|Maritime Beech Forest
SubSystem: Forested Uplands
State Rarity Rank:
Global Rarity Rank:
Did you know?
Beech by the beach! This natural community is a hardwood forest with American beech (Fagus grandifolia) dominant. It occurs on north-facing exposed bluffs adjacent to the beaches of the north shore of Long Island. The trees are sculpted by salt spray. They can occur contorted and stunted as the salt spray “prunes” them.
|State Ranking Justification||
There are very few occurrences of maritime beech forests in New York State. These forests only occur as narrow bands (strand forests) on steep, north facing bluffs and dunes on the north shore of Long Island. Less than five sites are known in the State. Only one of these sites has adequate protection.
The numbers and acreage of maritime beech forests in New York have declined in recent decades due to cultural displacements. Residential and commercial development, as well as trails, and roads through the natural community have led to a steady decrease in the size of this community.
The numbers and acreage of maritime beech forests in New York have declined from historical numbers. Settlement of the area and the resulting residential, agricultural, and commercial developments have led to this decline.