FORSite>Contents>The Forest Community>Cover Types
Forest trees in nature may be aggregated into certain groupings or associations such as the beech-birch-maple forests of the northeastern United States and adjacent Canada, and the loblolly pine-shortleaf pine forests of the South; or they may occur in essentially pure stands such as lodgepole pine in the mountains of the West. These aggregations and pure stands, called forest cover types, may be either stable or transitory. Some have occupied the area for long periods. Others are temporary occupants of disturbed sites and through ecological succession gradually give way to a more stable cover and ultimately, under stable conditions, to climax forest.
Reprinted From: F.H. Eyre, Ed. 1980. Forest Cover Types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, D.C. 148 pp.
Forest cover types have been described in-depth by the Society of American Forests (see reference on previous page). The classification is based on existing tree cover, with recognition of formational ecological factors.
cover type descriptions are useful for conveying forest descriptions and management
practices; they provide a common reference framework and aid in the development
of mental pictures of the vegetation that exists in a given area. In most descriptions,
species that make up the majority of the growing stock, geographic distribution,
ecological relationships, and variants and associated vegetation are described.