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Vegetation in north Carolina state


Forest of north Carlina
Forest of north Carlina

Forests today cover 59 percent of North Carolina’s total area. Originally they covered the entire land area, except for grassy marshes and some bald treeless areas at high elevations. The highest proportion of forest land exists where there is little farming, in the steep mountains and the poorly-drained outer Coastal Plain. The forests of the Atlantic Coastal Plain consist largely of southern loblolly pines and longleaf pines. Cypresses, gums, Atlantic white cedars, and other water-tolerant species are found in river bottomlands and in Coastal Plain swamps. A rare carnivorous plant called the Venus’s-flytrap is native to the swamps of southeastern North Carolina.

The coastal pine forests have been cut over repeatedly, and all that remains is second-growth timber.

The forests of the Piedmont and the mountains at the time of the European settlement consisted of red oaks, white oaks, hickories, gums, yellow poplars, and other deciduous trees mixed with smaller numbers of pines. Pines predominate in some parts of the Piedmont today, but most of the region is covered by a mosaic of hardwood and pine stands. In the mountains low temperatures, a shorter warm season and abundant rainfall have favored northern species and abundant undergrowth. These species include the maple, birch, beech, hemlock, fir, and spruce.

Animal life


Although North Carolina’s wildlife has diminished over the years, it is still plentiful and varied. Land birds include quail, doves, wild turkeys, and many songbirds. Ducks and geese are plentiful near the coast. Most wooded areas have squirrels, rabbits, opossums, raccoons, foxes, and other small game. Deer are widespread. Bears are not numerous but are found in the mountains and the Coastal Plain swamps. Wild boar can be found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Nantahala National Forest. Snakes, including poisonous species such as rattlesnakes and water moccasins, are common throughout the state, and even alligators are native to the southeastern corner of the state. Most inland waters are stocked with fish, including trout, bass, bream, and perch. "North Carolina" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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