In naturally occurring conditions they were shaped and determined by elements of disease, wildlife, fire, weather and Native American lifestyles. The happy result was plant communities consisting of diverse mixes of trees, shrubs and ground covers - all well adapted to existing soils, light and moisture conditions.
Today we see dramatic changes. Sadly, some original woodland flora and fauna have disappeared - such as American chestnut and American elm, not to mention elk and passenger pigeons, which once populated Midwest forests. New exotics - Siberian elm, buckthorn, amur maple and others have been introduced, creating a highly problematic new mix. Without serious control measures it is impossible to maintain diverse, stable, healthy woodlands.
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