Forest Communities of the Midwestern United States

  • John E. Ebinger


The deciduous forests of eastern North America have become excessively fragmented as a result of increased human activity during the past four centuries. Originally deciduous forest extended as an almost unbroken blanket across eastern North America from just north of the Great Lakes and the Gaspe Peninsula south to the gulf coast, including eastern Texas and all but the southern third of Florida (Braun 1950). The western boundary was indistinct, with a mixture of upland prairies and forests extending along rivers in Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. These western woodlands became more open, with a dramatic decrease in canopy cover forming open-woodland communities and savannas, before giving way to prairie (Taft Chapter 2, this volume). The upland prairie patches extended eastward on drier sites throughout Illinois, Indiana and Ohio (Robertson et al., Chapter 3, this volume).


Deciduous Forest Forest Community Sugar Maple Tallgrass Prairie Bald Cypress 
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© Chapman & Hall 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • John E. Ebinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Botany DepartmentEastern Illinois UniversityCharlestonUSA

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