Regional Summaries: Northeast RegionThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
The Northeast region is heavily forested with a high diversity of hardwood and conifer forest tree species. Northern hardwoods, including sugar maple (Acer saccharum), American beech (Fagus grandifolia), yellow (Betula alleghaniensis) and paper birch (B. papyrifera), and aspen (Populus tremuloides) make up 44% of the forests, followed by the oak-hickory (Quercus-Carya) type (27%), pine (Pinus) types (white-red-jack pine (P. strobus-P. resinosus-P. banksiana), loblolly-shortleaf pine (P. taeda-P. echinata), and oak-pine) (12%), spruce-fr (Picea-Abies) type (11%), and bottomland types (elm/ash/cottonwood (Ulmus/Fraxinus/Populus deltoides) and oak/gum/cypres (Quercus/Liquidambar/Taxodium)) (5%). Topography, moisture gradient, and disturbance history highly infuence where each forest type is found. The Northeast is also water rich, with over 10% of the total area covered by water. Aquatic ecosystems in the region include streams, swamps, lakes and ponds, rivers, and marine and estuarial habitats. In addition, New York has borders on two Great Lakes (Erie and Ontario), while Pennsylvania borders one (Erie).