Eastern and southeastern USA

The Eastern and southeastern USA Threatened Conifer Region includes the Appalachian Province and the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain Province. During repeated glaciations in the Pleistocene plants found refuge in the Appalachian Highlands hence the shared flora in this Region. The Appalachian Mountains, including the Smoky Mountains, is dominated by mixed mesophytic forest that include conifers such as Pinus strobus, P. resinosa, Tsuga canadensis, T. caroliniana and Taxus canadensis. At higher elevations the forests are dominated by Abies fraseri and Picea rubens but are now under stress due to acid rain and from invasive non-native pests. The coastal plains consist of extensive pines forests of P. rigida to the north, and P. palustris and P. elliottii to the south; threats here are related to fire which under natural conditions forms an integral part of the ecology. The coastal region is well known for its swamp forests of Virginia and Georgia where Taxodium distichum grows and for the narrow endemics Taxus floridanum and Torreya taxifolia which are among some of the most threatened conifers in the world.

Taxa in the category - Eastern and southeastern USA :

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Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.

Distributed in three States of eastern USA but as a result of severe infestation from the Balsam woolly adelgid, only one population remains unaffected Read full species entry >

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Pinus palustris Mill.

Distributed in the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains of southeastern USA where extreme levels of logging have dramatically reduced the population size Read full species entry >

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Taxus floridana Nutt. ex Chapm.

Endemic to a very small area in northern Florida, USA where historically the population was much depleted due to selective logging which has led to fragmentation and poor regeneration Read full species entry >

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Torreya taxifolia Arn.

Restricted to a very small area in Florida and Georgia, USA where its dwindling population faces a number of threats, the most serious of which is a canker disease caused by Fusarium torreyae.  Read full species entry >