New York Natural Heritage Program
Maritime Pitch Pine Dune Woodland
Maritime pitch pine dune woodland Stephen M. Young
System: Terrestrial
SubSystem: Barrens And Woodlands

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: G2G3
A Global Rarity Rank of G2G3 means: Imperiled or Vulnerable globally - At high or 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 single conservation status.


Did you know?
Pitch pine (Pinus rigida) is a highly fire resistant and dependent tree, but within the maritime pitch pine dune woodland, fires are rare due to the sandy substrates and probably not necessary to maintain the natural community. The harsh climate combined with persistent high winds and salt spray makes conditions inhospitable for many plants. However, even though winds and salt spray continually prune the tops of pitch pines, the tree adapts by growing prostrate, or horizontally. It has very thick bark and has the ability to sprout branches from the bole and base of the tree following a major disturbance. Pitch Pines are also very adaptive to growing in thin sandy soils.

State Ranking Justification [-]
There are very few occurrences of maritime pitch pine dune woodlands statewide. This natural community occurs only on the more stable backdunes (parabolic dunes) near the ocean. The total acreage is correspondingly low and it is vulnerable to disturbance. The community has probably showed a steady decline since the area was first settled. Presently, off-road vehicles (ORV), trampling, trails, and dirt (sand) roads are causing additional erosion and disturbance.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]