Louisiana is a state in the Deep South region of the South Central United States. It is the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Louisiana is bordered by the state of Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River. Louisiana is the only U. S. state with political subdivisions termed parishes. The state's capital is Baton Rouge, its largest city is New Orleans. Much of the state's lands were formed from sediment washed down the Mississippi River, leaving enormous deltas and vast areas of coastal marsh and swamp; these contain a rich southern biota. There are many species of tree frogs, fish such as sturgeon and paddlefish. In more elevated areas, fire is a natural process in the landscape, has produced extensive areas of longleaf pine forest and wet savannas; these support an exceptionally large number of plant species, including many species of terrestrial orchids and carnivorous plants.
Louisiana has more Native American tribes than any other southern state, including four that are federally recognized, ten that are state recognized, four that have not received recognition. Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural, multilingual heritage, being so influenced by a mixture of 18th-century French, Spanish, Native American, African cultures that they are considered to be exceptional in the US. Before the American purchase of the territory in 1803, present-day Louisiana State had been both a French colony and for a brief period a Spanish one. In addition, colonists imported numerous African people as slaves in the 18th century. Many came from peoples of the same region of West Africa. In the post-Civil War environment, Anglo-Americans increased the pressure for Anglicization, in 1921, English was for a time made the sole language of instruction in Louisiana schools before a policy of multilingualism was revived in 1974. There has never been an official language in Louisiana, the state constitution enumerates "the right of the people to preserve and promote their respective historic and cultural origins."
Louisiana was named after Louis XIV, King of France from 1643 to 1715. When René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed the territory drained by the Mississippi River for France, he named it La Louisiane; the suffix -ana is a Latin suffix that can refer to "information relating to a particular individual, subject, or place." Thus Louis + ana carries the idea of "related to Louis." Once part of the French Colonial Empire, the Louisiana Territory stretched from present-day Mobile Bay to just north of the present-day Canada–United States border, including a small part of what is now the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The Gulf of Mexico did not exist 250 million years ago when there was but one supercontinent, Pangea; as Pangea split apart, the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico opened. Louisiana developed, over millions of years, from water into land, from north to south; the oldest rocks are exposed in areas such as the Kisatchie National Forest. The oldest rocks date back to the early Cenozoic Era, some 60 million years ago.
The history of the formation of these rocks can be found in D. Spearing's Roadside Geology of Louisiana; the youngest parts of the state were formed during the last 12,000 years as successive deltas of the Mississippi River: the Maringouin, Teche, St. Bernard, the modern Mississippi, now the Atchafalaya; the sediments were carried from north to south by the Mississippi River. In between the Tertiary rocks of the north, the new sediments along the coast, is a vast belt known as the Pleistocene Terraces, their age and distribution can be related to the rise and fall of sea levels during past ice ages. In general, the northern terraces have had sufficient time for rivers to cut deep channels, while the newer terraces tend to be much flatter. Salt domes are found in Louisiana, their origin can be traced back to the early Gulf of Mexico, when the shallow ocean had high rates of evaporation. There are several hundred salt domes in the state. Salt domes are important not only as a source of salt. Louisiana is bordered to the west by Texas.
The state may properly be divided into two parts, the uplands of the north, the alluvial along the coast. The alluvial region includes low swamp lands, coastal marshlands and beaches, barrier islands that cover about 20,000 square miles; this area lies principally along the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River, which traverses the state from north to south for a distance of about 600 mi ) and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The breadth of the alluvial region along the Mississippi is from 10 to 60 miles, along the other rivers, the alluvial region averages about 10 miles across; the Mississippi River flows along a ridge formed by its own natural deposits, from which the lands decline toward a river beyond at an average fall of six feet per mile. The alluvial lands along other streams present similar features; the higher and contiguous hill lands of the north and northwestern part of the state have an area of more than 25,000 square miles. They consist of prairie and woodl
Southeastern conifer forests
The Southeastern conifer forests are a tropical and subtropical coniferous forest ecoregion of the southeastern United States. It is the largest conifer forest ecoregion east of the Mississippi River; this ecoregion has a humid subtropical climate with significant precipitation year-round. Historic vegetation was dominated by open woodlands of longleaf pine with an understory of wiregrass. Other natural communities include to pine savannas and xeric hardwood forests; these are woodlands dominated by longleaf subject to frequent fires. The Atlantic coastal plain upland longleaf pine woodlands occur on uplands and on the higher parts of upland-wetland mosaics, while the east Gulf coastal plain interior upland longleaf pine woodlands occur on rolling dissected uplands, inland of the coastal flatlands. Soils are well- to excessively drained. Scrub oaks such as turkey oak and bluejack oak are in the understory; the herbaceous layer is dominated by grasses wiregrass: in the north and in the south. Florida longleaf pine sandhills consist of stands of longleaf pine on well-drained, sandy hills of the coastal plains of Florida.
These stands are maintained by frequent fires. Turkey oak is common in the understory. Wiregrass makes up the ground layer. East Gulf coastal plain near-coast pine flatwoods are forests and woodlands on broad, sandy flatlands along the northern Gulf of Mexico. Trees are longleaf pine or slash pine. Fires are frequent, occurring every one to four years. Understory vegetation ranges from open and grassy depending on fire history. Shrubs include swamp titi, Appalachia tea, fetterbush lyonia, saw palmetto. Southern coastal plain nonriverine cypress domes are small forested wetlands characterized by their dome-shaped appearance, with taller trees in the center and shorter trees around the perimeter; these wetlands occur on poorly drained depressions surrounded by pine flatwoods. Pond cypress dominates the canopy, which it shares with swamp sweetgum; the southern coastal plain oak dome and hammock occurs as thick stands of evergreen oaks in small patches on shallow depressions or slight hills. These forests are distinct from their surrounding habitats, which are longleaf pine-dominated.
On mesic sites, common species are southern live oak, sand laurel oak, American persimmon. The understory is sparse, with trumpet greenbrier. On xeric sites, common species are sand live oak, longleaf pine, southern live oak and southern dawnflower. Southern coastal plain hydric hammocks are found on the flat lowlands of the southern and outermost parts of the coastal plain over limestone substrates; these forests of evergreen and deciduous hardwood trees occur near the floodplains of spring-fed rivers with constant flows. They can be large areas of shallow wetlands. Common trees include Atlantic white cedar, sweetbay magnolia, swamp laurel oak, southern live oak, cabbage palm. Dahoon holly is a typical shrub. On the Gulf coastal plain, maritime forest consists of a mosaic of forests and shrublands on barrier islands and strands, it occurs in sheltered areas behind coastal grasslands. Forests are dominated by a mixture of needle-leaved and broad-leaved evergreen trees, including sand pine, slash pine, longleaf pine, southern live oak, cabbage palm, pignut hickroy, sand hickroy.
Wetland areas are dominated by sweetbay magnolia. Wind and salt spray from the ocean can make these forests appear sculpted. On the Atlantic coastal plain, maritime forest consists of forests and shrublands on stabilized upland dunes of barrier islands and strands. Oaks tend to dominate the overstory southern live oak and sand live oak. Woodlands dominated by pine species include southern species such as longleaf pine, pond pine, slash pine; the understory is dense and shrubby, including southern live oak, sand live oak, laurel oak, Chapman oak, myrtle oak, southern magnolia. This includes mixed evergreen forests dominated by oak. Pines are present as well; this forest is found in fire-sheltered locations surrounded by pine-dominated uplands, including slopes near rivers and sinkholes. Sand laurel oak is the typical oak species; the forest canopy can be diverse, including other hardwood species. Common pines include spruce pine, or shortleaf pine. To the south, this becomes hammock. On
Mississippi is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Mississippi is the 32nd most 34th most populous of the 50 United States, it is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Alabama to the east, the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana to the south, Arkansas and Louisiana to the west. The state's western boundary is defined by the Mississippi River. Jackson, with a population of 167,000 people, is both the state's capital and largest city; the state is forested outside the Mississippi Delta area, the area between the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers. Before the American Civil War, most development in the state was along riverfronts, as the waterways were critical for transportation. Large gangs of slaves were used to work on cotton plantations. After the war, freedmen began to clear the bottomlands to the interior, in the process selling off timber and buying property. By the end of the 19th century, African Americans made up two-thirds of the Delta's property owners, but timber and railroad companies acquired much of the land after the financial crisis, which occurred when blacks were facing increasing racial discrimination and disfranchisement in the state.
Clearing of the land for plantations altered the Delta's ecology, increasing the severity of flooding along the Mississippi by taking out trees and bushes that had absorbed excess waters. Much land is now held by agribusinesses. A rural state with agricultural areas dominated by industrial farms, Mississippi is ranked low or last among the states in such measures as health, educational attainment, median household income; the state's catfish aquaculture farms produce the majority of farm-raised catfish consumed in the United States. Since the 1930s and the Great Migration of African Americans to the North and West, the majority of Mississippi's population has been white, although the state still has the highest percentage of black residents of any U. S. state. From the early 19th century to the 1930s, its residents were majority black, before the American Civil War that population was composed of African-American slaves. Democratic Party whites retained political power through disfranchisement and Jim Crow laws.
In the first half of the 20th century, nearly 400,000 rural blacks left the state for work and opportunities in northern and midwestern cities, with another wave of migration around World War II to West Coast cities. In the early 1960s, Mississippi was the poorest state in the nation, with 86% of its non-whites living below the poverty level. In 2010, 37% of Mississippians were African Americans, the highest percentage of African Americans in any U. S. state. Since regaining enforcement of their voting rights in the late 1960s, most African Americans have supported Democratic candidates in local and national elections. Conservative whites have shifted to the Republican Party. African Americans are a majority in many counties of the Mississippi-Yazoo Delta, an area of historic slave settlement during the plantation era; the state's name is derived from the Mississippi River. Settlers named it after the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi. Mississippi is bordered to the north by Tennessee, to the east by Alabama, to the south by Louisiana and a narrow coast on the Gulf of Mexico.
In addition to its namesake, major rivers in Mississippi include the Big Black River, the Pearl River, the Yazoo River, the Pascagoula River, the Tombigbee River. Major lakes include Ross Barnett Reservoir, Arkabutla Lake, Sardis Lake, Grenada Lake with the largest lake being Sardis Lake. Mississippi is composed of lowlands, the highest point being Woodall Mountain, in the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains, 807 feet above sea level; the lowest point is sea level at the Gulf Coast. The state's mean elevation is 300 feet above sea level. Most of Mississippi is part of the East Gulf Coastal Plain; the coastal plain is composed of low hills, such as the Pine Hills in the south and the North Central Hills. The Pontotoc Ridge and the Fall Line Hills in the northeast have somewhat higher elevations. Yellow-brown loess soil is found in the western parts of the state; the northeast is a region of fertile black earth. The coastline includes large bays at Bay St. Louis and Pascagoula, it is separated from the Gulf of Mexico proper by the shallow Mississippi Sound, sheltered by Petit Bois Island, Horn Island and West Ship Islands, Deer Island, Round Island, Cat Island.
The northwest remainder of the state consists of the Mississippi Delta, a section of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain. The plain widens north of Vicksburg; the region has rich soil made up of silt, deposited by the flood waters of the Mississippi River. Areas under the management of the National Park Service include: Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site near Baldwyn Gulf Islands National Seashore Natchez National Historical Park in Natchez Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail in Tupelo Natchez Trace Parkway Tupelo National Battlefield in Tupelo Vicksburg National Military Park and Cemetery in Vicksburg Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 50,000: Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 20,000 but fewer than 50,000: Mississippi City Population Rankings of at least 10,000 but fewer than 20,000: Mississippi has a humid
New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. It is located on a peninsula, bordered on the north and east by the state of New York along the extent of the length of New York City on its western edge. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous, with 9 million residents as of 2017, the most densely populated of the 50 U. S. states. New Jersey lies within the combined statistical areas of New York City and Philadelphia. New Jersey was the second-wealthiest U. S. state by median household income as of 2017. New Jersey was inhabited by Native Americans for more than 2,800 years, with historical tribes such as the Lenape along the coast. In the early 17th century, the Dutch and the Swedes founded the first European settlements in the state; the English seized control of the region, naming it the Province of New Jersey after the largest of the Channel Islands and granting it as a colony to Sir George Carteret and John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton.
New Jersey was the site of several decisive battles during the American Revolutionary War in the 18th century. In the 19th century, factories in cities, Paterson, Trenton, Jersey City, Elizabeth helped to drive the Industrial Revolution. New Jersey's geographic location at the center of the Northeast megalopolis, between Boston and New York City to the northeast, Philadelphia and Washington, D. C. to the southwest, fueled its rapid growth through the process of suburbanization in the second half of the 20th century. In the first decades of the 21st century, this suburbanization began reverting with the consolidation of New Jersey's culturally diverse populace toward more urban settings within the state, with towns home to commuter rail stations outpacing the population growth of more automobile-oriented suburbs since 2008. Around 180 million years ago, during the Jurassic Period, New Jersey bordered North Africa; the pressure of the collision between North America and Africa gave rise to the Appalachian Mountains.
Around 18,000 years ago, the Ice Age resulted in glaciers. As the glaciers retreated, they left behind Lake Passaic, as well as many rivers and gorges. New Jersey was settled by Native Americans, with the Lenni-Lenape being dominant at the time of contact. Scheyichbi is the Lenape name for the land, now New Jersey; the Lenape were several autonomous groups that practiced maize agriculture in order to supplement their hunting and gathering in the region surrounding the Delaware River, the lower Hudson River, western Long Island Sound. The Lenape society was divided into matrilinear clans; these clans were organized into three distinct phratries identified by their animal sign: Turtle and Wolf. They first encountered the Dutch in the early 17th century, their primary relationship with the Europeans was through fur trade; the Dutch became the first Europeans to lay claim to lands in New Jersey. The Dutch colony of New Netherland consisted of parts of modern Middle Atlantic states. Although the European principle of land ownership was not recognized by the Lenape, Dutch West India Company policy required its colonists to purchase the land that they settled.
The first to do so was Michiel Pauw who established a patronship called Pavonia in 1630 along the North River which became the Bergen. Peter Minuit's purchase of lands along the Delaware River established the colony of New Sweden; the entire region became a territory of England on June 24, 1664, after an English fleet under the command of Colonel Richard Nicolls sailed into what is now New York Harbor and took control of Fort Amsterdam, annexing the entire province. During the English Civil War, the Channel Island of Jersey remained loyal to the British Crown and gave sanctuary to the King, it was from the Royal Square in Saint Helier that Charles II of England was proclaimed King in 1649, following the execution of his father, Charles I. The North American lands were divided by Charles II, who gave his brother, the Duke of York, the region between New England and Maryland as a proprietary colony. James granted the land between the Hudson River and the Delaware River to two friends who had remained loyal through the English Civil War: Sir George Carteret and Lord Berkeley of Stratton.
The area was named the Province of New Jersey. Since the state's inception, New Jersey has been characterized by religious diversity. New England Congregationalists settled alongside Scots Presbyterians and Dutch Reformed migrants. While the majority of residents lived in towns with individual landholdings of 100 acres, a few rich proprietors owned vast estates. English Quakers and Anglicans owned large landholdings. Unlike Plymouth Colony and other colonies, New Jersey was populated by a secondary wave of immigrants who came from other colonies instead of those who migrated directly from Europe. New Jersey remained agrarian and rural throughout the colonial era, commercial farming developed sporadically; some townships, such as Burlington on the Delaware River and Perth Amboy, emerged as important ports for shipping to New York City and Philadelphia. The colony's fertile lands and tolerant religious policy drew more settlers, New Jersey's population had increased to 120,000 by 1775. Settlement for the first 10 years of English rule took place along Hackensack River and Arthur Kill –
The American chestnut is a large, monoecious deciduous tree of the beech family native to eastern North America. Before the species was devastated by the chestnut blight, a fungal disease, it was one of the most important forest trees throughout its range, was considered the finest chestnut tree in the world, it is estimated that between 3 and 4 billion American chestnut trees were destroyed in the first half of the 20th century by blight after its initial discovery in 1904. Few mature specimens of the tree exist within its historical range, although many small shoots of the former live trees remain. There are hundreds of large American chestnuts outside its historical range, some in areas where less virulent strains of the pathogen are more common, such as the 600 to 800 large trees in northern Lower Michigan; the species is listed as endangered in Canada. Castanea dentata is a growing deciduous hardwood tree reaching up to 30 metres in height, 3 metres in diameter, it ranged from Maine and southern Ontario to Mississippi, from the Atlantic coast to the Appalachian Mountains and the Ohio Valley.
C. dentata was once one of the most common trees in the Northeastern United States. In Pennsylvania alone, it is estimated to have comprised 25–30% of all hardwoods; the tree's huge population was due to a combination of rapid growth and a large annual seed crop in comparison to oaks which do not reliably produce sizable numbers of acorns every year. Nut production begins. There are several similar chestnut species, such as the European sweet chestnut, Chinese chestnut, Japanese chestnut; the American species can be distinguished by a few morphological traits, such as leaf shape, petiole length and nut size. For example, it has larger and more spaced saw-teeth on the edges of its leaves, as indicated by the scientific name dentata, Latin for "toothed"; the leaves, which are 14–20 cm long and 7–10 cm broad tend to average shorter and broader than those of the sweet chestnut. The blight-resistant Chinese chestnut is now the most planted chestnut species in the US, while the European chestnut is the source of commercial nuts in recent decades.
It can be distinguished from the American chestnut by its hairy twig tips which are in contrast to the hairless twigs of the American chestnut. The chestnuts are in the beech family along with beech and oak, but are not related to the horse-chestnut, in the family Sapindaceae; the chestnut is monoecious, producing many small, pale green male flowers found occurring along 6 to 8 inch long catkins. The female parts appear in late spring to early summer. Like all members of the Fagaceae family, American chestnut is self-incompatible and requires two trees for pollination, which can be any member of the Castanea genus; the American chestnut is a prolific bearer of nuts with three nuts enclosed in each spiny, green burr, lined in tan velvet. The nuts develop through late summer, with the burrs opening and falling to the ground near the first fall frost; the American chestnut was a important tree for wildlife, providing much of the fall mast for species such as white-tailed deer and wild turkey and the passenger pigeon.
Black bears were known to eat the nuts to fatten up for the winter. The American chestnut contains more nitrogen, phosphorus and magnesium in its leaves when compared to other trees that share its habitat; this means they return more nutrients to the soil which helps with the growth of other plants and microorganisms. Once an important hardwood timber tree, the American chestnut suffered a substantial population collapse due to the chestnut blight, a disease caused by an Asian bark fungus; this disease was accidentally introduced into North America on imported Asiatic chestnut trees. Chestnut blight was first noticed on American chestnut trees in what was the New York Zoological Park, now known as the Bronx Zoo, in the borough of The Bronx, New York City, in 1904, by chief forester Hermann Merkel. Merkel estimated. While Chinese chestnut evolved with the blight and developed a strong resistance, the American chestnut had little resistance; the airborne bark fungus spread 50 mi a year and in a few decades girdled and killed up to three billion American chestnut trees.
Salvage logging during the early years of the blight may have unwittingly destroyed trees which had high levels of resistance to this disease and thus aggravated the calamity. New shoots sprout from the roots when the main stem dies, so the species has not yet become extinct. However, the stump sprouts reach more than 6 m in height before blight infection returns; the total number of chestnut trees in eastern North America was estimated at over three billion, 25% of the trees in the Appalachian Mountains were American chestnut. The number of large surviving trees over 60 cm in diameter within its former range is fewer than 100. American chestnuts were common part of the forest canopy in southeast Michigan. Although large trees are rare east of the Mississippi River, it exists in pockets in the blight-free West, where the habitat was agreeable for planting: settlers took seeds for American chestnut with them in the 19th century. Huge planted chestnut trees can be found in Sherwood, Oregon, as the Mediterranean climate of the West Coast discourages the fungus, which relies on hot, humid summer weather.
American chestnut thrives as far nort
Belt Woods is a nature reserve in Prince George's County, Maryland, U. S. containing the "South Woods", a 43-acre woodland which constitutes one of the last stands of old growth hardwood forest on the Atlantic coastal plain. It is a mere 8 miles east of Washington, D. C. Many of its white oaks and tulip poplars are more than three feet in diameter and soar more than 100 feet before branching; the "South Woods" were designated a National Natural Landmark in 1974. Belt Woods has been owned and protected by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources since the 1980s; some 110 acres at the site are designated a Natural Environment Area and another 515 acres are designated a Heritage Conservation Fund site. Thus 625 acres are protected in total. Within this area, the Maryland General Assembly has designated 610 acres — 109 acres within the NEA and 501 acres within the HCF — as a special Maryland Wildland. Belt Woods is part of the former farm of Seton Belt. A bird breeding census first surveyed the tract in 1947.
The oaks of the "North Woods", an old-growth similar to the now-preserved "South Woods" tract, were all cut in 1981, despite the fact that Belt had stipulated in his will that the stand was never to be logged. Tom Horton, in his book Bay Country, tells how this happened: The bank entrusted with administering Seton Belt's estate, the church to which he left his goods, found that the forest earned the highest accolades not just from naturalists and woodland songbirds. "Veneer quality", eager buyers from the world's leading timber concerns adjudged the massive, knot-free, straight trunks of the oaks. Debarked, steamed until soft sliced and peeled on huge machines into sheets just 1/4-inch thick, just a few of the Beltwoods giants would decorate acres of executive conference-room walls in warm wood tones; the church said it needed the money over and above the $10 million that old Belt had left it to build an urban home for the elderly. With the bank, it broke the will in court, half the mighty Beltwoods fell to the chainsaw...
The forester hired by the bank explained to me his satisfaction. From the standpoint of annual, new cellulose production, he said, the old oaks were well into the area of diminishing returns though they might live another century or two. "The only thing left for that particular stand of trees to do was to die and fall over", he said This event served as a wakeup call to conservationists and an 18-year legal battle ensued between them and the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. In 1984, the state of Maryland, with partners, purchased 110 acres including the "South Woods", designating them the Belt Woods Natural Environmental Area. Impending residential development necessitated the state's purchase of an additional 515 acres in 1997 — known as the Belt Woods Heritage Conservation Fund site; the HCF site, which consists of the former "North" and "Central Woods", buffers the old growth forest and forestalls further development. In all, some 625 acres are protected at the site, of which most were designated by the Maryland General Assembly in October 1997 as the Belt Woods Wildland.
Access to Belt Woods is limited to scientific study. Belt Woods lies within the Southeastern mixed forests ecoregion, it consists of a mosaic of small fields and woodlands and is a critical nesting area for neotropical songbirds. The density of birds breeding there is among the highest observed on the east coast. Unusually high densities of FIDS birds prevail. In 1989, the breeding bird census, which uses a territory mapping method, measured a density of more than 200 pairs/100 acres of FIDS, attributable to high densities of wood thrush and red-eyed vireo. Nine other species of FIDS birds breed there, including the Kentucky warbler; the canopy of the mesic upland hardwood forest at Belt Woods is dominated by tulip poplar and white oak. Old-growth characteristics include 200-year-old trees of over 140 feet in height. Forty-two species of trees were measured in the "South Woods" in 2001. Prominent understory trees include flowering dogwood, sweet haw and ironwood; the herbaceous layer, exceptionally dense in springtime, includes Collinsonia and broad beechfern.
The narrowleaf glade fern and Wister's coralroot — both Maryland state threatened species — grow here. List of National Natural Landmarks in Maryland Old-growth forest List of old growth forests Belt Woods NNL Webpage at NPS Website