New York Natural Heritage Program
Mountain Spruce-Fir Forest
Mountain spruce-fir forest on Street Mountain Tim Howard
System: Terrestrial
SubSystem: Forested Uplands

State Protection: Not Listed
Federal Protection: Not Listed

State Rarity Rank: S2S3
A State Rarity Rank of S2S3 means: Imperiled or Vulnerable in New York - Very vulnerable to disappearing from New York, or vulnerable to becoming imperiled in New York, due to rarity or other factors; typically 6 to 80 populations or locations in New York, 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.

Global Rarity Rank: G3
A Global Rarity Rank of G3 means: Either rare and local throughout its range (21 to 100 occurrences), or found locally (even abundantly at some of its locations) in a restricted range (e.g. a physiographic region), or vulnerable to extinction throughout its range because of other factors.


Did you know?
Red spruce (Picea rubens) is one of the most abundant tree species of mountain spruce-fir forests. The high-elevation areas of New York have experienced a decline in red spruce, in which trees exhibit a gradual and progressive deterioration of vigor and an eventual dieback. The causes of spruce decline are linked in part to acid rain deposition (Scott et al. 1984, Lazarus et al. 2004). Forests in mountainous regions are often exposed to greater amounts of acid than lower-elevation forests because they tend to be surrounded by clouds and fog, increasing exposure. When leaves are frequently bathed in this acid fog essential nutrients may be stripped away. This loss of nutrients in their foliage makes trees more susceptible to damage by other environmental factors, particularly cold winter weather.

State Ranking Justification [-]
There are about 50 to 100 occurrences statewide. There are several large occurrences protected on state land. This community is restricted to the high-elevation slopes of mountainous areas generally above 3,000 feet, and includes several very large, high quality examples. The current trend of this community is probably declining slightly due to the combined effects of atmospheric deposition, recreational overuse, and logging. This community has probably declined moderately from historical numbers likely correlated with logging and development of the surrounding landscape.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]