Pocosins (USA)

  • Curtis J. Richardson
Reference work entry


Pocosins, an Algonquin Indian word means swamp-on-a-hill. These evergreen shrub-bog ecosystems occur on the southeastern coastal plain of the USA from Virginia to north Florida and once covered more than one million hectares in North Carolina alone. A broad definition of pocosins would include all shrub and forested bogs, as well as Atlantic white cedar Chamaecyparis thyoides stands and some loblolly pine Pinus taeda stands on flooded soils on the Coastal Plain. A stricter definition would only include the classic shrub-scrub (short pocosin) found on deep peat soils > 1-4 m and pond-pine Pinus serotina dominated tall pocosin on shallow peat soils < 1 m. Pocosins are rainfall driven and thus hydrologically isolated from major rivers on the landscape. However, they are often found adjacent to estuaries and have surface hydrological connections that are linked to the regional water quality and salinity gradients found in estuarine areas along the southeastern coast.


Palustrine Bog Swamp Hydrology Peatlands 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nicholas School of the EnvironmentDuke University Wetland CenterDurhamUSA

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