Pineywoods Ecosystems Gallery!
explore the local ecosystem types of "Pineywoods"-the
forested eastern edge of Texas
and the the
ecologically-similar forests of adjacent Louisiana. Markedly
different from most of Texas, tall stands of trees cover much of the
gently rolling landscape.
There is a rich variety of natural habitats: Upland pine-oak
communities, remnants of once-extensive longleaf pine woodlands,
rich "mesic" deciduous forests on sheltered slopes and along small
streams, and vast "bottomland hardwood" forests on the floodplains of
region's numerous rivers. The climate is warm and humid; some areas
as much as 50" (1270 mm) of rainfall a year. Timber, poultry, oil and gas extraction and
among the important local industries and much of the Pineywoods
remains relatively free from urbanization. Public lands such as
Grasslands of Texas,
Big Thicket National
Plant Center on the campus of
Stephen F. Austin State University in
Nacogdoches enable one to
easily explore the rich and varied natural environment.
images of both local ecosystems and the plants typically found in
reflect the characteristic natural or near-natural (usually forested)
plant assemblages which develop in an ecosystem over time in
the absence of extensive
human disturbance and only lightly touch on high-disturbance ecosystems. However, vegetation in a location is a function of
both natural environmental factors (soils, topography, and climate)
management or disturbance a site has experienced; the plant
communities on disturbed or heavily managed sites may be rather
the "potential natural" communities described here.
The gallery is a
"spin-off" from more than 14 years of research aimed at developing an
classification system (ECS) for National Forest lands in Texas and
(Van Kley et al 2007). ECS aims to classify forest lands into
Units" on the basis of a given site's topographic features, soil
and potential natural vegetation. A summary of these ecological units
appears in the introduction to the "Illustrated Flora of East Texas
Volume I" (Diggs et al.
2006). Other literature describing Pineywoods habitats includes Marks
and Harcombe (1981), Harcombe
et al. (1983), Van Kley and Hine (1998), Van Kley 1999a, and Van Kley
1999b). Botanical nomenclature follows Diggs et
al. (2006) for ferns, Lycophytes, gymnosperms, and monocots and
(1999) for all other vascular plants.
Our aim is to
students, laymen, and professionals with the plants and ecosystems
the foundation of both the ecology and economy of east Texas. We hope
enjoy this window into the natural world of this fascinating, and to
little known, part of North America!
- 26 October 2017. Version 17.10. A complete
re-compilation of the galleries: Inclusion of a species is now largely
based on statistical analyis of sample plots. Galleries are derived
from multivariate classification (mainly TWINSPAN and flexible B
cluster analysis) of field data from 680 forest stands from throughout
the Pineywoods followed by indicator species analysis (ISA) of the
resulting groups inorder to generate lists of species statistically
associated with differences among the groups.
- 10 June 2010 (Version 10.06): A new ecosystem (high flood-energy
streambanks) was added and several corrections were made as part of a
major revision of the parent Pineywoods Plants gallery.
13 May, 2008 (Version 8.05): The Pineywoods Ecosystems
gallery was launched as a part of revisions to its parent gallery
"Pineywoods Plants" which consists of photographs of plants from far