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Rock Creek Park

The Basic Mesic Hardwood Forest is one of the most species-diverse natural communities in Rock Creek Park. A profusion of wildflowers and ferns on the forest floor make this forest stand out in spring.

Look for it in deep, shaded, moist ravines, or on cool, groundwater-fed lower slopes whose concave shape tends to collect deep, moist soils. The soils contain elements like calcium that make them less acidic than other soils in the park, and more fertile. The source of the calcium is mineralized groundwater, or igneous bedrock. The fertile soils give the plant life of this community a more lush look than that of the Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest, which is similar but much more common in Rock Creek Park. 
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Can you find this combination of key features?

Identifying This Natural Community

If so, welcome to Rock Creek Park’s Basic Mesic Hardwood Forest!

Not sure? Check out the Tips to Distinguish (below), or the Compare Natural Communities tool.

Tips to Distinguish Basic Mesic Hardwood Forest from Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest at Rock Creek Park

Tips to Distinguish Basic Mesic Hardwood Forest from Successional Tuliptree Forest (Rich Type) at Rock Creek Park