Figure 24.12--Forest types for 9,500 yr BP. Temperatures have risen and precipitation increased due to glacial retreat. However, sea level, river systems, and water tables are still low. Forest species remain south of modern assemblages, and the continuing dry climate produces open forests, evinced by the oak, southern pines, and hickory, which dominate most of the Southeast. Southern pine dispersion and proliferation is attributed to climatic disturbances, arid climate, and natural and native fires (modified Edwards and Merrill 1977).