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The New Jersey Pine Barrens

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Title: The New Jersey Pine Barrens


1
The New Jersey Pine Barrens
  • Developed By Adam F Sprague

2
Pinelands
  • The Pinelands is our country's first National
    Reserve and a U.S. Biosphere Reserve of the Man
    and the Biosphere Program It is designated a
    biosphere reserve by the United Nations and a
    "Last Great Place" by the Nature Conservancy for
    its environmental importance.
  • This internationally important ecological region
    is 1.1 million acres in size and occupies 22 of
    New Jersey's land area
  • In 1979, our state formed a partnership with the
    federal government to preserve, protect and
    enhance the natural and cultural resources of
    this special place.
  • It is the largest body of open space on the
    Mid-Atlantic seaboard between Richmond and Boston
    and is underlain by aquifers containing 17
    trillion gallons of some of the purest water in
    the land

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5
The Curly Grass Fern, Schizaea pusilla, is a rare
and tiny member of the fern family which was
first discovered in the Pine Barrens near Quaker
Bridge. It grows in wet areas and its fronds look
like tiny, spiral blades of grass. It is
classified as a threatened species.
6
Pinelands soil
  • Much of the land within the 1.1 million acre
    Pinelands National Reserve contains soils
    developed from the Cohansey geologic formation.
    These soils are mostly medium to coarse grained
    sands, although some thin clay soil layers are
    present. This geologic formation was deposited on
    the ocean floor between 13 million and 25 million
    years ago during a time that geologists call the
    Miocene period.

7
Pinelands soil
  • The soils developed from the Cohansey formation
    are very porous and infertile because, for the
    most part, the parent material has a greater
    proportion of coarse sand particles than finer
    clay particles. The greater the proportion of
    coarse particles in a soil the less it is able to
    retain water and nutrients like calcium,
    magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium - "food"
    usually needed for plant growth

8
Pinelands soil
  • Soils are grouped into series according to the
    geologic material from which they develop, as
    well as the makeup of their topsoil, subsoil, and
    horizons (or layers) that are underneath the
    subsoil
  • The Pinelands contains thirteen major soil
    series.

9
Pinelands soil
  • In order to simplify the understanding of
    Pinelands soils, this discussion will concentrate
    on five prevalent soil series that have developed
    from the Cohansey formation
  • These five soil series--Lakewood, Lakehurst,
    Atsion, Berryland, and Muck--are major factors
    in' the Pinelands unique soil.-water-plant-animal
    relationship

10
Pinelands soil
  • Each area is formed under the influence of time,
    position (whether the soil is on a hill or in low
    areas with a fluctuating water table), parent
    material (sand or gravel), climate and biological
    activity

11
Pine Barrens Soil
  • The soils with the higher fluctuating water table
    tend to be situated in low level areas that have
    the ground water table near the surface. (There
    is virtually no surface runoff in the Pinelands.)
    Their surface colors are black underlain first by
    a light gray layer and then by reddish-brown and
    dark brown sandy layers. They may be generally
    categorized as wetland or bog soils.

12
Pine Barrens Soil
  • The organic surface layer of Lakewood and
    Lakehurst soils decomposes slowly because there
    are very few microorganisms present to break it
    down. The decomposition that does occur produces
    humic acid which moves downward with percolating
    water. Over a long period of time, this weak acid
    solution removes virtually all of the materials
    from the surface layer. The subsurface layer
    becomes almost pure quartz sand. The minerals
    (mostly iron compounds and iron joined with
    organic matter that are filtered out at the top
    of the subsoil) and organic matter form the three
    to four inch dark-brown layer directly beneath
    the gray layer.

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14
Pine Barrens Soil
  • Bacteria that utilize the carbon for food in the
    Atsion and Berryland soils deplete and remove
    oxygen in their respiration process. As a result,
    the iron compounds are used as a substitute.
    After being used by the bacteria , the iron is
    said to be in a reduced state. In the reduced
    state, the mineral compounds are generally gray
    in color

15
Pine Barrens Soil(Bog Iron)
  • The underlying brown sandy layers are the result
    of iron compounds and fine humus particles
    leaching downward through the soils to the water
    table level in the summer. This leaching of iron
    compounds is part of the process by which bog
    iron is formed. The coarse textures and
    fluctuating water table found in the Atsion and
    Berryland soils make this process possible. Even
    minimal amounts of clay will prevent this process
    from occurring. Bog iron is often seen in stream
    beds and was important in the manufacture of
    cannon and shot used by George Washington's
    troops during the Revolutionary War.

16
Bog Iron
  • The orange to yellowish- brown flocculant
    material often seen near the banks, particularly
    in slow-flowing water. This is iron oxide formed
    by bacteria such as Leptothrix ochracea. It is
    this bacterium, and others that are similar, that
    oxidizes the iron present in the water and causes
    these large orange to brown colored flocs. This
    oxidation is believed to be involved in the
    formation of "Bog Iron".

17
Bog Iron
18
Bog Iron
  • Their presence bacteria can be detected on the
    surface by the iridescent oily film they leave on
    the water (right), another sure sign of bog iron.

19
Areas of Bog Iron formation
20
Pine Barrens Soil
  • Water table depth has a major effect on the sandy
    Pinelands soils as they develop from the parent
    material. The kinds of trees and shrubs that grow
    in different parts of the Pinelands are related
    to Water table depth and these five soil series
    stated. Plants that grow in the wetlands soils
    such as Atsion, Berryland and Muck have special
    adaptations that allow them to extract oxygen
    from the air rather than the generally saturated
    soil.

21
Pine Barrens Soil
  • When settlers first came to the region during the
    1600's and 1700's, they discovered most of the
    region's soils would not support cattle husbandry
    and the growing of vegetable and grain crops that
    were part of traditional European agriculture.
    For this reason, they named the region the "Pine
    Barrens". Since the 1800's and early 1900's,
    cranberries and blueberries (both requiring
    highly organic surface soil, a relatively high
    water table, and acidic conditions associated
    with Atsion, Berryland, and Muck soils) have been
    cultivated and grown on a commercial basis

22
Pine Barrens Water
  • Pinelands surface and aquifer water quality is
    both determined changed by many factors
    including
  • soil
  • climate and weather (The weather of New Jersey is
    considered temperate with an average of 45 inches
    of precipitation annually)
  • people
  • plants and animals

23
Pine Barrens Water
  • Physical and chemical characteristics of
    Pinelands water limit the variety of aquatic life
    include
  • acidic nature
  • considerable amounts of iron
  • low amounts of alkaline metals and oxygen
  • natural organic compounds resulting in its
    tea-colored stream water

24
Pine Barrens Water
  • The Cohansey Aquifer, containing 17 trillion
    gallons of mostly uncontaminated fresh water,
    lies beneath the Pinelands surface. Careful
    maintenance of the quality and quantity of this
    water resource is important to the well-being of
    the people, animals and plants in the region

25
Pine Barrens Water
  • The Cohansey Aquifer is highly susceptible to
    pollution because of the sandy, porous nature of
    the soil. Water passing through this sand
    formation has been compared to water filtering
    through a bucket of marbles. Water passes through
    the soil rapidly reaching the water table.
    Therefore, local sources of pollution can pass
    quickly into an aquifer locally then spread out
    with time despoiling larger and larger portions
    of the aquifer

26
Pine Barrens Water
  • Cohansey Aquifer
  • Its area is about 2,000 square miles, and it is
    estimated to reach a depth of 37 feet in some
    places. This formation is seldom more than 20
    feet below the surface, and as a result, it
    greatly influences the surface waters. In the
    summer these streams are relatively cool,
    generally being below 25 C, and in winter they
    rarely freeze

27
Pine Barrens Water
  • Cohansey Aquifer
  • The black or brown water color is caused by large
    amounts of humates arising from the drainage of
    the swamp's vegetation. These streams are very
    acid - the pH varies from about 3.6 to 5.2 with a
    mean around 4.4.

28
Pine Barrens Water
  • Because these streams are typically very acid,
    are low in alkaline metals, and contain
    considerable amounts of iron, they have a unique
    fauna and flora (though they may include some
    more tolerant species). For example, one finds
    few freshwater clams and snails in these waters
    because they require calcium to form their
    shells. Crustacea are typically scarce in waters
    with a pH below 6. Many fishes, such as
    bluegills, yellow perch, golden shiner and calico
    bass do not reproduce in water with a very low
    pH. The pickerel is one fish that seems to
    reproduce and be successful under these
    acid-water conditions.

29
Pine Barrens Water
  • Sources of pollution may include
  • septic tanks
  • landfills
  • chemical spills and storage leaks
  • dumping
  • agricultural chemicals
  • highway de-icing
  • industrial waste

30
Pine Barrens Water
  • A lowering of the Pinelands water table, through
    drought or over pumping, could severely alter the
    Pinelands life by depriving it of the groundwater
    it needs.
  • A lowering of the Pinelands water table will
    increase the probability of salt water invasion
    (intrusion).

31
Pine Barrens Fire ecology
  • Nutrient poor soil, acidic water and dry soil
    conditions are three major factors that influence
    the kind of vegetation that thrives in the fire
    prone forests of New Jersey's Pinelands

32
Some of the reasons these conditions support the
growth of fire prone vegetation include
  • Pinelands soils are acidic and, as such, forest
    litter accumulates and does not readily
    decompose. This lack of decomposition prevents
    the enrichment of the upper soil layers which are
    the layers that usually supply the nutrients
    (food) to the plants
  • The highly permeable acidic soils in the
    Pinelands have a low water retention (water
    holding) capacity. This often results in dry soil
    conditions

33
Cont.
  • with little decomposed litter to enrich the
    region's soil, it is nutrient poor and often dry.
    Only vegetation like the highly flammable pitch
    pine can thrive under these conditions
  • As a result of the presence of highly flammable
    vegetation, accumulation of dry forest litter,
    and dry soil conditions, the upland forests of
    the Pinelands are fire prone

34
Fire Effects in New Jersey's Pine Barrens
  • Large forest fires in the New Jersey Pine Barrens
    frequently take newspaper headlines in the
    spring, and sometimes in summer or fall, but
    hundreds of small fires throughout the year
    attract little attention. Fires are not rare in
    this section. Indians burned the woods
    extensively to improve hunting conditions. Ever
    since the first white men settled in New Jersey,
    fires have been common in the Pine Barrens.

35
FACTORS MODIFYING FIRE EFFECTS ON UPLAND SITES
36
Succession
  • If fires are kept out and there are no other
    disturbances such as cutting, the usual forest
    growth that develops on cleared land in the
    Barrens follows this pattern first, a pine stand
    develops then hardwoods, chiefly oaks, seed
    under the pines. Later, as the pines mature and
    die, hardwoods dominate the stand. The succession
    from pines to- hardwoods is due to two
    factors(1) hardwoods can live and grow under
    more shade than pines, and (2) hardwood seeds,
    being bigger, can become establishedin the thick
    cover of dead leaves that accumulates under
    unburned stands.

37
Species Susceptibility
  • Pines and oaks differ in their susceptibility to
    fire. Oaks have thinner bark than the pitch and
    shortleaf pines of the Barrens, so less heat is
    needed to kill their cambium. However, pine
    crowns are burned far more frequently than the
    crowns of oaks because most fires occur when oaks
    are leafless. Most of the fire damage to oaks is
    through killing of the cambium near the base.
    When only part of the cambium is killed, the tree
    usually lives but an open wound develops. When
    all of the cambium is killed, the stem dies but
    sprouts may start from buds just underground.
    On pitch and shortleaf pines, fires usually
    damage the foliage and well-developed buds first.
    More heat is needed to kill the basal cambium,
    particularly of. large trees. Thus, these pines
    may have only their foliage killed they may also
    have their major buds and branches killed, yet
    live through forming new crown sprouts from
    dormant buds. If the part above ground dies but
    sprouts arise, they usually arise from protected
    dormant buds. A tree is completely killed if no
    sprouts develop.

38
Tree Size
  • Large trees have thick bark and crowns farther
    from the ground so they tend to suffer less
    damage than small trees. Certain fires have
    killed back all pines 1 to 4 inches in diameter
    (at breast height), but no pines with a breast
    height -diameter of over 13 inches. Less intense
    fires have killed back all oaks 1 to 4 inches in
    diameter, but only 12 percent of the oaks larger
    than 13 inches. (A tree is "killed back" if the
    part above ground is dead, but the root is still
    living and can produce sprouts . A tree is
    completely killed if the root, too, is dead.)

39
Effects of Heat
  • The temperature of a fire varies within its
    various sections, its size and its burning
    conditions. In some large fires, the head-fires
    have killed 68 percent of the pine stems 5 to 8
    inches in diameter while the less intense
    side-fires killed no pines of that size. Small
    fires are usually less intense and cause less
    damage than large ones. When air temperatures are
    low, heat is more quickly dissipated and more
    fire is needed to raise the temperature of plant
    tissues to the killing points. Thus, fires do
    less damage at low winter temperatures than in
    spring or summer. The intensity of a fire is also
    affected by fuel conditions. When the debris on
    the ground is dry only on top, fires may start
    and spread but they cannot create as much heat as
    when all the debris burns. Similarly, where there
    is less fuel, the fire will be less intense.

40
Fire Frequency
  • Frequent killing fires keep an area covered with
    small sprouts. Severe fires at fairly frequent
    intervals (less than 20 years) eventually
    eliminate species that do not bear seed at an
    early age-the apparent reason why shortleaf pine
    and black, white, and chestnut oaks are absent
    from existing stands of pitch pine and scrub
    (bear) oak.

41
ROLE OF FIRE IN SHAPING UPLAND STANDS
42
Plains Stands
  • Low growth of pitch pine and scrub (bear and
    blackjack) oaks, such as that found near the
    Burlington-Ocean County line along Route 72, is
    due chiefly to repeated killing fires that keep
    sprouts young and small. These sprouts' growth is
    retarded by th e age of the stumps from which
    they grow and by competition among large numbers-
    of sprouts-as many as 249 one-year-old sprouts
    have been counted in a single clump. Recent
    studies indicate that the Plains stands' fire
    history has favored a race of pitch pines that is
    relatively slow-growing, develops a mature form
    relatively early and has a crooked form and
    serotinous cones. (Serotinous cones are pitchy
    enough to stay closed, at least for several
    years, unless opened by a fire's heat. By these
    mechanism s, fire produced the "miniature forest"
    that was once considered such a mystery.

43
Pitch Pine-Scrub Oak Stands
  • Stands similar in composition to those in the
    Plains arise from slightly less frequent or less
    intense fires which give the pines more growing
    time. However, these pines are usually
    slow-growing for two notable reasons (1) many
    stems probably started as sprouts and (2) many of
    the pines lived through one or more fires that
    killed their crowns.

44
Oak-Pine Stands
  • These usually have a dense understory of oak
    (black, white, chestnut, etc.) sprouts with some
    scattered pine sprouts, both having started after
    the last severe fire. Over this understory is a
    scattering of large pines that survived the last
    and, often, earlier fires. This composition
    apparently results from severe fires at intervals
    of possibly 30 to 40 years, certainly at
    longerintervals than in the pitch pine-scrub oak
    areas. In the oak-pine stands, large pines have
    usually been deformed by past fires and if any
    oaks survived the last fire, they will probably
    have basal wounds.

45
FIRE EFFECTS OF SHRUBS AND HERBACEOUS VEGETATION
  • Just as a history of fire can alter the
    composition of a forest, it can also affect the
    undergrowth. On upland sites, an undergrowth of
    huckleberries and low-bush blueberries prevails
    under climax hardwoods and most oak-pine stands.
    Frequent light f ires tend to reduce the shrub
    cover and favor herbaceous plants, especially
    along roads or under open stands. Severe fires
    can also reduce the shrub cover, especially of
    huckleberries. On sandy sites, severe fires favor
    such species as golden-heather un til they are
    once again crowded out by the spread of
    blueberries and huckleberries.

46
FIRE'S EFFECTS ON LOWLAND SITES
  • On lowland sites -- both the pine stands of
    poorly drained soils and the white-cedar stands
    of the swamps -- the effects of fire are just as
    varied as they on upland sites. For example,
    deep-burning fires the organic soils of swamps
    can create (1) ponds, flats with a shallow layer
    of water covered by leatherleaf (2) flats with a
    shallow layers of water covered by leatherleaf
    or(3) meadows containing a wide variety
    interesting herbaceous plants. Killing fires that
    do not burn deeply enough to create any of the
    above conditions can result in forests of
    white-cedar, of swamp hardwoods, or of a mixture
    of cedar and hardwoods.

47
Batso
48
Batso
  • Iron Furnace Charcoal Fuel
  • Charles Read of Burlington, constructed the Iron
    Furnace at Batsto in 1766. The furnace produced
    cannon as well as munitions and other items to
    aid the patriots during their struggle with the
    British. During years that followed, the Batsto
    furnace producing a variety of items such as
    pots, kettles, stoves, and fireplace backing. The
    furnace buildings no longer exist today. Charcoal
    was used as fuel for the furnace.

49
Pine Barrens Fire ecology
  • Much of the vegetation in the Pinelands has
    developed adaptations that help it survive the
    region's frequent fires. These include
  • the thick bark of pitch pine that prevents fire
    from destroying the living tissue inside the
    trees stump sprouting of pitch pine and oak
    serotinous cones of pitch pine
  • rhizomes (extensive underground stems that send
    up new leafy shoots) are found on plants like
    huckleberries and bracken ferns

50
Wildife Hyla andersonii
51
Wildlife Timber Rattler
52
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53
Northern Pine Snake
54
Southern Leopard Frog
55
Images of the Pines
56
Pigmy Pines
57
Pitcher Plant
58
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59
Barred Owl
60
Dragon Mouth Orchids
61
Swamp Pink
62
Mullica River
63
Batso River
64
Wild High Bush Blueberry
65
Pink Lady Slippers orchid
66
Lily Leave Tway Blade
67
Dragons Mouth Orchid
68
Great Bay
69
Folklore
70
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