loblolly pine plantation and early succesional loblolly pine forest

The loblolly pine is a climax species in the North Neck of Virginia. After a disturbance, a series of plant communities flourish and fade, culminating with the Loblolly pine. In this stage of succession, loblolly pines become a dominant tree species. However, the young loblolly pines are significantly shorter and thinner than more mature stands, allowing greater amounts of sunlight to reach understory plants. Because there is more space and sunlight that reaches the understory, a host of shade-intolerant plants continue to survive.

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