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Bottomland Hardwood Forest

Bottomland hardwood forest - wildlife and habitatBald cypress and Water Tupelo dominate the bottomland hardwood forests of Tallahatchie National Wildlife Refuge.

Tallahatchie National Wildlife Refuge is located within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV). Historically, forested wetlands dominated this region. These forests naturally flooded in the winter and spring from the floodwaters of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Today, the river has been leveed and the landscape has drastically changed with extensive deforestation and conversion of forest lands to agriculture. It is estimated that only 20 percent of the MAV is still occupied by forested wetlands. With the proliferation of agriculture in this area, significant alterations to the natural hydrology of the landscape have also occurred. The remaining forested wetlands of the MAV are highly fragmented (broken into small patches), which also impact the quality of habitat for wildlife.

Tallahatchie NWR is a 4,199-acre patchwork of retired agricultural lands, moist soil units, reforested lands, and small, scattered sections of bottomland hardwood forest. Most of the retired agricultural fields have been reforested with native hardwood species. Remnant mature forest lands have been passively managed, as these are limited in size and heavily fragmented. As the reforested areas grow and mature, they will connect the fragments of mature forest to create larger, contiguous blocks of bottomland hardwood forest.
Last Updated: Feb 24, 2014
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