Natural Communities of NH -- Photo Guide

Appalachian wooded talus  (S1S2)

(formerly red oak - hickory wooded talus)

Appalachian wooded talus is a rare sparse woodland to woodland community found on low elevation (<500 ft.), acidic slopes in southern and coastal parts of the state. It contains tree and plant species not found in other talus communities farther north, such as Appalachian oaks. Vegetation and ecological processes are otherwise very similar to red oak - black birch wooded talus. This is a small patch community (in the range of <1-10 acres in size). It is fairly distinct, but it may include both acidic and somewhat enriched variants.

Soils are acidic to weakly enriched with talus derived from several types of bedrock including the Littleton Formation, granites, monzonites, and quartzites.

Characteristic Vegetation: 
A combination of two or more of the following southern and Appalachian species are present: white oak (Quercus alba), black oak (Q. velutina), chestnut oak (Q. prinus), scrub oak (Q. ilicifolia), sassafras (Sassafras albidum), mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), early azalea (Rhododendron prinophyllum), and flowering dogwood (Cornus florida). These species typically reach the northern margin of their range in southern New Hampshire and are generally absent from the more inland and higher elevation wooded talus types in the state. Shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) and bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis) may also be present. Otherwise, species composition is similar to that found in red oak - black birch wooded talus, including abundant black birch (Betula lenta).

A good example of this community occurs at Mt. Wantastiquet (Hinsdale).

Appalachian wooded talus sometimes occurs as part of a temperate ridge - cliff - talus system.

Appalachian wooded talus at Mt. Wantastiquet (photo by Dan Sperduto for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)
Appalachian wooded talus at Mt. Wantastiquet
(photo by Dan Sperduto)

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