adapted to specific wetlands conditions, so any serious alteration of their wetlands habitats, whether through construction of cranberry bogs or alteration of stream flows, threatens these flowers.
Other impacts are natural. These include the natural succession of wet meadows as shrubs and trees colonize savanna areas, predation by deer, geese and insects, and even the flooding of their habitat because of beaver dams. It remains an open question whether there are enough of these extraordinary plants and enough intact habitat for their long-term survival.
Great Lakes Ecosystem: Proceedings of the Midwest Oak Savanna Conferences [Homoya]
Similar concerns with habitat degradation and collecting arise with many of the Orchids found in the Pine Barrens. The Pine Barrens is home to a delightful array of wild orchids. About 30 species occur within the Pinelands National Reserve, of which about 15 species are characteristic of true Pine Barrens habitats. Several, such as Rose Pogonia and Grass-pink, are very abundant and easily found along Pine Barrens streams and in wet meadows and open swamps. The carnivorous species of the Pine Barrens, Pitcher Plant, Sundews and Bladderworts, have evolved different ways to capture and consume insects and other tiny animals.
Pitcher Plants develop large, water-tight basins from specialized leaves, which trap rainwater and contain digestive enzymes. In contrast, sundews trap insects on sticky leaf surfaces, which then release enzymes to digest the animals.
Bladderworts have tiny sacs attached to their modified leaves, which into water or are embedded in boggy soil, depending on the species. Broom Crowberry is a quintessential northern plant found as a disjunct population in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. The exceptions are several other, smaller disjunct populations in the Shawangunk Mountains of New York and along the coasts of Massachusetts and Maine.
Di Ionno: N.J. Pinelands expert is gone, but his memory lives on, frozen in time
In its unusual origins, unassuming appearance and adaptations to difficult conditions, Broom Crowberry exemplifies the fascination which the plants of the Pine Barrens hold in store for us. Plants of the Pine Barrens Ecosystem. Share: The Pine Barrens is home to many plants that are considered threatened or endangered because of their rarity in the state, the nation or the world. The Ubiquitous Pitch Pine King among the gymnosperms of the Pine Barrens is the Pitch Pine, the single most characteristic plant species of this ecosystem. Pitch Pine trees. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem?
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A Field Guide to the Pine Barrens of New Jersey: Its Flora, Ecology and Historical Sites
Return to Book Page. This is the ultimate handbook to the New Jersey Pine barrens.
More than species of plants and animals found within this 2,square-mile tract are identified and illustrated. The book begins by explaining and defining the uniqueness and diversity of the Pine Barrens, from its history to its ecostructure and future outlook. The bulk of the text, however, is devoted to This is the ultimate handbook to the New Jersey Pine barrens.
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The bulk of the text, however, is devoted to classifying and categorizing every plant and living creature that makes its home in the Pine Barrens. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Friend Reviews.
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Feb 21, Bethanne rated it it was amazing Shelves: science-ish , nonfiction. A great though very broad field guide to the pine barrens.
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Not for someone who wants to be able to identify everything they see of particular taxa, but for those wishing for some historical background and detailed identification and description of the most common organisms, I think this is a fantastic resource. May 27, Susan rated it really liked it. Very well done and highly recommend it, even if your exploring is from a club chair. Arley Kuehl rated it it was amazing Aug 04,