Open Woodlands Used generally to describe low density forests, open woodland ecosystems contain widely spaced trees whose crowns do not touch, causing for an open canopy, insignificant midstory canopy layer, sparse understory and where groundcover is the most obvious feature of the landscape dominated by diverseflora (grasses, forbes, sedges). Open Woodlands provide habitat for a diverse mix of wildlife species, several of which are of conservation concern, such as Red Headed Woodpecker, Prairie Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Northern Bobwhite and Eastern Red Bat. Predicted climate change will largely impact changes in temperature and moisture availability in open woodlands systems, likely having a cascading effect on a species habitat and increasing stress to many of these species. The Appalachian LCC funded NatureServe to conduct vulnerability assessments on a suite of plants, animals, and habitats within the Appalachians. These assessments can be used as an early warning system to alert resource managers about changing conditions.
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