|Coastal oak-beech forest on Fisher's Island
||Gregory J. Edinger
SubSystem: Forested Uplands
State Rarity Rank:
Global Rarity Rank:
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Beech-drops (Epifagus virginiana) is a characteristic species of coastal oak-beech forests. This parasitic plant is nearly white from lack of chlorophyll and grows only on the roots of beech trees. Instead of leaves, beech-drops have inconspicuous, ovate yellowish-purple scales. Beech-drops bloom from August to October, producing two-lipped flowers with purplish markings.
|State Ranking Justification||
There are an estimated 25 to 100 extant occurrences statewide. The several documented occurrences have good viability and most are protected on private or public conservation land. The community is restricted to interior portions of the coastal lowlands in Suffolk and Richmond Counties and is concentrated on the north-facing slopes of moraines. The acreage, extent, and condition of coastal oak-beech forests in New York are suspected to be declining. They are vulnerable to fragmentation and extirpation by continued residential development, including golf course creation and expansion. Beech bark disease is another increasingly pervasive threat.
The acreage, extent, and condition of coastal oak-beech forests in New York are suspected to be declining, primarily due to fragmentation and extirpation from residential development, beech bark disease, heavy deer browse, and exotic species invasion.
The number, extent, and viability of coastal oak-beech forests in New York are suspected to have declined substantially over the long-term. These declines are likely correlated with coastal development and associated changes in landscape connectivity.